Hannah and her friends from Cubbies
The Sparks One of the Big Four
Hannah and her "boyfriend" Shelton
Some more faces of the "Big Four"
Hannah and her Janice
And of course, we couldn't leave Charlotte out of the fun!
There are so many cons to a bus ministry like the one we operate out of our church. The children are a challenge, and many of them come from unchurched families. Discipline is a major issue each and every Wednesday, which makes for weary workers. The fruits of our labors are often unseen, and few, if any parents, are touched that we know of.
But if just one...just one...child comes to know Jesus, then it is all worth it. We may not see the fruit, but we have planted a seed. We have provided for some of these children the only glimpse of Jesus that they will ever see. The kindest word. The only gentle touch.
I worried for a while involving my children in such a ministry where they are surrounded by children that in normal circumstances, I would not want them to be friends with. Not because their skin is different or because they are poor--tho so often this is true--but because of the choices that these children make on a daily basis, and the things that they are exposed to are not the things I wish my kids to learn.
But my children, my sweet compassionate children, have shown me what it means to look beyond the surface and love as Jesus did. They are often beacons of light in a dark world. They give chances and grace when often none would be given. Sure, they long for a large youth group full of children that love the Lord. I yearn for that too. But they realize that God has planted them where they need to grow. And watching them "bloom" in this fertile soil has been such a blessing.