Two Sundays ago, Epic had the privilege of having Mike and Jill Lowery, missionaries serving in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, share during our worship service. When Jill came up to speak, she spoke directly to all our kids who were sitting in their usual seats in the first few rows. She told our kids that the women in Congo knew them as the To Lingana Kids ("love one another") because of the Sunday school campaign to raise funds for new sewing machines. You see, these enterprising Congolese women were starting a restaurant but needed to sew curtains and such for the restaurant's interior, but had no way to do this without the proper equipment. At the beginning of the year, our kids had raised enough money through their own efforts that Jill was able to purchase a first sewing machine and have enough spare change to repair several others.
But what Jill really wanted to communicate was that she in turn shared about this small Sunday school program's efforts in a newsletter that is circulated among supporters. After reading about our kids, other Sunday school classes were so inspired that they followed suit. Less than a year after our kids responded to this need, Jill said they had received enough money to purchase 9 sewing machines to date. She told our kids that they had started a movement!
As I sat listening to this amazing story, I was reminded of the prophet Isaiah's eschatological vision of the coming Messiah who would reign with righteousness, justice, and peace for all the earth and among all the nations. Isaiah said that this Messiah would come to God's people as a child and that this "little child would lead them" (Isaiah 11:6). I couldn't help but see how true that was in this moment: The children of Epic were leading us adults in the act of thoughtful and generous giving.
It also happened to be the final official day for Kristy Prince as our kids director. It ended up being a nice way, I think, to honor her by hearing publicly of the tangible fruit of her ministry with our kids. That might have been the sweetest thing of all.