I wanted to let you all know how it went last Wednesday at See You at the Pole.
In case you don't know, this is a world wide event where students all over meet around the flagpole at their school before school starts to pray for the school, the leaders in their school and in their country and basically to pray for whatever they want to pray about.
Elizabeth wanted to participate in this, but she was also nervous about 'sticking her neck out' and telling other kids about it.
Her excuse was that other than the 2 other girls that we take to church with us who attend her school, there is no one else in her school that is a like-minded Christian who is willing to stand up in front of the school and by doing so proclaim their faith.
In our church, we as a whole congregation are doing a study about how God is big enough. To this end, the church has made rubber bracelets with the words 'God is Big Enough' on them so that we can wear and share them to help spread the word and the idea that God is indeed big enough for anything that we can possibly come across.
I know that it is legal to hold a prayer meeting at the school, as in the kids can't get arrested for doing it, but to be safe, Elizabeth asked the principal of her school if she was allowed to gather at the pole and pray on Wednesday morning.
The principal responded that she would have to check. It too her until Monday evening to find out whether the kids could gather or not, and her response was that yes, they could gather, but they couldn't make posters or fliers about it because that does not fit the school's image. (Of course, they can make fliers about dance competitions and drama shows and such, just not this.)
So, Elizabeth had one day to spread the word by mouth.
Her friends Annie and Renee, who go to church with us, also spread the word. Elizabeth was nervous on Tuesday morning about talking to her friends. She said that they wouldn't come and they wouldn't care. W talked about how that was not her choice. She needed to only spread the word, and let God take care of the rest because as we have studied, He is big enough and much bigger than her or the distances that she can personally reach.
So, she went and spread the word.
Wednesday morning I agreed to drive Elizabeth and Renee to school to be sure that they would get there in time, and 5 minutes before we had to leave, it started pouring rain. I mean POURING! It was coming down in sheets! We got soaked just looking out the window!
But we headed off anyway, and by the time we got to the school, it had pretty much let up.
The girls got out of the car and we all went to the pole and waited for the buses to unload. One girl came by to see what we were doing, and when the girls told her, she stayed for a while, but then wandered off.
Then the buses unloaded and 2 more girls joined us.
Because Elizabeth had never done this before, we had printed out a prayer to read so that no one would be shy and so that there would not be just awkward silence. So, Elizabeth passed out the prayer that she had gotten from the church and then modified to fit the situation, and the girls read the prayer. Then a youth pastor from another church that had been going around to the various schools prayed over the girls and the gave them donuts.
I bet if more kids knew that there would be donuts, more would have showed up!
Then, Elizabeth passed out one of the God is Big Enough bands to each of the girls.
I was so proud of them all!
(I was a little bit afraid to take pictures at the school with all the kids there and parents and buses unloading. I don't know what the rules are about 'unauthorized' pictures of kids at public schools.)
All of the girls knew each other except for one who knew some but not all. In total, there was only 5 girls who stayed through the whole thing, but it's a start!
I just had to hug them all! They were so sweet standing there communing in prayer and asking their Lord to bless them and their school.
So, it may not have turned out very big, but at least these girls got together and made other people ask questions like 'what are you doing out here in the wet???'
And Elizabeth now knows one more girl who is like-minded.
So...the next thing that is happening is that Elizabeth has to do community service hours for an assignment for school.
Of course, with Jimmy and me being the mean and cruel parents that we are, Elizabeth is not allowed to do what all the other kids do - library duty, help a teacher, pick up trash around the school, help in the nursery at church - oh, no. We want her to dig a bit deeper and find out how to find people who need help.
So she asked advice from some great friends, and went a the missionary fair that was at our church picnic.
Since she is a minor, her choices are somewhat limited, but she found a place where they ask for kids to make Christmas, birthday and housewarming cards for lonely people and people in shelters.
So, we are collecting ribbon and stickers and whatnot so that we can have a card making party. Elizabeth now has one new friend to invite! (The one she didn't really know who came to the flag pole) Who knows if this new girl will be able to come or not, but I am so happy that Elizabeth is having a chance to make her circle of believing friends just a little bit bigger.
At Elizabeth's age where things can be so difficult, the more support she has the better.
And, I also firmly believe that it Elizabeth's age, where things can be so difficult, it is very important for the kids to work with other people who are younger or who will look up to them and who they can teach...who they know will be disappointed if they 'mess up'.
So our guest list for our card making party is slowly and thoughtfully being made, (there are only but so many kids who can fit in this house...especially now that the kids are bigger...they just take up more room!)
I'll keep you posted!