ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) -- Stephanie Copenhaver is not entirely sure why they keep coming back or why they showed up in the first place. Apart from an invitation through her kids and their friends, there didn't appear to be anything else that drew six students two years ago -- midsummer, no less -- to "learn about Jesus" in a four-week study in July.
Photo by Susan Whitley/NAMB
The second week, 12 students showed up, and, by the end of the study, more than 30 students had been introduced to the Good Samaritan, the Armor of God, biblical values and Jesus, about whom most knew little to nothing.
"These weren't churched kids, and yet most of them totally hung on every word," said Copenhaver, a member of Northside Baptist Church in Roswell, Ga.
This all started the summer before her youngest son John's fifth-grade year. Copenhaver said she had been considering how privileged her kids were to know about the Bible and about Jesus. She wanted other kids to experience the life God intended for them.
"I called two other mothers and asked if they wanted to get kids together to study the Bible," she said. "They said 'sure' and we told our kids to invite their friends."
After a few planning meetings over lunch, the mothers had developed a few short lessons that would introduce unchurched, soon-to-be middle schoolers to the Bible, God and God's plan for the people He created.
Last year the same kids returned, this time bringing some of their friends to learn about Jesus' miracles in the Gospel of John.
As a result of the study, one student -- Phillip Bruce -- became a Christian and was baptized. "We got a cool-looking cross made for him. He wears it all the time," Copenhaver said.
Two years into being with the group, Bruce says he is noticing a change in the way he thinks about life.
"I think twice about things now," Bruce said. "I forgive more quickly, and now I go back and change my mind when I think about doing something foolish."
Copenhaver's evaluation of these experiences: "I stand at these meetings and I think, 'I can't believe He chose me to be a part of this.'"
Copenhaver is quick to point out that she and the two other moms involved in this ministry -- Pam Troutman and Jiska Van Ede -- aren't doing anything special, other than simply remaining open to God's leading. Read More