It Was God’s Love, God’s Words, God’s Strength
by Grace Todd, First Church of Merrimack (OPC), Merrimack, NH (July 2016)
As Christians on our way to the Celestial City, the Lord uses many things to grow us as his children. From the minute the idea of going on a missions trip to Quebec, Canada, even became an idea, the Lord has used it to grow me as one of His children.
There are too many ways to count how the Lord has used this trip in my life. It wasn't until the camp started that I fully realized how little I was doing and how much the Lord was doing. We may be what people see and our voices may be what people hear, but it is God who is working and speaking through us. Not us, never us!
Without the Lord's Spirit in me, I would not have made it through the week! The days before the camp started I heard that being a class assistant was like being a mom for a week. So my first thought was, how am I supposed to be a mom of 11 children for one week! When I looked at it as "HOW AM I” going to do it, it seemed like a virtually impossible task, but when I looked at it as "GOD CAN," it didn't seem nearly as impossible. It wasn't my love, my strength, my words, or any of me that would be able to care for these children, it was God's love, God's words, God's strength, none of me.
Before I knew it, those 11 children whose names I had just learned only a few weeks ago became such an important part of my life. I couldn't help but adopt them and the term "mother of 11" became all too true! It didn't matter that I had only just met them, it felt like I had known them their whole lives! I wanted to protect them, I wanted what was best for them, I wanted them all to know Jesus - the reason I was even there, the reason any of us were even there. By the end of the first day I knew the names of all 11 precious children that I had been so blessed to spend a week with.
As the week went on, I began to get to know the children even more. They are all so very smart, so intricate, so precious! I loved how intently they learned and took in the lesson each day!
We were extremely blessed to only have one rain day, but by the end of Thursday (the rain day), I was extremely tired. When I found out that Friday we were taking the kids to 7- Chutes, a swimming and hiking park, I was ready to have a break down. How were WE supposed to keep all 11 children safe and return them to their parents Friday night? That night Jordan, the teacher for our Level 3 class and my friend, turned on worship music and played it from the speakers in the sanctuary. With hands held high, voices singing, praising Him, the Lord once again corrected my "HOW AM I and HOW ARE WE" into "I AM, I CAN." He was going to be with us at the park tomorrow like he had been with us throughout other days of camp! He would use anything that happened for our good and His glory. It was all in his control! All 11 of our children and the rest of the children in the camp were in His hands!
The next day as we loaded all the kids on the bus, I knew that the Lord was with us and the Lord would bring us through this day no matter what! After our adventure in the park and our joy at the fact that all 11 of our precious children were still with us, it came time to really realize that I would be saying goodbye to these children.
Back in February, I had been told I would cry when I said goodbye to the kids. Well, that was 100% true. I had made it through the week, not by my strength but by the Lord's. He had protected all 11 of the children and the rest of the children at the camp! He had also blessed all of us with beautiful memories! So with tears streaming down my face, I hugged the eleven children I had come to love so much, praying that each one of them would walk the narrow road journeying to the Celestial City!