SUMMER OF 1987. ZULULAND. It was hot and noisy in the crowded school hall as the one-hundred-and-something kids jumped up and down shouting out the song of Father Abraham. We shook our right arms and left arms and our feet, we nodded our heads and spun around and sat down on the cool concrete floor. I wasn’t sure who this Father Abraham guy was. Apparently he had many sons, and I was one of them, which was news to me. But a little later the person with the mic was offering up the opportunity to be adopted by God as one of His children and I was all over that! God I’d heard of, and it sounded like He took daughters as well as sons.
I was seven years old at the time, and I had been invited to go to a church holiday club during a week of the school holidays. I remember sitting in a circle doing a craft when one of the leaders of the holiday club came around with a clipboard and asked if there were any kids who wanted to come to church on a Sunday. I stuck up my hand and they asked me to write down my name and address.
Jacki Stott, 24 David Glenney Crescent
Early the next Sunday morning, and every Sunday after that for a number of years, I stood on the end of my driveway dressed in my Sunday best and waited for a bus driver named Jackie to pick me up on his rounds around the neighbourhood and take me to Sunday School. He was such a kind, friendly, happy man. It felt like church started the minute you climbed onto his bus.
Looking back, I have no idea who paid for that bus and bus driver. But then again, it never crossed my mind to wonder who paid the salaries of the leaders on that holiday club, or what kind of people took leave from work and volunteered their time to serve us kids for a week of our holidays. But I do know that what they gave me was of infinitely more worth to me than they will ever know. They paved the way to me starting a journey with God.
FAST FORWARD TO JUNE 2018. DURBAN.
Kade, known as ds4 in the blogging community (dear son number 4 - lol, stay with me, peeps), is seven years old. He’s shy, doesn’t say much but he has the cutest crooked smile, and bright blue eyes that light up a room.
He got to go along with his big brothers and sisters to holiday club this year. He had an awesome time, “best ever” apparently. Everything was designed to make the children feel loved, welcome and important. There were waterslides and jumping castles, songs and activities, entertainment and fun. Volunteers (both my dd’s included) served all week for twelve hours a day, painting decorations, setting up, packing down, cleaning floors, singing songs, cheering on kids, carrying around the shy ones on their shoulders to make them smile, and basically just serving in whatever way they could.
Kade received this letter from his group leader, a young man called Qhawe (Que) in our church:
Right now, the letter is tucked into his treasure box which sits on the foot of his bed. I know he will read it hundreds of times over the next few years. And I know that this letter, together with the way it made him feel (*shy smile* “It made me feel good, Mom. Happy.” *and he looks down into his lap with a warm twinkle in his eyes*) will play a role in who he becomes. Perhaps it will pave the way for his future in a way that Que never dared to hope.
I am so grateful to Que, but actually to every person who paves the way for others to meet the One who can secure their eternities. I'm grateful to every person who gives financially to the maintenance of our property, to the paying of the world’s best kids' leaders, and to allowing events like holiday club to happen. I'm grateful to every volunteer who serves, because every part makes it easier for people to come to God. We're fulfilling our mandate to build highways and remove stones, just as others did for us.
So this blog is dedicated to the men and women, young and old, who give of their time, their finances, their holidays and their skills to bless others in ways that they may think are small, but in ways that change lives. May the treasure that you give outweigh the cost.