Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, you are very great. Psalm 104:1
I love Jesus. There is such fullness of life that comes from living into our inheritance as children of God. I hope my life brings glory to God. I know that a life that lifts up Jesus is what I most desire. I felt that call when I was young and I feel it more deeply now that I am not so young anymore.
It is hard to believe that we are in the twentieth year of Christ’s Children Ministries. We certainly aren’t much of an organization. We don’t have a building or a passenger van. We don’t have a staff or offices and only through the persistence of friends have a website and Facebook page. Compared to many organizations, our footprint is small. Over the past number of years, when finances have been lean and costs for things like insurances and gas and rentals and the general cost of living for our family keep rising, we have had reason to carefully listen to discern if God was asking us to stay the course. It would indeed be a blessing if we grew better at fund raising. And we are not good networkers either. We certainly wouldn’t win any prizes as a non-profit success story. I, not infrequently, watch and pray and listen to discern if there is something else we should be doing.
That listening has led to me adding in spiritual direction as one of the things I give my time to. But that shift has been an adding on or expanding, not a turn away from the work of Christ’s Children. And what is this work God continues to call us to do? For some reason, God brings to us, children who might be overlooked or in the margin—the kid who isn’t making it in school, the one whose dad died through gun violence, the child whose parent is alcoholic or unstable. The families who have somehow ended up in our circle after the horrendous loss of an innocent child. And the kid who walked away as a teenager who came around again. We do what we can to shepherd them as they live life in Christ. We try to love and serve and teach and model what it looks like to live a life that is surrendered and entrusted to God.
Last month, we heard from one of our college guys. He was asking for help with some rent money as he was working on some new ways to make it through, but was in a short spot. His parents couldn’t help, so we got a call. Sometimes when we get these requests, we aren’t able to help because we don’t have the funds and we don’t cosign on loans. But, this was a request for a loan of $300. We could do that. I could hear the surprise and gratefulness echoing from the phone in Chris’s hand after I heard him say, “We don’t want you to try to pay it back. We are glad to help because we have it to give ”(Followed by a longer exhortation to keep seeking and following Jesus. J) How happy we are to be able to be that place to fall back upon that all children (even grown-up ones) need at times.
The world can be a hard place for many children without privileges many take for granted. But God has called us to be here to love some of those children and to do all that we can to help them know their identities as children of God. We wouldn’t have made it to this twentieth year without the body of Christ who faithfully supports us. Thank you for your gifts. May you find your joy in Jesus.