Third Grade Dollars and Sense
January 15, 2013 | Seeds
By Blake Weaver
About a month ago, I received the following letter from a Third Grade Teacher out in California:
Dear Mr. Weaver,
A couple of months ago I spoke with you about my third grade classroom supporting the NICS SEED Fund. I am so thrilled to have a check for $100 for your SEED Fund. When I spoke to my class about giving to NICS this year, they all agreed it was a great opportunity to help Christian schools in other countries. Our class will be doing odd jobs at home, jobs for friends, etc. to earn change for our “NICS Rabbit Bank.” Yes, we have a very cute rabbit bank that we collect our money in. Our class is also gathering plastic bottles and aluminum cans to earn money for the NICS SEED Fund.
It is my prayer that this will be the first of many checks that my class can lovingly give to NICS. You will be receiving a check from our class every few months. We will also be praying for the NICS organization each day during our Bible time in class!
When I read this letter, I was overwhelmed with gratitude towards this teacher and these young students. Indeed, I am so thankful for every dollar that is given to the expansion of NICS. The sacrifice that these children are making on behalf of NICS is simply amazing.
While the money from this 3rd Grade class is largely important to us, the life lessons that this teacher is passing on to these children is even more incredible. Through this project these students are learning at least three very critical lessons:
• One, it is important to be generous to others.
• Two, we live in a big world, and God is at work in other countries just as He is here.
• Three, learning to be generous to others requires that we give of ourselves.
Therefore, this project seems to be more about “Kingdom sense” rather than earthly dollars.
In a 2011 online article titled, “The Philanthropy of a Smile: Teaching Kids to Be Generous,” Fawcett notes that, “Cultivating a spirit of philanthropy in our children requires more than simply teaching them how to give money or service. True philanthropy is larger than that- it’s equally about teaching our children how to give of themselves.” I love the idea that true philanthropy=giving of yourself. That sounds strikingly similar to the Gospel, doesn’t it? In this light, “true philanthropy” is defined by the life of Jesus Christ, for He is the only one that perfectly and completely gave of Himself.
On the surface it may seem that these third graders are learning a simple lesson on giving to others, and we all know that this is an important lesson to share with children. However, this teaching ultimately points these children, as well as you and me, to the Cross of Jesus Christ. At NICS/Oasis, this is our ultimate goal, and we are delighted that a class of third graders in California are joining with NICS classrooms across the world in prayer and by displaying “true philanthropy.”