Stories from Good News Clubs, 5-Day Clubs, and Fair Ministry
One girl, age 10, asked about the other people crucified with Jesus. When I told her they were criminals receiving the punishment of the day, she seemed confused, asking, “But didn’t Jesus tell them they would be with him in paradise or something?” I explained a bit more with the Bible text of the one recognizing and believing in Who Jesus is, and why Jesus told him that. When I explained the phrase “today you will be with me in paradise” (as in, upon death a believer will immediately go to be with Christ), the girl exclaimed, “That is SO COOL!”
The mother of two of our students, ages 5 and 3, told me [something like this], “This children’s class has been so good for the kids. And starting to go to church. They’re always so excited to come when you are here, and in the car today we were practicing the verse, and they could say the whole thing so well! And they love church, and [my son] is starting to ask if we can go on Wednesday nights, too. And I think coming here, and church now, I think they’ve really started understanding more about Jesus, and prayer. The other day, out on the playground, one of the little girls fell and was crying. And [my son] went right over to her, and started rubbing her back, and asking if she was okay, and telling her he would pray and ask Jesus to make her all better. I was so proud of him. But he always wants to volunteer to pray now, when we do together in our room, too. He’ll even pray, asking Jesus to keep all the scary [creatures from movie/cartoon] away! And they ask me so many questions about God! I just think this has been so good for them, and when we leave here, we’ll probably start going Wednesday nights to church, to keep them learning. It has helped them so much.”
After we had talked some about Jesus having all power over creation, and how he made it all, a 10 year old girl asked, thinking, “So… God has control over all the earth? So people say Mother Nature, but it should really be Father Nature?” I started to answer to that, but soon she raised her hand again and said, “Oh, so God created it all; it’s really He is the Creator.”
We had been off for a week and a half (three nights), due to covid cases at the shelter. When we came back, we were glad to hear that many children still remembered the Bible memory verse excellently, including a 5 year old boy, who said it for me complete with hand motions from the song. Also, when I asked if anyone remembered the last Bible lesson I taught, the boy answered, “Jesus has power over clouds and water and winds!” A girl, age 7, recounted for me the story of Jesus healing the centurion’s servant, telling how the soldier believed that Jesus could just speak from where He was and heal the servant and emphasizing at both beginning and end that Jesus has all power.
One of the summer missionaries asked, “Why would Jesus want to go to Zaccheaus’ house?”, one boy responded, “Because He doesn’t judge people by what they look like or what they do. He just wanted to help him.”
At a club in Charlotte, there were two boys that attended just Monday and Tuesday. On Monday, the older of the two trusted Christ as His Savior. The next day, his younger brother did the same. One of them said, “This is the most fun I have had in a long time.”
One boy came to club the first day. Soon after club started, his dad came and said his son wasn’t allowed to be there because they don’t believe in the New Testament of the Bible. The boy didn’t “attend” the club the rest of the week, but each day, around Bible Story time, he was outside running around the area the club as taking place. At first, it was annoying, then we realized he wanted to listen to the Word of God being taught even though he couldn’t come to the club.
Natalie (not her real name) responded to the invitation and went back to talk with the summer missionary. When asked if she had ever trusted Christ as her Savior before, the girl responded, “Yes, last year in this club!” The girl went on to ask the summer missionary questions like, “How do I know God is real?” and “What do I do when I sin?” The summer missionary was able to share verses from the Bible to help give her the assurance of her salvation.
As a CEF staff person and driver for the summer missionaries, I was blessed by the commitment of the 6 young people who taught clubs for this chapter this summer. Their love for the Lord, for the children, and even for one another was very evident every day they taught together. God has used these young people to impact the next generation, to encourage them to follow Jesus. Children as young as 1 year old heard the gospel and were impacted by the gospel.