Flannel Graph as a Ministry

When I first landed in a foreign country in 2009 to do missions, my teammate and I had a flannel graph.  It seemed outdated to me when we brought it then, but to a third world country?  It made SUCH a difference to have a visual for the students to help them imagine the Bible Stories we were sharing.  It really helped the kiddos engage in the story and encounter Jesus in a more realistic way.

Recently, I had a friend ask me if I would like a set of flannel graph to use for ministry.  I declined because in this “high-tech age” we live in, I thought it would be irrelevant.  However, I agreed to check with my friends to see if anyone was interested.  Quite honestly?  I was less than hopeful that anyone would even consider it because to me it not only seemed outdated but now it seemed ancient.  To my utter surprise, there was a friend that jumped at the opportunity when I shared it with her as a possibility. 

“Really?” I thought in disbelief.  I agreed to gather the materials from my friend and deliver them to my other friend, regardless of my skepticism.  There were four boxes.  Yup, four.  I messaged my friend to let them know it was available, and they agreed to come and help carry them to their house.  Upon opening the back of the vehicle and assessing how we were going to “get this job done in one trip,” I asked a care question, “How are you doing today?”

For those who have the courage to answer that question honestly, it can sometimes lead to the depths.  I must confess, I usually lie my way through that question because I don’t have the great heart to self-examine nor do I want to share what’s there.  This individual’s courage shone as she shared, she had had a rough day.  I invited her in for kaukau (PNG food) and tea and a listening ear.  She opened up.

I was SO encouraged by her bravery to be vulnerable and confide in deep heart matters.  We didn’t speak a long time, but our hearts were bound in the fellowship that only the Spirit of God can offer. We prayed together.  I counted her and the time as an invaluable blessing in my prayers later in the day and I have continued to do so since then.  And ya know?  The invaluable richness all happened through Flannel Graph as a Ministry. 

The Word of God NEVER grows ‘too’ old.  And?  I needed forgiveness for my hardened heart about the value of a flannel graph.  In my perception, it was useless at best.  However, in the Hand of God it was a tool of blessing, encouragement, and praise unto Him.  You NEVER know what God is going to use to water the seed of His Word in the heart of another.  My prayer today is that one of you, Dear Readers, are challenged to use what God’s given you…today….NOW.  And?  I pray that whatever pride and arrogance God needs to break through in you....yes….YOU….I pray He would.  May we entrust our hearts, lives and our talents unto a merciful and loving God!!!  He is able to use not only flannel graph….but US!!!