Monday
Mar032014

13 Years of Reaching a New Generation of Kids for Christ

So much has happened in these past thirteen years of Kids for Christ USA that sometimes I forget what all has happened, so for the sake of the many of you who did not "live it" like I did, I am going to take a journey through time.

In the tail end of 2000 I was just a residential window cleaner on hiatus from children's ministry. I was working with youth at the church I attended, while I prepared for the next step in ministry, which I thought was moving to my wife's home state and starting a church. I had all these ideas, or pieces of a vision that didn't seem to fit together until I realized that God's plan was KFCUSA; not me becoming "Pastor Bob." 

We launched in January 2001 at the school my sons attended. My oldest son was in third grade and my middle son was in kindergarten. Once we were granted permission to start our club, God dropped a bigger vision into my heart. One that I couldn't fathom how to achieve, and as a mater of fact, has been reshaped several times over the years.

On the first day of the first club, with 77 kids and 12 decisions for Christ, I had no idea that this was only the first of tens of thousands still to come, in just the next thirteen years. Now we work with and/or have assisted over 120 clubs across the USA.

We have seen young children grow to become amazing leaders in their schools, and even colleges. In fact, one of my favorite programs of KFCUSA is mentoring a group of student leaders that run FUSE, the secondary school's version of Kids for Christ. I have gotten to walk with this group of eighteen students from the time they were 8th graders through their senior year, as they learn to plan meetings, lead worship, minister and simply love their peers. In fact I have been privileged to write letters of recommendation towards scholarships for four students in the past three years. All four were awarded significant scholarships. 

I have written a book that has been instrumental in launching clubs across the nation. One such story was a lady in Iowa who read my book, called me and then went out and started a club. It has grown into five clubs in her area over the last five years. This has happened in many times over. 

So many stories I could share, so many indelible marks made by the love of God in the lives of kids. I was just told last week of a team member who gives bibles to children who don't have one. (He does this at his own expense.) He asked one of the little girls, who had received one, if she was reading it. She replied, "I read it when I can, but my mom doesn't like the Bible and I don't want to make her mad. I like it and I love Jesus, that is why I come to Kids for Christ. If it wasn't for Kids for Christ I wouldn't get to go to church." 

I honestly believe I could write another book filled with just the testimonies of the children and families touched by KFCUSA through the years. I am so thankful for the opportunity to speak into children's lives and inspire so many of them to go after God with all their hearts, as well as  helping adults to reach out to the schools, and be a part of touching so many precious lives. 

--Bob Heath 

Saturday
Feb082014

My Best Friend

Yesterday I was blessed to minister to a group of elementary kids in a club we are associated with. I had a different message planned than the one that God used me to give. I'd like to give you a simple testimony and overview. Please note this is not exactly how I said it, but very close.

I asked them if they had a "best friend" and of course they all said they did. I asked them if they talked and spent time with their best friend and one again they all said they did. "What if you didn't talk for a long time?" Suddenly the room was split, some said they would and some said they wouldn't still be best friends.

I proceeded to share the story of my best friend Mark. I was born in Michigan and when I was 9 my family moved to Nashville. A year after that Mark's family moved from Michigan to Nashville and we ended up in the same church.  One day I was talking to Mark and discovered that he was also a Detroit Tiger fan and a baseball card collector.  That's how we became friends. As we got older we ran around together in junior high and high school.  We spent a lot of time together, until my family moved to Tulsa.  

For a number of years we hardly spoke because of the distance, but in my mind Mark was still my best friend. We started connecting once or twice a month over the phone many years ago and we still do. God has even used our friendship to help me reach kids across the nation through Kids for Christ USA because Mark is and has been one of my biggest donors for years. We are both 50 now (gasps rung out across the room) and we are still best friends.

I told them that I think my friendship with Mark is a example of what Jesus wants to have with us. Sure its awesome when we can hang out or talk all the time, but just like Mark is my buddy all the time, Jesus wants to be not just 'your Savior, but your best friend. He never leaves you even if you don't talk to him much He is still there being your best friend. I explained that its better if you talk to him that talking to God is also called praying, but that its really just talking to your friend Jesus. 

I then asked them to all close their eyes. I shared that just like your friends Jesus likes to be asked to be your friend. He wants to hang out with you. He wants you to know him.  He wants you to receive what he did for you by taking your sins. You see unlike my friend Mark, Jesus is first the son of God and my savior and He wants to be that for you too. I then explained that if you've asked him into your life before you don't need to do this again, but if you'd like to ask Him to be your savior and friend raise your hand. It was such a sweet moment and about 15 (out of 60-80) raised their hands. IT WAS AWESOME!!--Bob Heath