Last week, I was a part of the Vacation Bible School Secretary Team. The five of us had the privilege of keeping count of the people who attended each day. Numbers are important because each one represents a child who was hearing that day about how much God loves and cares for them and all the other children in our world. Attendance for the teachers and teenagers, many whom have been preparing for this VBS since the last one was completed, were also accounted for. What an exciting and busy week with babies, preschoolers, children, teenagers, and adults celebrating and learning about God and His Word. People count.
Coins, bills, and checks were also counted during the week of VBS. The kids and adults gave from their hearts. There were over 15,000 pennies brought as well as lots and lots of nickels, dimes, and quarters. It was obvious that little banks had been opened so they could bring and share their money. This year’s offering of $6,467.29 will be given to the Christian organization “Sweet Sleep” which provides new beds, bedding, and Bibles for children living in orphanages in Haiti, Moldova, and Uganda. “When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” (Proverbs 3:24) Each day the children were eager to know how many kids could now have beds to sleep on. One of the first days a little boy told his mother that they needed to go to IKEA that afternoon so they could buy a bed for the orphans since they didn’t have one. Offerings and giving hearts count and make a difference.
After Vacation Bible School, Larry and I headed to Glen Rose for the 82nd Hackney Family Reunion. It is so good to be with and visit with family. There are always games to be played, snacks and meals to be eaten, updates to be given, and memories to be shared. Growing up, the family reunion was a much anticipated event each summer…and it still is for me. Family definitely counts in my book as a way God continues to bless and encourage me.
Last weekend I also thanked God for his gift of 50 years of marriage for Joe Ed and Susie. What a special couple and family. It has been amazing to see the ways God has worked and continues to work in and through them to bless, love, and minister to others. And that legacy continues in their children, their spouses, and grandchildren.
And today I have the privilege of celebrating the life of a special lady who is continuing to let her life count for God and others. Cleo will be 90 years young on July 2nd. She is on my visiting path as I head to where I sit in church on Sunday mornings. I look forward to her sweet smile, encouraging words and hug. I’m grateful that she prays for me and my family. Cleo is one of a group of ladies at church who crochet hats to be given to the homeless in Houston around Christmas time. What a gift Cleo is to her family and others, even those she has never met.
Lord, today and this next week, I want to be a person who counts and makes a difference for your kingdom, too.
I was glad when they said unto me,
Let us go into the house of the Lord.
But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:7
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.
2 Corinthians 9:12