Who do you want to look like?

As a child we all had someone you looked up to. Or someone who was your role model. Do you know that? Maybe it was your mother or your teacher, an artist or a professional football player. But can you, as a Christian, have such an idol? Someone you look up to and who you might imitate. Shouldn’t we become more like Jesus? God made us all unique, each with our own character, traits and fun quirks. Maybe you are very meticulous or sporty, flexible or calm, spontaneous or introverted. We are all so different and everyone is special. Why would you even want to look like someone else? As a young girl of 4 years old, I decided in kindergarten that I wanted to work with children when I grew up. So that was part of it from an early age. And especially being the leader of a group of children or being the boss of the class. How nice that would be. It is special how God can place in the hearts of each of us from a very young age what suits you. In my childhood I read a lot. The children’s books ‘Schatgraven’, written by Else Vlug, were published at that time. Yes, who didn’t grow up with it! Generations of children have grown up with it. I read them every day. If you dig for treasure in the word of God, you will find rich spoils! For every day there is a part of the Bible, a Bible text to memorize and puzzles and games. How I liked that. Or the book ‘Young Heroes’, also written by Else Vlug. About the importance of children and teenagers in the church and powerful testimonies from young people themselves. Also so innovative and impressive for me to be so touched by the stories from this book. With my teenage group from Schinnen, which I attended faithfully, we often all went to the Revival Conference at Pentecost. What a party, so many young and old people together, good meetings and lots of fun. Playing guitar and eating fries all weekend, not showering and making a lot of noise. I remember well that on the Sunday of the Pentecost weekend there would be a special parade under the radiant sun. A parade of all children from children’s work with flags and music. Those children walked by singing, waved enthusiastically and sang very cheerfully. What a great idea to spend time with children in this way, to get the children excited about Jesus. We all went to watch this spectacle because we had never seen it before. So cheerful, so natural, how beautiful all those kids. And in the middle of that large group of children walked the leader of all the children, the one who had conceived and developed it all, Else Vlug. What a special woman. I watched her with fascination and followed her with my gaze. And immediately I thought to myself: ‘I also want to do this with children later’. Sing with all the children, have fun and tell them about who Jesus is to them. Hang out with them and learn that you do not have to be an adult to believe in Him, but that you can give your life to Him as a child and that He wants to care for you like a Father. Else Vlug had secretly become my idol. Someone I looked up to, someone who pioneered the success of children’s ministry in the church and someone who taught about children and the Kingdom of God. How wonderful that God has given people in our lives that we can look up to and learn from in various ways. People to whom He has given talents to inspire others. In the meantime, I have taught as a teacher, worked in a children’s home in Suriname, led children’s choirs as a conductor, trained children’s workers, led many children’s camps and set up a lot of children’s work. Else and Peter Vlug are now in their eighties and are still unique examples and heroes of the faith. We don’t even live that far away from each other. For years I wanted to get to know them better. And then the time had come: Peter invited us to visit. They were so looking forward to that! Last week we visited Else and Peter. What a wonderful meeting and what a recognition. What is special is the fact that this year I can lead children’s work at the Children’s Square of Opwekking during the Pentecost conference, train children’s workers and inspire children. Else said: How special that you can continue part of the work and build on the work I have started. I bless you in Jesus name. Of course, Jesus is my great example, I want to be like Him and learn from Him. And how wonderful that we can also have examples and heroes, people who let us dream about what we can achieve and inspire us in the Kingdom of God. Who do you want to look like?

About Karin Koornstra

Getrouwd met Martin en moeder van 2 geweldige dochters Ingeborg en Lieselot. Leerkracht, coach, leider en dirigent.Gepassioneerd voor goed kinderwerk in elke kerk!

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