135 able-bodied children. 50 volunteers. 7 staff. 5 days. One God.
The children learned four different truths this week. So did I – but in a different way:
God the Creator. He created these children in His image. He gave them individual personalities, weighed each trait differently in all, made all of them special & unique in their own way. He gives them these feelings – fear, joy, anger, sadness, vulnerability, loneliness, homesickness, and curiosity. And throughout this week He has shown me why. Their vulnerability allowed us to build trusting relationships in 5 days. Their homesickness allowed us to demonstrate the love that we have for them because God loves them.Their fear allowed us to pray in the name of Jesus for their anxiety to be lifted and replaced with the safety of Christ. Their anger allowed us to talk about the forgiveness of God, His grace and His mercy. Their sadness allowed us to contaminate and project the Joy of Christ in our lives onto theirs. Their joy produced more joy as we rejoiced & worshipped in jubilation with our voices & actions. Their curiosity strengthened our own faith as we shared about the impact that God has had on our lives.
Thank you God for creating.
God the Provider. He provided the facilities, the people, the support, and the heart. God provided…
A leader – to bounce ideas with, rely on for support throughout the week;
The facility – His church, His gym, His classrooms, His sanctuary
The staff – strong, capable & Godly and He is using them tremendously
Friends – providing encouragement & prayer; present through loss & joy
The energy – for the staff & volunteers to work & play, for kids to be kids
The opportunity – to talk about the gospel and to share the love of Christ
The children – they are His and he placed them in our care for the past 5 days
The workers – who worked for months and days; who designed postcards, took pictures or made the slideshow; who helped with registration, logistics and planning; who took days off work to volunteer; who worked from home to help for part of the day; who walked with a cane, brace or chair and still lead groups of children in games & skits; who planned & prepared crafts, materials and creative outlets; who moved tables, ordered food and served food; who have planned for months to provide these children with delicious and nutritious snacks; who helped with AV, set up, take down & clean up; who invited their friends, neighbours and families to join this ministry; who talked to families in hopes of being able to share the gospel; who fervently and continuously prayed for this ministry and for it to be fruitful.
The heart – the heart of the workers, staff, volunteers to serve a God who is Good.
The message of creation, redemption, grace, & salvation.
Thank you God for providing.
God the Redeemer. Before the week started, I knew that I was sinful, evil, flawed and prideful. The week has now come to an end and now A LOT more people can point out my flaws & weaknesses – and for the record, I do NOT need them pointed out to me, especially when under stress & pressure. Feel free to convict me at another, appropriate time. Just so we are on the same page, let me list just a few of them out for you – pridefulness, impatience with adults, short tempered, goal-driven to the point of mistreatment of others, rude, obnoxious, bluntly honest, disregard of the opinions & judgments of others, overwhelmingly sarcastic and sassy, a glare that could kill, & procrastination. These are some of the many characteristics that I likely displayed this week…BUT he said to me ” My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” Therefore I will boast more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9. I am imperfect but God is pursuing me and I know that I am redeemed, saved from my sin by His grace through faith, and being used for His Glory.
Thank you God for Redeeming
God the Saviour. God is using us for His glory and He is the one who saves. We can preach, talk, answer questions, and dabble in our sharing as much as we want, but in the end God saves. If just one person is convicted, if just one of His lost sheep are found if just one seed is planted and watered, if one day one kid hears one worship song and proclaims His name, if 20 years from now, one of these children decides to believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour – it would be worth it all. And it is. It was worth it – because I trust in God and I am confident that He is working. This week, a child asked me what worship was, I told him that it is when we want to give God our best because he has saved us and given us the Gift of Jesus. His response? – “How is that enough?” We proceeded to open a picture bible and discuss the gospel. We may not see it today, or tomorrow, next week or at the end of summer. But God is working for His Glory.
Thank you God for Saving.
This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. – 1 Corinthians 4:1