Category: Little Gems

Making dreams come true

October 10th, 2013 — 2:31pm

Recently Jacob, a guy who’s around 6 years old, came up to me in class asking me if I could finish his long-term-craft project with him. I showed him how to cut on and stay in lines while drawing. One could see great excitement in his eyes. I was really impressed by how motivated he was to bring it all to an end. After a while, he had one of these fancy Nintendo DS gameboys both cut out and colored. It was a pleasure to me to see him smiling about his masterpiece.
But all of a sudden his mood changed. Being frowned, he somehow looked sad and depressed. I eventually asked him ‘What’s the matter with ya, buddy?’. While looking down, he slowely responded: ‘I will never have the real one.’ At first, I didn’t really know how to react on his frustration. As a matter of fact, he was totally right. He would never have this toy he longed to have. I finally said that you simply can’t always get what you want in life. I added ‘Life would be boring if you would always get what you want.’ He put on a big smile and said: ‘But it would be much more fun!’. I grinned back.
Finally, I had an idea for how to make his dream come true. I pretended to hit buttons on his new, self-made game console. Jacob started hitting other buttons on the arrow keys. Then I added weird sound effects that made us both laughing. We seriously ended up playing a made-up game on a console that simply did not exist. We were happy with what we had – Each other and a plain piece of paper that didn’t even move. We could have been the producers of a new game, I could tell!
That’s how a touch of imagination and creativity can make dreams come true. To see a child smiling because I made it happy was an incredible blessing to me. That’s when I considered the American dream being not only centered about wealth or visions for a nation – far off reality for kids – but realistically in what I do for children. The proof is Jakob – A six-year old who just needed a little help to find the way to fulfill his wish.

Jonathan Philipp

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December 14th, 2011 — 12:17pm

Here at Agora, time keeps passing and the weeks seem to be going faster than we can keep up with. We have had so many blessings come through the doors and can hardly keep up with everything that God is doing!  In the past few months we have received a large number of chairs which were very much NEEDED! Also, we were able to do some renovations to the sanctuary for the after school program. New carpet was installed as well as a fresh coat of paint to the walls.  The storage room by the sanctuary has now also become part of the after school program, it too has gotten fresh coats of paint.  Some carpets were also donated to us to use as reading corners for the children.  Two mini vans were donated to be used for the child care center as well as kids church.

Last Saturday evening we celebrated the annual Christmas party with roughly 150 kids and lots of helping hands filled with presents from WCMC. We thank all of you who donated a gift, made food, and most of all lifted us up in prayer for this special evening! I do not remember a night going so smoothly with that many children present. Thank you prayer warriors!! This was such a special evening and we look forward to it year after year. This could very well be the only gift a child receives this year. Every year us as Staff members find ourselves almost more excited than the children because of how much this evening will mean to them. We have been truly blessed at Agora with people that have hearts to be like Jesus. Prayers being heard from near and far around the globe. Keep the kids in your prayers as some of them will not have a joy filled Christmas. Pray that God’s protecting hand would surround them and that they would have opportunities to share what they are learning at church. The heart of a child is so precious and pure, Lord may we have faith as a child!

The Christmas program for Little Gems will be taking place next Monday evening. We ask you lift us up in prayer as this is a time where parents have an opportunity to see what their child has been working on as well as us as staff members to talk one on one with the parents and be a witness.

Also pray that He would keep bringing children through the doors of Agora for the child care center. Our numbers are down but, we are trusting in his plan for us. The Lord provides for his people.

Wishing a Merry Christmas and a joyous time as we celebrate the birth of our living Savior!

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News from Little Gems

December 20th, 2010 — 10:28am

There are days when all I do is run around keeping the little ones from biting and scratching each other. After all, they’re at that age when they start to play together and engage one another…and sometimes they end up having a little accident or two.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that it makes it all the better when one of them comes up to me for a hug or wants to hug me or give a kiss. It’s so sweet that most of the time the other children come up to me, one after another, and the whole class ends up in one giant, hugging pile.


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Update from Little Gems: Emergency Prayer

August 25th, 2010 — 9:46am

Something extraordinary happened when Sunshine and I went door to door in the community, advertizing for the child care center.

We went up to a house where some girls were standing on the veranda. You could tell from far away that there was something strange going on. As we got closer, it became clear that they had something going on inside (and also, very likely, were lesbians). Oh well, it didn’t matter what was wrong with them; my heart broke for them, because the misfortune and need of their situation was written all over their faces. They needed Jesus!

Shortly after we had walked away, one of the girls just collapsed. At first we thought that she was out of her mind. But then one of the other girls bent over the first girl, lying on the ground, and said panic-stricken, “She isn’t breathing right any more. She isn’t breathing right any more!”. We realized that she needed medical attention.

We were heart-broken, having to stand there and watch this terrible scene unfold. The girl had likely collapsed from a drug overdose and was nearing death.

Because we didn’t have anything along with which to provide her some more practical help–for example, a cell phone to call an ambulance–we decided that we would pray for her. So, we just went right back to them and asked if we might pray for them. At first, they were really perplexed, but finally the second girl said hesitantly, “Oh yeah, sure…” So we stood there, while the first girl kept fighting for air, and Sunshine prayed for her.

This moment was really, totally wonderful for me, as weird as that sounds. God led us to exactly the right spot at exactly the right time, where we were able to bring God’s light to these girls.

