This is an article that appeared in the October, 2014 issue of the Wheatland Parish newsletter.
Six months ago, we began a prayer emphasis in the churches of this parish. Our prayer was that God would help us reach the unchurched children of the parish, the children who are not going to church or to church school anywhere.
We said we would do this not because our parish needs the kids, but because the kids need us. The kids need to know who God is. They need to feel God’s presence with them as they go through their lives. They need to know about the salvation offered to them through faith in Jesus Christ. They need the love and care that the churches of this parish can give them.
We also said we were doing this with no plan in mind. We said we did not know how this would happen. But we said that we have faith in God, and we have faith in the people of this parish. We were confident that if we asked for the chance to serve God by reaching those children, God would answer our prayers.
And God is doing just that. We had a very successful VBS this summer in both Onida and in Gettysburg. The Sunday school in Onida has grown from one class to three, with as many as twenty kids attending. In Gettysburg, the church school was moved from Sunday to Wednesday, and attendance has more than doubled, with as many as twenty-one kids attending. As an added benefit, the church attendance in Onida has been growing, too.
This is awesome. This is an incredible tribute to the power of God. It’s also an incredible tribute to the people of our parish. God is at work, but most of the time God chooses to work through us. God is working with us and through us and answering our prayers to reach the unchurched children of this parish.
But let’s not be satisfied yet. What is going on right now is wonderful, but what’s happened so far is not an ending. It’s a beginning! There are still many more unchurched children we need to reach. And we can reach them, if we continue to pray and continue to be determined to do God’s will. We can reach them if we continue to have faith in God and to have faith in the people of this parish. We can reach them if we continue asking for the chance to serve God by reaching those children and remain confident that God will answer our prayers.
I don’t want the Agar church to feel left out of this either. We don’t currently have children who regularly attend at Agar, but that does not mean it always has to be that way. We know there are unchurched children who live in the Agar area. We know God wants us to reach them. So if you’re part of the Agar church, this prayer emphasis includes you! We may not know how to reach those children, but if we have faith in God and in each other, if we sincerely ask God to help us reach those children, and if we remain confident that God will answer our prayers, we can reach the unchurched children of Agar, too.
I have said before that God is doing something very special in the churches and communities of this parish. I believe we’re still at the very beginning of what God is doing. So let’s keep praying, keep trusting God, and keep doing what we can to reach the unchurched children of this parish, and even beyond this parish. With God’s help, with God’s power, with God working through us, there is no limit to what we can do!