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Heart Matters: A Child Shall Lead

He was one of the meanest men I'd ever met in my life, and he was my new neighbor. The first time I saw him, the Holy Spirit said to me, "Go, tell him of my love." With some hesitancy, I approached him, and his glazed look confirmed my suspicions about drug use.

I left heartbroken. I tried several other times to share God's love with him, but each time ended with his stream of profanity.

Several weeks later, two boys walked by my house. One was in fourth grade and the other in fifth. I have a great love for kids, so I went out to meet them. I told them I was helping start a new church in town and asked if they'd like to come to it. Their eyes lit up with excitement.

"We've never been to church before, but if our dad will let us, we'd love to go!"

"Who's your dad?" I asked.

Guess who? The meanest man on the street!

He was drunk as usual when we asked his permission, but he said, "I'll never go, but if they wanna go, they can."

That Sunday, I picked up the boys and took them to church. For the first time in their lives, they heard about Jesus and forgiveness. It was only a few weeks before they trusted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and a noticeable change took place in their lives. Together they prayed that God would help their daddy become a Christian.

Several months passed, and the boys continued to pray. After church one Sunday as I cleaned up, I noticed a note on the floor of a classroom. That day, the teacher had asked the children to write out a prayer request on a note. The prayer request said, "God, please save our daddy." It was signed by the two boys.

When I dropped off the boys that day, I gave their dad the note. I said, "I want you to read this and see what your boys are praying for." He stumbled back into the house with the note.

The next Sunday, I pulled up and honked the horn for the boys. No one came out. Doubts raced through my mind. He must've read the note and gotten mad. He'll never let them come again.

I went up to the door, and one of the boys stuck out his head. "We're not going with you today," he said. My heart sagged with disappointment, but then he continued, "We're going to ride with our dad. He's going today!"

That day for the first time, their father entered a church. And he would never be the same. A miracle happened. God answered the prayers of two little boys. Their father trusted Christ as his Savior that day!

That was eight years ago. Today their father is one of the greatest Christians I know. God immediately took away his desire for drugs and alcohol and transformed him into a wonderful father. He currently teaches a Sunday school class filled with people he has personally led to Christ. His wife also became a Christian and has served in a Christian school for a number of years. Because of the boys' prayers and the grace of God, their home went from a place of sin and unrest to a place of joy and happiness.

One of the greatest joys in children's ministry is seeing God working through children to reach an entire family and turn generations around. I've seen it happen time and time again.

That father, in a special place, has a note that says, "God, please save my daddy."

Dale Hudson is a children's minister in Florida.

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