Yesterday I knew Bible Club was going to be all about Christmas. The Citychurch staff had gathered supplies for the children to make hot-chocolate mix gifts for their families.
I wanted to read the class my favorite book to read this time of year, The Tale of the Three Trees.
I didn’t have a copy of the book. I had borrowed it from a friend and from the library the past two Christmas seasons. Maybe it was time to invest in my own copy of the book.
I went into Mardel’s and found a copy. At first I thought it was just a Spanish language copy, but then I realized it was a bi-lingual copy. And the price was only $5.99! Score! My bi-lingual 2nd graders are going to appreciate this find.
The class was a little hectic because kids are extremely ready for Christmas break. We read the story of Christ’s birth out of the Gospel of Luke. It was amazing to me that the simple details of Christ’s birth are still new information to most of the children in my class. I told them that their would be candy prizes if they could answer questions about our stories at the end of class, and high-spirited Jarrett started practicing how to say “Bethlehem” (except it came out wrong about 5 times before he got it right.) He had his strategy to ensure winning some candy, and at least he would learn new detail about Christ’s birth.
The class impatiently waited their turn to fill their plastic red and green canisters with hot chocolate and marshmallows. As the last kiddo was filling his jug, I sat the rest of them down in a circle that immediately lost it’s shape due to wiggling, and I read them the story of the three trees.
I hyped the book, and told them how much I loved the story, and off we went. The book tells about three threes growing together in a forest. One tree dreams of being a treasure chest, one tree dreams of being a great sailing ship to a king, and one tree dreams of growing to be the tallest tree pointing to Heaven. Woodcutters come and chop down all three trees. The first tree becomes the manger that our treasured Jesus lays in after His birth, the second tree becomes the fishing boat that our King Jesus calms the sea from, and the third tree becomes the cross pointing to Heaven.
As I read each page, sweet little Melissa read the spanish with absolutely perfect pronunciation. It is amazing to me that at 8-years-old she can read in two languages. Her sing-song second grade voice didn’t carry very far, but it was like music to me.
Melissa had really touched both mine and the other adults helping in my class when she had written her list of things she was thankful for a few weeks ago durning a Thanksgiving, turkey craft. She had listed her bed and water among the ten things she was thankful for. Instead of it her list in English, she had written it in Spanish because she wanted her mom to be able to read them.
Some people might be worried that Melissa’s mom isn’t integrating, that she’s not learning English fast enough. After getting to know Melissa in my class, that is not my biggest fear.
My biggest fear is that in the coming months Melissa doesn’t take an opportunity to grab hold of Jesus, make Him a permanent fixture in her heart. Her heart is obviously tender right now, and I hope that we have to opportunity to lead her to make a decision to follow Christ.
My second biggest fear is that Melissa would lose the simple gratitude she has. As Melissa becomes more American, has more opportunities for financial success in her life, I fear that she will forget the feeling of being thankful for running water. I fear she will forget what it was like to not have a bed, and forget to remain thankful to God for this gift.
My third biggest fear is that I would not be as grateful as Melissa. I’ve always had a bed and running water. I hope I can learn some gratitude from Melissa. I don’t want to take anything God has blessed me with for granted.
The three trees in our story got more than what they had wished for as little tree sprouts. God used them in mighty ways. I know God has big plans for Melissa, the other kids in my Bible Club class, and my heart as continue to long to be more like Him.
If you would like your own copy of The Tale of Three Trees, here is the link:
They also have the Bi-lingual copy for $5.99!