Small Things that Matter to Children

I am a Leadership Development Program alumnus. One day at my former child development center, we children picked up papers thrown in the dust bin, and we realized they were old home-visitation reports made by the development center staff. I came across mine and read a comment made by the center director at that time.

It said: “Moses stays with his paternal uncle. His mother died. His father went to Rwanda in 1994 and left him at his uncle’s place because he was registered with Compassion and never wanted to miss the opportunity. Follow up should be made to find out what challenges he faces and know how to help him better.”

This motivated me because I realized there was someone who knew me by name, who cared about me, and kept records of me! I kept this paper for years.

As we focus on child development, we realize we can’t do anything extraordinary. That’s not what children need from us, anyway. They just need us to spend time with them, know them, love them, and be available for them.

children holding cups and snacks

This is what we should emphasize even to the Implementing Church Partner staff and people who visit the development centers. Let us learn to do small things but with great love.

When you consider the widow’s offering in Luke 21, Jesus wanted to show the difference between doing things out of our hearts and doing things out of our heads. Children do not need only material welfare, and even if they do, we don’t have enough to satisfy their needs.

Let’s learn to celebrate children as they grow. Let’s teach communities that children are not problems; they are a blessing.

He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” —Luke 21:2–4, NIV

Prayer: Dear Lord, I pray for all Compassion staff worldwide. Give us wisdom as we work with the children. Let us take this ministry into our hearts and continue to rejoice when children grow. In Jesus’ name, amen!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Moses Mbonigaba is a Leadership Development Program Specialist in Rwanda.

Read all the One in Spirit devotionals.

6 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Edward Kissakye July 7, 2022

    Indeed the small things done in love have always produced great impact in the lives of children.

  2. Cate Wamiti April 17, 2019

    Yes Moses, doing small things in love matter!

  3. Moses Mbonigaba March 5, 2012

    Glory to God! Thank you for reading and appreciating. I pray that the whole world views children as blessings.

  4. Kipyegon Yator March 2, 2012

    Moses, it is such a moving and insightful revelation. Thanks for remainding us of doing simple things which yield huge and long-lived impact in the lives of children.

  5. Andrea Ward March 1, 2012

    Thank you for your encouraging words. As a youth leader here in the United States, it often seems that what we do is not enough. Thank you for the reminder that doing things with great love is always enough.

  6. Nina March 1, 2012

    Your story really touched me. Such a simple thing – a piece of discarded paper – but it inspired and motivated you for years! I try to always send encouragement to my kids, but in the letters I am currently writing, I have been making a special point of telling them how special they are to me, how proud I am of them, and not to ever give up on their dreams. A small thing that us, as sponsors, can do with great love, from a distance.

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