It was 2001 and Judy walked up to me on the right hand side by the front doors and said, You should direct Vacation Bible School. God told me so.
It was more of a command than a request.
Now, fourteen years later, I've been to Japan and the United Kingdom and the Amazon and . . .
I guess I've been all over the world.
So many years of prayers. Over a thousand children. Many now grown and gone and I wonder where and question.
And it's scary. Every year I come close to quitting. And if you really get to the heart of it I know I'm just scared.
God will happen in spite of me. Not because of me.
I remind myself.
This year I watched them as I always do from the back. They raise their arms and stomp their feet and sing about taming their tongues and walking with the wise.
Where will they all go? What will they do? Who will they become?
Will they say yes now or later -
I look at the back of their little heads and know all will one day die, some with eternity being separation and fire.
Today I don't even make it through the doors at the beginning of the day before the tears fall and I wonder which ones? Is it the little brown haired boy that sits on the third row? The one with the glasses and cow-licked hair? Or the little curly haired blond girl with blue eyes that light up when she sings?
There's the beautiful little girl who keeps walking right out of her flip flops and the quiet lovely child in the corner soaking in every word and motion. Is it them? The same little ones whose mothers held them close?
I stand in the prayer room before the morning begins and choke out my words so badly I have to ask someone to take over. And they stay with me and cry with me and petition with me. Not for one but for all.
Statistics will tell you mathematically every child here will not accept Christ and spend an eternity in Heaven. Statistics will tell you of one thousand children only one-hundred and seventy will even attend church. And I can't bear that. How do you bear that?
But I do not have to. I can't believe in statistics.
I can only believe in faith.
I believe in my God, your God, the one and only God. Lord, soften their hearts and prepare them and let them hear and see and know and say yes.
Because everyday, somewhere, some child is hearing the name Jesus.