The AWANA blog, Life Threads, carries a story today that features Brenda Wilcoxson, a member of the Winona Lake, Ind., Grace Brethren Church (Bruce Barlow, lead pastor). Written by Terry White, the former executive director and publisher at the Brethren Missionary Herald Company, the story tells how she felt led to begin a ministry to children in the tiny community where she worked. A portion of the story appears below. Click here to read the complete article.
One Lady in One Small Town Can Make a Big Difference
Brenda Wilcoxson has always liked children. During the 9+ years she was postmaster at the tiny north-central Indiana town, she kept a mailbox on her counter stocked with candy for the children. Some kids would stop by every day after school—others would spend time in the post office chatting with Brenda in the summer, when they came in to get their mail.
Because of her love for the kids, and her desire to introduce them to Jesus, last Easter, Brenda invited neighborhood kids to come to an afternoon in one of the local churches, where she would help them make Rice Krispie Easter baskets . . . and watch the Jesus video. Five children responded to the video by accepting God’s gift of eternal life.
As her post office retirement date of November 1, 2013, approached, Brenda pondered her future. Kathy, a friend, asked her, “What will you do next?” Brenda didn’t have a plan, but she had a growing conviction that she needed to do something to continue to minister to the children of the tiny town where she knew so many people.
So she and her friend Kathy circulated throughout the town distributing treat bags that included candy and an invitation to meet in a local church Tuesdays at 4 o’clock after school. “I knew everyone in town,” Brenda recalls—her expectations were high.
The first Tuesday, three children showed up. Undeterred by the small turnout, she kept at it, beginning just before Thanksgiving and continuing throughout the winter. Eventually the attendance, which included children in grades K-8, reached a high of 16.
“This is an underprivileged area,” Brenda observes, noting that the town includes a large number of renters, families living hand-to-mouth, and very few family units who are two-parent nuclear families.
Click here to read the complete article.