|Vol. 1, No. 4||Page 6||April 1999|
Finding A Lost Child
What would we have sacrificed to find her son? Time was no object. If money would have helped, it would have been eagerly offered.
This mother's agony was very real to me. As I hugged my dear friend, I could feel her overwhelming fear. Was he hurt? Had he been kidnapped? Would she ever see her son again?
The boy was found riding his bicycle in the country. The path he had chosen was longer than expected and it grew dark before he realized the danger.
Every day children are involved in tragedies. We may shed tears for a child who has been kidnapped, murdered, abused or neglected. How often do we shed tears for the countless children who are not learning about Jesus?
Are you thinking, "I would do something to reach them if I could. But what can I do?" There is something you can do. It will take less time each week than I spent looking for the lost boy. The cost is minimal. It can be undertaken by one individual or as a church project.
A couple of years ago, I started sending my reproducible Bible lessons to children who couldn't be in my Bible class. Two girls visited class when they came to see their grandparents. They obviously loved Bible class, but their parents never took them.
A boy's parents fell away and they moved to a distant state. A girl's parents fell away. She came to class for a short time, then her parents discouraged her. One girl came to VBS. Two of my day care children moved away (they had gone with me to VBS). The list grew.
At times I wondered if I was wasting my time and postage. Then I received a heart-warming letter from the two girls. Two mothers sent stamps because their children loved the lessons so much. Just recently a mother told me her son has all the lessons I've sent him in a folder in his room.
We may not know the results of our efforts for many years. In some causes, we may not discover the outcome until we arrive in heaven!
Remember, ". . . The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16). After you write out the list of children (the next step), pray for each child by name. Continue to do so as you send them Bible lessons.
Make A List
Don't be discouraged if the elders aren't interested at first. After you have sent lessons to the children on your list you may be able to show the elders some encouraging letters or tell them about comments made by the parents. The great worth of this project will become apparent.
Suggested Selection Criteria
While writing my own lesson books, these priorities have been important to me as I work to ground students in God's Truth. Reproducible Work Sheets #2-8 for grades 1-4 meet all of the above criterion. Anyone wanting to reproduce my three lesson books for fifth and sixth graders to send to children may contact me for permission, since these books are not normally reproducible. (Hanna Publications, P.O. Box 278, Eudora, KS 66025-0278; phone: (785) 542-3180; or e-mail: HannaPubli@aol.com.)
Send The Lessons!
When you mail the first lesson, send an introductory letter telling what you plan to do. Do not ask the children to let you know if they want to receive the lessons. They may not have the means to contact you. Even if you send a SASE, some may not reply even though they would study the lessons. Do tell them they may let you know if they wish to have their names removed from the list.
Preschool siblings may also become involved if you duplicate a coloring page for them and enclose it with the lessons you are sending to big brother or sister. In a few years, the younger child may become your new student.
Tell other Christians how you are reaching out to children. Members often lament that they aren't good at teaching people, so they can't help with evangelism. There are very few members who could not help with this project if they were so inclined. Christ's command to "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15) can be fulfilled to a much greater degree by reaching out to children. Those who are not old enough to be converted yet will be prepared and properly taught when the times is right.
Feel free to reprint this article and share it via the church bulletin, e-mail, letters or any other form of transmission. Be sure to include the source.
Heed Ezekiel's warning: "But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand" (Ezekiel 33:6).
There are few who would not eagerly search for a lost child. Will you seek to teach a child, so he won't grow into a lost adult, and an eternally lost soul?
[Editor's Note: A besetting sin of otherwise faithful Christians is inactivity and lack of involvement in Christian service. Biblical portraits of judgment include Divine rebuke and eternal sorrow for lost opportunities to demonstrate Christianity toward lost humanity (Matthew 25:14-30). "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin" (James 4:17). Every Christian can do something, and that "something" equates to responsibility!]