Hello! As the editor of the VBS Missions curriculum, I cannot tell you how excited I am for boys and girls to have an opportunity to meet Andrew Mann and his dog, Proof, in VBS this summer. Andrew will be sharing his story and how Proof is involved in his ministry on the VBS blog over the next few days! So let me just turn it over to Andrew and Proof!
In a city of 8 million people, there are hundreds of thousands of dogs: big dogs, small dogs, furry dogs, hairless dogs, mean dogs, and nice dogs. Up in the Bronx though, is one very unique dog. In fact, she is the first of her kind. Working with a ministry and church called Graffiti 2 www.graffiti2ministries.org, she is a missionary dog.
Graffiti 2 is in a borough of New York City called the Bronx, long infamous for the devastating circumstances that are faced by its residents. Graffiti 2 is sharing the love of Christ and watching as He revolutionizes not only individual lives but a neighborhood.
As kids go on the Big Apple Adventure this summer, they will have an opportunity to see how God is revolutionizing lives all over the world through missionaries. On Day 3, of the mission’s curriculum, kids in VBS will learn more about the ministry of Proof. Meanwhile, share a day in the life of Proof in three installments (beginning today and continuing in 2 subsequent postings).
Proof God Exists*
Shhh! She’s asleep. Laying on her brown, corduroy pillow, worn from several years of use one might not think anything unique about this mild-mannered pooch, but that is often the case for the most remarkable among us. Just as many dogs do she quivers and turns during her nightly snooze. She even drools like many of you. With the sound of an alarm, her master awakes and she hears her favorite words, “Good Morning Proof.”
That’s right, her name is Proof. It is unlikely to find another dog by the same name, but if one did it is doubtful that such a search would reveal another as skilled as Proof. Of course she can fetch, sit, lay, and roll. She can shake, crawl, jump, and even hug to warm the coldest soul. All of that is handy as she performs her work. Some dogs like her are trained to help smell, search, and find. While others’ duties involve helping the blind. Proof is unique, though, she is a missionary, maybe the first of her kind.
This morning is much like all the others. Proof expectantly awaits her master’s approval to devour her morning breakfast. Unlike many of her canine companions she patiently waits . . . and waits . . . and waits . . . until she hears . . .”Okay, Proof.” The hard, dry food is gone in a flash.
Descending four flights of stairs, Proof and her master step out on the stoop of the building and head down the street. Proof steps off the curb and on another as she crosses the street trotting alongside her master’s feet. They continue past a colorful wall tagged with graffiti, that’s the art of the city.
Turning the corner reveals a long, straight street of six-story buildings. Walking below black fire escapes which hug the front of each building, they proceed past many stoops which lead to black doors. Behind each of these black doors are many more black doors, the doorways to hundreds of homes. From these stoops many watch Proof gait by, some sitting, others standing, some young, others old. Ms. Whittie and Mr. Cruz each say, “Hello, Proof!”
Continuing down the sidewalk, Proof hears her name, “Proof.” Looking around, it comes again, “Proof up here.” Proof’s gentle gaze looks past a power line strewn with sneakers. Who knows how they got here, but now abandoned by their owner, they become a backdrop in the city, one of much lore. Above these hanging shoes to a window on the sixth floor, a hand is waving vigorously back and forth. This is the typical morning parade.
After a friendly wave and what seems to be a smile from Proof, the two move forward past a concrete clad park where children often play. Today with the children in school, no children are afoot but two squirrels squabble over an acorn, one chasing the other to a towering elm. Turning the final corner they arrive on the block where behind the green door Proof daily works . . .
To Be Continued . . . In the meantime, visit Graffiti 2’s Web site www.graffiti2ministries.org to find out more info about the work that takes place in the South Bronx. Also, click on the following link to download an order form for your very own Proof t-shirt. Proof Order Form Proceeds benefit the ministry of Graffiti 2.
*”Proof God Exists” is an original work of Andrew Mann. All Rights Reserved.Andrew Mann, VBS 2011, VBS Missions