When Mission Service Corps Missionary James McDonald hears people say, “I can’t believe they have taken the Bible out of school” his response is “the Bible has not been taken out of my school.” Through BREAK (Bible Release-time Education Association of Kentucky) James and John Lowder, along with several volunteers, teach the Bible once a month in the Corbin, Williamsburg and Whitley County school systems.
Released Time Bible Education gives public school children the opportunity to receive Bible based moral instruction as part of their education during the regular school day. Rolling up to the edge of the school property in their big blue and white BREAK bus/classroom, they welcome children for a time of Bible lessons, fun songs and activities, challenging Bible memory and a Christ-centered environment. BREAK is legal because children attend ONLY at the request of their parent(s) or guardian(s), classes are held off-campus (not on school property) and public schools do not provide any support for BREAK.
The Gospel is presented with every Bible Release-time lesson. However, children are not usually invited to accept Christ as Savior and Lord until near the end of the school year – after a foundation for their faith has been established. Leaders want to insure that children truly understand and believe the Gospel and are being convicted of their sin by the Holy Spirit before they invite Jesus to come into their life and forgive their sins and become their personal Savior and Lord. Even so, BREAK teachers always endeavor to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit in case the LORD may be calling children to Himself before the end of the school year.
In April, with the end of 2018-2019 school year approaching, the leaders had a burden for the salvation of the children. They began praying together, asking the LORD to use BREAK to bring children to know Jesus as Savior and Lord. They asked the ten-plus churches that support them to pray likewise. They made decision cards with one side sharing the ABC’s of salvation and the other side being a response card – 1) I am already saved 2) I want to give my life to Jesus & be saved today 3) I am not yet ready to give my life to Jesus. They had their time of worship, shared the ABC’s of salvation and asked each child to mark his/her card. Almost 300 of the students expressed an interest in being saved.
While the other students had their game time, counselors talked individually with those that expressed an interest in being saved. Of the students they talked with, 201 seemed to genuinely understand the Gospel and their need of salvation and prayed asking Jesus to save them from their sins and become their personal Lord and Savior. Thirty-one others received assurance of their salvation. Follow-up has already begun, and four students have been baptized.
We praise God for these new believers in Christ and for leaders that are so faithful to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with students.
They ask that you join them in praying for the children that they would abide in the faith and bear much fruit for God’s glory. Also pray for the leaders as they face a daunting task of follow-up – trying to make sure the students get connected to a local church, get baptized, and grow in their new found faith and in the joy of the LORD.