Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sowing In Tears. Reaping In Joy.

We began the summer season of Kids’ Club by planting seeds into pots. Each week, we watched the plants grow, and we talked about what we look like when we’re growing with Jesus. We have steadily sown seeds of the truth about Jesus in the hearts of 124 children throughout the summer. My prayer is that we will reap a harvest that is a hundred times greater than the amount of seeds that have been planted.

We have been taking a handful the kids from our prevention program to Church on Sundays, so there are even more seeds being planted, watered, and nurtured by people ministering at our Church. We started off bringing 5 kids at the beginning of June. By the end of July, there were 13.

One of the kids that has been coming for the whole summer asked one of the newcomers, “Since when have you been coming to MY church?” I love that the kids are actually claiming to be a part of this body of believers now.

It’s one thing for us to come to where they live, into their darkness, and introduce them to Jesus. It’s totally different for us to bring them into a healthy environment. We are doing more than just bringing them to a Church service. We are introducing them to a whole new world, one where it is normal to love Jesus, and earnestly seek Him.

When they come to Church, their teachers are reinforcing what we have already taught them. At Kids’ Club, we have introduced these little ones to the Lord’s voice. Just this season, they have heard the Lord speak His love over them, His encouragement, and His destiny for their lives. Now these kids are learning to hear God’s voice in two places.

The thing I love most about taking the kids to Church is that I get to spend so much time with them. I’m discovering that the more I invest in the lives of the children we work with, the more I know their brokenness, as well. The reality they live in is dark.

One 10 year old girl after Bible class one week told me that she started crying during class because she shared her feelings, and then she admitted that she was ashamed of her tears. I asked her what she had shared, and she told me she was upset because her dad was in jail, her uncle just got out of jail, and her great-uncle was on his death bed. I told her that it’s good to cry about things like that, and we talked about the importance of sharing our feelings. Her feelings had been locked away deep within her.

Prison is a reality that has been passed down to this 10 year old. But I’m holding onto the truth in Isaiah 61 about who Jesus is. “He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.”

He offers freedom from darkness to these children. He is why we do what we do. Jesus is our strategic plan in preventing these children from entering into the darkness around them. As we sow in tears, we hold onto the promise in Psalm 126 that we will reap with songs of joy.

I can’t wait to see the harvest.

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