Last week we were in Kansas City, Mo, one of our favorite places on planet earth. Trust me its not the scenery or flashy tourist attractions that lure us there a few times a year rather something far less tangible or easy to convey in this blog. We go to KC, MO for our hopeful expectation that we will encounter God like every other time that we have visited the International House of Prayer (or IHOP). This time we went in faith that the kids would be able to attend “SIGNS AND WONDERS CAMP”. I know, it may sound like an odd name to some of you but this place is serious about teaching kids to listen and obey the voice of God and about living a radical God powered life. We came to this camp after seeing how kids are valued as vessels of God waiting to be activated and poured out rather than lesser folk who have to be taken care of while the adults do their thing. We saw first hand this past December the mark made on our own kids lives after attending the children’s equipping classes at the ONE THING CONFERENCE.
I remember holding my iphone as steady as I could trying to record my oldest son Kam deliver an inspiring message to a few hundred of his peers. He prayed a powerful prayer full of faith and innocents as he said “God help us to raise the dead and save puppies” C’mon he’s 8, Im sure from his perspective, finding lost puppies would be helping to solve one of the worlds biggest problems. Yes, its precious but whats more compelling is that I saw my kids filled with expectation, wonder, delight and devotion to the things of God and His Kingdom. It was as if their hearts had been doused with fuel this whole time just waiting for someone to come along with the right match…….They lit up! Their eyes and hearts were opened in a way we had never seen and suddenly we became more aware of our awesome responsibility of shepherding their gifts and the honor of stewarding their hearts for the Kingdom.
We became parents to fulfill the commands of Jesus. We are becoming better parents as we understand that our children will bring something to this age that we may never see ourselves…..and that is a people of God on fire for Him and for the ones He loves. A shift took place and we become more aware that this role we play as parents is not about us, but about them. What an What a privilege! I have to admit, that at 41 years of age I still default to making most of my life decisions in such a way that most benefit me. As a follower of Jesus I tend to be more self serving than truly sacrificial. However, when I see my kids in this sort of environment its like they are becoming who they are supposed to be. They came home every day excited about spending 12 hot summer hours with 250 other kids. They worshiped together, prayed for one another, played capture the flag and other “camp stuff” and then came home worn out but excited to relay the days events to Misty and I. One night as we were driving back to the hotel I suggested that they were not having any fun and that we should go home the next morning. A loud and violent protest broke out inside our 9 passenger van and they all cried in unison “NO”.
What they relayed to us was no joke! My kids encountered God in a way I long to be connected to Him. They were provoked to do something active in their pursuit of Him. They are learning that in them dwells the power to do the things that Jesus spoke of. While the adults sneer analytically and our cynicism prevents our own encounters, our kids rush fast into the presence of God unhindered by hurt, unbelief or hardness of heart. Now I run faster to keep up and respond to how the Lord has answered my prayers for them. I pray that they continue to run unfettered with reckless abandonment as we all cry “Come Lord Jesus”!