When the Student Became Teacher

by Bettie Hall 

Ethan, my 11-year-old grandson, has Asperger syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder. He is sweet and loving, extremely intelligent but socially inept. Change is difficult for him. He can easily become frustrated and go into a “meltdown,” screaming, kicking, hitting or throwing things. He relates more to adults rather than children of his age. 

My daughter and her husband attend ISP (individualized education plan) meetings with several individuals at Ethan’s school (teacher, principal, counselor, advocate) to go over his needs. These meetings often are frustrating for my daughter, but her most recent meeting was encouraging. 
After the meeting Ethan’s teacher approached my daughter and said, “I don’t know if I’m supposed to tell you this, but Ethan has taught me so much this year. He approached me in the middle of December and told me the true meaning of Christmas. I now start each day with a prayer and have a sense of calmness that I did not have before.” Then she hugged my daughter. 

My son-in-law was in the hallway and overheard the conversation. My daughter is a nurse and works weekends. Her husband cares for their three children while she works. He said, “I heard the conversation. Perhaps it’s time I get them back to church.” Her response was, “And perhaps it’s time I change my schedule to every other weekend so I can go too.” 

Jesus indeed loves the little children, and the little children also love him. If an 11-year-old with Asperger’s can share the Good News of Jesus, why is it sometimes so difficult for us? 

People were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they sternly ordered them not to do it. But Jesus called for them and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it” (Luke 18:15-17). 

Note from Kim: When my friend Bettie told me this story I asked her to write it to share with a wider audience via Wow Dee Wow. Thank you, Bettie, for sharing this reminder that while every day is the perfect day to tell others about Jesus, Christmas and Easter offer us special opportunities to share the simple, yet profound story of Jesus’ great love for us.

Bettie Hall is Mom to two, Grandma to six, and friend to many. She enjoys retirement from her home in Virginia by volunteering with Meals on Wheels and a local food pantry, traveling with friends, and writing with her "Scribblers" group. Her prayers, encouragement and support impact Romania via Kim's service with Elder Orphan Care.

Unopened Envelope

The envelope sat in a pile of unopened mail for several days. 

I was busy and assumed from the return address it was the annual plea from a local theme park to bring my youth group there in the summer. It was only January so certainly there was no rush to open it. I had even considered removing that event from our calendar because the tickets were getting so expensive and the kids would also need money for lunch. Maybe we wouldn’t even go this year. So there was no need to open the envelope because I knew what was inside. Why take time to open something when I already knew what it said? 

Or did I? 

I opened the envelope. 

Surprise! "Congratulations, Kim Jackson, for registering your church group for a chance to win a FREE OUTING at Knight’s Action Park…. Your card was selected as the winner… You have won one free church youth group outing for up to 100 youth to include unlimited water attractions and miniature golf, plus lunch. Congratulations!” 

So…uh….it seems I didn't know what the envelope contained after all! 

I’ve kept that letter for 18 years because it reminds me of the Word of God. Yes, the Word of God, the Bible. I remembered the unopened envelope recently when my church began reading two chapters of Luke together each day. I joined in even though I’ve read that Gospel dozens of times. But guess what? As I read, I heard myself saying, “What? Since when has THAT been in the Bible?” 

Hmmm…so I just thought I knew….and made assumptions….but when I opened God’s Word there were wonderful surprises awaiting me. 

Oh God, may this be my constant prayer: "Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your Word" (Psalm 119:18 LV).

No Adults of God

I had cash in hand to pay for the used books I was buying, so I couldn't figure out why the lady at the thrift store asked me for identification. When I questioned her she said, “I wanted to see if you qualify for the senior discount.” 


That was my first “over 55” shopping conversation. But it hasn’t been my last. I think there may be a better way to get information (“Do you qualify for any discounts?”) but I am thankful to receive any financial favor based on the fact that I’m a ’57 model (It was a great year for Chevys and Jacksons). 

I’m much more grateful, however, that my age has no bearing on my status as a child of God. You can check your Bible if you’d like, but I’m confident you will never find the phrase adults of God. You will, however, find several passages referring to children of God.

  • So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith… (Galatians 3:26). 
  • Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God… (John 1:12). 
  • For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption as children. And by him we cry, “Abba Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children (Romans 8:14-17). 
Based on these verses, I often introduce the work I do with Elder Orphan Care, a ministry to homeless elderly in Romania, by saying “I serve God’s older children.” 
I doubt that these photos are what you expect to see when you hear the phrase children of God, but in each case, these “seniors” came to faith in Christ, so they are most certainly children of God, because there are no adults of God! 

Thank God for Viorel Pasca, the Romanian pastor who took action in 2006 when he saw a newscast about homeless elderly who froze to death. Elder Orphan Care is now one of several ministries that helps Viorel care for 130 elderly and frail, including the precious souls in the collage who have become children of God since being rescued by Viorel. 

Would you help us get the word out about the plight of homeless elderly? Till Feb. 24 you can purchase a short-sleeve or long-sleeve t-shirt or a hoodie with our unique, conversation-starting logo, "No Adults of God." Follow this link to make your purchase, which also benefits our Romania mission team and the work of EOC. https://www.bonfirefunds.com/elder-orphan-care 

For more information about Elder Orphan Care visit www.elderorphancare.com 

Learn to do good; 
commit yourself to seeking justice. 
Make right for the world’s most vulnerable,
the oppressed, the orphaned, the widow (Isaiah 1:17).
Each week I write a BOG (Brag On God) post. My prayer is that my words will invite you to brag on God, too. And together we'll make God smile.