Every day, our staff receives an email that contains a long list of names. The names on that list are sick, hospitalized, or grieving over the loss of a loved one. Every day there’s a new name on that list. Some of the names have been on that list for quite a while.
As our kids’ ministry team was brainstorming ideas for teaching on Jesus’ power over sickness, someone mentioned the idea of having the kids pray for those people on the email list. The idea morphed into an activity where all age groups would pray and write/draw a card for those who were sick and hospitalized.
The kids were really into the activity and worked hard on the cards for others. Afterwards, our staff collected the cards and distributed them to many of the names on the email list.
It felt like a win. The kids realized there are sick and hurting people all around us, and by their prayers they hopefully gained a little more trust in Jesus’ power over sickness, death, and sin. But the way God used that activity kept going.
Fast forward a few weeks, I was in the grocery store when a woman whose husband had received one of those cards approached me. He had been hospitalized and was recovering from a procedure at home. She told me how much receiving those cards meant to him and how they were still posted on their refrigerator at home.
A few days later, I had a family approach me at church just to say thank you for thinking of them and praying for them. Again, they went on and on about what it meant to receive the cards and to know that the kids had prayed for them.
Last week, one of our Care Pastors came down to my office to tell me a story from a visit he had just been on. He was visiting a woman who had been on the prayer list for months as she was receiving cancer treatments. She had just received her most recent scans that revealed she was now cancer free. He told me that all she could talk about was the cards she received from the kids who prayed for her. She wanted him to pass on the message that (in her words): “I will never throw those cards away. I will keep those for the rest of my life!”
God used those cards. God used those kids. Their prayers and simple words/pictures were moments of joy, comfort, and hope for so many people. We shared these stories with our volunteers to let them in on what God was doing. The lesson we were trying to teach kids was coming through loud and clear to our whole team. We were getting front row seats to see Jesus’ power of sickness!
We’re looking for more opportunities to repeat this activity and similar ways of having kids serve the body. It’s exciting to see God be glorified and working through the kids, and I can’t wait to see what He might do next!