"Preach the gospel at all times; if necessary, use words." Saint Francis of Assisi

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Faith of a Child

I'm biased, there I said it. 

About what? My kids. 

I'm a pretty normal dad. I think my kids are the best. 

I'm thankful that all of our kids follow Jesus. That's a huge blessing to us. 

Last week my girlfriend and I started a new allowance system with the kids. She found it on the internet. It involves cleaning up, reading your Bible every day, 30 minutes of just reading something (doesn't have to be the Bible) every day, saving their allowance and tithing.

Two days ago I took Gi, Anderson and Anderson's best friend to the park. While I walked holding Gi's hand I overheard the conversation between Anderson and his friend.  Anderson was telling his buddy the importance of tithing and why he does it. I just smiled as he told him how God likes it when we give our money and stuff to people who need it. I smiled as I was impressed by the seriousness of the conversation between two 8 year olds discussing kingdom stuff with Anderson leading the way. What dad wouldn't like that? 

Then yesterday we had our brother Paulo Renato in our house for the morning. He has been an employee of our church family for almost 10 years. He can retire now and my girlfriend and I were going to take him to the retirement offices to start the process yesterday. We found out they don't allow walk-ins anymore so we ended up spending most of the morning on the internet making appointments and making calculations regarding his retirement. 

While my girlfriend and I spent time on the internet Paulo and Anderson were doing this:

Studying the Bible in English.  They studied for about an hour. 

I looked at Anderson after 30-45 minutes to see if he was getting tired. He wasn't. He and Paulo were laughing and having a big time together. God's family was happening before our eyes in an amazing, spontaneous way. A 6o year old Brasilian, recovering alcoholic and an 8 year old American/Brasilian boy digging through God's word. 

Gi even saw how much fun they were having and wanted in on it.
Paulo ate lunch with us, helped clean up and left shortly after. 

As he left he looked at Anderson and said, "Every time I come here from now on I want to study the Bible with you!" Anderson smiled and agreed. 

As Paulo left he looked at me and said, "I love being with Anderson because he always teaches me something new."

We've lived in Brasil for almost 11 years. We've had our ups and downs. Moments of great happiness and disappointments. Sadness, frustration and mountaintop experiences. 

Just being honest but sometimes, on the days when the spiritual warfare is most intense, my girlfriend and I wonder if we have been used, really used, to make a kingdom difference in our city. It's a tough city.

Then God blesses us with seeing what we saw this week through our 8 year old and He reminds us how kids grow His kingdom. Our kids. What an awesome blessing!

My girlfriend and I have said, since we arrived here, that it would not be worth it if our church family here had 5,000 members but our kids didn't know Jesus. Our kids know Jesus and we thank God often for that blessing. And we know we will see people in heaven because of them. It's exciting to think of where God will send them in this world to do His work. 

This week He allowed us to see how His kingdom is growing here and how He is using our kids. 

What mom and dad could ask for more?

"The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it: 'Don’t push these children away. Don’t ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.' Then, gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them."

Mark 10:13-16


Keri said...

You have a remarkable family and amazing children. We miss you guys, but pray for you often.

The Blume Family said...

Thank you Keri. We feel the same way about you guys. We too miss your family and pray for you.