When Rocky Barbero, our Sunday School teacher, taught her students about the birth of Jesus last year, she never imagined how it would affect her class. Already excited about purchasing a goat with their $95 offering for the year, the class told Rocky, “We want to buy a cow next year!”
Not wanting the kids to be discouraged, Rocky tried to put a damper on their enthusiasm by telling them, “That’s too much! A cow costs $500.”
The class responded by reminding Rocky of the lesson they had just learned. When Mary protested that it was impossible for her to give birth to Jesus because she was a virgin, Gabriel told Mary, “Nothing is impossible with God.”
Convicted of her lack of faith, Rocky asked the class to forgive her. She then prayed, asking the Holy Spirit “to remind us every time we go into Cabelas or WalMart, do we want something here or do we want a cow?” Closing her prayer, she challenged the class, “This is going to take commitment all of the time.”
The kids started giving their quarters and dollars, believing that God would answer their prayer. Word soon got out about their desire to buy a cow and adults started giving toward the project. When Amanda Reed, one of the Sunday School teacher’s at Faith Community Church heard what the kids were doing, she asked, “Can our class help, too?” “Of course!” When Amanda told her pastor, Jim Shiner, what the class was doing, he suggested that the Pennies For Jesus offering from their VBS program go to the project, also. “Great!”
Well, as the months rolled by and the offerings added up, the kids waited with baited breath to see if they would be able to purchase their cow. When they finally saw the total, they could hardly believe their eyes — $2,550! “Now what do we do?” they asked Rocky. “Well,” she told them, “we need to ask the Holy Spirit to direct each one of us to find out what we should do.” So they agreed to pray.
When Rocky received a Gospel For Asia catalogue in the mail, she showed it to the kids, who all agreed that that was God’s answer. They poured over the catalogue and picked their gifts: a Jesus Well, an animal package (a cow, 2 pigs, 2 goats, a lamb and 6 chickens), a manual sewing machine, musical instruments, 10 mosquito nets, an outdoor toilet, 10 blankets, a bicycle for a missionary, Bibles and tracts. As great as these gifts are, the gift of faith to these children is even greater and God is glorified even more.
The kids will be giving their offering to a Gospel For Asia representative today at Copalis Community Church (3134 SR 109 in Copalis Beach)at noon. If you want to share their joy and an Asian lunch afterwards, as well as hear about Gospel For Asia’s ministry, everyone is invited.
Meanwhile, the class is already praying for next year because they agree with Gabriel, “Nothing is impossible for God!”
Jim Richards is the pastor at Copalis Community Church.