Today was a fantastic day for our Sunday school class, which usually runs from 6-12 children ages 5-13. The children did everything in the service today. Laysa, 12, opened the service in prayer. Arvelis, 13, prepared a worship song for us, and then Laysa had another powerful song. Little Alvin, 5, sang along with a soundtrack, Jesus is my Superhero. Then Arvelis asked for the prayer requests and prayed. Afterwards Mario, 5, prayed for the offering and sang Hay Libertad en la Casa de Dios, There’s Liberty in the House of God. Those kids are anointed! Three boys didn’t show today; I think they were afraid to participate.
Right before we broke for Sunday School 4 new children came in with their grandmother. I found out after the service that these kids, plus two more of her grandkids who showed up a little later, go to a Compassion program in town and they are required to go to church. She asked me to write a letter next week certifying that the children are attending. As these kids were new to our Sunday School, it was a little hectic getting them to sit and listen to the story, but soon they were mesmerized by the flannel graph figures of Peter in prison. They retreated to the corner to play as soon as the story ended, but the older kids had good Biblical principles to derive from the lesson based on Acts 12. “This lesson teaches us to have faith!” It shows that God answers prayer!” “It proves that God listens to us when we pray and gets us out of trouble.” When I announced that we were going to draw a picture with markers and crayons the kids in the corner jumped up and ran to the tables. Such enthusiasm!
As soon as their interest waned I brought out the crackers and peanut butter. The older girls agreed that we should serve the visitors first and while two of them worked on their drawings, one of the newer girls helped me serve the snack. Although I had forgotten to bring the juice no one complained. They were hungry.
On the way out, one of the new boys, Ramoncito, 8, gave me a big hug when I invited him to come again. Outside I opened the van for my Sunday School bags and to load up the wheelbarrow, shovels and rake we had brought over earlier in the week to spread gravel on the playground. Ramoncito jumped in and told me he wanted to go home with me!
After they left, one of the moms told me Ramoncito’s family lives near her. “We have to pray for that family. They are always yelling and screaming bad words and hitting the kids.” I suggested a cell group in her house but she thinks we should pray about that first. Apparently the men in the household don’t approve of church.
One of the girls expressed concern about them coming to Sunday School. I assured her that we want them there, and that God can change their lives. I have seen it happen over and over again. I am blessed to be a missionary!
:: Debbie Martinez, Missionary to La Vega Dominican Republic