Jessica and Antonio Faith Smile

“Dear God, please help us get to Italy and tell the people in Italy about Jesus… ‘cause they don’t know Jesus or your love. And please help us just get new things when we get there. Amen.”

This is Antonio’s basic daily prayer before meals. It usually brings me to tears. I generally swallow them back. But one day the tears just flowed. He asked me why I was crying and why I was sad. I told him I wasn’t sad but these were joyful tears. I am daily humbled by his childlike faith and his innocent prayers.

Let’s just be honest, he’s 3 and he doesn’t necessarily understand fully what he is praying for. But if I’ve learned anything over the last 3 and a half years as a parent, it’s that children understand far more than we think they do. And for any of you that know Antonio well, he is smart and intuitive. The boy was speaking in sentences at 18 months with a crazy large vocabulary! He picks up on EVERYTHING! He hears our conversations about our mission work, and he sits through many of our meetings with others when we share the need for the Gospel among the Italian people. And as a result, he asks LOTS of questions. So we talk. And apparently he listens. Because a few months ago out of the blue, Antonio started praying these kinds of prayers. And God humbled us through his faith-filled

Can we just be honest and confess that some days we forget to pray for the people of Italy? Some days we get lost in the planning and support raising and the child rearing and the working, and we forget to stop and seek God’s face. But not our son. With innocence he comes to God and simply asks Him for the miracle of changed hearts. And then he asks for something that is so transparent… that God would replace some of the things he must leave behind so we can take the Gospel to Italy.

While we don’t want our children to be focused on material things, I wholeheartedly support him and empathize with him in asking God to help us “get new things” when we get there. He is a child who sees that his toys and other familiar things are being sold or left behind, and he is simply asking God to replace some of those things when we arrive in Italy. I love that he goes to God and asks God to provide for him! In his own childlike way, he is acknowledging God’s sovereignty and God’s provision for EVERYTHING in our lives. And once again, I am humbled.

“And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, ‘Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’” – Matthew 18:2-4