Vacation Bible School is happening this week. Over 120 children and over 75 volunteers have been on campus this week, learning about the wonders of God. You will hear more about our week soon.
Something happened this week that had to be told. When I first moved here, I stayed with Deb and Bill Gray in their basement for a week while my family was getting things moved here. Our closing didn’t go as planned, so I needed a place to lay my head as I began my job.
One day, Millie Gray, Deb and Bill’s granddaughter, came downstairs with a gift – a pink necklace. She had asked Deb about where my family was. After Deb told her they were still in NC, she brought me the necklace, saying that she knew I was missing my family and that this necklace would be a way I could remember them. Such a thoughtful gift. I preached about it at a Vespers last August. I decided, spurred on by Millie’s gift, that I would have our youth group focus on the idea of welcome.
I learned last September that Madeleine McAllister was having a hard time at school. It was a difficult time for her and her parents. I decided I would share my necklace with Madeleine. It was given to me to help me remember that I was not alone. I wanted Madeleine to remember the same thing.
Flash forward to this past Monday. Cathy Whitty brought me the same pink necklace I had shared with Madeleine. Cathy told me that Michael, her son, wanted to give the necklace to Jordan Nurney, who was having back surgery the next day (so far, all has gone very well). I paused…the last I remember, I had given the necklace to Madeleine and expected she would keep it. What was Michael Whitty doing with the necklace?
I figured it out. When Michael had surgery on his heart this March, Madeleine had given the necklace to him. And now, Michael was sharing it with Jordan. I still get goose bumps as I tell you the story. What an incredible witness – sharing a necklace, given to me by a preschooler, with those who were going through a rough patch. What an incredible way for our youth group to remind each other that they are loved and cared for, just because they are alive.
I often hear well-meaning folks talk about our children and youth being the future of the Church. While true, this story should be a great reminder that their ministry is alive and well at River Road Church in the year 2014. So, so grateful to be able to walk alongside those who offer such a touching ministry.
“and a little child shall lead them…”