Anyway, my goal for my 1st & 2nd grade Bible class is a little different... I want them to understand how Jesus' miracles proved that He was who He claimed to be. This week we talked about Jesus telling the Leper that his healing is his testimony. I wrote on a poster "How do we know God is real?" I told my kids that a testimony is something God has done for us that helps us to know HE is real. Each child had to tell me how they know God is real, their testimony, & we wrote it on the poster. One of my boys said, "God gave me a new pair of shoes." Over Spring Break I had invited the little boy to come over for a day. We took him to the movies & to dinner. At the movies he told me his feet were hurting because the sole of his shoes were coming off... It was the only pair he had. I told him that I would see what we could do about his shoes. I took him to Target to buy a new pair of shoes. At Target I discovered not only did he not have shoes, he also didn't have any socks. So he got to pick out a new pair of shoes, socks, and a jacket. As is often the case in this ministry, my heart was once again broken over the pain that is right in front of my eyes. (I forgot to mention that he lost a tooth at my house so Miss Kayla got to play Tooth Fairy...It truly is the little things that make me love my job so much).
On Sunday when he proclaimed that he knows HIS God is real because HE gave him a new pair of shoes, I was absolutely in awe of God's goodness! That is what I wanted the little boy to understand that night. I did not want him walking away thinking Miss Kayla bought me a pair of shoes. I wanted to enforce the idea that God had given Miss Kayla the funds to buy him what he desperately needed. God took the temporary & made it an eternal opportunity. It wasn't about me or money or a pair of shoes... It was about a child having the opportunity to know HIS creator & the love that HE has for HIS child! Money will come & it will go. Shoes will not last. Eventually they will wear out like the other pair. But that child's soul will last an eternity! His relationship with the Lord will be eternal.
Honestly, I wish I could tell you that the story I shared was a one time thing. From the deepest point of brokenness inside my heart I desire to tell you that my Contact kids for the majority get what they need, but that would simply be shielding you from reality. The truth is none of my kids have everything they need. All of them go without at least one essential; food, beds, shoes, clothes, underwear, affection, love; etc. And I don't have what it takes to provide for all of their needs!
This is the brokenness within the United States that is overlooked every single day. I was challenged yesterday in chapel to have the courage to go to China. And yes it take courage to go on a foreign mission trip. It takes courage to leave your place of comfort, wherever that may be. However, mission trips are easy... hear me out... I did not say they are not beneficial or they don't accomplish great things.. I said they are easy. I love foreign mission. I've been to Honduras, I've been to the Dominican Republic, I want to go to Haiti & Africa. I have nothing against foreign mission... I have a problem with this idea that mission trips counteract for the other 358 days a year that we get to close our eyes & pretend the same problems don't exist in our own country. On a mission trip you get to go somewhere & pour out your heart for a week & then you get to leave. As a few months roll by you go right back to living your normal life. You can't leave mission work. Once you walk into the inner city of your hometown you can no longer close your eyes & pretend the pain doesn't exist.
So here is my challenge... STOP LEAVING! Have the courage to STAY WHERE YOU ARE.. wherever that may be! You want America to be a country that glorifies God as a whole? Teach the children that live in YOUR country! They are our future. The harvest in the inner city of Tulsa is plentiful & the workers are few!!! GOD needs people to be missionaries in the United States too. You want a six year old little boy, growing up in the worst of circumstances known to American children, to have a relationship with God? Meet his physical needs as a gateway to his spiritual needs. I don't know where God is calling you to work, but I know that as Christians HE has called us to act on the behalf of HIS children.We are all asked to minister in different places. You may not be called to the inner city of Tulsa, but you are called somewhere. Search out HIS plan for your ministry & when HE gives you an answer act!... Even if it means simply walking across the street... ACT!
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.