Erase Them

posted in: General News 4

Here at our Children’s Home we want our kids to know who they are in Christ. With this understanding
they will be secure and will better know how to treat others. On Sunday mornings I (Melissa) have a
service for our 12 and under crew in our chapel across campus while John meets with our teens in the
patio or in our living room. I’ve done a series on the Fruit of the Spirit and the I AM statements that
Jesus made (the light of the world, the good shepherd, the bread of life, etc). Because of our every-day
conversations and topics where we place emphasis when we have family meetings, our kids often hear
about Jesus and how he sees them and who they are because of what he has done/is doing for them.
But I recently realized that Old Testament stories are not necessarily something they’ve ever heard. So,
that is now my focus on Sunday mornings. I’m using a book sent to us by Michelle Goosen—The Jesus
Storybook Bible. It is such a beautiful book. The illustrations are great, but the way it brings God’s word
to life for children is amazingly beautiful. There is such a focus on his unfailing love for us and his plan to
send his Son to rescue us. I cry (or choke back tears) each week as I’m reading the story to the kids!
This week we read “The Girl No One Wanted.” It tells of Jacob, Rachel, and Leah. The focus is on Leah—
that people thought she was ugly; no one paid her much attention; she was not loved by her husband.
But God saw her as precious and chose that through her son Judah He would bring salvation to the

After reading the story, I asked the kids what kinds of ugly, hurtful things people say about them. They
are all Haitian, and the majority attend the local public school where there is racial tension with the
Dominican students. As they called things out, I wrote them with sidewalk chalk on the concrete floor of
the chapel…things like “black as coal,” “ugly,” “stupid,” “poor,” and “THAT Haitian.” When they finished
we looked at the words and I asked which of them were true. We decided that none of them were! I
called the kids to gather around the words and then said, “Now let’s erase them because they’re just a
bunch of lies!” With their feet they kicked at the words until they were gone—it was a great moment!
If only it were so easy to truly erase those hurtful words from our minds and hearts! I then asked them
how God sees them—what kinds of things does he say about them. I got answers like, “beautiful
princess/prince,” “there are promises for us,” “saved,” “rich.” One thing I tell them over and over is that
we can only fight lies with truth. We wrote these truths about them with a permanent marker because
they are the truth of God that will never change. I pray that God will sear these truths into them so
whenever the hurtful lies are spoken over them it won’t have an effect on them because they KNOW
who they are and how God sees them!

What lies about yourself have you held on to? Erase them! Ask God to give you a clear picture of how
He sees you, because that’s all that really matters anyway.

4 Responses

  1. carol whitman

    your message to the kids was wonderful. God has truly gifted you. It’s also a message for most of us to remember.
    Thanks you – to you and John – for all you are doing. God Bless

  2. Jenna

    <3 this made me tear up. I hate that there is such unkindness toward our beautiful kids, but it only motivates me to love them more! … and to teach them to love …

  3. Jeanne Sisco

    You are SUCH a Blessing, Melissa!!!! As is all that the Hanley families, and friends, are doing!!! Thank you for not hiding your lights under bushels!

  4. Barb and Dan Huge

    Love this lesson dear friend…..great encouragement for me this am. I can totally picture you teaching those precious lives, using the chalk, erasing the lies….. beautiful, powerful image of God’s truth! Hope John is feeling much better this week and NO more kidney stones!!

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