By Aaron E. Ziebarth, Executive Director
Have you ever wondered if your service for the Lord is having an impact?
Recently at a Released Time (RT) in southern Lancaster County, a listener shared how she had been praying about her effectiveness as a listener. She wondered if it was a proper use of her time to serve at RT.
God answered that prayer for her.
During a Christmas lesson week with awards, a third-grade girl in her group shared that they don’t do Christmas at her house. They don’t have a tree or an angel. It seemed this was because of a lack of money.
Soon afterward, the girl started complaining that she hadn’t received an award and the listener told her that she had only just begun attending RT this year, and that the students earning awards had been working a while to earn them. The listener told the third grade girl that she “would get there.”
The listener also pointed out the Step into Action (application assignment), which would enable the girl to earn an extra point This was met with a complaint that her mom and dad won’t sign it, her parents don’t like her–and neither does her brother. This child’s brother is an older RT student, and a fifth-grade student in this listening group assured the third-grade girl that her brother does too like her, because he talks well about her all the time.
All of a sudden, the girl looked up at the listener and asked, “Well, when do we get to the part where we put Jesus in our heart?” (This had been discussed previously during the lesson about salvation.) The listener gladly responded that this could happen anytime. After confirming that the girl understood and wanted this, the listener and this discouraged girl prayed together for the girl to receive Christ as her Savior. The student had tears in her eyes while praying.
The volunteers actually saw an immediate change in this child’s attitude. Instead of complaining, she began smiling pleasantly, and she gratefully received a devotion pack to take home. She beamed as volunteers congratulated her for beginning a saving relationship with Jesus.
Naturally, the listener received confirmation about how well her time is being used in RT.
“Let us not become weary in doing good,
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).