June 19, 2013“Train up a child in the way the child should go…” so goes Wisdom from the Ancient Scripture. I saw witness of this proverb today. Truthfully, I was only an observer. Likely allowed in only because I wore the requisite orange shirt. Orange was the color of the day at Vacation Bible School at Saint Mark’s UMC today. I love Vacation Bible School. I remember when Mother was the piano player for VBS in the Ayden Christian Church. Snacks were Ritz Crackers and peanut butter. Times have changed; Message has not. I walked through the rooms brightly and creatively decorated in flags of the countries each class represented. Mexico… France… Oui, oui. I saw the Big Top of the Opening Ceremony of VBS. Impressive enough until I went down the hall to the room where the mission story was being told. Jenny was the teacher. The classroom was filled with 8 year olds in orange shirts. They were cross -legged on the floor with all eyes on Miss Jenny who was telling them about ZOE Ministries and Zimbabwe. “Did you wake up this morning in a warm bed with sheets and a pillow?” Hands eagerly rose. “Did you have breakfast before you came to the church?” More hands. “Did you have a toothbrush to brush your teeth before you came today?” They may have been thinking…” I don’t even like to brush my teeth, but yes I have a toothbrush.” “ Were you able to clean your body in a shower or tub anytime in the last 24 hours?” (Likely thought of 8 year olds, especially the boys: Of course I did, Mom and Dad make me.) “Yes, Miss Jenny.” Jenny went on to tell a reality of most of the rest of the world that many people, especially children never hear. “A lot of people in Zimbabwe and the rest of the world could not answer “yes” to the questions I have asked you. In fact there are probably children who sit next to you in your classroom at school who could not answer “yes.” The tenderness of her telling of the story of poverty and need for basic health care in the world and right here at home drew the 8 year olds and all of us in the room to a new awakening. Human pain knows no bounds. Hungry and underserved people are all around us. Even here in the land of plenty, people go hungry and without basic healthcare. Jenny planted seeds today, a Master Gardener and a Master Teacher. God bless you! The children ended their session with Miss Jenny filling Ziploc bags with washcloths and soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste and all the fillings of a Health Kit that will be used with Wake Interfaith Hospitality Network and ZOE Ministries. The 8 year olds heard, learned and acted on a great lesson of faith: serve our neighbors. Share the goodness, give with open hands and hearts, love one another. I saw a great teacher teach a lesson Jesus would have taught. This is church at it’s best; I give thanks. Thank you, Jenny. Amen.