Part of our mission at Bethel is to BE the church in the community. That mission has taken us beyond the walls of the church to places like Crestwood Elementary School. We’ve had a longstanding relationship with Crestwood where we’ve provided them with backpacks for students who need some extra food to make it through the weekend. We’ve also donated to their clothes closet, provided breakfast for their teachers for a back-to-school meeting, and most recently, began a prayer partner ministry with their teachers. As we’ve tried to be a blessing to them, they have certainly been a blessing to us. We’ve gotten to know some of their administrators and teachers and we’ve learned how the Lord is at work at Crestwood. One person whose story I want you to know about is Hannah Salisbury. This is her story in her words:
In February 2018, I began walking around my school and praying for my coworkers, students, and families. I prayed for their salvation and that those who knew Jesus would be bold in their faith. One day I prayed that Jesus’ name would be spoken in the hallways and classrooms of my school. Jesus soon answered that prayer in bigger ways than I could have imagined. A couple of months later as I was teaching a reading group, I realized that one of my second-grade students was reading an old Bible. The eight-year-old boy opened to the front page and started reading the definitions of the words. He told me, “I want to learn more about God, heaven, and hell.” After taking in what I had just heard, I asked him, “Where did you get that Bible from?” The student said, “I got it from our library.” Jesus opened my eyes that day and put it on my heart to get engaging Bibles in the elementary schools in my county. Bibles in which they could read and would be excited to check out of the library.
After rallying a team of friends, family, and people from my church, we donated the Action Storybook Bible in all of the 38 public elementary schools in our county. Hannah’s mission didn’t stop with Chesterfield County. The Lord has expanded her vision and she’s now on a mission to get Bibles in every elementary school in the country. To accomplish this vision Hannah began a Non-Profit organization called, “Bibles in Schools.” Hannah is going to visit Bethel on Sunday, November 7th to tell us more about her mission and how the Lord is working through this ministry. As we think about Hannah’s story, please note how it started: With a prayer walk around the school.
I hope Hannah’s story will inspire us to think about our prayer life. Prayer is foundational in our relationship with the Lord. Prayer is the oxygen that fuels our relationship with the Lord. When is the last time you prayed? How often do you pray? Have you ever taken a prayer walk? After you read this article, I want to challenge you to stop what you’re doing and pray. Share with the Lord what’s on your heart and mind. Give him your worries and cares and then ask the Lord to speak to you. Then…listen…just sit quietly for a while and pay attention to your thoughts and trust that the Holy Spirit is at work in you, just as the Holy Spirit was at work in Hannah. As you commit yourself to prayer, I believe the Lord will speak to you and lead you to the truth of 1 Corinthians 2:9, “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him.” This is true for Hannah and it’s true for you and me as well. We hope to see you on November 7th in worship as Hannah blesses us with her story. Until then, may God bless Hannah Salisbury, and may God bless you and our Bethel Church family. Much love to you all.