The newspaper declared the Noro virus was creating havoc around Augusta. Which created an all too real flash back to our camp two summers ago; as Ivy went down, then Phoebe, then Megan… and on Friday it was me – just like the ride back from Hiwassee on the sick bus…

Needless to say I did not write a newsletter, instead we reprinted my article from last year…  I did not remember it until Elizabeth sent it out, but it was one of favorites (mainly because of Matt’s story). So check it out below:

Vader and Harry

During the final lesson at D-Now one illustration invited each student to write their own hero story. The sixth grade boys had many clever tales, but one began with a question, “Is it ok to use both Vader and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?” Matt was unsure if those two worlds could collide without breaking the space-time continuum, but his leader informed him it was worth the risk…

(My summary) The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, heroes of the universe, were gathered in their great city. It was a time of tense peace as their nemesis, Vader, had been forced into solitude. But in this lonely state, he longed to have a child. Meanwhile, in the Turtle City, there was a great celebration, because a girl Teenage Mutant Ninja had given birth to a turtle son. But during the festivities Vader sneaked into the nursery and stole the baby turtle.

Now all the mutant turtles were very courageous. But there was one who was smaller than all the rest. By his stature he was deemed less courageous. So, after he was again knocked off the inflatable wrecking ball, he went to visit the nursery. There he found the few turtle babies born over the past year, but something was awry. So, with brains rather than brawn, he counted the babies and found the newest baby was missing. While the others celebrated he went to Vadar and asked if he had taken the baby. Vadar admitted that he had and agreed to return the baby turtle…

Ok, there is a lot that is surprising in this story. For one there is no violence (which is amazing for 6th graders) and another, mutant turtles have babies and do not lay eggs. But this did not trouble the sixth grade boys. Instead, when they first heard the story all they could do was shout “teenage pregnancy”! (Since they are the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.)

kadeeja cured The difference between judgment and grace is often the little details that trip us up. We miss the big picture, because we are focused on their mistakes. Take the story of Kadeeja. If we had only thought about her being a Muslim, we would have never learned of her heart condition. If we had not given because Muslims hate Christians, then she would not have been cured. But instead we gave and now Jeremy has been invited into her house. Invited not just to sit, but to explain why a Christian has saved a Muslim. To their family he has shared the heroic tale of the love of Christ. The love that did not stumble over sin, but in grace gave everything to provide the cure!

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