When I was about five years old I had a pastor that I loved dearly announce he was leading a church mission’s trip to Haiti.
I can’t remember if they showed pictures in service or told stories of a year prior, but I ached with every part of my little self to go with them.
I wanted to go so desperately. I knew I was too young, but my heart was still broken.
What could I do? The idea came to me that I could organize my Sunday School class to draw pictures and sell them to raise money for the trip.
After the pictures were drawn, I felt full of boldness. I walked right up to people and asked them to purchase a picture for this great cause.
All together we raised somewhere around $11.00.
My heart was bursting. When I handed my pastor the little jar of money, I felt like I had just passed him a cheque for $11,000.
This is a pivotal moment in the story.
This is where most people would probably say “awwww, that is sweet/cute/adorable of you!“.
He didn’t do that.
I remember clear as day how he genuinely thanked me from the bottom of his heart for my efforts and apologized again that he couldn’t take me with him this time, and promised that when I was a little older, I’d be more than welcome on a mission’s trip.
He didn’t make me feel like a cute little kid who contributed, in reality, almost nothing.
Instead, he filled me with confidence that I could live with purpose and make a difference in this world.
This past week I did a timeline of my “God Encounters” for the Eat, Pray, Hustle bible study I’m a part of. Havilah Cunnington had us divide our life into seven year increments.
I was shocked to realize that this memory of fundraising was one of the pivotal moments of my faith journey in that 0-7 age bracket.
When I realized this, I felt an urgency to make sure I did not treat any of my kids ideas for God lightly.
It is so easy to look at kids and gush over their cuteness. I DO THIS ALL THE TIME!
The reality is God is placing BIG dreams in the hearts of LITTLE people. They may not walk it out fully now, but they are been developed to chase after the heart of God!
As parents and leaders in a child’s life we should be the ones to help them look at their “God dreams” and determine how they can become a reality.
I pray that my kids never feel embarrassed or belittled after doing something for God, but instead would say with confidence:
“I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength!” Philippians 4:13
Dream big little one.
The photos: I’ve had the privilege of reconnecting a few times with my dear former pastor over the last six years. While I didn’t get to go on a mission’s trip with him, the Lord allowed my dreams to come true TWICE through serving in Guatemala!