APX Fans Growing Up and Making a Difference
Tue., Jul. 25. 2006 12:22am EDT
In 3 John 1:4, the Apostle John writes to his friend Gaius, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." Having been at this ApologetiX thing for 14 years now, we feel a similar joy when fans we've known since they were kids grow up and do great things for the cause of Christ.
One example is our longtime fan and friend Shaleigh Sugden, who graduated high school this year and will be attending art school in the fall. Not only is Shaleigh an excellent artist, she also has a great heart for evangelism (which we have seen in her email correspondence over the years) event though she is very soft spoken in person. Here's a recent testimony she sent us that asked if we could share:
I just had to tell you something awesome that's been happening this week. I'm working with a friend doing a vacation Bible school in a town about two hours away from my hometown. This town is quite small, and the number of church goers is really dwindling, and the number of children who go to church or sunday school is very small. But we're ending this week of VBS, and the average of kids who come each day has been growing each day.
We started out the first day with about 10 kids, but we doubled it the next day, and it's been growing ever since. What's really cool about this VBS is that it is mainly focused on Salvation, not just stories of the Bible or how the kids need to be good. But anyways, there are two brothers that have been coming to this VBS. We met them at the local library on Monday, and asked if they wanted to come. So they decided they wanted to, so on Tuesday they showed up here.
When we ended the day, the police chief took us out to lunch (usually someone from the church takes us to lunch, and that was his day.) He told us that we had quite a handful of kids to take care of, but these two boys especially were going to be difficult. He told us their background, how their parents are alcoholics, and their father is trying to raise them on his own because their mother is leaving them.
So basically he told us they've had really tough lives, but he wasn't sure if they would get anything out of this experience. But we began noticing that both the kids each day started getting more involved and really intent on listening. Thursdays are usually the day where we pull each kid aside and ask if they were going to Heaven, and see if they wanted to get saved. The hard thing is always that we don't know if they're just doing it because we're there, or if they really want to.
My friend, Leah, pulled aside the older brother, who is 14. Leah asked the older one if he had ever really been saved, and he told her what had happened last night. He had basically broken down last night and just poured his heart out to God, confessing that he was a bad kid, and asking for forgiveness, and just praying to God about all his home problems and for guidance, and everything. He said he just felt so much better.
He seems really sincere. It was so cool tonight at the parent's program, we were singing a song about having peace in our heart, and at one point we say "where is it from?" and all the kids repeat back "Jesus is the joy in my soul" and I looked at him singing and he looked so joyful and happy, and among all his problems in his rough life, he found joy and peace in God.
It was just so awesome to see. He told us that he really wants to follow God, and we're getting him a Bible so he can read it and learn more about Him. Tonight after the parents program he just looked up at me and said "Thanks a lot, Shaleigh for helping out this week." I replied "yeah, thanks for coming." And he looked at me so sincerely, and just said "no, I really mean it." So yeah, it was so awesome.
So anyways, if you could continue to just pray for not only him, but all the kids in this town as well. They may hear the Word this week & believe, but once things go back to normal and they have to go back to their broken households they may forget what they learned here. There's a lot of pain in this town, a lot of hurting. So yeah, I just wanted to tell you that awesome story and ask that you pray for these kids. It means a lot to me that these kids continue to have God in their lives. So yeah, I guess that's it. Thanks for being there to hear it! See you later!
Awesome, Shaleigh! We're very proud of you!