My story begins and ends with my childhood babysitter who happened to also be a 5-Day Club leader. A 5-Day Club is a program designed to share the Good News of the Gospel with children within a 5-day span. This is done by playing games, enjoying some food and drink and learning stories about Jesus within a 2-hour time slot, each day for 5 days. This particular 5-day club was being held at my house, Monday through Friday, one particular warm, summer week when I was 6 years old. When Friday came, my babysitter ended our lesson that day with an invitation to believe in Jesus the Christ. I had come to love this Jesus that she taught about and because I knew her so well, I trusted her words. I rose my hand in an expression of wanting to know Jesus personally. She led me in a prayer where I acknowledged my sins before God and asked for forgiveness in Jesus’ name. I told Jesus that I believed He is the Son of God and that I wanted to know him more. When we were done, she hugged me tightly and handed me a Children’s Bible. As our 5-Day Club group dismissed, I bounced inside my house looking for anyone and everyone to share the good news with! I found my younger brother first. Within 20 minutes of telling him the condensed version of the good news Gospel and how great Jesus is, I led him into a salvation prayer there in our bedroom.
Looking back, I see how God used my relationship with my babysitter and her great faith she had in Jesus to be the catalyst to my acceptance of Christ! The heart that she had for my brother and I, the love and the compassion that she showed day in and day out with us, it all came together with her love and reverence for the Lord. She still has that heart for the Lord. I am glad to say that we still stay in contact to this day. She is married with two boys of her own and currently leads a campus ministry at the University of New Hampshire. Not only was it my babysitter who had this vital role to play in my salvation story, but it was my parents as well. My parents decided to place me in this 5-Day Club. They made the conscious decision to hire her on as our childcare provider. They took into account her strength of character, integrity and of course – skills with children. Thanks to my parents’ willingness and foresight to place such a great role model in my brother’s and my life; and thanks to my babysitter who had the love and faith that we needed, my brother and I both accepted Christ in one day!
This is my story.
This is my story of salvation.
My story became more complete when I myself, as a teacher, led one of my students in a prayer to accept Jesus.
I was teaching a reading class outside on our school yard lawn one spring day two years ago, when I asked my class if they had all come to a relationship with God, since we were reading a story about salvation through Christ. They all said yes accept one. I asked her if she believed that Jesus is the Son of God. She said she did. I asked her if she would like to accept Jesus into her heart and life right then, and she said yes! We bowed our heads as a class and I led this little girl to salvation through Jesus! My heart could not have been fuller. When the end of the day came, I shared with her mother what took place that day. She cried with joy. You see, this story is full circle. This mother intentionally chose to send her third grader to a place where she knew the teachers had a heart for God. She made the conscious decision to pick a place of education and growth for her little one that would not only shape her mind but also her heart and soul. And once her child was in my classroom, I was entrusted with the task of developing her character and her academics, but most importantly, leading her to eternity with Christ. Just as this mother chose, her child chose- so did I. And none of this would have been possible without my own parents making positive, impactful decisions that would shape not only my life, but others.
This is why I do what I do. This is why I encourage others to take responsibility of this great position you have been placed in. Growing little minds, hearts and souls is not a small task, friends! This is a job that takes encouragement from all sides, a willingness to continue growth within our lives and a confidence that comes from knowing not only why we are doing all that we do but how God would have us do it.
I’ve felt it placed upon my heart to build a community where parents and nannies can come together to encourage each other in raising our children up in Christ. It is my dream that we will create an uplifting and positively challenging conversation that will lead to not only the growth of our characters but the growth of our children’s as well.