“I’m bad,” Andy confided to one of the small group shepherds at Good News Club. Her answer was, “No, you are precious to God.”
Andy* was in kindergarten. He had a hard time sitting still and liked to get attention any way he could. Needless to say, Andy was already quite well known by the principal.
All of the Good News Club teachers were touched by Andy. When he had one-on-one time with an adult, he was so happy and glad to be a helper. Whenever a teacher was especially kind to him, he brought a small gift (candy, a note) as a “Thank you.” Andy was easy to love, but hard to keep up with amongst 37 other children.
When after-school clubs ended, the students whose parents worked went to Rec-Connect until 6:00 pm. Andy went to Rec-C after GNC. One day when the Rec-C leader came to walk the group over, Andy was lying on the floor. He wasn’t hurting anyone, and we wanted to give attention for positive actions, so we let him rest there. The Rec leader was shocked that we would allow that. I told her, “You have to exercise authority over the children in your care or you would have chaos. We see Andy once a week and all we have to do is love him.”
Several weeks later the same lady shared with me that she had spoken to the principal about the situation. He asked if she wanted to pull him out. She said, “No.” Her comment to me was, “Tuesday is the only day I get a rest from constantly disciplining Andy.”
Often as GNC Leader, I sat with Andy during the Bible lesson. Sometimes we had to go do something else when he couldn’t settle, but there were two times that stood out which showed that despite his busyness, Andy was hearing everything.
Once during a lesson on who God is, the teacher used the word “omniscient.” She explained that meant “all-knowing”, and described our Creator God who knows everything. Andy scoffed to the girl sitting next to him, “God doesn’t know everything!” Then he turned to me and asked, “Does He?” I answered, “Yes, God does know everything. He made the world and He made you. God loves you.” Andy sat down and leaned against my shoulder, thinking.
He made the world and He made you. God loves you.” Andy sat down and leaned against my shoulder, thinking.
Another time when we were playing a review game – asking questions to review main points from the Bible lesson – the teacher asked a question and no one raised their hand to answer. Andy – who wasn’t even looking at the teacher, instead fiddling with something – said the correct answer loudly. The whole room became silent and turned to look at him as if thinking – how did he know that? When the teacher praised him, Andy had a big grin on his face.
Andy came to GNC for one school year. He often wanted to talk about “God things” with a teacher, but we could never tell if it was for attention or if he was truly understanding what it meant to trust Jesus as Savior.
Andy heard the gospel every week: God loves you. All have sinned. Jesus died to take the punishment for your sin. You can believe in Him and have eternal life.
These things I know, because God keeps His promises:
- God loves Andy and has a plan for his good. John 3:16, Jeremiah 29:11
- When the Word of God is shared (and it is in Good News Clubs), it will accomplish the purpose God intends. Isaiah 55:11
- God is not willing for Andy or any of these little ones to perish. Matthew 18:14
- When we pray according to God’s will, He hears our prayer. And if we know He hears our prayer, we can know that we have the requests we have asked of Him. 1 John 5:14-15
So, whenever the Lord brings Andy to my mind, I ask King Jesus to continue to pursue him with the Hound of Heaven – the Holy Spirit – and bring Andy into His kingdom. Amen.
GNC Coordinator, W’burg area
*Name changed for confidentiality