Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Purposefulness (Purpose in Life) (05/25/06)
TITLE: POOR CHILD’S ELEMENTARY
By Rev. Toni Brown
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After Miss Linda has her morning prayer and dresses for work, she gets into her van and drives to Lisaâ€™s house. Lisa is a student at Poor Childâ€™s Elementary School, and she is only able to get out of the house when her teacher, Miss Linda, picks her up. The house that Lisa lives in has broken steps made of wood, that leads to a porch filled with filth and garbage, beer bottles and an old tattered couch. As she approaches the door that is hanging off of the hinges Miss Linda can hear the screaming and yelling of Lisaâ€™s mother. She is intoxicated and lying on the dirty, ash stained carpet. Lisa steps over her mother, with tears in her eyes, that Miss Linda had given to her in October.
As they arrive at the school, the children run to Miss Linda, clinging to her for the love they miss at home. Throughout the day Miss Linda notices children in the building, as they walk around in their tattered, unwashed clothing. Many of them are causing fights and distractions in class, as they act out their frustrations, from the neglect at home. Most of their parents are addicted to drugs and alcohol, hanging in the streets trying to get their next fix. Having no regard for the needs of their children, nor any concerns for their education and safety, many of these parents drive their children to steal and hustle for survival.
Linda attends No Purpose Church, a beautiful building, with a huge sanctuary, comfortable pews and a large banquet hall that is used for fellowships and dinners. Linda goes to No Purpose Church every Sunday, and watches as the many members drive up in the parking lot with brand new cars, fur coats and diamond rings. She often remembers, how a homeless man had approached the church last year, on a Sunday morning, and the members called for the church leaders to get this dirty man away from the front door. Shortly after they had removed the man from the front of the church, they heard a loud screech. Looking out of the large windows they saw that a car, on the street just a few feet from the church, had hit the homeless man. Linda still wonders what would have happened if No Purpose Church would have invited the man in for service and a meal that morning.
Linda decided today that she would invite a small group of children to church with her on Sunday. She arranged to pick them up in her van Sunday morning. The children were very excited and they dressed as best as they could. As they walked into the big church with Miss Linda, the people of No Purpose Church began to stare. They looked at the children as though they had some horrible disease. The service had not yet began, so the children walked around the sanctuary and began to speak to the congregation, one by one, shaking their hands. The people were no longer able to resist the innocence of the children and the warmth of their smiles. They began to talk to the children with interest. Their first reaction of fear and discomfort was changed to feelings of compassion and love.
As the pastor watched this taking place, he decided that he did not need to preach, because God had sent an illustrated sermon to them today.
As a result of this particular Sunday morning lesson, the No Purpose Church decided to send their vans to the inner city each Sunday, and pick up children who wanted to come to church. The youth ministry grew into such a powerful ministry, that many of the childrenâ€™s parents decided to come along. Many were saved and delivered. The No Purpose Church was now a church with purpose.
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