After VBS ended this summer, a few boxes of post-SKY parts and pieces remained in my car and garage for a couple of weeks. Among the things in those boxes were stacks of cards to children in Mali...they were part of the mission project our kids had taken part in.
This year was my favorite mission project to date...our VBS kids donated money to purchase mosquito nets for children in the African country of Mali...part of a nationwide campaign in partnership with World Vision to fully eradicate malaria in that country by the year 2015. As our kids at VBS learned through the week that mosquito nets save the lives of kids just like them in other parts of the world, they jumped into action...bringing purses, pockets, and bags full of coins from their own piggy banks. By the end of the week, an amazing amount of money had been donated.
Back to the cards...
Every time I looked at them after VBS, I would get frustrated that I didn't have the time just yet to package them up and ship them off. They continued to sit in a box as I followed up on other things that seemed more important. Then, one night, I got them out and began to package them up. When I dropped the stack, I grumbled, and started re-organizing the pile once again. The front of one card caught my eye. It read:
"I love God. Do you love God?"
Right at that moment, I realized that in the rush during and after VBS, I had not taken the time to look at the cards. For the next hour, I sat at my dining room table, reading every one...in awe of the hearts of hundreds of children that had been poured out onto each. Crayola markers on bright construction paper were carrying a message of God's love and hope to children at risk of dying from malaria.
What I read were words of those who were unashamed to share their faith, who didn't skirt around the truth, who boldly wrote about our God who we all can trust, even in the worst times. Honest, sincere, caring words of love that are the product of a childlike faith.
Here are an unedited few...
Dear kids in Mali. I hope these nets keep you safe from the masquietios so you don’t get malaria. No matter what happens trust God because He loves you.
God loves you no matter what.
Be strong and corages. Don’t be afraid or discouraged for the Lord is with you.
God is thar for you.
Hi my name is Carsten. My favorite food is pizza and my favorite sport is soccer. Remember trust God.
I love you
God is loking aftr you ever day.
"I am convinced that nothing can separate us from the love of God.” Romans 8:38
I hope the nets work. I know how it feels when you are scared
God is olwase with you. Jesus is olwase with you.
Dear Kid, Do you know who God is? He is the one who made the universe.
Trust God. He is amazing and powerful and real.
Dear people in Mali, You can trust God no matter who you are, no matter how you feel, no matter what people do, no matter what happens, no matter where you are. God loves you.
I pray every night so you can heal.
God’s with you. God loves you. Love, Keagan
Whatever happens, trust God. He will never stop loving you. Jesus is always by your side. Your friend, Brookelyn
Dear kids in Mali, Do you know God? Well if you would like to live forever, accept the Lord. – Nadia
God has a plan for you. From: Macie
As I finished up reading, it became clear that God planned for those cards to stay with me after VBS for a reason. Had I sent them off right away, I would not have looked at them; I would have missed out on the words that will bring hope to children far away in the world. I love the reminder that no matter how young, a person can change the life of another, with just so much as a few simple words. When we allow kids to minister to others on their own, even without our coaching or instruction, we can be assured that God will do awesome things through them.