By Jan Diaz, Director of Bible Adventure and CIA
Matthew 19:14: Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
I walked into the meeting room at our host church as the Bible Adventure volunteers were gathered for prayer and a devotional time. The secretary asked if I would be willing to be listener to *Mia (a very active 4th grader whose listener was not able to be there that day). The lesson for the day highlighted the Four Chapter Gospel focus on creation. The main takeaway was that we are special because we’re made in God’s image. We can answer the question, “Where did I come from?”
Mia arrived shortly after that with her 4th grade class (they walk across the street from the school to the church). I could tell that Mia was thrilled to have my sole attention and she shared about her family (her older sister was there at Bible Adventure-a fifth grader) and she had two other younger sisters. She pointed out my bracelets and we centered on the one I wear that is our first award (the colored beads that can be used to share the gospel).
Mia did well with the memory verse for the day and earned her point for saying it. When I asked her about the meaning, she struggled a little. It was Matt. 19:14 and we spoke about what “hinder” would mean. When it was time to go to the big group worship, I asked her if I could pray for her and her family. She was so excited and shook her head. After praying, I sat with her in worship time. It ended with all the listeners praying over students near them and blessing them and Mia said, “You already did that for me!”
I discovered after the students left that Mia’s father was just released from jail. As the leaders and I prayed for this family I was struck by the thought that we may be the only safe place where Mia can grow and be blessed by God. Her mother works two jobs and we are a helping hand for her with these children! Our programs like Bible Adventure and the camps and retreats at Joy El provide Mia and her siblings with caring leaders they can trust.
This is why we do what we do, every day, every week in Bible Adventure, CIA, Camp and 4.12. We know that approximately 60% of our children are unchurched and on any given day of the week we have godly mentors and adults who bless and pray over them. What a privilege it is to serve here! God’s kingdom belongs to these children and all of us must approach God as they do!
*Child’s name has been changed.