'unless you come as a child'

The programs have been well received and successful beyond what we hoped for. The craft portion that I thought would be too confusing has really been a great blessing to watch. In spite fo translated instructions, spilling glue, too few scissors, broken crayons and cramped spaces – it works. Even with no electricity! It is one of those supernatural sites to see. There really isn't a good reason for it to work out. The adults even enjoy making their own book and decorating it.

Even in the darkness, creation comes forth. A and I have turned A2 into the 'judge'. He walks through the crowd and picks the winners of our 'cracker/raisin' prizes.

The five children came forward as their names were read from the winning notebooks. Then off to the side I noticed a white-haired old man, with more than a 5 o'clock shadow of whiskers covering his chin. He seemed out of place among the youngsters but totally undeterred. He stood waiting for his prize.

He opened his notebook which showed the page decoration surrounding his polaroid picture. Great care had been taken to make it 'special' and he was obviously very proud. I reached into the prize bag and pulled out two small rope bracelets and slipped them over his wrist. He turned to the crowd, took in their applause, and returned to his seat followed by the five children.

It was an odd site indeed, but one also very touching. As I saw the pride he had, the joy he took in the accolade, I realized, for the first time in his life, this man was recognized for doing something outstanding. He was given the gift of self-worth, pride, dignity and joy through the opportunity to come to a church, and come as a child.

He took home more than a covered school pad. He was one of the adults to come forward and accept the eternal gift offered that day. I was privileged to see his wide big-toothed grin over a decorated notebook. Imagine his face when he hears from the Master...

'well done my good and faithful servant!'

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