Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Children of the King (Beth's Post)
I looooove children! It was such a joy and awesome experience to get to be with all of these children in Haiti. There were many of them that remembered us from the last two trips. The two little girls that asked me in December, “would you take me back to America and be my mother?” were some of the first ones I saw when we got to the church property. The children would come running to us with open arms, kisses, and all the love they have to give. It touches my heart in indescribable ways.
As we were planning our trip to go, I had talked to the girls and asked them to help with the children’s services. We had a plan my mother had helped put together for the five days we would hold services. The first day Maura told the story of “The Lost Sheep” and talked about salvation. They made faith necklaces with a cross and beads on them. We wanted to make sure all the children there had heard the story of salvation. The second day Lauren shared the story of “Noah and the Ark” and talked about obedience and how important it is for each of us. She had animal masks for each of the kids and some adults ☺ and had the kids do a dance two by twos around the tent. It was a great time with big smiles on their faces. On Sunday morning, we were able to meet in the children’s tent for the first time so it was a special time for all the children from the church. Maura shared the story “Jesus Calms the Storm” and talked about God’s protection. What a wonderful thing to remind them of in a land where there are so many challenges on a day-to-day basis. They made pinwheels to remind them of the wind blowing.
On Monday Karen ‘mimed’ for us starting with a large gift that said “for you” in Creole. She opened it up to find a Bible, and a manger with baby Jesus (a loaf of French bread wrapped in a blanket). She held baby Jesus and rocked him and then she brought out a small cross and a large spike and put it through the bread onto the cross. This was representing Jesus dying for each of us. Then she passed around a balloon with the word “LOVE” on it and had each one tell the child next to them that Jesus loves them. It was a powerful story of the gift Jesus has given to each of us but we are to share with everyone around us. Karen handed out small flashlights to remind the children to share the light with others.
I woke up early Tuesday morning feeling the need for God’s help and praying for the children that would be coming that day because I was supposed to teach. My story was to be about “Heaven” and talking about this being our goal. I asked God to show me how to get across the message and hope of what we have to look forward to because of His promises. I shared with them I have a small house in America that my husband built for me, but I said it is probably bigger than a lot of you have in Haiti. I told them that I wanted to bring them all home with me to America and they were all looking at me with huge eyes and smiles. I said, ” but Haiti won’t let me”! I explained that my house was too small and there just wasn’t room for all of them. I told them that I had the best news for them that Jesus was in Heaven building a huge house for all of us. It will be absolutely beautiful with every color of stone. I told them it will be big enough for all of us to live in and that we would be one big family together forever. I shared that each one would have their own room and their own bed. They wouldn’t need to have all their family in one room. We talked about streets of gold to walk on, no more rocky, rough roads strewn with trash and sewage again. The river of life will flow right through the city with clean water and lots of it. We talked that we would never run out of this clean water and there was so much we would even be able to play in it. There will be fruit trees on both sides of the river with fruit growing all the time so we would never be hungry again. There will be no need of the sun, moon and stars because Jesus will be the light. That means we won’t need any candles or flashlights. There will never be darkness or night again. We will not be tired anymore. There will be no more crying, no more sickness or pain, and no more death. We won’t ever have to say good-bye again. I then asked them who wanted to go to Heaven with me and every hand in the tent went up (we later counted over 323 hands of children and many teenagers and adults)! I told them that each one of us needed to ask Jesus into our hearts and then be careful to obey Him. We then made crowns with different colored jewels on them to remind us that we are children of the King.
How blessed and humbled I feel as I sit here and write this and have these precious memories to carry with me forever. It is hard to say good-bye right now. I wish I never had to leave them. I wish I could hold them and love them forever. Then I am reminded that Jesus is doing that right now. He just wants us to be ready and willing to give whatever we have to share when He calls on us. Hug a child today, hug your child and thank God that we are so blessed.
Posted by Pastor at 10:02 PM