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This past Saturday, Belinda Chavis and Dr. Julia Burns facilitated a workshop with the children and youth of Branch Street Methodist Church in Lumberton, NC.

The children were courageous and adventurous during our discussion.

Bullying was a problem for several. Grief and loss came up also.

Someone took my lunch box and lied about it. I painted a rainbow to cover and I remember Jesus.

Where was God when you were being called names? Did he care? How does he help you when trouble strikes? What does God look like?

We decided God has long hair and a beard and wears flip flops. He does care and he always tries to help and intervene. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like it and he feels a long way away.

What do you think God looks like? Where is God when you’re hurting?

EVERYONE gets bullied, even bullies.God loves bullies and the person being bullied. Nothing we do will ever change God’s love. But God does not like bullying behavior.

And He is sad when someone we love dies.

I miss my Aunt! She loved me and made me laugh.
God loves the world with green trees and butterflies
My friends leave me out! I cover them with prayers and hearts.
I covered my booboo with a deer, leaves, a big fire and the sun. They made fun of my freckles!
The ocean washes over when someone punches me in the tummy.

Don’t keep secrets!

We decided that you should always tell when you are sad, angry, scared or hurt. If the first person you tell doesn’t listen then tell another person until someone believes. People to tell include teachers, pastors, friends and parents.

You can also pray when you are hurt and scared. Call Jesus’ name, “Help me, Jesus,” right when someone is teasing you.

After we talked about our feelings and hurts, we painted. The scripture the group chose was John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”

God gives us eternity to work on being nice, forgiving and loving each other because sometimes that’s what it takes. He is patient.

Stick together! Stick with Jesus! Don’t keep secrets!

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