Saturday, March 8, 2008

one of the many reasons i have the greatest job ever...

We have a group of kids that come to our 11:15 service each week that are from a government housing project here in Austin. They are part of an after school program called Hope. One of the leaders in this program (Cara) decided to start bringing any kids that want to come with her to church each Sunday. They are definitely a rougher crowd of kids, but the change in them is becoming more and more evident. The following story is just an example. One of the 5th grade boys has been coming since some time last fall. His name is Devon. Devon is a leader, all the little boys that come with him, want to be Devon. Devon’s leadership was negative. He was very disrespectful and derogatory towards women. He never wanted to participate unless it was on his terms. We had begun to notice some changes in Devon’s behavior this past January. He was recognized for his positive leadership in his after school program, and that was only the beginning. One Sunday, during our children’s large group worship time, we saw Devon actually worshipping. He had his arm around one of our skit team members and they were worshipping together. This was huge, Devon rarely participates in worship. And because he was worshipping, several of the other boys wanted to worship too!

But it gets even better, one Sunday after church, Devon was helping Cara (the leader for their program that brings them to church) get all the kids lined up and in the van to go home. They were all getting a snack as they got in the van. Just simple things like packets of crackers, goldfish, cracker jacks, etc. A little second grade girl, named Destiny, really wanted a pack of goldfish, but there were not any left. Devon saw that she wanted goldfish and said, “Miss Cara, Destiny can have my goldfish. I already opened them and I ate one, but she can have them if she wants.” Cara complemented Devon on his kindness to Destiny. Devon then replied, “Miss Cara, it is because they are teaching us about kindness at church. They said we should be kind to others, even if they have not done anything to deserve our kindness.” Cara again, praised Devon for putting into action what he had learned. And he said, “Wait miss Cara, they said that we should be kind to others because that is what Jesus did for us. He was kind to us even though we keep messing up and don’t deserve it.” I cried! The Lord is doing a work in him. What if Devon comes to know the Lord? He is such a leader, I can’t help but think of the impact the Lord could use him to have for all the kids that want to be him. And if we have noticed such a drastic change in Devon, you know his parents have. What if they came to know the Lord through this? It is so exciting to see God moving in the next generation!! Greater things are yet to come, and greater things are still to be done in this city.