Our church has the privilege of ministering to our community through a Christian preschool that meets on our campus four days a week.
The director of the preschool came to me to ask if there was any ministry I was aware of that was worthy of supporting that could also engage the kids and provide an opportunity for them to learn how to serve others. Besides my personal love and deep appreciation for Lifeline, I had also recently received the emails from Lifeline showing ways that children could get involved supporting precious souls from Africa, the Middle East, and Asia through their VBS initiative.
Our director immediately felt led to help out the China Foster Center in Zhanjiang.
The following week, the preschool director and associate director sent out a letter to the parents with information from Lifeline about the China Foster Center and had an informational video playing about the center on loop for the kids and parents to see each morning as they came in. They made a table with fliers about China and the orphan crisis there and the needs of the foster center. Each class had a jar for the kids to put their money in as they came to school each morning. Also, at the beginning of the week, I met the kids for a brief assembly where I spoke to them about where China was, who orphans are, and what their lives are like. We then shared how even though they were just little boys and girls themselves, God could use them to help out these children in China who don’t have moms or dads and a lot of nice stuff like they do. We also gave the kids some incentive – the class who brought the most money and the end of the two weeks got the chance to turn me into a lemon pie!
One story in particular touched my heart.
A five year old girl named Kate brought in all the money she had. Most of it was from her birthday. The director, knowing kids well, said, “Wow! You must really want to win so you can turn our pastor into a pie!” But this sweet girl had been touched by God I believe, and she responded, “no – I just really want to help the children in China.” I got to go thank her later that afternoon and she was still beaming with joy that she had the privilege to give. Her parents, inspired by their daughter’s selflessness and eagerness to serve orphans, then doubled her gift as their own desire to follow the example of their child.
Jesus wasn’t just giving the twenty-first century church a children’s ministry theme or a recruitment slogan for children’s volunteers when He said,
“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3-4).
We were hoping and praying for $200, but in her wisdom, our director didn’t set a goal that was low in hopes that we would blow it out of the water. And God, who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, led those children and their families to give over $1000 to those precious children in Zhanjiang.
It is never too early to get children involved in Kingdom ministry.
After all, the greatest in the Kingdom must be like our children. What better place to start than point out to them that there are millions of kids, just like them, who don’t know the love of a mommy or daddy. In turn, that shows our kids how extravagantly God has lavished them with grace to give them parents and to put them in a nation where we have churches and they can have access to the Gospel. And they, small as they are, powerless as the world may see them, are mighty in the Kingdom according to Christ Himself, and so we train them to run to the battle for the sake of the fatherless!
Let’s do our part to be obedient. Let’s be intentional to point our kids to the needs and these humble heroes will likely leave you stunned at how eager they are to suit up in their armor and enter into the battle on behalf of the nations and the orphans.
David Rainer, Pastor for Discipleship & Missions at Lake Murray Baptist Church in Lexington, South Carolina