Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Country Gal + City Kids = Love

An excerpt from...

Country Gal + City Kids = Love

By Peggy Bushong, Support Staff
July-September 2013

The Problem:
Country Gal + City Kids = LoveAt a small church in my town, children were attending Thursday night services that the church depended heavily on help from college student volunteers. Most of those volunteers would soon be leaving for the summer. If the children’s activities on Thursday nights were suspended, these children probably wouldn’t hear much about Jesus over the summer. An appeal went out to other local churches for volunteers who would help keep the children’s ministry going.

The Response:
I work with Christians, go to church with Christians, and most of my friends and close family are Christians. I wanted to be able to share about Jesus with people who did not have a personal relationship with Christ. Here was my chance.

The Beginning:
I showed up at the church to volunteer. I was put with the younger children (pre-K through first grade), which suited me quite well. But having grown up in a pastor’s home in small towns and country settings, I had absolutely no “street smarts.” These kids had plenty.

The Battle:
As I got to know the children better, it was like we were living in parallel universes. In my world, the norm is three meals a day, a family unit of two parents and two to four children, boys and girls who sit quietly (mostly) in class, and parents who carefully monitor their children’s TV viewing and homework.
In their world, children may go hungry, may have as many as 10 or more siblings from various parents, are often starved for attention, may see pornography on TV in their home, and probably know someone in jail. 

The Inspiration:
Not long ago, I was discouraged about the ministry. The evil seemed so great, and I didn’t seem to be making an impact. Then I read a statement by a missionary woman. She wrote that while she was grieving the loss of a child, God had spoken to her, telling her He had not brought the children in her care to her to heal; He had brought them to her to love. And it was as if God was saying to me, “I did not bring these children to you to save; I brought them to you to love.”

I was encouraged, and I am grateful to be able to love these precious children and to point them to the One who can save them.

The Word and Deed:
Loving children in the name of Christ is loving God the Son and God the Father. Jesus models the way for us when He took the children in His arms and blessed them. This is best shared with us through Mark 10:14-16. Prayerfully read the Word. Now put your faith into action. Serve the children in your neighborhood this year. Whether you get involved with an organization like Youth for Christ or volunteer in the nursery at your church, share God’s love with a little one.
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