By Aaron E. Ziebarth, Executive Director
Do you remember when you were in elementary school? I am amazed at the things that come to mind. I remember the lunch line in first grade. I remember Don Davis, a Sunday school teacher who made every effort to teach group of obnoxious boys. His love and dedication will never be forgotten. I could share many more memories, but let me summarize them by saying that the little things made big memories.
On the first day of March, I had the privilege of attending one of our Released Time Classes. A couple listeners were absent that day so I was able to walk to the school. It was exciting to see the children come out of class, filled with anticipation for what was going to happen at release time.
Several of the boys were quite chatty with me as we walked back to the church. It was obvious that my presence made a big impact on them. I observed how many other children were engaged in conversation with other volunteers.
Unfortunately the children were a little rowdy during signing time so I needed to ask one of the boys to change seats.
As a typical six grade boy would do, he was somewhat disgusted with my request. I decided I would talk with him little bit. After ignoring me for a couple minutes, I quickly learned that this was his first year. He had recently moved to the area from about 90 miles away. He went to a church before, but stopped going because there were some “un-friendly” people there. He felt loved and cared for at Released Time.
Seeing the impact of the Released Time staff filled me with hope. I wished I could come every week and help children like him. You see, serving in Released Time not only meets the needs of children, but it also meets two needs for the adult volunteers. First, it meets the need of significance. Serving these children shows adults just how needed they are. Second, it fulfills a greater command that God has given us to go and make disciples.
Jesus Himself said, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me” (Mark 9:37a).).
I am thankful for those who are serving. I know it meets very real need for them. I pray that God brings more adults to serve these children. There are many children need to see the love Jesus Christ.