I have spent a chunk of my life working with children in various aspects. When I went off to college, I learned the important skill of investing in people and through multiple interventions by God, I finally started investing time in children.
This summer has been full of investing in children, and God has really shown me lately how important it is. You see, investing in all people is important and needed. We should definitely do that with people of all races, nationalities and ages, but when we invest in children, we get the unique opportunity to be apart of building their foundation and building their frame of reference.
This past week, my teaching partner was teaching on God's love. This was the basic message we are trying to convey throughout the summer, and she has been knocking it out of the park. At one point, she posed the question to the class of "do you know how much God loves you?"
Without skipping a beat, one girl said, "I know He loves us so much He knows the number of hairs on our head!"
Soon after, another girl said, "I remember that! I tell myself that every day!"
Keep in mind these kids just graduated preschool. Also, many of them only hear about Jesus and God here. These kids did not learn that from my teaching partner or me, but it stuck with them and they know it to be true because someone else took the time to invest in them.
I had another opportunity to continue to invest in these children by babysitting two adorable kids on Wednesday night. The oldest child was a Friendly Frog, meaning she's one of the older preschoolers. She's around the age of four and her brother is around the age of one. About the time I was putting the older one to bed, her brother woke up crying. I could not get him to stop crying even though I changed his diaper, gave him a bottle and walked him around the house.
The next thing I could think to do was to just hold him, pray over him, speak scripture to him and sing "Jesus loves me" over and over and over again. About 10 minutes later, the older child walked into his room, stood next to him and started telling him how much Jesus loved him. Not only did this absolutely melt my heart, but it finally got him to stop crying. The things she said to him are things she learned in the preschool. She knew it to be true because someone took the time to invest into her life.
Taking time to invest in others is so important. I hope these stories not only show the importance of it, but also bring encouragement. If you are investing in someone's life, please continue to do so and do not give up. Even though you may not see it, you are making a huge impact in their lives that will carry with them. If you currently are not investing in someone else, I challenge you to start praying through that and see if God has placed someone in your life for that reason. It will be worth it.
Jenifer Wilkes is serving as a Go Now missionary in Tahoe City, CA.