Small Offerings
by Debbie OConnor

The screams of hundreds of happy children shake the building and my nerves. Day three of Vacation Bible School, The Arctic Edge, is underway. It is only 8 a.m.; under normal circumstances, I would be sitting on my patio, enjoying a large mug of coffee. Today, I am at church, surrounded by noise.

My friend, Jackie, and I are team teaching. Although the first two days of VBS passed smoothly, neither of us feels ready today. I am weak and unfocused. When Jackie leaves the room to get supplies, I pray again. Prayer has been my only resource for this day’s classes—the curriculum seems as vague as my mind.

“Lord, when we are weak, you are strong. Our weakness cannot begin to compare with your strength. Please have your way today. Give us favor with the children and give them favor with us. Let this be more than mere fun—please touch their hearts and change their lives forever.”

I take a deep breath. I have done all I can; I trust God with the rest.

Our first class is uneventful. The second is more difficult. Little things go wrong. I stumble teaching the memory verse. A photographer comes in to shoot pictures during the story. One boy stands against a wall, swaying back and forth; another swings his name tag. Jackie struggles to keep the class focused, but vacant expressions seem to indicate failure.

Then Jackie stands up and introduces the ABC’s of salvation. “A is for accept—accept that you are a sinner. B is for believe—believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died to save you from your sin. C is for confess—confess with your mouth that you believe Jesus saved you.”

Jackie gives every child a plastic star that glows in the dark. The stars represent the light that comes into our life when we know Jesus as our savior, just like the stars that light up the day and night during the long Arctic winter.

As we prepare to pray, an eight-year-old girl named Casey raises her hand. Tears roll down her freckled cheeks. “I’m not sure I’m a Christian,” she whispers uncertainly.

Jackie’s smile is brighter than the fluorescent star she holds. “I’m so glad you told me that. All you have to do to be sure is to pray with me right now.”

Tears of joy fill my eyes as my friend and I pray with and for this little disciple as she takes her first step into God’s kingdom. In what was by far our weakest lesson, God proved himself more than sufficient to draw a small soul to His light.

Our offering was small, but God blessed it. A child drank of His abundant grace today.


Debbie O'Connor lives just north of New Orleans with her husband, Jim, and their two children. Jesus has been her savior for 18 years.    Contact Debbie at debjimo@bellsouth.net.

Copyright 2008 Debbie O'Connor

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