Our Children’s Ministry team wants children to see the importance of missions and how, even at a young age, they can make a difference in the lives of others. In Mark 10:13-16, Jesus not only blessed the children, but also held them up as role models of faithfulness in His Kingdom.
To give the kids a firsthand experience with missions, Brad invited his longtime friend Annie Keith, who works with at-risk and homeless kids through Word Made Flesh Moldova, to talk to elementary Sunday school classes.
Christ Church’s kids committed to pray for the kids in Moldova and donate their Sunday school offerings to Word Made Flesh Moldova to help those served by Annie and her team. Every 20¢ donated buys a loaf of bread, and every $10 buys a book to support a child’s education. After two months, the offering has raised $281.53.
When 6-year-old Reagan Hays learned about the kids in Moldova, she decided it was time to do something she’d always wanted to do. “Because I knew the kids in Moldova needed help, I had the idea to make a lemonade stand,” she said. On a cold Saturday in February sandwiched between a few warm days, she decided it was “the day.”
Reagan collected $3.10 at her lemonade stand, which she brought to church and gave to the Moldova offering. Her offering alone will pay for 15 and a half loaves of bread for hungry kids in Moldova.
Throughout the Bible, we see that little is much when God is in it.
“This 6-year-old spent her time raising money for needy kids she has never met,” said Brad. “I am excited about her initiative and generosity—and at such a young age. I wish I could say I used my Saturday as well as Reagan did!”
Reagan’s parents, Stan and Marnette Hays, hope this experience encourages her to remember how it feels to give to others and how sometimes it takes so little to make a big difference in someone else’s life.
“It makes my heart happy to see her willingness to work to provide food for someone else, without prompting from anyone,” said Marnette. “Like all parents, we hope we are getting most of this ‘parenting’ experience right, and when we see her make choices like this, it reassures us that we are.”
Throughout life, Stan and Marnette want Reagan to remember that choosing to help others reflects God’s love in her heart. “This is important because the monetary value of what she donated was not significant, but her deliberate choice to help someone else is,” Marnette said.
Bob Whitsitt, executive director of Serving & Outreach, said over the years God has used his own children to remind him about the things near and dear to God’s heart. “Hearing Reagan’s story and actions on behalf of the children of Moldova is such a great reminder to us all of what is truly important. No wonder Jesus said in Luke 18:16, ‘Let the little children come to me…for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.’”
Brad agrees that God can empower children to do great things and wants the kids to realize that they are not only called to learn about the Kingdom of God, but God also calls them to live out their faith. “In short, they are—we all are—called to be missionaries in whatever spheres God calls us into—whether it’s the streets of Moldova or a lemonade stand in our own neighborhood.”