Kid to go with Cyndi BlurbB“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.  His love endures forever.”  Psalm 107:1

 Dear Family and Friends,

 In a long list of things that inspire me to give thanks, God's never-failing love and goodness could rightly swallow up the list.

 Enduring friendships, family, and the most memorable of life experiences would be near the top.  But everyday things count too, like cookies warm from the oven, or a child conquering a math test.  And how about the privilege of knowing how to read?  All the treasures on our bookshelves, packed full of insight, humor, and stories that bring us the world.  Most of all, my well-loved copy of God's Word, that lamp to my stumbling feet, light for my path (Psalm 119:105).     

 When Katie turned seven, she struggled with reading, and an experienced teacher encouraged me to drop everything else and teach her to read.  Within a few months, Katie was on track, and a week ago she wrote in a college essay, “Ever since I discovered the magic of literature, I have consumed it as if it were my favorite candy . . . I have experienced the thrills and dangers of hiding Jews from the Nazis; I have survived days on a raft surrounded by sharks; I have gotten ready with my sisters for a ball; I have been lost in an Indian jungle with a friendly tiger by my side.” 

 My friend has a son who's almost four.  I brought him a copy of a children's book that Katie wrote and, after reading it to him, asked if he wanted me to read one his other books.  Turns out he doesn't own any other books; The Young Hunter was his first. 

This little guy will get more books, but I hope his momentary lack can help shine the light on why the children's homes and schools that make up the Mustard Seed network are so needed.  When you think about Mustard Seed in Indonesia, imagine diverse, organic spaces in jungles, cities, and villages where kids are being reached with the Gospel of Jesus, learning to read, learning to think, learning to love and understand the Scriptures.  Learning to recognize the goodness of God, even in places where life is very hard.     

– Cyndi Richardson