Ken Palm, Christ the King Lutheran Church, Kingwood, TX
Jadi Meyer and I met David and Shauna (David’s mother) in March while volunteering at Gospel Lakes Ranch. David was in the group of 17 six year olds and under that Jadi and I were asked to escort for the day. David did not seem to be very happy and did not actively participate with the other children. At lunch he said he did not feel well and did not eat. His mother told us he wanted to be with an older group because he was bigger than all the other children and he didn’t like being with the “little kids”. Jadi took him aside after lunch and told him we really needed him to help us and asked him if he would be “big brother” to the smaller children for us. That seemed to perk him up and he had a much better afternoon.Fast forward to Saturday, May 22nd. I was back at Gospel Lakes Ranch volunteering with the fishing. Shauna came up to me and asked if I remembered her. She said David had been asking about Jadi and me every time they had visited Gospel Lakes since March. He wanted to see us again and be in our group. She explained David had really taken to his “big brother” role and that he was a much happier child as a result. He could now deal with the fact that he was bigger than most of the children his age and it no longer bothered him to be around smaller children. She said the “big brother” thing just made all the difference in the world for David. She also told me David had made a profession of faith a few weeks earlier while visiting the ranch and that while he knew about God before, he was a changed child now “you can just see God’s spirit working in him”.
I talked with David after lunch and took the attached picture. I really feel both David and his mother are much happier as a result of the work done at Gospel Lakes Ranch – you can see it in the picture!! Thank you Shauna for making my day even better and thank you David for remembering a couple of people desperately trying to “herd” 17 six year olds around seventy acres. To God be the glory and may He continue to bless the staff and the work done at Gospel Lakes Ranch.
Robert Cossick, Champion Forest Baptist Church, Houston, TX
A few weeks ago one of the group leaders brought to me a little boy from her group that was hitting and pushing the other children. She exclaimed, “I can’t control him, can you help?” It was lunch time, so I invited the boy to sit with me while I ate. This boy was very frustrated and only knew one way to express it, with anger. He grabbed my plastic knife and tried to stab me, only grazing my finger, he knocked over my drink and tried to throw my plate to the floor. Ignoring his anger, I was able to calm him down enough to talk with him to get to the source of his frustration. He really wanted to see the horses and didn’t understand that his turn with the horses was coming; he wanted to see them now.
At this point, Judy, offered to take the boy with her, but only if he promised to be nice to her which he agreed to. About an hour later, I saw Judy and this boy. Judy asked him to sing the song he had just learned, he agreed. I held the walkie-talkie up and he sang Jesus Loves Me to the whole camp. When he finished, I asked this young boy for a hug. This boy, who tried to stab me an hour earlier, gave me a huge hug. Even more touching was when he did not want to let go. You see, this boy was only four years old and all he really needed was someone to love him, unconditionally. That day he got his wish and learned that Judy and I and more importantly, Jesus Christ, loved him, unconditionally. Unconditional love, Agape love, Christ’s love is very powerful. When you receive it, just like this little boy, you never want to let go of it. Jesus’ love is unconditional and freely available to all who accept it and He will never let go of you.