As the Assistant Director and I arrived to meet with the Elementary School Principal, we were greeted by 20 passionate volunteer leaders gathered in a circle outside, praying for our meeting time. Each summer, we have the opportunity to share with school administrators all that God has been doing in Joy El’s Bible Adventure (BA) and Christians In Action (CIA) programs the past school year. Sometimes we are aware of resistance or scheduling challenges presented by school administrators who are not fully aware of the life-changing power that 1 hour a week in the presence of the Lord studying God’s word with caring adults makes in the student’s lives.
Some parents in the community were concerned that the weekly released time hour during the school day might be in jeopardy. This past year over 120 of their children participated in Bible Adventure through the Released Time Law at this school (for some classes most or all of the students took part and parents saw growth and many benefits to the students).
As we prayed together, unsure of what to expect, we asked God to bless our time with the principal. We asked for God’s favor as we shared and confirmed the days and times again for the 2023-24 school year.
When entering the office, we were greeted warmly and assured that the program was continuing during the school day periods as the law states. As God guided the conversation, we left with the confirmation of meeting the same times. Additionally, we discussed the possibility of having the K-2nd grade program (offered through CEF) also meet on the same day to make that weekday a “Released Time” day for the Elementary school. What a joy it was to greet the “parking lot prayer warriors” and to share how God had powerfully blessed the meeting and heard our prayers! Now we are praying and expecting to see every eligible student enrolled this fall, as God answers our prayers exceedingly, abundantly beyond all we can ask or imagine! (Eph.3:20)
As I write this on the second week of camp at Joy El, a Christian Retreat Center in PA, I have already greeted many students from the 96 Bible Adventure and CIA programs here this summer! Many of them earned discounts or even a free week of summer camp through their Bible memory work. What a great way for each student to develop a deeper walk with Jesus during the summer months!
Praising our powerful God who answers prayer!