Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Working the Harvest

Today's post is going to be a little different than the rest--this blog is generally where I collect thoughts on service to Christ, service to His Body, service to others. Maybe this experience fits better than I think....

This last Saturday our community hosted a Children's Festival. This may be the eighth year the street has been blocked off and booths that celebrate children and provide activities has been set up. The "empty lot" that now sports a permanent stage and landscaped walkways hosted puppet shows, dance troupes, and magicians. Music flooded the street and local businesses and organizations handed out crafts, books, and decorated cupcakes. I was privileged to work alongside my friend, Sandy, in presenting the good news of Jesus Christ.

We set up our canopy for Good News Club, hung our banner, and prepared to make bookmarks that presented the gospel with five simple colors and shapes: the black heart (all have sinned, Rom. 3:23), the red cross (Jesus died for our sin and rose again, 1 Cor. 15:3-4), the white heart (God's forgiveness when we agree, 1 John 1:9), the green tree (growth in friendship with God and Christlikeness, Rom. 8:29), and the gold crown (our destiny is eternal, Rev. 21: 12, 15). With each child that came to our canopy, we offered to make a bookmark--each child was guided through the process of using a paper punch and colored paper to add shape and color to their otherwise bland cardstock of words and Scripture references.

When we got home that night, 100 bookmarks were gone! In 5 hours, Sandy and I had the opportunity to present the gospel to nearly 100 children--and send it home with a children's tract from Child Evangelism Fellowship and an invitation to join our Good News Clubs in the school or to join the Mailbox Club (where lessons are sent and feedback is provided). How exciting!!

Even this morning, God burdened me to pray for the police officer who came to our booth before the event began and asked, "So what's the good news?"; for the family from Chicago with tattoos, ear plugs, and what initially appeared a scoffing attitude only to leave having shared first names and heard the news of Jesus' love; for the little girl who wandered near our canopy three times before her parents would let her stop. We continue to pray for those children who have attended AWANA and vacation Bible school with us, who have heard the message, and "just don't get it." Sandy reminds me that it is God's work. We are to remain faithful and present the good news of God's love--even if the children hear it only once each year. We covet your prayers for the work of God in our community and in the lives of those He continues to draw and save in our small corner of the world--and around the globe.

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