Psalm 78:4 “We will not hide them from their children but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and His might, and the wonders that He has done.” We all have a story to tell and it is commanded by the Lord that we share what He has done in our lives.
One of the stories in my life goes like this. Many years ago in the small town of Cedarville, Ohio a young couple who were students at the then Cedarville College felt led by the Lord to start an AWANA program at Grace Baptist Church. Not far down the street from Grace Baptist was a little girl who was about to enter 3rd grade. People from the church came around knocking on doors and inviting the children to come to their AWANA program. I went to a different church, but my parents sent me to that AWANA program. After three years I earned my Timothy Award and three years later I earned my Meritorious Award. I heard the program went on through high school, but Grace Baptist did not have AWANA into high school. I did the next best thing, I worked in AWANA for as long as I could. Move forward a few years and I grew up, got married, and had three daughters. We moved to Rochester, MI. We heard about First Baptist Church of Rochester (FBCR) from our friend Vicki and also found out they had an AWANA program. Since AWANA had such an impact on my life, I wanted our daughters to be able to attend AWANA. What a bonus for us. AWANA started at Cubbies (3 years old) and went all the way through high school. I had always wanted to earn my Citation. It was one of those things on my bucket list. I asked about being able to get my Citation and found out I could do the work needed and earn my award. Finally, a few years ago I started learning my verses and doing the other work needed so I could earn my Citation. It was a joy to do the work my daughters were doing and also to say verses each week to the T and T girls (3rd -6th grade) that I was working with. They were not easy ones to say verses to either. They never gave me any slack and if I had one word wrong they were sure to make sure I knew it. They held me to a very high standard. Even though we moved to Grand Rapids last June, I still so desperately wanted to earn this award so our youngest daughter and I continued the work.
A few years ago, God led a couple to attend FBCR that had a love for AWANA and now Chad is the Director of the AWANA program at FBCR. Remember that couple I mentioned who started the AWANA program in Cedarville, Ohio so many years ago. That couple happened to be present as I received this award. Chad’s in-laws started that AWANA program so many years ago. Who would have ever thought that a dream that I have had for so many years would result in me finally receiving the Citation award with the couple present who started the AWANA program that started my love for AWANA and for God’s Word so many years ago. Only God could orchestrate such a thing.
The moral of this story is to be faithful to the work of the ministry and watch God work. That AWANA program produced a love for AWANA in my heart. I now have my Citation along with my three daughters. Thank-you, Mr. and Mrs. Pycraft for your love for the Lord and His Word. After the Israelites crossed the Jordon River, they picked up stones from the middle of the Jordan River. The purpose of the stones was so the children would ask “What do these stones mean to you?” Again I want to remind us all, we all have a story of God in our lives. We are commanded by God to share it. It seems fitting that a picture frame from Cedarville University would be that “stone” of reminder. To God be the glory!