Rather than an overseas mission trip this summer, our church decided to build a team that would commit themselves to teaching the Bible to inner-city children in Charlotte, North Carolina. Brookstone School, an urban Christian school committed to educating under-resourced children academically from a Christian worldview, provided the venue. As it turned out, only a small number of our students came from Brookstone. Owing to word-of-mouth, most of the students attending Brookstone’s summer day camp came from a wide range of inner-city Charlotte schools.
Our team experienced growing excitement at the thought of sharing the gospel of God’s grace with all of these grade school children. We began with the first book of the Bible, Genesis, and taught the story of creation. Then we taught about man’s fall into sin and the promise of God in Genesis 3:15. With this foundation in place, we then shared the good news of the gospel that God sent His Son Jesus into the world to die for sinners as the sacrificial Lamb without blemish.
We have taught a lot of children over the years, but this group will always hold a special place in our hearts. They ranged in age from 5 to 10 years old and were divided into groups according to their grade level. We taught back to back lessons three times a day, beginning with the older children. I don’t think we’ve ever taught children who were more respectful, cooperative, and engaged. Whenever we needed a volunteer, all hands went up. The children never aggravated each other or misbehaved in any way. In fact, they treated each other as respectfully as they did their teachers.
Some of the children were familiar with the Bible and could accurately tell us who Jesus was and why He came to earth. We even had one little boy who quoted John 3:16 for us. But many of the children only had vague notions about God and some had no knowledge at all. We prayed regularly for weeks that God would open hearts to the gospel and that the Holy Spirit would do His convicting and saving work.
We still have one lesson remaining, the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25), and will be teaching that today. I think we’re going to end our time at Brookstone joyfully as well as sadly. The children have worked themselves into our hearts in such a big way that it’s going to be difficult driving away, knowing that we won’t be seeing them again, at least for some time. God has been so kind to let us be a part of these children’s lives, and we are praying that He will use the seeds that have been planted to draw them to Himself.