Tuesday, July 21, 2015

the impact of #back2school


People were bringing children to Jesus so that he would bless them. But the disciples scolded them.

This is one of my favorite times of the years, but it is also one of the most stress filled times of the years as our church and our partner churches get ready for the back2school outreach.  Once again we will serve hundreds if not a couple thousand students in and around Martinsville and Henry County, Virginia.

It was eight years ago that we began this work and served about 75 students.  The years since then have allowed us to serve more than 12,000 students and have expanded from one church serving to many others taking part.

A missionary friend from Appalachian Regional Ministries was sharing in a mission service I was part of more than eleven years ago as he talked about how excited kids were when they got a shoe box filled with school supplies.  From that conversation and dream we are now able to give students a backpack with some school supplies, some gently used clothes, a haircut and new shoes and socks.  We also have the honor of washing each of the children’s feet as they go through the process.

We have been doing this long enough that we have working it in to a good process, but we are always wanting to learn how to do it better!  It really is not about serving more students.  It really is about finding students in need and meeting their needs as much as we can.  The book is still open on how we can do this even better.

Why?  The verse I began with speaks volumes for me.  It was in the middle of Jesus’ ministry when parents were bringing their children to Jesus so that He could bless them.  We have much of the same opportunity as we interact with people.  We can and must bring out the best in those that we spend time with.

The disciples weren’t happy.  They thought they were too busy to be bothered by the children.  There were adults who needed to meet Jesus and hear what He had to say.  But Jesus knew there was much more at stake.

As we serve these children through the back2school outreach my prayer is that we will bless each of them and do something or say something that will inspire hope and call out the potential in their lives.  It might be a gift or a conversation or an act of kindness.  Whatever it is, by serving these students and their families we win the right to tell them about Jesus. 

It might be on the day of the event or a day in the future, but our desire is to influence others for the cause of Christ.  Please pray that as the students come our way that we are able to do what Jesus did and bless them.  Their futures are at stake.  Not just their eternal futures but their lives and impact through their lives.

This is going to be a great year of impacting students for the cause of Christ.  I pray you will take part in the event by volunteering or donating.  Maybe the way you can be part is registering your children at tonight’s final registration at one of the churches we are partnering with.  Thanks ahead of time for your prayers and help.  Students will be changed by the grace of God!


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