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FIRST-PERSON: Daughter’s profession of faith turns VBS stats into precious news

COLUMBIA, S.C. (BP)–“Laura has some good news to tell you. Hurry home,” my wife, Michelle, urged on the other end of the phone line. I was working late, finishing up a story. It didn’t take long for curiosity to get the best of me.

As I headed home, I began wondering about Laura’s news….

Perhaps Laura had a new dress, a doll or a toy. That would be exciting for her. But Michelle said “news.”

Perhaps Laura had earned an award. As any parent, I think my child is among the brightest and most talented, but school is out for the summer.

Perhaps grandparents are coming to visit — I’d better say that this is good, since they probably will read this column — and that would sure be “news” to me.

Suddenly, I had an anxiety attack: We are expecting our third child in December. Maybe Michelle has learned … we’re having twins! But why would Laura tell me, and not Michelle, I wondered.

At any rate, it was a quick trip home.

The news was even greater than I had anticipated. In fact, it was the greatest news a parent could hear.

“I went to the front today during Vacation Bible School, and I told the pastor that I wanted to ask Jesus into my heart,” Laura announced. It was a moment of unbridled exhilaration: My child was now a part of God’s family!

While Laura’s decision was made during Vacation Bible School, her Sunday school teachers, GA leader, children’s choir director and others have laid a strong foundation of Bible lessons and missions awareness. And, as a follow-up to her confession of faith, our pastor gave a “Survival Kit for New Christians” to Laura to help her better understand the significance of her decision.

Each year, churches report the hundreds of decisions made during Vacation Bible School. Until now, I’ve looked at these figures as interesting evangelistic statistics, which indicate the growth and effectiveness of Baptists in South Carolina and elsewhere.

But as the parent of one of those children, I now see things differently. Each of these numbers represents a child who is “precious in his sight.”

The disciples once made a group of children who wanted to see Jesus feel as though they didn’t matter. Thank goodness, Jesus corrected them. Kids do matter, especially to Jesus.

I am thankful for all the volunteers in children’s ministries across our state who teach the Bible lessons, direct the music, gather craft supplies, prepare mission projects, plan recreation and serve Kool-Aid and snacks. Thanks for making a difference in a child’s life.

    About the Author

  • Todd Deaton