Children’s Book Leads Ladies to Jesus
By Pam Kumpe –
Do you wonder if you are making a difference? Or have you asked how certain events will impact the future for others?
Ten year ago, I wrote a story about a dog named Schade who tasted the foot of Jesus after he followed the shepherds to the manger. The premise for the book was based on Psalm 34:8 taste and see that the Lord is good.
In my original manuscript this stray dog becomes Jesus’ first pet—only much like the story which got tucked away inside of a box, we often feel like strays in life, wondering if we matter.
Encouraged by a series of events last year, I wanted to bring my story out of the archives, and I wanted to look at reworking the tale, to see what I might do with the poor lost dog that never made it into a storybook.
As I dusted off the pages, an amazing journey took place and Schade who seemed lonely was given a new friend, Priscilla, a sheep with an annoying personality trait of talking too much. She also thought she was called to do a makeover on Schade. He was her new project.
It’s like I heard Schade and Priscilla talking in my head, the playful way Priscilla would speak to Schade, and then in return I’d hear this gruff sounding dog sneeze at being allergic to Priscilla as he tried to run her off, to get her out and away from brushing his tail.
This children’s book took on new life; the banter between best friends jumped from the pages.
Then, I needed an illustrator and through another series of events I hired Ron Wheeler to draw my characters. He captured them exactly as I’d pictured and the book became a 32-page tale of tasting the goodness of God and discovering the makeover of the heart—comes from Jesus.
On May 11, 2011 the books arrived, and I took a copy to the Recovery Center where I hold Sunday morning church service. I shared the tale with my ladies, to take them to Ezekiel 34 in the Bible and how God is like our shepherd and how he is looking for the stray sheep.
By sharing this story from my book and then by using God’s Word to match our hearts with the love Jesus has for the stray, well—the altar call at the end of the service changed my own heart.
C-girl, one of the ladies in recovery came up to me, and she wanted to give her heart to the Lord. I prayed with her, our tears mixed with joy and she was spiritually renewed. Then, in a move that I credit to the working of the Holy Spirit, some 20 ladies also gave their hearts to Jesus as they wanted to make sure they were God’s kid, his child, that they were a part of the family.
I have only one thing to say about this entire story about Schade and his best friend Priscilla—the Lord is after the stray in all of us.
Never underestimate how God can use a story, how God can touch a life, how Jesus loves us—too much—to forget about us. He’ll never toss our life story away, or tuck it away in a box. He’s ready to bind our hearts with hope and give us a tasty life with Him, and it’s all about God’s timing!