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October 16, 2021

Ann Farabee column: Looking back

By Ann Farabee

“I told my children about you,” she said. “I showed them a book we made in Sunday school.”

It had been around 30 years ago and the tools used to hold the book together were a hole puncher and some yarn. The title was, “The Story of Jesus.” Each page was simple — but the book contained the story the world most needs to hear.

She saved it. She showed it to her children. She told them about me.

That makes me smile.

Every Sunday morning, I went. I was on time. I was prepared.

It was a privilege. It was never a burden.

Sacrifice? Yes.

Time? Yes.

Money? Yes.

Commitment? Yes.

Homemade brownies for students? Often.

They were my students and we grew in the Lord together.

The students who sat in my classroom changed over the years as they began to grow up, but the power of the story of Jesus did not.

Decades later, I know many of them as adults.

It brings me great joy to see Jesus as the center of their lives.

Years of going to Sunday school every week to teach the children?

Totally worth it.

As a teenager, I remember sitting on the living room floor of my youth pastor’s home, surrounded by many others. One night he said, “Ann, would you read 1 Corinthians 13 for us?” I was scared, but I began leafing through the pages of my Bible, trying desperately to find it. The 13 verses seemed long at first, but the more I read, the more I felt something I did not recognize. I now know that it was the presence of the Holy Spirit in the room. As I read the last verse, “And now abides faith, hope, love — these three. But the greatest of these is love,” a tear fell onto the page. It was mine.

I had no idea that night as I nervously read those verses to the youth group that in the future, I would be reading many verses many times with many students.

The Lord was directing my steps, even though I had no idea that Psalm 37:23 gives us that exact promise — he will direct our steps!

Looking back? Yes. We need to tell the next generation the praises of the Lord, his strength, and the wonderful works he has done, which is from Psalm 78:4.

A child from a home with an alcoholic father reading her Bible aloud in youth group?

That was me.

A young adult teaching Sunday school?

That was also me.

Hearing a former student tell me she told her children about me?

And then showing me the book we made?

Priceless.

Our efforts will last for generations to come.

Serve the savior.

It is worth it.

Ann Farabee is a teacher, writer and speaker. Contact her at annfarabee@gmail.com or annfarabee.com.

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