Building Blocks of Faith
by Dave Baker
But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. -James 1:6, NIV
It is common to hear various aspects from the world of construction used as metaphors for early childhood development. Good parents lay a foundation on which children can build on. Christian Schools offer the building blocks of faith. Fact is, building something with our hands gives us a feeling of accomplishment. William Kamkwamba knows this first hand. As a boy growing up in Malawi, he built a windmill. In doing so he proved to be very resourceful, it was made out of recycled material. His story is documented in the book: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. Journalist picked up on the story in 2007 and the book has been out since Summer 2010. It has an average rating of 4 1/2 stars from the online community. What’s noteworthy in the story is his ability to overcome obstacles to secure his goal. He was kicked out of school because his dad couldn’t afford to pay his tuition. During that time, he had access to a library and he read up on the basics of science and electricity. The windmill he built generated enough electricity to light up his village and pump water to his father’s field. Ultimately, it became a weapon to fight off hunger, for at the time the country was experiencing a drought.
Now there is a children’s edition of the book available. This is large format picture book intended for children ages 6 and up. Both editions teach the value of hard work and perseverance. Perseverance of the saints is one the key points of Calvinist theology. I found this to be the most interesting book I have read in the past 10 years. It is not faith based, but that shouldn’t distract from the story. Application comes in discussing it as a group and issuing a challenge. As a leader, William set a good example to follow and left his village in better condition than he found it. Can your students do the same thing in your community? What they do is entirely up to them, but that is what makes them unique as an individuals.
When I was growing up I had a wide variety of interests, but I never built anything larger than a model rocket. Today I like to build birdhouses with my children. My 6 yr. old son and I do the assembly, then turn them over to my 8 year old daughter for painting and decoration. I like to tell her in doing that work, she is adding value to the house. When kids have a bad day, activities like this help to take their mind off it.
As a literary genre, there is always something interesting about children’s books and its always rewarding to watch kids learn and grow.
Dave Baker is a bookseller and community builder. He has worked at Baker Book House for the past 13 years where he is responsible for school and non-profit accounts, hosting author events, software and diversity initiatives. He believes young people need positive role models and seeks to provide them both personally and professionally. In the past he’s established partnerships with Youth for Christ and Young Life at the local level. On the home front he is married with four children, two are enrolled in Christian schools.