Pretty quickly after Sunshine had finished praying, the ambulance arrived. You could see that the girl was thankful for our prayer, even if it might have been weird for her. We just hope that this moment remains in these girls’ memory. Maybe it contributed to arrival of that day when they will come to know Jesus personally. That’s what I’ll pray for, and it would be great, if you all would pray for that too.

And maybe they’ll come by Agora sometime :)

-Miriam, German volunteer, care-giver 0-12 months

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Update from our Little Gems:

August 24th, 2010 — 10:06am

Lately, I’ve been helping out in the “Orange Room”, where children ages one and a half to three years are cared for. As usual, there are conflicts from time to time between the children, and the other day was no exception. Two little girls got into a spat. Since forgiveness is big at Agora, I wanted to help them clear it up. So, as is customary here at Agora, I asked the two of them to say to one another “Sorry. Will you forgive me?”

But instead, they hugged each other. I thought that was strange: Usually, the children don’t hug each other until after they have apologized and been forgiven. But these two still hadn’t said a word!

So I repeated carefully and slowly one more time the same question, “Sorry. Will you forgive me?” and asked them both to say it after me. But the litle ones just gave me a suspicious look and then hugged each other again.

I didn’t know what else I to do. Then one of the other volunteers came up and explained the problem to me: Neither child could speak yet! Whenever either one had to apologize for something and ask forgiveness, she just gave a hug instead.

Oops! :)

Andi, German volunteer teacher, 18-30 months

Editor: There’s no surer antidote to pride than that most humbling question, “Will you forgive me?” These little ones can still only muster a hug. But we adults can still show them what to say once they are able. Good for Andi and the example she has shown to the children!

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Update from Little Gems: Ohio Weather

August 20th, 2010 — 3:06pm

I had to cover for Ruben on Thursday, because he was taking care of a “battle wound” from one of the children.

As I walked in and sat down, a little 4 year old girl came up and showed me a “boo-boo”, as she called it, on her shin. It looked like the type of bump or scrape normally incurred by four year olds, and I could see where a band-aid had recently fallen off. So, I asked her how she got it.

I couldn’t have made up a funnier answer. “Well last night I slipped in the snow and bumped my shin, Mr. Ben,” she said smiling brightly. I thought that made sense at first, snow being very slippery and all. But a few moments later I realized there was a problem with her story. “But Susie, it’s August,” I pointed out. “There’s no snow outside!” Her eyes grew wide, and she answered quickly, “Well there was last night!” Then she promptly turned back around to play.

Ben Bartholomew, Maintenance Supervisor

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Update from Little Gems: Joyful Noise

August 20th, 2010 — 1:34pm

The theme this week has been camping, and like all good camping trips we have had good times singing around the campfire. It’s always fun to hear the children sing throughout the day as they go from one activity to another and to see their excitement when it’s their turn to pick a song.

As we made our way out to the playground today we overheard one of the girls singing, “Our God is an awesome GUY!”. It brought a smile to our faces but also reminded me that God did come in the flesh, a guy, and as we love the children here at Little Gems, we are His hands and feet to them as well.

Janine Beachy, teacher, 3+

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Update from the Daycare: A Little Child Will Lead Them

August 14th, 2010 — 6:09pm

By: Janine Beachy, Teacher, 3+

Our morning Circle Time has been focused on stories of Jesus and His power to heal. We’ve been praying for loved ones that are sick and praising God for His mighty power with songs like “My God is so Big”. When one of the little girls in class came down with a fever this morning all the children knew what to do. As she lay sleeping in our reading corner we quickly gathered around her, and on bended knees they all prayed innocent prayers of healing over her.

After we had walked away and sat down to finish up Circle Time, she began to wake up slowly and started to smile: She was feeling better! Everyone was excited to tell her that we had just prayed for her. One of the girls then turned to the group and said, “See guys? God healed her right up!”. Thank God for children who see Him at work and have no room in their hearts for doubt.

2 comments » | Little Gems

A Faithful God

June 3rd, 2010 — 8:52am

As I said in my last post, our group of children keeps multiplying every week– We now have well over 20 children enrolled!  What a blessing!  Our teachers in the childcare center are doing a fantastic job; if you get a chance, affirm Keny, Ina, Nicole, and Janine  for their wonderful work.  The children coming here absolutely love it; sometimes they don’t even want to go home at the end of the day!  We feel so blessed to be given the opportunity to work with all these little gems and their parents.

While things are really going great in the childcare, it has not happened without a lot of hard work.  Pastor Rich and Becky have put a tremendous amount of time and energy into getting this childcare up and running and they continue to do so.  Both work very long hours and do a lot of work so please keep them in your prayers.  Rich and Becky truly enjoy the work that God has given them to do, but they get tired just like anyone else would!  Pray that God will smooth out the last wrinkles in the childcare center and provide more workers to alleviate Rich and Becky’s responsibilities.  Also, pray that God blesses them greatly for their incredible dedication and commitment to serve.

We have some more great news to share.  A few months ago Agora turned in a grant application to a local philanthropy.  Last week we were notified that our application had won!  Needless to say, we were ecstatic!  The grant is going to be a huge blessing and will really help us financially.  Isn’t it just wonderful how the Lord provides?  We learned that we had been awarded the grant the same week we were wondering how we would pay our upcoming bills.  Again and again, the Lord has blessed us and provided for us and proven his faithfulness.

Thank you for your continued prayers!  Please continue to pray.  The Bible tells us again and again that God is faithful when we pray.  Consider Matthew 21:22 which says, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”  Thank you once again and don’t forget to keep in touch!

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