“I think she said there are supposed to be something like 1,000 kids here this week.”
Alarms immediately began wailing in my head even before Suzy had the chance to finish her statement. What on earth had I gotten myself into? 1,000 kids?!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love children, but let’s be serious here. The thought of 1,000 little ones all crowded into one room is just a little overwhelming. I was having a difficult time shaking the image of a birthday party gone terribly wrong; all the kids covered in chocolate cake, screaming and running terrified through the house while a clown fumbled his way after them attempting to have them smell the trick flower on his lapel.
“We’ll only have first and second graders though.”
Phew! Granted I didn’t know the exact number of first and second graders we’d have walking through the doors, but simply knowing they’d be broken into multiple smaller groups seemed to make the day more manageable and definitely less mutiny-prone.
Bring it on kiddos.
The first group arrived at 9:20am. Approximately 100 slightly groggy, but somehow still completely energized kids, dressed in red t-shirts, began to fill the room. As I looked at their faces, completely ready to soak in whatever God was going to speak to them through Mrs. Susan and Mrs. Suzy, my thoughts wandered to Matthew 18:3:
“And he said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’”
It was in that moment I decided to let go of any preconceived notions and humble myself. I would sit in the back of the room exactly like one of those eager faced kids, ready to be a sponge for God.
To say I was changed would be an understatement. By the end of the 15 minute lesson, all I could think was, “I am so blessed”. It was a simple presentation, focused on highlighting the similarities and differences between living in the United States versus living in India and outlining what would be discussed in the coming days, but its impact was anything but simple.
Grace Kids Camp is more than your typical vacation bible school. These first and second graders were being exposed to something much bigger than themselves. They were being given an opportunity to develop their God-given purpose.