The summer is quickly flying by, and there is so much we hope to accomplish in a short period of time. Yesterday was another busy day of planning and preparing for Hand in Paw, Mini Camps, Reading Club Camp, and Rock the Village. We were hard at work when four of our elementary kids walked up and knocked on the door. They just wanted to see us and play with us if we had time, so we let them stay and play outside, and came out to join them when we could.
I brought my laptop out to sit at a picnic table, hoping to join them while still getting some work done on my Reading Club Camp plans. I had little success, but had some very good conversations that were much more important.
Between shooting hoops and reading the book I let him check out from our library, one of our 2nd graders had the courage to ask me a really important question.
“What if Miss Raquel can’t do Bible Club anymore?”
I wasn’t sure at first exactly what was bothering him, so I asked, “What do you mean, buddy?”
“What if...what if Miss Raquel passes or something. What’s gonna happen to Bible Club?”
My heart just sunk at his words, at the thought that this is a fear that he’s been living with. I wasn’t sure exactly what he needed to hear, but I tried my best. “Well, did you know that somebody else used to lead Bible Club before Miss Raquel came out here?”
“Yeah, buddy! Even if Miss Raquel couldn’t lead Bible Club, there will be somebody else who will come out and make it happen. Like me, or Mr. Aaron. But Miss Raquel is planning on being here a long time, and I’m planning on being here a long time, and we will keep doing Bible Club as long as we can.”
“Well I love Bible Club!”
“Me, too! We love Bible Club and we love you, and we’re going to do everything we can to stick around and stick together with y’all. We’re taking a break this summer, but we’ll be starting Bible Club again in August, when school starts back.”
The relief in his body was evident, and he ran off to go play basketball. I was left sitting on the picnic table with his little sister in my lap, trying to process the weight of all he just shared with me.
I reflected back to earlier in the week, when this same 2nd grader was in the back seat of my car with his siblings, waiting to leave on our field trip to Hand in Paw. As we waited, a volunteer that was riding with us saw the 3 Circles sticker on the back of my phone.
“Hey, everybody keeps talking about these 3 Circles,” he said, “but nobody has explained them to me yet.”
I turned to the kids in the backseat. “Mr. Garrison doesn’t know The 3 Circles! Can y’all tell him the story?”
The 2nd grader was the first to speak up, “This man ran away from God and he ended up in the broken world. But Jesus came down and lived and died for us and rose again, so we can get back to God.”
He did an amazing job, but I wanted to make sure Garrison understood all the little parts of the picture, so I asked, “How did the man accept Jesus’ gift and get back to God?”
“He prayed!” he explained, pointing to the man on his knees.
“And what does this crown mean?” I asked, pointing to it.
“You have to make Jesus the boss!”
“That’s exactly right! Thank you!”
I was floored! He explained the gospel more succinctly than I ever had. It was clear to me that God is at work in him. Through the investment of so many people who have made Bible Club possible, this sweet 2nd grader has been able to hear and understand the gospel enough to explain it to others. And he loves hearing stories about Jesus so much that one of his greatest fears is losing the opportunity to come to Bible Club.
So as I ponder these two conversations, what I’m left with is a feeling of thankfulness. I’m thankful that I get the chance to know this sweet family. I’m thankful that this particular 2nd grader had the courage to share his fears with me. I’m thankful for the people who have made Bible Club possible for the past several years through giving, praying, advocating, and volunteering. This boy knows about and shares the love of Jesus because of you.
I’m also thankful for the confidence with which I could assure him that we’re not going anywhere. Because of your support, and because God is still at work, we will continue to labor with the people of Marks Village in fulfillment of God's promise to raise up for himself oak trees of righteousness for the display of his splendor.
To Him be all the glory!