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  • Blessing the Children

    In our celebration of Children’s Sabbath on Sunday, I highlighted the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Winners, Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi. The Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee said the winners were selected because of their “struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”1 He also cited the statistic that 60% of the present population in the world’s poor countries are under 25 years of age. He emphasized how essential the rights of children and young people are if we are to have peace in our world.

    Most of us know that Malala Yousafzai is a spokesperson for girls’ education in her home country of Pakistan. In October 2012, the Taliban shot her in the head in an attempt to silence her. She recovered and now lives in Great Britain for her and her family’s safety. She continues to be a world renowned activist for children’s education. Last year, she spoke at the United Nations Youth Assembly.

    We may not be as familiar with Kailash Satyarthi, a child’s rights activist in India. In 1980, at the age of 26 he left his career as an electrical engineer to dedicate his life to helping millions of children in India who are forced into slavery. Over the past 34 years, he has led rescues of over 78,000 child slaves in India. To learn more about him and his mission, see http://www.kailashsatyarthi.net/biography/ .

    When I see photos of Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai placed side by side, I cannot help but smile. The 60-year-old Hindu man from India and the 17-year-old Muslim teenager from Pakistan are different in so many ways. Yet they share God’s love and concern for the children of our world, the young, the powerless, the vulnerable. They both are committed to helping children live lives of freedom and dignity with the right to receive a quality education. They are giving us a vision of what is possible in our world, an inspiring glimpse of God’s kingdom. May their dedication, commitment, and courage capture the imagination of young and old alike and inspire us also to welcome and bless all the children.

    Peace,

    Lee

    Some people brought children to Jesus so that he would place his hands on them and pray. But the disciples scolded them. “Allow the children to come to me,” Jesus said. “Don’t forbid them, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to people like these children.” Then he blessed the children and went away from there. – Matthew 19:13-15

     

     

    [1] “The Nobel Peace Prize 2014 – Press Release,” http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/2014/press.html (accessed October 16, 2014).

  • Blessing the Children

    In our celebration of Children’s Sabbath on Sunday, I highlighted the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Winners, Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi. The Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee said the winners were selected because of their “struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”1 He… Read more

  • Blessing the Children

    In our celebration of Children’s Sabbath on Sunday, I highlighted the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Winners, Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi. The Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee said the winners were selected because of their “struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”1 He… Read more

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