So the other day, we bought a little kids' devotional book. Conner has been totally into it, as he usually is with any new book that he gets. For the first few days, he wanted to read it all by himself. Then yesterday, he finally let me in, finally let me read a few of the little devos with him.
A few weeks ago, we went to church in Granbury (the church I grew up at, where my mom, dad, sister, and brother-in-law all still attend). Conner was very excited. "Yay!" he said. "I love to go to BooBoo and Yogi's church!" When I asked him why, he said, "Because they have Bibles in my class there. I like it when we use Bibles in class."
It was everything I could do to keep from crying. Initially, that was one of my biggest fears about church planting. What could a tiny little house church, consisting of just a few families offer my children? Except for close relationships and the opportunity to engage in worship with adults? Don't get me wrong...those things are good. Wonderful, even. But what about Sunday School, what about puppet shows, what about worship with peers their own ages? I did not want my kids to miss out on these things because we were trying to do something different. This was not a sacrifice I was willing to make.
Then we hooked up with Mission Alive. We found Christ Journey, we found Chris and Heidi, and they had something for our kids. It's small, but it's good. In addition to the attention and instruction they receive in house church, they have a Sunday School class, they worship with their peers, they're learning about Christ, they are loved. It wasn't until Conner pointed it out to me that I realized that there are no Bibles in our children's Sunday School classes. I know this has a lot to do with the fact that we have to be portable. We don't have our own building, our kids' classrooms consist of a large room in a restaurant that we rent out on Sundays. All of their crayons, scissors, snacks, lesson plans -- everything lives in a portable bucket that they take with them. Bibles are heavy and bulky to transport. Then there is the expense...
Well, I am not gonig to let these things stand in the way. I think that our children need to have Bibles in the classes, I think they need to see their teachers using them, I think they need to be given the opportunity to use them alongside their peers. I think I've got the portability thing figured out, now I'm looking for money. The Bibles I'd like to get for the preschoolers are about $20 each, and I'd like to get at least five -- enough for them to share in pairs. We'd like to get some for the school-aged kids, too. Heidi's still working on deciding which ones we want, but I'm guessing they'll be around the same price. So does anyone have a couple hundred bucks they'd like to donate so that the kids can have Bibles? Do you know anyone who does? All it would take is ten people giving $2o each... We would also like to have some extra kids' Bibles on hand to give away. Maybe not the $20 ones, but we would like to have something.
If I've tugged at your heartstrings (and I hope I have!), you can click on the yellow "donate" button in the bar on the right side of my blog. Paypal should walk you through the rest. (Make sure to say something about children's Bibles in the special instruction section.) You can also leave a comment or email me at email@example.com.
In the meantime, we're doing our best to foster this interest in the Bible that Conner has expressed. We got the devotional book, and have been very intentional about talking our way through looking up each scripture. Conner spent literally over an hour today looking up scriptures on his own. He knows that the Old Testament is on the left and the New Testament is on the right. He knows that Psalms is just about in the middle. With a little bit of help, he finds the book of the Bible he's looking for, and then on his own finds the chapter and verse and reads it to us. (He's five, by the way!)
There are certainly a lot of things that we don't do, but wish that we did. There are a lot of things that I know we don't do right. But somewhere, thanks to the Spirit, this child has learned to love the Bible and The One who has given it to him. We are so proud and excited.
**Update: As of March 2nd, we have $180 so far...almost there!!