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Mary Evelyn teaches a Bible class for children on Wednesday nights. My friend–I’ll call her Maggie–and I are two of the half-dozen or so adult helpers in the class. Mary Evelyn needs every one of us for this eclectic group of children. They range in age from our two-year-old granddaughter to teenagers. The class often has twenty or more students. Not only is the class diverse in age, it is also diverse in family backgrounds. Here are children from loving and stable homes and children who have probably never spent a day like that. Some children are calm and interested; others may come partly because the free meal before class feels so good in their bellies.

When Mev got near her due date, she asked me to fill in for her during her absence. I have taught many children’s Bible classes, but never one quite like this one. I’ve taught diverse ages and diverse backgrounds, but not a class with the combination of those factors in so many children at once.  I said yes, but I was shaking in my boots. The first week went well. It was a bit looser the second week.

Two of the children from a loving and stable home are Maggie’s two granddaughters. Though their parents are nice people, church is not part of their family life. Maggie and her husband are wonderful influences in their granddaughters’ lives and they often bring them to church. I sat behind them recently and enjoyed seeing the love in the eyes of the older girl as she admired her Grandpa, while the younger one cuddled with Grandma.

I’m finding that the knowledge base of this group of children is also diverse. We are studying missions; and when we talked about Italy, we played a game which included the question, “Who discovered America?” Several hands went up. To one child, I replied, “No, it was not Michelangelo.” To another I said, “No, it was not Leonardo da Vinci.” One night I asked a Bible question. Maggie’s older granddaughter was quick and correct. I quietly muttered to Maggie, “Good job, Grandma.” She muttered back, “I try.”

Maggie teaches the nursery class on Sunday morning. I’m her helper. We have one student, our granddaughter Clara. It’s one of my favorite hours of the week. For class after class, Maggie brings in teaching tools. She mentions sometimes that her son liked this when he was young or she reads this to her granddaughters. You do try, Maggie. You’re an inspiration.

First things first, getting the most important things done–don’t get bogged down in the second, third, and fourth things and miss out on the first ones.

For I am mindful
of the sincere faith within you,
which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois
and your mother Eunice,
and I am sure that it is in you as well.
2 Timothy 1:5, NASB

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