USA (MNN) — In the wake of recent terrorist attacks in Beirut, Paris, and most recently, San Bernardino, fear in the U.S. has reached a new high.
A recent poll by The New York Times/CBS News shows, among other numbers, that 44% percent of the public says an attack is “very” likely to happen in the next few months. That’s the highest percentage since the weeks following the attacks on September 11, 2001.
But as fear of violent attacks is taking hold in many people’s minds, one group is especially emotionally vulnerable: children.
“I think all of them right now are living in a sense of fear,” says Greg Yoder, executive director of Keys for Kids Ministries in Grand Rapids, Mich. “[Adults] probably have that same sense of, maybe not fear, but anxiety, just wondering what’s going to happen next. I think a lot of kids echo what their parents are feeling.”
Though parents may have some worries themselves, Yoder says it’s their job to help ease their children’s fears. He does not advocate for ignorance of world events, but rather formulating a healthy response to them.
“Be honest with your kids. That’s important,” Yoder says. “Go on with a normal way of life. Resist the urge to be overly anxious about that. Also, maybe remind them that they are safe, and remind them that even though there is evil in the world, God’s there, and that in and of itself is a safe place.
“The other thing, too, is to put them into media that is going to encourage them. While we don’t necessarily want them to think that we live in this Utopian world, we do want them to have the message of the Gospel, especially at Christmas time.”
That’s where Keys for Kids comes in. Keys for Kids radio is airing a variety of different Christmas-centered programs, including musicals and Adventures in Odyssey episodes, all with the goal of introducing children to the Gospel and giving them hope.
Says Yoder, “The great e-mails we get are [from] kids like little Esther, who said that ‘I came to know Jesus, and now [your] devotionals [and your] radio station are having an impact on me because I know of my need for a Savior now. And it means more to me now that I know that I need a Savior.'”
Interested in where you can find these resources? Visit KeysforKids.net to listen 24/7. You can download the Keys for Kids App to read and listen to daily devotionals, or click here to receive a free quarterly physical copy of the devotional book.
Finally, click here to see how you can financially support Keys for Kids.