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Kidztown Teacher Feature: Erin Krotz

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I want to periodically feature Kidztown teachers, so I thought I'd start at the top!  Today Erin Krotz has answered some questions about working at Gateway with our children.
What is your official position with Kidztown?
Children's Director
How long have you worked with Kidztown?
I am coming up on my 2 year anniversary with Gateway on April 8...which is my birthday!
Tell us about a time you were blessed by the kids.
I wish I was one of those people who loved study for the sake of studying or just to know, but I'm an extreme optimist who would rather be socializing. So it's hard for me to study the Bible for the sake of myself, but because I love people I will study it to share it with others. I think that's why God called me into ministry. He knew I'd study to impart truth to kids and in that process I grow in my relationship with God. I get all pumped up about what God is teaching me and then get to share with an audience of kids who are just as excited as I am. It's like they're my accountability partners. They hold me accountable to put my relationship with Christ first.
So every time I'm with the kids and they ask good questions that challenge me I'm blessed. Let me just say I'm blessed a lot!!!
Tell us about a life you've seen touched.
Okay parents, I'm gonna let you in on a little Centri-kid Camp I highly encourage pranks. Mostly because I think they're funny, but I have two rules: no person or property can be harmed and you have to run it past a leader first. 
Well this past year our girls nailed it. They got Oreo cookies, scraped out the cream and replaced it with tooth paste. They then gave it to one of the boys' leaders and had him pretend that he got them just for the boys. As they began to eat them, they began asking questions like "why is the cream so runny?" or "are these mint Oreos?". All the girls started giggling and then they shared what they did. The boys couldn't think of a retaliation that didn't harm a person or property. 
That night it the midst of the chaos one of our fourth grade boys started lurking behind me. I was certain he was going to try to prank me. He offered his skittles to me and hesitantly I took some, but made sure he ate some first! 
I asked him what was up and he said he thought it was time he prayed to receive Christ. I asked him if he had ever prayed that prayer before and he told me several times at night in bed by himself. So I ask what was different about this time. He said it was the first time he ever told anyone else about it. I almost started crying, but since I didn't want to freak out a fourth grade boy I resisted. I prayed with him and it was the first time I really heard a kid pray with confession of real sin. I knew he felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit and these weren't just wrought words, but a deep heart felt cry to God. I promise you I was still holding back my tears!
Now as a fifth grader I see God completing the work He began even before that night at camp. The other day at roller skating he asked me if he accidentally knocked down a little girl would he have to apologize. I told him that he would and he responded "ok I really don't like talking to people I don't know, but I'll do it." This is the work only God can do on a fifth grade boy heart!
Thanks so much for that peek into your heart and the way God is working through Kidztown, Erin!

A Lesson from Speed Bumps on the Road to Intimacy with God

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A lesson from Speed Bumps on the Road to Intimacy with God:
Have you ever had a direct encounter with God?  
Have you experienced seeing a sign along the street that speaks to you?  Or perhaps an unbelievable sense of peace during your quiet time with the Lord.  Perhaps God comes to you when you are reading the Word, or you hear his words in the quiet whispers of the wind.  If we let him, God comes to each of us in ways that suit our particular needs, for God has a deeper understanding of our needs and desires than we ourselves do.  And he loves us in ways we cannot even comprehend.
From our study we are reminded that Encounters with God happen on Holy Ground.  Sadly, In today's world, we are often so struck from our experience of God's power in our lives that we fail to fully recognize the awesomeness, majesty, power and absolute holiness of his presence.

But encounters with God need not be matters of absolute chance.  Indeed, the men in our small group have learned that coming back to a particular place in reverence, where we can ask God to help us with our most difficult burdens, can open up a place where God can reveal himself to us.  For some of us, this place is a particular place in our home, for others of us it is a particular place in our yard or on our deck.  Some of us prefer seeking God in the beauty of Nature -- and some of us seek him in absolute darkness where nothing else can possibly distract us from his glory and power.   
At some point we realize that we have nothing to offer God but our broken spirits and our contrite hearts.  When our lives are on the rocks, all we can hope for to save us from disaster is God's mercy and grace.  Many in our group have begun the practice of highlighting those times where God has shown up in our lives. Among our practices, members of our group have: written of their experience in journals; shared their experiences verbally sharing the specifics of where and how God has shown up in their lives; and some have collected small mementos to serve as physical reminders of these important encounters.   
Given our experience, we recommend that you consider developing a practice of memorializing where God has shown up in your life. Regardless of what you choose to do, by revisiting those times and places where God has shown up in your life, you can deepen your Intimacy with the one who loves and saves us.
The Men's Group meets on Tuesday nights in Ashburn, led by Jan Zachariasse.

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