Children Flock to Jesus for Him to Lay Hands on them
Friday, August 10, 2012
Children are God’s precious gifts to mankind. They are to be cared for, cherished by the parents and families, and they are expected to be given a good start in life by providing conducive and happy environment for proper growth and development.
During Jesus’ ministry, it was recorded in the Holy Bible that children flocked to Him for Him to lay His hands on them, to pray for them and bless them. They could see crowds thronging around Jesus who preached to them and cured many who were ill. As children, they were curious and they also wanted a share of Jesus’ attention and prayers. Jesus’ disciple saw the numerous crowds of people crowding around Jesus each day and felt that Jesus was far too preoccupied with the congregation, who gathered round Him for healing and teaching daily, and that He would not have time for children. Not so! When Jesus saw the disciples rebuking children and wanting to send them away, He turned towards the children, encouraging them to come forward and said to His disciples, “Don’t stop these children by sending them away. Let them come to me, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to these small ones.”
Then He bent down, put His hands on them all and blessed them …. What great joy it was for these children that Jesus had time for them, laid His hands on them and blessed them. They must have been very thrilled: Matt 19. 14-15.
Similarly, adults must have time for children. We must talk to them, show them affection, encourage them always, train them in the correct behaviour and good attitude in life and honesty. It is essential to maintain discipline at home and in schools, as part of the child’s training and education. It is a great pity that so many teachers complain of indiscipline in many of today’s schools. This is because homes do not inculcate discipline in the upbringing of their children, but would wait until the child goes to school and expect teachers to introduce disciplinary measures at school. Because they are not used to being disciplined at home, some may resent discipline from a teacher, especially if they do not like the teacher who may be considered harsh and unkind. This is where the trouble begins at schools.
Children in many parts of our continent suffer a great deal from harsh treatment by parents at home, who show them little or no affection. They overwork them and by unkind teachers who do not know how to interact with their pupils.
These frequent conflicts within our sub-region are disastrous. Children are vulnerable and suffer greatly. We have seen people attacked in their homes and in some cases, we are horrified to see that rebels enter a village or city and kill parents in front of their children! A huge refugee problem is often the result of these skirmishes which occur far too often in many regions. Hundreds of children are orphaned, due to their parents being killed! Thousands of families have to vacate their homes in a hurry, taking only a few of their belongings with them to seek refuge in a refugee camp. The war in Sudan has resulted in a huge refugee crisis in Darfur in the Southern Sudan and elsewhere. This problem has caused undue sufferings to thousands of fleeing and frightened persons from attacks by rebels, militia or military. The world’s largest refugee camp is situated in Kenya and Aid agencies admit that they are running out of funds, putting tens of thousands of lives at risk. Oxfam and Save the Children agencies say that the need is greater than ever, as they are short of $25 million. This refugee camp is known as Dabaad and is home to almost half-a-million refugees from Somalia. These camps are constructed with makeshift materials and refugees continue to arrive daily, swelling the number of persons who can be accommodated in them. Food and water are often scarce and not enough for the larger number of people who flock to the camp on a regular basis, causing immense suffering to the inmates and the refugees have to use the area around the camps as toilets! Refugees are exposed to extreme conditions of the weather and all the creepy, crawly animals and insects of the desert in an attempt to teach lessons to children in order to keep them occupied. Life in these camps must be emotionally traumatic and horrific for adults, let alone children who have been orphaned. This camp I have identified was created more than 20 years ago after Somalia relegated into strife and resultant chaos. Refugee camps are only temporary solutions to the refugee crisis. Funds are now required to save lives. The agencies indicate that long-term solutions for those living in overcrowded camps are needed, and that they cannot keep spending money year after year while camps keep getting bigger by the regular influx of more refugees.
A more lasting solution to this refugee crisis is for countries to prevent strife and chaos in their regions, as these are the causes of so much sufferings and instability which leaves the countries impoverished, chaotic with an immense refugee problem and thousands of displaced persons.
Author: Bijou Peters