My wife Judy and I have nine children. Early on we saw the value of sending them out to see how Christianity is being lived in a variety of ways around the country and the world: Belgium and Belfast, Denver and Detroit, London and Lansing. Our children saw and served a bigger picture — the whole Body of Christ. (We belong to a network of communities, the Sword of the Spirit, that makes this possible.) Our children served in mission, met amazing peers, and all came home closer to the Lord.
When our grandchildren began arriving we hoped that they, too, would be able to get to know the bigger picture and connect with other Christians their own age around the world. As they moved into their teens, we started searching for ways to do this. A few years back, we began hearing great things about the Youth Equipped to Stand (YES) retreats. The YES Retreat is a Christian high school retreat sponsored by Kairos in North America (http://kairos-na.org/yes/). So we decided to pool some of the money we would spend on gifts for their birthday and Christmas and pay for them to go to the YES Retreat. It was clear that their parents thought it would be a good idea, but they weren’t financially able to make it a priority to send them.
We have sent three of our grandkids to the YES Retreat. Most recently we sent Emmett, a high school junior. As usual, we had him come over and tell us how it went. We also invited his younger cousin Jonathan (next on our list) to join us. We asked Emmet what the one thing was that he learned from this year’s YES Retreat that he would like to share with Jonny. He answered, “You can only find real joy, joy that satisfies, by putting God first, by serving Jesus Christ… The things of the world don’t do it.”
Our grandson spoke the truth with conviction to our other grandson. We got double our money’s worth out of this year’s investment!
Sending someone to the YES Retreat is a lot of money, but we see it as a “holy investment”. Since we are expecting our 36th grandchild this year, we intend to keep saving our pennies to help our other grandchildren make it to the YES Retreat.
We are wholly invested in our holy investment and the “compound interest” that results from one grandchild influencing another in their faith journeys!
1) Do you have children who would agree to your sending their children on a retreat, or to summer camp, or on a mission trip?
2) What other ways can you spend your money to advance your grandchildren’s faith?
1) Research and find a camp, retreat, or mission trip that your oldest grandchild could attend.
2) Spend your money strategically in some way this month.
Dave and Judy Touhill have 35 (and counting) grandchildren and live in New Jersey.
Copyright © 2017 Grandly – The Strategic Grandparents Club.