How does a person motivate children to memorize Bible verses and then recite them from memory? We can be creative, but to really succeed we need to ask the Lord for ideas. And sometimes those ideas come about in ways we never would have imagined on our own.
For instance…Recently the Lord provided the means by which I could purchase a new bass guitar. The one I’ve been using since I started playing back when we lived in St. Louis was about the cheapest one a person could get (shy of a wash tub, pole and a heavy string!) I found a good quality instrument at a reasonable price and placed my order online. When the guitar arrived, there was a sticker inside the box with the name of the company that sold the bass: Sweetwater. Now, you may think Immanuel Mission is located in Teec Nos Pos, but that is just our mailing address; the mission is actually located in the Sweetwater chapter of the Navajo Nation. So you can imagine my surprise and joy to receive a bumper sticker with the name of our community on it! When I asked my sales rep if he could possibly send me a few more stickers, so that I could share them with my students, he said he would make sure some were included in my next order. Fortunately I also needed to order a microphone, so I didn’t have to wait long. Soon the box arrived with my order, and I opened it with anticipation. And there, nestled between a T-shirt and my new microphone, were some stickers. But not just a few…THEY SENT ME 100 STICKERS! As soon as I saw this little treasure trove, I remembered something the Lord had me do a few years ago around Christmas time. At that time, I rewarded any child who could recite a Bible verse with a candy cane. This time, I walked around the school during lunch and recess times doling out nice, big Sweetwater bumper stickers to anyone who could recite a Bible verse. After the first few kids showed off their stickers to the others, I had no shortage of kids coming to me offering to tell me a Bible verse.
It makes me smile the way the Lord orchestrates seemingly unrelated things in order to motivate children to learn and remember God’s Word. Little things add up to big things, and we know the Lord can do big things with the little we have to offer. Instead of fishes and loaves, this time it was bumper stickers. Next time…well, we’ll just have to see what the Lord uses next time
Jim Price (3rd grade teacher)