I work with a little girl with special needs through Sojourn Kids, and it has been such a blessing! I have seen her grow in so many ways in the short time I have known her and grown to love her more each time I see her. She is such a sweet and intelligent girl and she brings so much joy to everyone around her. Since I started working with her at the beginning of the year, God has been working in her and through her in so many ways. With a little encouragement, she’s begun to greet her teachers when she walks in, interact with other kids, and participate in some of the classroom activities and large group assemblies. It’s been an amazing experience to worship and pray with her during the large group worship time. In the classroom, the two of us have started multiple games of “ring around the rosie” and “red light, green light”! Just last week I watched her run to the front of the class, her eyes lighting up as she read the memory verse out loud to the whole class. Just that simple moment was such an encouragement; to be able to see such clear evidence of God working in her life through the special needs ministry at Sojourn kids. I’m so thankful that God has provided the opportunity for me to serve Sojourn in this way and so thankful for the wonderful work He is doing through this ministry in the lives of both the servants and the kids.
This summer I was talking to the parents of three, as of this coming Sunday, students in my elementary class at Sojourn. What I had in my mind was the best way to sum up teaching lovingly and effectively whether the class consists of 5 or 25 students. This is what I said: “There’s a fine line between letting them be themselves and letting them run wild.” And that’s what teaching a class at church is like-you get to know the personalities of the children that you’re entrusted with. You get to know, by looking at the lesson, what will work or how to adapt the lesson so all the kids will be interested. And, most definitely, you let them know who’s in charge. Most importantly, though, I teach them about Jesus, his love, and listen when they talk. No matter how ridiculous or silly. I do my best to listen to all legitimate answers and questions. I do my best to let them know how much they mean to me and to God. And I do not consider it just a service-it is my joy to teach them about God because of the many blessings I have been given over the years. I look forward to every Sunday and miss the days when I’m away. (Though the kids love to have one of those serving with me teach as well.) And, lastly, teaching in Elementary is just so much fun. The kids are at a stage where you’re really beginning to see their personalities form, to see what may be lifelong friendships develop, and to see them learn when to speak and when to hold back. I look forward to doing it for however long God calls me to be there-which is, I hope, for quite a long time.
So, I just had the most encouraging experience ever in Sojournkids! This morning, after the 9AM, I had a mother come up to me with her kids, and, she informed me that the eldest boy had not stopped talking about the lesson about the unstoppable train over a month ago. The mom told me she asked her son why we had taught about a train… and he responded, “It was unstoppable just like God’s love!” I don’t recall the kid’s name but I think he was in kindergarten or 1st grade. I am so encouraged to know that these kids are hearing and retaining the Gospel, that they are excited enough to share it with their parents, and that they are desiring to continuing to grow here at Sojourn! Praise God. –Matt Noble