“Thulani, we need to take Gogo to Jesus!” the 5 year old triumphantly announced during story time at the NEW Jabulani Kids Club last Saturday. Jabulani Kids Club is a Saturday club where kids gather to play games, sing songs, have LOADS of fun, and learn about Jesus. It also gives them a safe, fun place to hang out on the weekends. For over seven years JKC has been running at a school in one part of Sweetwaters, and just this term, we’ve added a second club in a different part of Sweetwaters, to reach the kids there.
Thulani is in charge of the 0-6 year old group for story time, and they had just heard the story of the paralyzed man who was lowered through the roof of his house by his friends, so that he could be healed by Jesus.
“Why do we need to take your Gogo (Grandmother) to Jesus?” Thulani asked.
“Well, she also can’t walk. And so she’s very angry all the time, because she asks us to bring her things, and if we take a long time to get her water, or get her food, or whatever she asks for, then she shouts at us.” The girl explained. “So, I think we should be like those friends and take her to Jesus so she stops being so angry all the time.”
I love it.
This little 5-year old got it. She understood that where Jesus is, there’s healing. Where Jesus is, things change– angry, grumpy Gogos are filled with joy. She understood that she could play a part– just like the friends in the story. When Jesus healed the paralyzed man, the Bible says, “See their (the friends) faith” he healed the man. It was the action of the friends, their courageous faith that would rip through a roof that made it possible for the paralyzed man to be healed.
Sure, this 5-year old has a bit of a ways to go, in understanding that today we can’t literally carry her grandmother to Jesus in the flesh where he can tell her to “take up her mat and walk”– but she understands a lot about who Jesus is…and that he changes things.
And that’s really what the fieldworkers are doing every day. Through the classes they teach, through the hugs and the hi-fives, and the silly games, through the hours and hours spent listening to the kids– they are trying to bring kids to Jesus. Trying to let them see for themselves the joy and hope that Jesus can bring. Trying to let the kids see that Jesus is the one who has the answers.
Sometimes I wonder if I have the faith of a five-year old. Do I really believe that it is enough just to take people to Jesus?
Plug for Kids Camp 2014:
One of the ways we try to help “take kids to Jesus” is through kids camp every year. We take kids to the beach for 3 days, give them a chance to have the undivided attention of their group leader, play silly games, and feel safe and loved. We pray that God will use these camps to bring children one step closer to himself. If you want to be a part of making camp happen this year by sponsoring a child (you’ll get a picture of “your” kid, and updates from them after camp) then email firstname.lastname@example.org. Camp costs R900 or $100. There are still 29 kids left who need sponsors. 🙂