About a year ago I uttered a short prayer. Admittedly, it wasn't a heartfelt prayer, but one uttered out of obligation. Deep down, I didn't really even want it answered because I knew God’s answer would not be the answer I would want. But, I asked it anyway. And I was right, His answer was far different from what I was hoping it would be.
I uttered a prayer asking God to show me how to live out my faith while loving and serving others in front of and with my children. Instead of the answer I wanted, a short-term mission trip serving orphans and people I would most likely never see again, He sent an email from Jennifer Humiston about an afterschool ministry that was starting in the apartments across the street from the church. I had plenty of excuses why it wasn't a good fit for us, but God shot down every single one. So, with much hesitation, I agreed to go help each Wednesday afternoon. My life has been forever changed.
Though it wasn't in my plan, I fell in love with these sweet kiddos. God used them to change my life and open my family’s eyes. God has shown me that I don’t have to travel to the ends of the earth to serve the “least of these.” They are in our own backyard. He opened my children’s eyes to see that there are those in need right here in our own town.
I have seen, week to week, God’s promise that His word will not return void come to life in front of my eyes. Though my children are not saved, God continually uses them to share the truth of His word with the little ones we bring with us to Family Quest each week. Many of these children had never read a Bible and therefore didn’t know many of the stories and passages that we learned about each week. What a blessing it has been to see my children’s faces light up with joy as they tell their new friends all the details they can remember about each story. What joy it is the next week to watch those Afterschool children light up with joy as they tell us what they remember from the week before. His Word is true and He is faithful!
God has reminded me how deep His love truly is for me every time I look into the eyes of a little girl who loves a parent with such ferocity, whose biggest fear is to be separated from them, yet this parent clearly does not love her back with this intensity and care. It makes no sense to me! But, it makes no sense that a Holy God, whom I have ignored and treated cruelly, would send His Son to die in my place while I was in the midst of such sin and hatred toward Him. God is so good!
This has truly been a way for me to live out and grow in my faith, witness and disciple my children as I live life obediently, and it gets them involved in their community and sharing God’s truth. They see the same things we do each week; the highs, the lows, the frustrations, and it’s still their favorite part of every week. They can’t wait for Afterschool Adventures to start up again. They are just as invested in this ministry as I am. We love it! Kevin comes when his schedule allows, so it’s really a family mission for us. This is the living out of Matthew 25, “…whatever you do to the least of these, you do it unto me.”