Six and a half years ago, this little guy walked down that long kindergarten hall for the first time. We were throwing our eldest child to the wolves….or so we thought and also had been told. I thought things like, “We are the only Believers in this school.” We were quickly proven wrong when we found his wonderful kindergarten teacher to be a Christian. That December we threw our first Christmas outreach for kids. I had been hosting and speaking for ladies’ groups, but I strongly felt the urging of the Spirit to “host a party for Graham’s class”. About a week and a half later, our house was abuzz with children and parents from our local, public, neighborhood elementary school, plus a few nearby neighbors. I presented FamilyLife’s What God Wants for Christmas and then began thinking about how I could do this again at Easter using their Resurrection Eggs.
We followed through and hosted an Easter outreach, and here is that incredible kindergarten teacher who happened to show up, too. I love the reaction of these kiddos when she walked through our door.
The rest is history….not sure I can count the number of outreaches we’ve hosted as well as just been a part. Remember I thought we were the only Believers in our school? Well, that is just what the Enemy wanted me to believe. He wanted me paralyzed with fear. From simply hosting a few outreaches and picking the kiddos up from school on the playground, we began to meet more Christians. Some of them began to host these same outreaches in their homes, too. When Graham was in first grade, and our daughter began kindergarten, some of these new friends and I began the Good News Club at our school. We are about to begin our 6th round of that about mid-January. We’ve been averaging around 100 kiddos. These kiddos stay after school on Friday afternoons for six weeks to hear a Bible lesson, and the most fun part for me is to share how they can become followers of Jesus.
This past December we closed the books on Graham’s elementary years of hosting these parties. Oh, and we began calling them “parties” and not “outreaches” when Abby Grace was going to school her kindergarten year and asking “who was coming to the outreach”. We still have several years of parties left to do as we have a 4th grader and two 2nd graders in our home. To the left are some 4th and 5th graders who came to the party. They still enjoy decorating cookies. I think it’s especially fun since our school does not allow food at their school parties any more. We c0-hosted a party for a kindergarten class and two 2nd grade classes earlier that week. I also had the privilege of speaking at a friend’s 4th grade party.
I love the promise from Isaiah 55:11 that says, “So is My word that goes out from My mouth: It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
Now I have a name for these parties, and all of the details involved to throw one is in my manuscript entitled Simple Parties, Significant Impact. The fact that God can use my family and me to reach others for Him by hosting a simple cookie decorating party or an Easter egg hunt is son fun to me! We happen to live in a country where our lives are not threatened by hosting parties such as these. We may see these days come to an end. I will not lie. There is some fear in putting invitations out there….in wondering what the parents or even teachers may think of me, and then our old Enemy comes in with a thousand excuses not to host a party. All I can say in answer to this are some beautiful words I recently read from Francis Chan: “There’s nothing more exciting than experiencing the power of God firsthand. We would all love to stand with Elijah as he called down fire from heaven or to walk with Daniel through a den of lions or to see Peter and John tell a crippled man to stand up and walk. But these miracles happened when God’s servants were being his witnesses in dangerous situations. We miss out on seeing the Spirit’s power when we refuse to live by faith. We miss out on experiencing Christ when we don’t speak up for him.”
Father, may I….
- see the Spirit’s power in my life
- live by faith
- experience Christ
- speak up for You