By Terry Jones
Alan was cheating. He was tearing pages out of his AWANA book so he
could do less and still get the badges. It worked for a while but then we caught on.
Why was his book thinner than the rest?
We called him aside. “Alan, you don't have to cheat! You're smart enough
to do the work and memorize the verses.” He looked at us rather puzzled. “No
one has ever said that about me. I don't think I'm smart enough to learn this.”
Instead of punishing him or asking him to leave the club, we sat down with him
and explained that God is not pleased with cheating. He wants our best. This was
a turning point in Alan's life.
Alan had thought about dropping out of school. In Costa Rica one is only
required to attend school until the sixth grade. After our conversation he began
to apply himself at school. His grades improved and he decided to attend junior
high. Doing well there, he set his sights on graduating from high school. During
this time God began to work on his heart about his need of salvation. Even though
Alan was faithful to church, he had never accepted Christ as his Savior. As a teen,
he realized that without Jesus, he was lost and on his way to hell. Knowing this
fact and remembering all the verses he had learned in Sunday school and AWANA
clubs, Alan accepted the Lord as his personal Savior. What a blessing it was to
baptize him as my brother in Christ!
Today, Alan is working in one of the largest banks in Costa Rica. More
importantly, he is a leader among the young people and a help to Pastor Walter
Chaves, pastor of La Iglesia Bautista Betel (the Bethel Baptist Church) of Cuatro-
Alan at a youth event that he organized