Before their part of the service got started, the kids were sitting up front in the choir loft, anxiously waiting for us to get finished with all of the necessities of having a church service...you know, the prayers, singing a couple of songs, the offering...and as I watched them fidgeting and wiggling and giggling, tears sprang to my eyes...and I was overwhelmed with a feeling joy mixed with sadness...joy to see children in the house of the Lord, ready to perform and sing for the gathered parents and congregation...and sadness as I thought of the years when my own children were a part of such programs...and then the many times that I myself led such children's programs in various churches where we had served...it was almost so overwhelming that I wrote down on my bulletin:
"Why do I have tears in my eyes as I think about these dear children ready to minister to us today?"...and then I began to pray for them, and for the message that they would bring to us...
The title of the program was "Plane Ol' Mission Trip"... (Lillenas Music Publishing)
The kids were all gathered at the airport with their suitcases and backpacks, ready to go on a mission trip to "Paris, Texas". One of the young ladies was a real fashion diva, and she kept saying how excited she was to be going to Paris, where she could see all the latest designs in fashion...and the other kids had to keep explaining to her that no, they were going to Paris TEXAS, on a MISSION trip...she just didn't quite get it...
Anyway, just as they are getting ready to get on the plane, there is an announcement over the loud speaker that their flight has been delayed due to inclement weather. So, with a groan, and much flustering by their leader who wasn't sure how she would manage these kids for another hour in the airport, the kids sang a song about being stranded "Just Plane Stranded Blues"... and as they chatted back and forth, there were more delays, and somehow the idea came across to them that they really didn't have to go far away to be on a mission trip...there was a young boy sitting nearby, not with their group, who was lonely and scared, and didn't know about Jesus...so the other kids told him about Jesus and said they would pray for him...and then the fashion diva expressed some of her fears, and the other girls reached out to her and they became better friends...God was ministering through each of the kids as they reached out to each other...right where they were...
These songs helped to get across the "big picture" of what God was teaching them throughout this time of delays and anxious moments:
"Faith is what I hope for but can't see
Trusting that the Father knows my need
I take His hand and see His plan
Me and faith we make a great team
through any kind of weather
Me and faith, we make a great team
We gotta stick together
Whenever I'm filled with doubt
Faith comes in and knocks it out.
Faith reminds me I can't work alone
Life is never easy on my own
His grace saved me
Through Faith I'm free
Me and Faith, we make a great team..."
"Jesus Loves Me this I know
for the Bible tells me so
Little ones to Him belong
They are weak but He is strong
Yes, Jesus loves me,
Yes, Jesus loves me,
Yes, Jesus Loves me
The Bible tells me so!"
Finally, after many delays, but many moments of finding truth and encouraging one another,
the loud speaker announced that they could take off for their mission trip to Paris, Texas!
And the kids (and we adults) had a better understanding about trust, faith, and letting God lead us wherever He wants us to go!! I think we could see "The Big Picture"!
I hope you enjoyed this little journey with me on this "Plane Ol' Mission Trip". We are blessed at our little church to have dedicated people to work with the children and volunteer many hours to put such a program together. What a blessing for all of us!!
And yes, please continue to pray for our pastor. He's on the mend, praise God, but it may be a few more weeks before he is ready to come back to church. In the meantime, God is working through those who are willing to be used by Him...young and old alike...and it is a great blessing to see how people have faith to take a step forward and serve Him.