"How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? ...How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things."
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Oklahoma Part 6: "Sunday School"
Growing up in a Christian home in America, I had the presupposition that everyone basically knew who God was. Everyone had at least heard a few stories of how Jesus fed multitudes, brought people to life, walked on water and calmed a storm. Hadn't they? After all, we do live in a Christian nation, no matter what people may try to tell you. In the inner city there were many churches, and we drove past The Salvation Army mission almost every day on our way to school. The opportunity to hear about God and His message to us was every where. Every one had at least heard about it, right? That mindset was about to be challenged. It is a sunny Sunday afternoon in Oklahoma City. As the team walks thorough the housing complex knocking on doors inviting children to afternoon Sunday school, we gather a small grouping and wait for the church bus to pick us up. It is an excited, noisy, rambunctious group of children we have with us! Talking, laughing, and begging Chad to go fast over the speed bumps on the short ride to the church. He fulfills their request with a smile! The first thing the kids do when we reach the church is beg to play "What Time is it Mr. Fox?" As much as we played that game, I'm not sure they ever quite got the hang of it, but it did help get the wiggles out! Singing songs, learning verses, and the Bible lesson were on the docket as well, right before a pizza dinner and prayer meeting with the "big church." My favorite memories of "Sunday School" were the times after the Bible lesson I had opportunity to share the salvation message with the kids who were interested in learning more. We use the wordless book when we do this, a book with colors instead of words. The first page is gold. It reminds us of heaven, and of God, who lives in heaven. "Do you know who God is?" I'll ask. Usually they say yes. and have a basic understanding of who He is, but other times they have no idea! God, who He is, His ways, and His plan for us are a completely foreign concept to some of the kids! It is amazing to watch their faces as you tell them about God, how much He loves them and how much it grieves Him to see them sin. They don't question how it is, or ask why He lets less than ideal situations into their life. With their child like faith, they believe, and love the one who loved them first. With wonder and adoration in their eyes, they pray from their heart.