Every year there are some people in our church who put on a rodeo. It started out as a small venue but over the past 10 years, it has become a rather large event in this area. Today, we had 1400 elementary kids from all over the county show up to see some of what they do at the rodeo. There was bull riding, team roping, and barrel racing. The kids loved it. Our pastor and Mr. Harry MC’d the event and they even gave the kids a free ticket in hopes that these kids will bring their parents out on Friday and Saturday night. You see, this is not your average rodeo. This rodeo is evangelistic in nature. We have a gospel sing and this year, our pastor is going to hold Cowboy Church in the areana for everyone to hear. There will literally be thousands of people who will have the opportunity to hear the Gospel.
My job today was to help put together bag lunches for the kids. We busily put hotdogs, and chips, and fruit in a paper bag for the kids to have for lunch. After all the lunches were passed out and the kids were fed and on their way back to school, our pastor was talking to those of us who had volunteered to help and he made the comment that we had an opportunity to minister to 1400 kids today and hopefully the eternity of some of these kids was impacted. It seemed so small in the whole scheme of things but I am humbled to have been apart of being able to do something that will have a lasting affect.
Disclaimer****This post is in no way meant to be presented in poor taste or bad humor. The point of the story is that sometimes things require a simple answer. And if nothing else that day, I made a child, whose life has been traumatized by abuse laugh. Maybe when she walks by that animal pen and sees the goat, she will remember our conversation and it makes her laugh. I truly believe that laughter is the best medicine!!
Walking back to the cottage with one of the girls that I work with, we passed the animal pen that is home to Romeo the donkey, Molly and Maggie, the female goats, and Billy the male goat. As we walked by Billy was standing near the fence contentedly eating his grass. The child then began to ask me a series of questions and the conversation went something like this
Child: “Is the goat gay?”
Me: ” I don’t think animals have a sexual preference”
Child: “Is it a morphadite?” (Let me interject here……I think she was meaning hermapodite but I really didn’t want to correct her and then have to explain what that was so here was my brilliant answer……)
Me: No, it’s just a goat with really big balls!
We laughed all the way back to the cottage and crude……well maybe, but it brightened the day of a little girl trying to make sense of a cruel world and made her forget her pain if only for a brief moment.
Last week I had my first experience with Vacation Bible School. The church I went to growing up didn’t do VBS they did a Kid’s Crusade. We had a blast! It was alot of work and we were exhausted at the end of it all but it was worth it! We averaged about 70 kids every night and there were 110 different kids that came at least one night. This is great considering we are not a large church. It was exciting to see the the kids getting excited about God. They got to see adults being crazy and having fun and then being serious when we needed to be about salvation and living for God. We showed them that being a Christian doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. I think some of us had more fun than the kids did! It was exciting to see new Christians in our church getting involved and being apart of these kid’s lives. On Sunday night we did a finale and we had a good number of parents and grandparents that came with their kids who do not go to our church. This was a great evangelism tool. I am so blessed to be able to be apart of something like this. We may never know the impact that this may have had on children and if only one child was brought into the Kingdom of God then all that was worth it! We laughed, we cried, we danced, we worshiped, we prayed and we gave all the glory to God for the work that He did through us!