God of All Comfort

ArushaTimes News

Ukraine, Russia, UN, refugees. These are some of the words dominating our headlines and news feeds. In the last few days I have heard students, staff and parents talking about war, about refugees, about right and wrong. It is quite natural for headlines to make their way into classroom conversations and especially so when they are so pervasive and worrisome. Students wonder about the condition of the world, about war, nation rising against nation, and about the innocent – the children and people who cannot control the events around them and find themselves suddenly in danger and terror. Such conversation can be distressing for children. As Christians, we know that Jesus, the perfecter of our faith, also talked about war and governments and times of upheaval. He also assured us that God the Father holds time itself in his hands.
So how do we have conversations about war, about Ukraine and Russia with children?
The following are a few suggestions that may be of use to you and your family and are strategies that we often use in the classroom:
Listen. Sometimes children need to express their thoughts without interruption or correction. Their thoughts might not be in line with your own, but give their ideas a chance to stand.
Acknowledge their feelings. War and rumours of war are scary and confusing. You could try saying something like: “Yes, I see why it seems scary. I understand why you feel that way.” If children feel that they are being heard, it helps bring a measure of calm and understanding.
Provide the opportunity for action. Praying for Christians and those suffering in the entire conflicted area is recommended. Pray for peace. You may also want to talk about connecting with an organization that brings support or aid to war-torn areas. You can talk about how your support will reach children in war-torn areas of the world.
It is also important that adults practice being open yet calm, honest about conflict and yet trusting in the King who will eventually bring resolve to the entire world. Your children are watching you even if it doesn’t seem like it sometimes. I’m glad that Paul described our God as, “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort” (2 Cor 1:3-5). In the coming days, let’s pray with our kids that peace may be granted and that the God of compassion and comfort would feed his people around the globe.
David Ward, Superintendent