Dearest Friends,
Jesus said,” Let the children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
Years ago, a friend told me something sweet about this verse. Like so many children that I talked with this summer, she understood what it meant to suffer. As a little girl, she heard this verse. She concluded that she had done the suffering part, so it was time to take the next step and come to Jesus.
Okay, I know that the verse says something different, but this is the way a precious little child heard its words in her heart. Try to hear God’s rescue plan from the point of view of a child.
This July, we saw an ocean of children and all of them in America. We spent the summer with so many who did not know Him and by God’s grace, we saw so many come to Jesus.  I heard the worst stories from the children about how they have suffered. Please hear their cries.
Children said to me…”My father hits me.” “My mother hits me.” “There is so much yelling in my house.” “I am afraid.” Please know that all was done that could be done to help the children. Their words made me weep when I was alone at night, but it was their questions that tore at my soul. “Does God see me?” “Does God care?” “Does God know?”
Many times, these statements and questions were spoken as I was nearing the end of the Bible story. I would be talking with the children about how when we are forgiven, we can forgive others. As soon as I spoke these words, their little hands would start to rise. I saw this so many times. They were looking for hope and many found it as they talked to Jesus. Only Jesus can be with them all the time. Only Jesus can heal their broken hearts.
How would you answer a child who is hurting and asks you these questions? I will tell you what I told so many. “Yes, God cares and God knows. He can make a way for you to survive this. More, He will comfort you.” I talked with them about hope and love. I told them that if they put their trust in Jesus, they would be forgiven and could forgive others. It is God’s forgiveness alone that can change them so they will not repeat their parents’ mistakes. His hope will give them hope. His love will give them the love that they long to have.
I talked with a little girl that I will call Abigail. She told me a terrible story about her home life. She finished with these words. “I am so afraid. Sometimes I hide in my room. Does God know?”  Then she looked at me with big, dark eyes and said, ”Please help me.”
Before God, we must not fail Abigail or any of the thousands of children that we saw this summer. We all must hold them in our prayers. We must hear their heart’s cries. We must tell them about Jesus.
Thank you for giving us the most wonderful summer! We would not have chosen to be any where else than with these children. I still see their smiles. I still see their hands in the air.  I still hear their questions. Please continue to them in your prayers.
In Jesus,
Linda for Paige, Seth, Heather, Jared, Mykayla, and Daniel