There are children all around you who could use a healthy dose of love.
When I look back over my life as a child growing up in Mississippi, I think of all the Saturdays I spent entertaining myself, as little girls with big imaginations often do. I would daydream about being on a stage or hosting a TV show and somehow touching the world.
At that time, I had no idea that any of my dreams would come true, but I knew I wanted to have a hand in healing the hearts of broken little girls like myself who had lost hope.
Fast forward 30 years or so and I wonder just how different my life would have been if some Christian had shared the gospel with me; if he had told me about a big God who could give me the desires of my heart.
It wasn’t until I was 18 years old that someone took a moment to share the gospel with me. That means for years I had thought of Jesus as a character, a Santa Claus-type figure who didn’t exist and definitely did not care about me.
I didn’t know that all my wildest dreams could become reality as a result of a relationship with Jesus. Had I known that simple truth, I would have latched on to my Savior as a child and never let go of Him!
When I finally heard the gospel and let it settle in my spirit, a freedom swept over me that I still cannot describe. I finally understood all those big dreams I had as a child and how they would come true.
I realized that it was OK to dream big because I was destined to change the world with the love of Jesus. From then on, I made it my personal mission to rescue the little “Paulas” of the world. I was determined that no child would be deprived of the life-giving Word that fueled me to head up inner-city outreach in the early days of my ministry.
When I look into the eyes of a child who doesn’t know there is a better way of life, who doesn’t know he has a Friend and a future greater than he could ever imagine, I well up with tears. I am reminded that “there but for the grace of God go I.”
It’s hard to believe that in 2006, not many children in America have been exposed to the life-changing gospel of Christ. I travel to inner cities all across the country spreading a message of love and hope that is foreign to most of the children I meet.
Think about it: Faith and hope seem like an illusion when all a parent can do to make ends meet is scrounge for food to feed their families. But what would happen if we were to bombard the streets determined not to let another little Paula slip through the cracks?
What would happen if we made a commitment to God to end the cycle of oppression by offering compassion and dignity to children shamed by their circumstances?
What if we were to show them how precious they are to Him? What would they accomplish as a result of our kindness? How many lives would they change?
The task seems huge, I know. But it begins with reaching out to one child. You have the power to touch a person’s life for eternity.
Each summer Paula White Ministries hosts an outreach program across America called “Back to School Bash.” Just before children enter a new school year, we bless them with a reason to smile. We provide backpacks, school supplies, clothes, shoes and, most important, the gospel.
I hear you saying, “But, Paula, I can’t do that on my own.” You don’t have to develop a large-scale outreach in your community to change a child’s life. There are children all around you who could use a healthy dose of love.
If you would take the time to pour love and inspiration into the life of a child, you could change him forever. He suddenly will start to believe in his dreams and think bigger than his circumstances.
He will realize through your actions that he is not alone and that he too can change the world one person at a time.
Paula White co-pastors Without Walls International Church in Tampa, Florida, with her husband, Randy, and preaches extensively throughout the United States and other countries. She is the author of He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (Charisma House) and Deal With It! (Thomas Nelson). For more ministry information, visit www.paulawhite.org. To read past columns in Charisma by Paula White, log on at www.charismamag.com/white.