Warm Juice and Leftover Cookies

file0001341742619 I should have been excited about the evening. I wanted to be. But I had a sense of heaviness—and to be honest, I felt a little betrayed.

It was a Monday night, and my family had just returned home from serving in a Kids’ Club sponsored by our church. We were blessed to be part of a great team of youth and adults willing to jump in and use their gifts to share the Gospel with unchurched children in our community.

But my uneasiness lingered through the night and into the morning. Frustrated, I went outside, sat on our front porch swing, and started talking…

“Okay, Lord. What’s going on? Is it my attitude? What is…wrong?”

For a while, there was silence. Then…

Say it, child.

“I don’t know what you mean, Lord.”

Say it.

I sighed. There was no use trying to hide it. Frustration spilled from my heart…

Two, Lord? Two? That’s all the children You sent us? Two? Do you realize how hard we worked? How much we prepared? I thought You wanted us to reach out to this neighborhood. Why did we fail?”

Fail, child?

“Lord, don’t You understand? We only had two children!”

So, what would you consider a success?

“I don’t know. More than two?”

I sat. And I sulked.

Child, are you finished?

“I’m sorry, Lord. I just thought that…”

I sent you two of My beloved children tonight. Did you love them?

“Of course, Lord. But…”

Did you tell them about Me?

“Of course we did, Lord!”

Thank you.

“Wait. You mean You were pleased with our first night? (Pause of a slow learner) Oh. Wow, Lord. That’s…pretty awesome.”

Will you love whomever I send you tonight?

“Yes, Lord. Yes we will! Our team will love those two children with Your power and Your strength.”

I lingered in His presence. And then, peace.

On Tuesday, our team gathered and prepared to lead the children in crafts, games, and story time. Smiles were shared. The mood was upbeat. It turns out that others had also been praying, seeking God’s heart. Our Lord was in control, and we were ready for whatever He had planned.

In the distance, two children approached. And then, two more. Then a group of three.

Three young mothers walked up with five or six children in tow.

For the next several minutes, it seemed that children were joining us from every direction. Beautiful children—shy, eager, trusting.

My heart swelled. By the end of the evening, the Lord had honored our faithfulness with two children by sending us 14 TIMES two.

thF2F3ZLVP

For the next two evenings, our team took joy in serving our amazing God by serving His children. We loved, fed, hugged, and shared with them about the One who created them in His image and for a purpose. Priceless seeds of faith were planted and nurtured—and God was trusted with the results.

Late Wednesday evening—our last night with the children—the grounds had been cleared, supplies put away, and goodbyes shared. All was still and quiet.

As my husband and I went to our cars, two teenage boys walked by, bouncing a basketball. One of them called out, “Got any drinks left?”

I paused. “I’m sorry, the guys with the cooler have already left. I have some juice-packs in my car, but they’re not cold.”

They looked at each other. “That’s okay with us.”

Surprised, I said, “Well, if you’re sure. And, um…would you like some cookies?” Their faces lit up with smiles so I gave them a bag full of snacks.

By this time, my husband was beside me and he asked them if he could share a short story. For the next few minutes, I silently prayed as he shared the Gospel—over warm juice and leftover cookies.

As we pulled away that night, I was overwhelmed.

“Two, Lord. You sent two more.

Call me crazy, but in my heart, I felt Him smile.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

4 thoughts on “Warm Juice and Leftover Cookies

  1. Tears! I can’t tell you how I needed this blog post today. I’m leading a team of 3 other women on a trip to Africa. I thought the Lord would send me a huge team. He has not. But He has given me peace. I’m praying for Him to do immeasurably more just like He did here. I truly appreciate your example of laying your disappointment down. Thank you for this encouragement Leigh Ann!

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    • Maresa, I am so excited about your trip! I’ve been following your preparation and praying for your team. My brother and his family spent several months serving in Kampala, Uganda (several years ago). They fell in love with the people! I will continue to pray…I know God will do great things!! Much love 🙂

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