Last Saturday, as we anticipated our last day all together in Holland—and given our little family’s impending departure, our extended family’s last day all together for a very long time—we considered where we might gather the next morning for family devotions.
We could have simply cleaned up from breakfast and gathered around the table in one of the rented cottages.
Then we thought of gathering at the dock, where the children had been so occupied scooping up shrimp, oysters, and crabs. But that was a fairly busy spot, and we didn’t want to be praying and singing alongside crabbers.
Then one of my sisters-in-law suggested we go along the water’s edge, past the volleyball court, to a little spot that was a bit more secluded.
We strolled along toward the spot, chatting as the breeze swept across us, cooling the air. The sun shone as we settled down on a bench overlooking the marina. The children wondered what brought them to this spot off by itself.Here’s the view from one direction:
Here’s the other:
We gathered to hear a story, pray, and sing a few songs.
Let the little children come to Jesus.
The same sister-in-law who suggested this beautiful location told that simple little Bible story hoping to engage the youngest among us (her husband is next to her, holding cards in place that formed a little puzzle-picture of Jesus with the little children):
Then we sang “Oh, How I Love Jesus” in Kituba, the language of my father-in-law’s youth while growing up in Belgian Congo. The youngest children had learned it to sing at the 50th Wedding Anniversary fete, so they all joined in. Then we sang it in French and English. Whoever knew it in his or her language joined in when possible.
We sang “Jesus Loves the Little Children” in English.
We sang “The Wise Man Built His House upon the Rock” in French. Actually, everyone who spoke French sang it, while the rest of us listened.
Someone closed our time together praying in French and then in English.
Such a simple time in such a beautiful setting for all our kids to be reminded that Jesus warmly invited the little children come to Him.
And for all the big kids to remember that He invites us, too.
Wherever we are—by the water’s edge, at the computer, in our beds at night, or while walking in the woods. Whether we’re half a world away on vacation or at home in the back yard, hanging up laundry, He invites us to come to Him.
He says we are to become like little children in order to enter the kingdom of heaven.
Mono Zola Yesu…Oh, how I love Jesus!
I LOVED this post because it completely reminds me of something my family would do. 3rd generation missionary kid, and those family gatherings are always good. It’s a treasure to have memories like that, and to imagine what it will be like Up There all together soon!
What a lovely place for family devotions and what interesting devotions too. So many languages and such a special family! It sounds like you had a wonderful time and each of you met with Jesus while in Holland as well.
What a simple and wonderful thing to do. A moment that I’m sure will live on in all your memories for a lifetime!
It sounds like you have a really neat family, Ann. I’m glad you had such a wonderful vacation!