Let the Little Children Come!

Our Elizabeth turned 6 this month, and she requested a costume and tea party! It may sound like a mother's nightmare to open your home up to 14 little rascals (4 of them being your own!), but I actually like having children's parties. However, I confess that the day before the party I felt overwhelmed. My homemade doll cake completely cracked down the middle, the strawberry cheesecake turned out to be smaller than I expected, I realized I didn't have enough party hats for all the children, there was a lot of cleaning still to be done, my wet laundry was hanging up to dry in the living room (still wet after 2 days of hanging!), I stayed up until 1:00 AM and finished baking cookies .....and I did all this while caring for my own 4 children and rolling out the pizza dough for our Friday night dinner. I was praying, "Lord, help make all this come together without me coming apart!"

As it turned out, everything fell nicely into place at the right time, (and the cake was patched with lots of extra icing). All the extra work involved in planning such a party was WORTH IT! As the children arrived they could choose one of our costumes to wear, but some brought their own. We had so much fun taking their pictures in various costumes because each child's face glowed with delight! It was priceless to see the wonder and innocence of precious children, each uniquely created by GOD. We decorated sugar cookies which was a new idea to some of our friends. Usually this is done at Christmas time with gingerbread cookies. We also decorated foam picture frames, in which they could put a picture of themselves dressed in a costume at the party. I read to them from 1 Samuel 16:7, how Samuel went to choose the next king of Israel. God instructed Samuel not to choose a king based on outer appearances. Man looks on the outside, but God looks at the heart. What is inside a man is more important that what is on the outside. There was a chance to speak a truth about God, and the moment was not lost.

We had a great opportunity to share our love for Jesus with others. God used a routine event in the life of our family to reach into the lives of others. I have heard it said that families with young children should not come to the mission field. However, I have found that having my own 4 young children around has been the easiest way to meet new people and make friends. My children certainly go against the cultural grain sometimes - they talk loudly while on the buses and my 2 year old waves to old men and hollers, "SZIA!" (hi in Hungarian) But they are the ones who speak boldly, who are quick to love, and are not inhibited by language barriers. Children were on the heart of Jesus. He didn't overlook them, put them down, or tell them to go away. He drew them to himself. And that is a very good place for us to start.

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