Jewelian is a young teenager that I met this week. And no, I did not misspell his name. He spelled it for me, so I know it is correct. I had a large group of teenagers and children in front of me, gathered to watch a puppet show. He was sitting right in front of me, playing with his phone. His hat was turned sideways and he was presenting a lot of attitude. We were in a particularly bad part of town, so I understood why he appeared to be so angry.
I would have left him alone and just let him play with his phone, but he began to attract the attention of the other children. I took his phone and I fully expected him to get mad and ignore everything I said. However, God always surprises you. God poured his Spirit on Jewelian and caused him to listen. Our theme this summer is "Do You Want a Rescue?" To my great delight, as Jewelian listened, he found his rescue. He put his trust in Jesus and immediately was changed.
I knew something had happened because when we finished the program, he volunteered to help carry the tubs. He worked very hard and fast and was obviously making a real effort. I talked with him and he told me that he had met Jesus. I said, "I know you can grow up to be a man of God, a good man." He smiled the biggest smile and said, "I know!"
All of us wanted to do something to encourage Jewelian in his new faith, so we went and bought him an Action Bible. Normally, I give the children a Jesus Storybook Bible, but because he was a teenager, this was a better choice. It is a cartoon-style illustrated Bible. All the stories have real Scriptures in the captions. However, it is much easier for a young person to read and it draws their attention. Please pray for Jewelian to read his Bible and to grow in his faith. His enthusiasm for his new faith really touched my heart. Please remember Jewelian! I think he is a good example to all of us who perhaps need to be more enthusiastic about Jesus and His rescue plan for us.
Bibles for Children
Once again, we need your help. Earlier this summer, I was given a very generous budget to supply children with Bibles. We have never been able to make this offer before to the children we are serving. The children that we are working with have very poor reading skills, and to present them with the whole Bible would overwhelm them. I was concerned that they wouldn’t want to keep reading because the language would be difficult for them.
I made the decision to buy them Jesus Storybook Bibles. This is a wonderful book that is beautifully illustrated. It is a collection of many stories from the Bible. It is written so that every story points to Jesus. I believe that as these children develop a habit for reading this book, it will create in them the desire to read the whole Bible. Children need to see that the Bible is a collection of amazing stories that can speak to them and touch their lives.
Drake, one of my puppeteers, does a testimony at every show where he talks about how his father gave him a wonderful book when he was only ten years old. It was a Bible and his description of how much fun it is to read a Bible has really been motivating the children to want a Bible. At every show we see children raise their hands and say, "I don’t have a Bible! I want a Bible!" Isn’t this amazing!
As a result of their desire, I have exhausted my Bible fund. I had other money that I could spend for Bibles, and that is also gone. Presently I have a request for 63 Bibles for children in the inner city of Baltimore. They live in very difficult places and it is only the hope of the Gospel that will give them a better life. These books cost us about ten dollars each and I told the man that requested these books that I could not send them until I had someone who would commit to this project. We are leaving to work in inner city Philadelphia on Monday and I know I will need more Bibles.
To be honest, I never expected the children to be so enthusiastic about reading God’s Word. I am delighted and amazed at how God is calling them to read this book! Please pray about this need. Please pray for the children who are receiving these Bibles. Ask God to give them a great desire to read these stories!
Linda for Drake, Kelsey, Mary, Billy, and Leslie