Isaiah 43:1b, “I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”

  In 2007 I was in Nicaragua with a mission team sponsored by Park Avenue Baptist Church, El Dorado.  The folks at Park Avenue always planned to provide a one day Vacation Bible School (VBS) while in Nicaragua and this trip was no exception.  We visited a recently constructed one room church where people had gathered for the event.  We were told that the church had been built with funds provided by First Baptist Church, Topeka, KS.

As with any VBS there were Bible stories to be shared, a book in Spanish to be read to the children, duck, duck, goose to be played, snacks to be shared and, of course, crayons with photocopied sheets to be colored upon.

 While the VBS was ongoing I was taking photos of the people who had gathered.  One of the young people who was coloring was a fourteen year old girl who, as I crouched to take a photo of her and her friend, looked up at me.  Since she was looking at me I asked her what her name was.  She responded that her name was Arelys (Ah-ray-lys).  While I was still beside Arelys I asked another mission team member to take our photo.

 Over the next 30 to 40 minutes the young lady several times approached me and asked me to repeat her name.  For some reason it was important to Arelys that I would not forget her name.

 There is someone who knows our name.  He knew us before we were formed in the womb and he knows how many hairs are upon our heads.  He is aware of our greatest fears and seeks to comfort us and call us his own.  In Him there is nothing to fear for we are precious to him.


 I looked the name Arelys up on the Internet and learned that her Spanish name comes from a Hebrew root word meaning “the voice of God”.