What Am I Grateful For Today… Children’s Ministries

15 People were bringing babies to Jesus so that he would bless them. When the disciples saw this, they scolded them. 16 Then Jesus called them to him and said, “Allow the children to come to me. Don’t forbid them, because God’s kingdom belongs to people like these children. 17  I assure you that whoever doesn’t welcome God’s kingdom like a child will never enter it” (Luke 18:15-17, Common English Bible).

In my sermon this past Sunday, I talked about sin, repentance and forgiveness. I linked these subjects to commandments. I mention this only because what Jesus is saying in today’s lesson sounds much like a commandment. “Allow the children to come to me. Don’t forbid or hinder them. If you do, you won’t get heaven yourself” (My paraphrase).  Those verses show me the importance of children’s ministries.

Over the years, I have devoted quite a bit of time to children’s ministries. Several years back, when I came to a new congregation I was told my job for Vacation Bible School was to teach the adult class. I responded by saying I would find someone to teach the adult class but I thought it was important for me to spend that week with the kids. That is just what I did.

A couple of days ago I talked about a ministry called “Clean Water for Haiti.” Because of the high mortality rate among children in Haiti due to water-born illness, I believe it to be important. I would carry that a step further. I believe an argument can be made that Clean Water for Haiti is in itself a children’s ministry.

Last summer Cindy and I started working for another ministry that does work with children in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. These are two of the poorest countries in the world. What does New Mission do? Here is what their website says:

“For over 30 years, New Missions has been establishing local churches and Christian schools in Haiti and the Dominican Republic—providing children with education, food, and medical care so they can grow strong and make an impact in their community.”

New Mission builds schools, churches and medical facilities. They make a difference in the lives of these children. As the children reach adulthood, they will make a difference in their country.

They also, each year at Christmas time have “The Shoe Box Drive.” Part of what is packed in the shoe box is to help the kids with their school work. The other is to help with daily life and bring them a little joy. From the Shoe Box Drive website, these are the kinds of items to go in the shoe box….

BOY
Preschool & Kindergarten (3-6 yrs.)
• whistle
• harmonica
• small ball
• toy cars
• stuffed animals
• coloring books
• markers
• Play-Doh
• stickers
Primary (7-11 yrs.)
• soccer ball/pump
• jacks
• coloring book
• markers
• small cars
• journals
• playing cards
• kite
• yo-yo
• kazoo
High School (12 yrs. and up)
• soccer ball/pump
• watch
• athletic shorts
• baseball cap
• razors
• solar calculator
• playing cards
• necktie
• headphones
• water bottle
• bike repair kit
GIRL
Preschool & Kindergarten (3-6 yrs.)
• doll
• hair ribbons
• stuffed animals
• sundress
• coloring books
• markers
• skirt
• Play-Doh
• stickers
Primary (7-11 yrs.)
• hair ribbons/ties
• nail polish
• jump rope
• coloring book
• markers
• costume jewelry
• stickers
• sundress
• journal
• lip balm
• small purse
High School (12 yrs. and up)
• nail polish
• headbands/hair accessories
• feminine hygiene products
• manicure set
• sports bra
• solar calculator
• journal
• costume jewelry
• headphones
• water bottle
• small purse

Efforts like the Shoe Box Drive are simple ways of making a difference in a child’s life. It can change a child’s life.

I am grateful for the Shoe Box Drive but really I am grateful for any ministry that makes a real difference in the lives of kids here and well beyond.

That is what I am grateful for today. What about you? What are you grateful for today? Write it in your journal and share it with someone today.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

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