Thursday, November 16, 2006

Full of life and hungry for understanding of why things happen the way they do, Cladee (pronounced clay-dee), at four years old attended the funeral celebration of her cousin BJ. She had flown from California, a world away. She was moved by the presence of the Lord and how he was presenting His calling on her own life.

A little over a month later, she celebrated her 5th birthday. It was on this day that she released her balloons and asked her parents as she saw them rise, "Will they go to Heaven for BJ?"

Cladee's grasp on what is important in life is unusual. The Lord has placed within her a longing to see the needs of others met. This desire supercedes her own "wants." Of course they are still present, but that day back in September of 2005 had a powerful impact on her life. Cladee's mommy and daddy serve in ministry in their church, and have worked to prepare in the hearts of their 3 daughters, the desire to be like Jesus.

This desire has taken hold in young Cladee's life. Throughout the year or so since her cousin went to be with Jesus, she has reflected back on that day. The Lord has used it to motivate and inspire her to serve.

As her 6th Birthday neared, Cladee expressed what was on her heart. More than anything else, for her upcoming special day, she relayed to her mother what she would like to do. These are the words she requested be on her "Birthday invitation." It read:


do you want to care for others?
then come with me to Feed my Homeless friends to help me celebrate my 6th Birthday.

We will meet at the church... next Sunday the 5th
Here are my ideas...for a fun Birthday
Make cards to pass out to the Homeless
Eat some treats...spend some time with YOU!

Don't bring gifts for me...
please bring 3 (or more) sack lunches and goodies for the homeless.
(blankets, socks, warm hats, brushes, wipes, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, chapstick, etc...)

All she wanted to do for her birthday was "Feed the Homeless." The words were her own.

She has visited downtown San Diego several times with her parents as they take teens to serve. Cladee developed a friendship with a 79 year old man who is in a wheel chair. She could not wait to see him again. He agreed to having a picture taken with her. She was elated.

Cladee's birthday saw 5 vanloads of people gather to minister to the Homeless. Children, teens and adults set aside a day when celebration would normally include cake, ice cream and many presents to fulfill the dream of a six year old who gets it.

Cladee at six, has grasped what it means to take care of the "least of these." She has learned to deny herself and take up her cross, and follow Him.

That day a little over a year ago, the Spirit of the Lord moved in a powerful way over those who attended Beej's last celebration.

Present, right down front, Cladee was one of the first to leap to her feet. She was the youngest to surrender to God's call on her life that day. She too, made a declaration to take BJ's place. She too understands what that committment means.

She is not waiting until she is old enough to "Go." She has already "Gone."

"and a child shall lead them..."



At 10:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

very cool!
God Bless you
Greenfield, Indiana

At 11:07 AM, Blogger brobrad said...

Cladee, like BJ, has parents that have reflected the light of the Father into their lives. She has definitely grasped the spirit of the Lord at an early age. Thank you Lord for this amazing heart for you and your people - a big heart in a little body!


At 11:12 AM, Blogger natenamy said...

That gives me shivers!!

Cladee, thank you for your commitment to Jesus, and for loving Him so much that you are willing to sacrifice your special day to serve others in His name! You are a very special little girl (young lady)!

Brent and Deanna, just wanted to say that we miss you and that we love you!

Hugs, kisses, and misses,

Amy (and Nate)

At 12:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! What else is there to say? Wow!

At 12:36 PM, Blogger Aunt Maralyn & Uncle Ray said...

Thanks Brent for your writing today. I'm sitting here with tears and I'm her "MEME" and know the whole story first hand. She is one amazing 6 year old as are her 2 sisters at 4 and 11. Ray and I are very blest to have a wonderful son and daughter who are bringing their children up with such great values. They all love the Lord and their lives reflect His glory.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family.
Aunt Maralyn

At 4:07 PM, Blogger Ashley Reagan said...

That's so awesome! I want to hug her! :o)

At 4:38 PM, Blogger Praying in Pink said...

Second on the hugs. Must be the California thing. . . no, of course it's the Jesus thing!

Thank you for that very touching story. We DO know why Jesus held a little child up as an example. Now, BJ and at least two of his little cousins stand before us--as ours.

praying in pink,
with tender love,


At 9:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How utterly awesome! What wonderful parents she has to teach and guide her so well. And what an open heart to hear His still, small voice and to obey. We must all be like the children, as Jesus said!

God bless you all
Praying in Pink~

Linda Anderson


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