Rocky Bayou Christian School students learn from Capt. Ben Marler.
Anyone, and everyone, can have a ministry. Age is not important — just what's in your heart.
Leigh Ellen Crocker Bee's fourth grade class at Rocky Bayou Christian School recently began its own ministry.
All year, they have been discussing what Capt. Ben Marler was doing on the Destin Bridge and what they could do to help him. Marler can be spotted standing on the bridge that was named after his grandfather each day at about 7 a.m. He holds a sign telling motorists that Jesus loves them.
"I shared with the kids at the first of the year that Ben was my friend and that he was someone important in my life," Bee told The Log. "We very openly pray daily in my classroom for any and everything that anyone shares that is on his/her heart. I told them that Ben spends his life telling others about Jesus and that he needed our prayers daily. When Ben started his bridge ministry, I was excited to tell the kids what he was doing each morning."
After much brainstorming on ways to help, student Reghan Spence came up with the idea "Walking with Jesus," and they decided as a class to make a sign using their footprints to show they were all walking in their faith in Jesus.
On the morning of April 19, Bee and her students met before school at the bridge to present Capt. Ben with their sign. Capt. Ben shared his heart with the class and prayed with them.
The class knows who Capt. Ben is — and they know his heart; they have learned from him and grown in their faith.
"I learned that it is OK to share Jesus with people who don't know Him," said Jewel Whittle.
Evelynn Garrett added, "God loves kids and Capt. Ben loves kids and God," and Serina Vonarx said, "I learned that Capt. Ben really loves Jesus and that he loves kids and that he prays well."
"Capt. Ben loves God and he loves children because God made us," said Callie Godwin.
Landon Willner said he had learned that "God has a plan for all of us," and Reghan Spence said, "God is always with us and loves us and we should follow Him."
Sometimes God uses the hearts of His smallest children to move others to do His work and get involved.
"I learned that we can serve God and share the love of Jesus even though we're young ... we can still make a difference," said Kaitlyn Poole.
Bee has been at Destin Christian Academy/Rocky Bayou Christian School since 2007. She taught in both public and Christian schools in Montgomery, Ala., before moving here.
"What I love about teaching in a Christian school and why I believe God has called me to teach here is because I can share my faith on a daily basis," she said. "It's about being able to show that everything, every subject we study is part of God's creation. We start every day studying the Bible and there is nothing I love more. These kids encourage me in my walk as a Christian; they have such great faith, already at such a young age. They are my heart."
Bee said she believes that "praying for Capt. Ben and getting involved in this project has been an incredible blessing for these children. God will honor their faithfulness."