Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Precious Stones Lessons

I absolutely love how God can use anyone to teach anyone lessons. Yes, take a moment to re-read that. *giggle* If a person is open to it, God can use a person or situation to teach what He has for that person. I love how He does that, because he doesn't waste time. Ever. *grin*

This past Sunday I served in Precious Stones, which is my church's ministry for people with Special Needs. I taught in the young child's class, and God totally stretched me. At the same time, I loved every moment. That sounds weird, doesn't it? I was stretched and loved it. Well, it's true, I wound up with more kids than I've ever had before and some new dynamics that He guided me through. Ultimately, I want to do all I can to teach the kids about Jesus and all that He has for their lives. Truly. *grin*

I am not sure how to describe it, but I adore each of those kids. I think that's the closest I can get to telling you what's in my heart for those precious little people. On my Sundays that I teach, I wake up excited to see who He sends my way. I am not kidding either, as this is what He made me to do. I truly believe that. *grin*

Even though I was stretched due to the number of kids, I was blessed by each one. *grin*

The unique part of the ministry is that they're all so different that it's challenging trying to do one lesson for all of them at the tables at one time. So, I went to each of them and did it individually while my helpers played with them. It worked fairly well. There were some that didn't receive the lesson in the traditional way, but I know they heard it. That blessed me, because I know that we're not all made to sit at a table to learn in Sunday School.

Yes, I just said that.

I absolutely love how Sunday School is different from elementary school because we are not working on IEP goals. So, if a student in Sunday School doesn't come to the table, I don't push. He or she can listen from where they are at. It works for us. *grin* God can plant seeds on their level even while they play.

Each kid enjoys coming, and I enjoy having them. I have one student that can be character-building at times, but can also be a jewel at other times. Just like out at camp, I cling to the good so that in the rough moments I know that he isn't always that way.

So, on Sunday that boy had moments of being disrespectful to the other adults in the room. I do not allow that in my world, no matter where I'm teaching, so I stopped and went over to speak with him. I ALWAYS treat the student with respect while trying to get the student to understand what is expected of them. While it always took time, I figured out that eye contact and repeated phrases is what it takes to get him to calm down and apologize. I realize his apology is simply to get to go play, but he's learning that it's not okay in my world to be disrespectful to others. I'm figuring each of these new kids (to me, as I just joined the church in November) out, step by step. *grin*

So, when his parents came to pick him up, I shared that he had some moments but I saw the genuinely good heart in him. There were tears on the part of his parent. Not boo hoo cry, but tears in her eyes. We both shared that he does have behavioral challenges, but she appreciated that I saw the good in him.

Isn't that what we all desire?

To be seen as a person, not as the person with such and such challenge? Or, the emotional person? Or the gal who does such and such? Or the guy that does such and such? Everyone has something.

This is something I feel strongly about.

We all have something.

I have a limp. It's part of me, but NOT all of me.

That kid has behavioral challenges, but there's so much more to him!

Sometimes I want to scream at people when they see the limp and say, IT'S PART OF ME, BUT NOT ALL OF ME!

Obviously, I don't, I just smile.

I'm sure that young kid runs into challenges because of his behaviors with adults and peers who get frustrated with him. I get it. It's completely understandable.

At the same time, I'm so very thankful that God has given ALL OF US ministries like Precious Stones and Camp Barnabas so that everyone has a place to belong.

Now that I think about it, that's why my students want to come to my classroom. I make them feel a part of an environment where they fit in. I make sure each of them feel like they matter to me. God gives me the skills to do that, I don't have the ability to do that in myself. I truly believe that's why I have the limp. I can relate, on some level, with each of them. I love that! Even through the challenges, I LOVE THAT! *grin*

I have thought A LOT about that young boy in Precious Stones. Everyone in the ministry knows him, but it's amazing how the adults don't view him as bad, they see him as a child of God.

How cool is that? *grin*

Every Sunday, He shows me something new in the midst of the ministry. I can't wait to see what He shows me next.


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