To Everything There Is A Season

A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven

A blog about raising a young family and keeping Christ at the center of it.

The Cyrs

The Cyrs
Photo Credit: Rachel Dewhurst

Friday, February 13, 2015

A Time to Labor in Love

According to Daniel Tiger "Love Day" is for telling people you care about how much you love them. This is what I was listening to in the background as I was preparing Valentine's Day treats for our Good News Clubbers. It was a tedious job of cutting foil, filling it with treats, wrapping it up, tying it with ribbon and attaching a Valentines Day card (that had already been hole punched and sticker affixed!). I was definitely thinking in my head what a labor of love this was! Which then lead me to thinking what a labor of love committing the past 6 years to Good News Club was. Then the thoughts came flooding!

Talk about love...this man truly loves the
Lord and is so passionate about these
kids learning the love of God. What
 a testimony he is to me in this area.
I don't talk a lot about our Good News Club but I wanted to take the time to share with you what it is about and why we do it. Then you can, as you think of our family, commit this to prayer because we need them and these kiddos need them. If you are not familiar with Good News Club, click the link HERE! and educate yourself on this wonderful program. These clubs are a ministry of Child Evangelism Fellowship where trained teachers meet with children (who have parental permission to attend) in schools, homes, youth centers, etc. and learn about Jesus and the Bible. Each club is run in a way that suits its needs and purposes but ours includes a Bible story, craft, snack and song time. My husband grew up in a church that was very involved with CEF and it's various ministries. When we saw Noah was approaching Kindergarten Ben had a burden to start a club in our town's school. As we began researching we realized there already was a club so we contacted one of the ladies who led it and that is how we got involved with this club....6 years ago! The Lord knew what he was doing and his timing, as always was perfect. The lady who had been teaching for several years was having some health issues and they were in need of a new teacher. Ben was eager to get involved and more than happy to teach the Bible lesson. I have been along side him in this ministry of ours from the start. You will recognize me as the lady with the babies in the double stroller. That piece of information is important to understand where my heart is at times. If I want you to hear the next part I have to say I feel it's important to be transparent with you and not sugar coat this. It is very hard for me at times to be involved with Good News Club. And it has nothing to do with not understanding it's importance or fully supporting its mission. It has everything to do with the fact that I am a mom with young kids and I am selfish at times. When I have been home with babies some days the last thing I want to do is cut nap time short and head out in the dead of winter, all bundled up, and go to Good News Club...only to get there and have to deal with a few out of control kids who can be rude and disrespectful. Because lets face it. Not all kids are a joy to work with and they too have bad days....some have really bad days. I get there exhausted and many times my heart is just not in it. My babies that I bring with me are not always up for it either.Sometimes my baby is little and still on a bottle so I have to run the craft while walking around feeding a baby their bottle. Then they grow a little and don't want to be in stroller so I walk with them on my hip as I lead the craft. Then they grow some more and are walking and really just want freedom and they are running here and there and everywhere. Some days they do fabulously because I do try to train them to sit still and be content but life isn't perfect and some days they are cranky...I say they because in the 6 years of doing this I've always had more than one little one to take care of as I try to build relationships with our clubbers and lead the craft time. From trying to meet the needs of my little ones to running around trying to meet the needs of our clubbers I'm in an all out sweat by the time club is over. In a perfect world I would say I go home filled with joy in my heart and a love like no other for these kids. The reality is that a lot of days I go home frazzled and exhausted and wondering what the point of me being there is. Then the guilt sits in. I don't want to feel this way and I start to think about the horrible selfish person I am because club is NOT about me. Club is not there to make me feel good about myself and what I'm doing. Club is for those awesome (yes, even when they are mouthing off and not listening they are still deep down beyond the attitudes, awesome) kids and to show them the love of Christ.

That leads me to my next part. Truly Ben and I have such a passion and burden for children to know that they are loved and that no one loves them more than their creator, God. Because we have received the free gift of salvation and because we know the difference it has made in our lives we have a burden to share that with these kids who might otherwise never hear this great news. We have a burden for our own children to see the needs of the kids they go to school with everyday. As their parents we want to set the example of selflessness and a willingness to do God's work even when we don't feel like it. We have to lead by example because talk is cheap. And that is what I want to say to you reader, who already knows the love of God in your own life...TALK IS CHEAP. It is not enough
to say you love God and know that it's important for others to know about God. You have to put action behind those words. I understand that working with children is not for everyone but there are other people in this world with hurting hearts who need someone to tell them there is a God out there who loves them more than they could ever know. Is it easy to get involved? No it's absolutely not, especially if you are raising children. Satan will put every obstacle in your way to convince you and deceive you into believing you don't have time to invest in others because your family is your first ministry. While I completely agree that our families are our first priority and that it has to be in order, I also KNOW that God CAN and does provide the energy and ability to do more than that. I know on Friday's that things are rarely going to go smoothly and that I will have to fight thoughts of convincing myself not to go to club. The last thing Satan wants is for us to teach these kids about God. I can come up with a laundry list of reason why we shouldn't be involved with Good News Club and some of them might be valid reasons. At the end of the day though, we do it because we love God and we want to serve him. He has given us a burden for children so that is where we serve. It's not easy and I don't always enjoy it but that's not because of the kids and it's not because we shouldn't be doing it. It is because I am a sinner and I'm selfish. Period! I am telling you this because there are hundreds of schools in ME who still allow Good News Clubs to be held in their building but...

Our club has grown so much we
have to divide the kids into two groups.
This is Ben teaching the first group.
"the laborers are few". A club needs someone who is willing to submit their will, get outside their comfort zone, set themselves aside for a couple hours and be willing to go teach kids about the love of God. Yes, mom of young kids, even YOU can do this. It won't be easy but God will give you what you need to do it. It's important that we stop making our laundry list of reasons why we can't and just take the step of faith and DO. If Good News Club isn't where your burden is that figure out who you are burdened for and start ministering to those people. Christians, talk is cheap, and people see through it quickly. Don't just say you care, show you care. There are way too many Christians sitting on the sidelines talking about how horrible this world is instead of putting some action behind those concerns and actually making a difference. It may not seem like you can do a lot. Trust me, I feel like that most of the time. How much impact are we really having? That isn't for me to worry about though. Our job is to plant the seed and let God do the rest.

So I guess my passionate challenge to you this "love day" is to extend Christ's love to others, even if it means sacrifice on your part. What I have learned over the past 6 years in Good News Club is compassion. I have learned to love these kids even when they are unlovable. My heart has changed so much as I've watched these kids and I am so thankful for that. My burden only grows stronger and my prayer is that God would keep those schools doors open to us so we can continue to show love to these kids. They are so worth it!

****There are two other ladies who share our burden for these children and who give of their time to show these kids how loved they are. Without the two of them, this club just would not function well. They are a blessing to us and to our clubbers!

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