Have you ever felt like your life doesn’t count for much? You go through the same day-to-day routine. But it feels like you’re just spinning your wheels? Yet, you’d like your life to count for something. And you’d like to bring about positive change.
But perhaps you already have many responsibilities and feel you can’t do more. Or maybe you’re homebound, unable to even get out among others. So you think: “What could I do?”
Then let me tell you about Dorothea Clapp.
Just an ordinary wife and mother, she might have thought she’d never do anything important either. But maybe Dorothea understood one thing that we sometimes overlook.
And that is to just tend to whatever task the Lord puts in front of us.
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going, (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
You see, Mrs. Clapp lived across the street from a large high school in Ramsey, New Jersey (a suburb of NYC). Only 26 miles (42 km) northwest of Manhattan, Ramsey High was a large school.
What did Dorothea Clapp have in front her? Ramsey High School!
So for 17 years Dorothea tended to it, praying for the students. Praying they would come to know the Lord. And praying particularly for the kids she knew or especially learned of.
Among them was George Verwer, Jr.
And Dorothea Clapp faithfully prayed that would he trust Christ and become a missionary! She even mailed him a Gospel of John, hoping and believing that God’s Word would lodge in his heart.
And Verwer, as you may know, did become both a Christian and a missionary. He also became one of the founders and leaders of Operation Mobilization (OM). Which is today a worldwide missions organization, working in 85 countries! Read his biographical sketch here.
One person can bring change!
In many parts of the world, it’s back to school time. So let’s do like Dorothea, remembering as we see school children (our own or other’s) that every one of them has great potential. Some may grow up to use that potential for evil (as Hitler and Bin Laden did).
But by tending to what God puts in front of us, we can touch these young lives.
And direct that potential toward good.
1. Pray for school kids.
And we can all do this, even those of us who are homebound or have handicaps!
2. Volunteer in a school.
Many schools take volunteers. My grandmother volunteered for years as a cook’s helper. And not only was it special for me to have her at school, but all the kids loved her!
3. Become a teacher’s helper.
Teachers often need help with costumes, arts and crafts, and fundraisers, or chaperones for field trips.
4. Volunteer in the library, or help with story time.
5. Tutor kids in your neighborhood.
This is especially helpful for immigrant families, whose parents are often unable to help children with homework.
6. Get involved with your church’s Sunday school or children’s church program.
7. Or start a Good News Club in your neighborhood!
But go beyond just doing Bible lessons or Christian activities. Befriend the kids. Take them for ice cream or have them in for lunch. Go to the park, roller skating, or even camping. So many kids these days come from troubled backgrounds. They need friends, a listening ear, and a caring hug. They need our arms to feel Christ’s love.
And you never know. That one life you touch could go on to touch thousands of other lives. Who, in turn, would touch thousands of others.
One person can bring change. Become that one person!
[Image of Mario near Tuscan sea ©TheScorziellos-Sheila]