Thursday, February 25, 2010

wednesday night blessings

On Wednesday nights for the last twelve years I have been blessed to teach in Awana. It is a program at our church and many others around the country where little ones to teens come together to learn about Christ.
I have had the awesome pleasure of working with the youth for years, those junior high kids who are experiencing life in a scary way. Those kids filled my life with such great laughter and joy. I shared with them, they learned, and we had a ball getting to know one another as we grew in Jesus.

I now work with the Sparks, those through the kindergarten up the second grade. I have the kindergartners and first graders. They are just a delight to work with. There is not a Wednesday I come home without a smile on face. These little ones just light up a room with such life. They are not afraid just to be them, they laugh, oh, how they giggle. They have such pure hearts, and gentle souls. And many have wisdom beyond their years. Some come from very difficult situations, but when they all come together, at this age there are no little clicks, there is just love for one another. They all seem to reach out to each other, and they not only take joy with each other, but they take time to get to know one another. When one is sad, there is always one asking what happened.

We have story time, we have verse time, and game time. We begin at 6:30 and we are leaving the church by 8:15. During this short amount of time there are adults who come and give up their Wednesday nights to give of their hearts. I am not sure which is more of a blessing, seeing these adults give, or watching these young ones learn. It is a combination of love from both.

Last night was a night that was one of the most special. As we celebrated a little one's birthday with cupcakes, we learned verses from the bible, and after game time we watched a movie in my room. Now, first we had our story time. And while I am teaching, the kids are coloring a page. It is so great to interact with these small wonders of love. They each can tell what we have just learned and many times they can even add their own stories in.

Last night we learned of Elijah, the widow and her son. How Elijah the Prophet came into the city, and he know to look for the woman. She and her son only had enough food to last for one more night. This was the last of her oil and flour. But here is Elijah asking her to make bread and give to him first. She follows, and and does so. Knowing this is it. But as she makes Elijah bread, she looks in her jars and finds more flour and oil. She has enough to last until food comes again to fill their area. For the rains had stopped and it had been a long time and people were going hungry. But in her faith she obeyed and did as Elijah asked. Not only did she see more flour and oil, but most importantly her faith grew. She knew God was going to provide and meet their needs.You can find the story of Elijah in 1 kings chapter 17. As the kids heard this story, they smiled as they colored. They have come to love hearing stories of God and His people.

I often come home with pictures to put on the fridge, hugs, and thank you's. But last night, one little girl came and sat on my lap, put her arms around me, and told me, "Ms. Robin, I love you so much." To a teacher, these are words that just bless you beyond words. As one was coming down with a headache, she just needed to be comforted, and it was just a sweet time.

They are eager to learn, and eager to share. They are eager to love and to tell others about Jesus.

I have learned that giving of my heart and time is a blessing to others. I have learned that I may never see the full impact of sitting on the floor with first graders coloring, teaching them about Jesus, but I know that there is an impact on their lives, because they have made an impact on mine.

I see these little ones, and for this grown woman, I want to be more like them. I want to live my life in such a way that is so full of life and joy. To watch little kids play, to see them grow right before your eyes is a gift.

As adults I know we face many more trials, struggles and life is much harder, but many of these little ones already face that in their young lives. I think if we stop for a moment and take a good look, we can learn much from the children around us.

I am thankful to be able to teach in Awana. My heart is blessed beyond words.

When I went to church last night I did not feel well. I seem to have a cold coming on, but I went anyway. I have found something out about these little ones. They love me just as I am. It doesn't matter what I look like(and last night was not one of my best looks). What matters to them is me giving my time. Me opening up my heart, sitting and laughing with them and letting them know just how important they are and how special their lives are.

When they put on their vests, when they bring in their books and bibles, and say their verses they have worked to memorize, they are proud, and encouraged. When they have passed so many sections and earn a jewel for their vest, a smile comes that just warms your heart.

Wednesday's are the little blessings in my life that give so much joy in a world that seems to so backwards today.

Lord, thank You for allowing me to teach, to give and to have my heart blessed. My cup runs over because of the little ones on my Wednesday nights. Like the story of the widow and her son, I want to have great faith in You. I want to trust You in all, through drought and joy. Like these small chilren, I want to live for You with inhibition.


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