Let the Children Come

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Our local school district here in Missouri reports more than one-thousand homeless school students in Miller, Camden, Morgan, Phelps, and Pulaski counties. I suspect your church community is similar. Praise God these homeless children are reachable from our congregations.
The school district’s definition of homeless is, “Those who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.” This includes:
Children who are sharing housing with others due to a loss of housing from an economic hardship;
Children who live in motels, hotels, or campgrounds due to a lack of alternative accommodations;
Children in emergency or transitional shelters;
Children that are abandoned in hospitals or are awaiting foster care placement;
Children who have a primary residence that is a public or private place not designed for regular sleeping accommodations for human beings;
Children living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, or substandard housing including some trailers;
Recently on my construction site, I met one of these one-thousand children. He is fourteen and lives in a substandard house trailer with his grandpa. His mom is in jail in another far away state. His dad is uninvolved with his life.
He is daily exposed to all the immorality and violence of T.V. At age fourteen he already has an ex-girlfriend. He loves country and rock music and is verbally abused by his unreasonable grandpa who does not know God.
I asked him what he believes about creation versus evolution. His answer, “Scientists have proven that the creation account is false, but I believe that perhaps creation and evolution are both partially correct. There has to be a higher power that created the beings we evolved from.”
This young man could have been you. If it would not have been for someone’s help, you could also be one of these one-thousand children.
Jesus said, “Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me” (Mark 9:37).
Praise God for those of you who have opened your homes for the prison babies, foster children, and adopted children. It is a sacrifice, but God will bless you for it.
What about those of us who have no active work in our congregation for the children in our community? Why are there fewer Summer Bible Schools than there were twenty-five years ago? Why are there fewer community children in our Sunday Schools? Why have we failed so often with the foster and adopted children among us?
Are we still too much like the disciples in Mark 10:13-14? “And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the Kingdom of God.”
To our energetic youth: this is a work God is calling you to become involved in! There are one-thousand children at your disposal. Will you teach them where they came from and where they are going?
To our middle-aged parents in the heat of the battle: what can we do? We can pray! We can encourage our youth to become involved. Are we people who take time to care? Is your home a place where these needy children feel comfortable?
To our zealous grandparents: God is calling you! What will you give up to help these one-thousand children? We need time, the Holy Spirit, some extra money, a heart of love, a big house. WE HAVE ALL THESE THINGS TO GIVE... AND MORE! When will you start?
“Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”
How can we say we are fulfilling Jesus’ commission when so many needy children live next door?