Bethany had a few days to work out her plans before we returned to civilization. We arrived home on a Tuesday, and on Wednesday she, Ben and some friends were delivering flyers around the neighborhood, asking people to leave a bag of groceries on their step on Friday for the local food shelf. On Friday, they filled the back of our van with food and had it delivered to the food shelf before lunch. I'm pretty sure they enjoyed riding around the neighborhood (EVER SO SLOWLY!!) in the back with the hatch open even more than they enjoyed the satisfaction of what they had accomplished. But hey, helping IS fun!
There was more. Bethany loves it when we go to pack food at Feed My Starving Children, food that is sent many places in the world where hunger is rampant. She wanted to raise money to help pay for some of the food, so she decided to have a lemonade stand.
And since our church was collecting school supplies for kids who couldn't afford them, she decided to split her proceeds between the two. She had her stand out there several days in a row, with temperatures in the 90s. There was no stopping her.
Our minister of missions found out about her creative fundraising and heart for helping, and asked Bethany to make sort of a mock lemonade stand at church to give others ideas of how they could serve people in need just like Jesus would.
She recruited Ben and a friend to help her, and they inspired lots of people with easy ways to make a difference.
After all of this, Bethany still had one more desire. She had raised money for Feed My Starving Children, and she wanted to go pack food so she could deliver it. The problem was that we needed to register ten or more people if we wanted to go, and everyone's schedule was so hectic. A couple of weeks passed, and one evening the phone rang. Our friends had scheduled a group they work with to pack food at FMSC the next day, and they didn't have as many people as they had registered. They wondered if we might be able to join them on short notice. It just so happened, we were free. God was so kind to remember the desire of Bethany's heart, and grant it.
All of my good intentions to guide my children to the heart of God are no substitute for the mighty one himself reaching out and drawing them near. We could only imagine the pleasure God had in watching Bethany's tireless efforts, and Ben's too. What a great reminder to me to back off a little, and give God the space to work directly in their lives.
Thank you Lord, for meeting my kids where they are, and at the same time, for meeting me where I am.