One Mission Kids (OMK) teaches compassion through using the head, heart, and hands/feet method.
Sympathy starts in the head. It means, I am sorry for what has happened to you.
Empathy starts in the head and travels to the heart saying, "I feel sorry for you, because I can understand and relate to your problem." But on their own sympathy and empathy do little beyond involving our thoughts and feelings.
Compassion engages both our head and heart but it takes it one step further and moves us to use our hands and feet. When teaching children about missions it is easy to flood them with facts and other statistics to create sympathy. We can share real life stories that tug on their hearts getting them to empathize. But true compassion comes when we actively find ways to get our kids involved in using their hands and feet to help reach and rescue a lost world for Jesus.
When given the opportunity, kids jump at the chance to show compassion. Recently, OMK field tested our mission based VBS program, Good News Reporters in Training (GRITS), which includes the Good News for Africa mission project.
Throughout the week, kids did extra jobs around the house, asked for donations, and even used their own money to help provide new church plants with God's Word. During the mission time, one boy shared how God asked him to sell his Playstation (R) so that people could have their own copy of God's Word. Another child shared how he and his mother sold most of his clothes so the African people could read about Jesus for themselves. Two kid's summer mission programs raised enough money to provide more than 120 Bibles, for 15 churches!
The goal of One Mission Kids is to create resources to help equip parents, schools, and churches to better educate their kids about missions. Through the One Mission Kids website, OMK offers many resources including a free prayer calendar and an interactive place for kids to explore global destinations. Each destination includes a kid-friendly mission project so kids cannot only learn about what God is doing around the world, but practice compassion with their missionary heart.