The Storyteller Tells a Story of Faith…
Jesus had a different way of beginning His ministry. He didn’t go to the Temple or the places where the religious people were to find helpers to spread the Good News. He, instead, traveled to the countrysides and lakeshores to look for the people who were hungry to feed on His words and then feed others. Prominent to answer the call were the fishermen – those who caught fish for a living to feed the hungry masses. Maybe they adapted so well to this new way of life because they were accustomed to taking care of others. We don’t know for sure, but we certainly know that Jesus was used to living close to nature, and He readily related to the fishermen and their way of life. Nature does remind us of the beautiful creation God gave us and the natural balance of things He put into play. It’s no wonder that we find peace, serenity, and happiness in the cool water of a flowing creek teeming with fish.
We wonder if the Fishing Derby held at Barnitz in June was peaceful and serene, but we’re positive happiness did abound! With giggling children anxious to see what they could catch and eager adults willing to help, there was enough giddiness to go around. So when Eric Woodward (B) was looking for a place to touch children with God’s love, he didn’t need to go far. The creek was right there waiting for everyone.
Matthew 18:5 “And whoever welcomes a little child in my name welcomes me.” (NIV)
More than doubling their participation numbers from last year (from 68 to 134), many children got to experience God’s goodness and beauty in and around the creek. “We had a lovely day and lots of fun,” says Nancy Woodward (B) who was instrumental in helping Eric organize the event. The Derby was much the same as last year except “that handicapped children of any age were encouraged to come and join us,” Nancy adds. On the grand scale though, many more participants require many more helpers. All came together to have a wonderful experience. Smiles and happiness filled the creekside, and all who were there thought the 2nd Annual Fishing Derby was a great success
But what does ‘success’ really mean? Is it measured by a job, a new house, a nice car, money in the bank? More importantly, how do you think God defines success? Those things don’t matter to God – what he really cares about is whether or not we are happy and are willing to share His love with whomever we touch. The Fishing Derby can be termed a ‘success’ because of the number of happy children who participated in the fun and who were touched by God’s love through everyone who helped. Connecting children to God’s love is a really special job. Leading them to know Jesus and His message of redeeming grace and salvation is a special gift. Think of how many people were touched that beautiful day in June and how many people they in turn touched. The ripple effect can go on forever – it just needs to get started. Thank you, one and all for continuing the ripples again this year!
“Children are not casual guests in our home. They have been loaned to us temporarily for the purpose of loving them and instilling a foundation of values on which their future lives will be built.” ~ Dr. James Dobson, Pastor and Author ~