And the Children Came…
A Part II of Let the Children Come
“WHY am I doing this?!? Why did I think running a kids club by myself was a good idea?!?” I wonder as, 30 minutes before Kids Club is supposed to start, I am cleaning up INCHES of water in my bathroom due to the kids climbing on the sink to fill water balloons, bursting a pipe, and continuing to fill the balloons, with the bathroom filling with water far faster than any balloons are. I was, once again, running behind on preparing for the afternoon (there’s never enough time to get done all that I want to) and instead of gathering the materials I needed for the lesson that day, I was sweeping those inches of water into a bucket, and very testily lecturing my kids about not climbing on the sink, and the need to come get mommy about the water spilling before INCHES of it have accumulated on the floor and under the sink.
My home is still recovering from having children rampaging through it, and I am now two weeks behind on household chores (except, of course, for the bathroom floor which got mopped up on Friday afternoon).
So, WHY did I do this? Cram more into my schedule when I don’t feel like I’m even doing what I already have well? Why did I collect more kids and more chaos when I really could have used those afternoon naptimes to do get stuff done, order my world better, or get a chance to exercise?
Well, this is my answer….
1. God led me to do it. I had every intention to spend the first two months settling in and tending to “setting up house and schedule” after we moved in. But one morning it came to me in my quiet time, that I should do a kids club, and all the lesson plan ideas started rushing over me. And my job is simply to be available and obey the promptings…even if they don’t make sense.
2. It was a building block. We now have a well established relationship with many of the neighborhood families since I was banging on their door every day for the past week and a half. One Grandma even joined in the effort by making cupcakes to match the day’s lesson plan on Friday. We now have several people interested in our weekly Bible study in our home, and interested in going to church with us. (see below)
3. My children (plus Jamar) and I had the opportunity to partner together, plan, pray for and implement an event to reach out to neighborhood kids and families. These little disciples are learning intentional community in the process.
4. Saprina, my newfound friend and neighbor who has started going to church with us, and I got to build a friendship as she came over every day to help. (Can I just say that being friends with Saprina is so refreshing, she makes me feel like I’m back in Newark, with all those inner city women who have so much spunk and energy)
5. I was humbled through it.
6. Janki. And her story. Thursday we went around to knock on all the doors again to gather the kids, and Karishma had not been able to come any of the days thus far (her grandfather always cracked the door open and said “She sleep. She sleep.” Hesitant to keep harassing them, I ventured to knock again. This time Karishma opened the door and her grandparents willingly sent her along. After her young mother, Janki, got off of work, she came by and ended up hanging out for an hour after kids club was over. She.has.a.remarkable.story. She came to Christ three years ago-out of Hinduism,and a whole bunch of other obstacles, (maybe one day I’ll get to share her story…)but hasn’t gotten plugged into a really good church. She was very interested in going to church with us and joining our weekly Bible story.
7. Cray and his mom and brother. He, too, hadn’t answered the door all week, but on Friday Jamar went and banged on the door and they were actually home. His mother was wary of letting him come over but we got to talking about Danny being a pastor and she said “Ah, yawl go to church? Yah, I been needin to go to church. I need to go wit yawl sometime”. So there we go, yet another searching soul, on this kingdom-strategic street that I prayed for all those months.
8. The heart-to-heart with my kids Friday night. in which I confessed my anger towards them for not listening well and being a distraction during the lesson. The sin. The repentance. The reconciliation. The cycle. of it all, with the children, seeing all the ugliness in my heart spilling out, and the beauty of them realizing they’ve got it spilling out of theirs also. And that we all need a Perfect Savior to cleanse it all. And change it all. The responses and the softness of the kids toward the confession time, made all the rockiness of the previous hours worth it.
9. The joy of watching kids delight in a hose and water balloons and hot summer sunshine.
10. Jamar and Armani (and my kids too) seeing Scripture tie together as something we were reading for family devotions that night referenced back to what we had learned about during kids club that day. The lightbulbs that go off, are beautiful to witness.
11. Morgana. (yet another “motherless” child on our street…lives with her dad, but does have an awesome grandma who comes and stays with them when Dad is working) And her eagerness to help with the kids or help me in the kitchen.
12. I got to witness answered prayer. Prayers for my neighbors and their kids. Prayers for divine appointments. Prayers for the kids to meet Jesus. Prayers for Jesus to show up and “do the heavy lifting”, even when I didn’t have my act together. THANK YOU to all those who prayed for the week! I love getting to record how God keeps his promise- “Ask and it will be given”…
13. And since a picture is worth a thousand words…These are the rest of the reasons…
**A HUGE shout-out to my friends, Amberly and Emily who volunteered to go shopping for me and collect craft supplies and all the snacks for the whole week. They couldn’t come with their kids (they would have brought nine more kids between them) but they helped me out so much by collecting the supplies.