Introducing Jen Faith White and Sir Smoky!
My First Bible Lessons!
When I was 15 years old and had recently put my faith in the Lord Jesus, I began doing my first Mailbox Club lessons. (This was in the '60s and actually before The Mailbox Club had that name!) George Eager, his wife and close friends graded lessons every Friday night. Mine were among them!
Cut and Paste!
The first courses I took were lessons written for pre-school children. Among other things, I had to literally cut and paste five steps to salvation on the answer sheet. I remember thinking that this seemed childish for a 15-year-old. The Lord showed me, however, that as a babe in Christ I needed the same lessons that any new Christian required! Therefore I continued to cut and paste with gusto! That was years before the invention of computers and the term cut and paste came to mean something entirely different!
The Lord blessed me by giving me the opportunity to be discipled by George Eager through those beginning Bible lessons. While in college majoring in Art Education, I helped him by doing some of the original artwork for the Mailbox Club courses, which he was writing. I also made flannel graphs that he used when presenting the gospel in public schools.
I felt the Lord calling me into missions and Christian literature during high school. Since then, I have worked at The Mailbox Club office in Valdosta, Georgia, two different times (Once, for two years in the '70s and now again for the past eight years.) In between, I started a non-profit Christian Bookstore on St. Simons Island, Georgia, which I owned and managed for 24 years. In that ministry, I had the opportunity to counsel customers, teach them how to use their new Bibles, and help local churches with organizing their children's ministries. During that time, I also began my own Mailbox Club with lessons purchased from the headquarters in Valdosta. We passed out the free Mailbox Club courses to our customers and their churches, and then graded the lessons when they came back in the mail!
The Mailbox Club in Valdosta now has an in-house Graphic Arts division (very professional!) We do not have to ask a young teenager who takes our lessons to do the artwork! However, we do have students that enjoy adding their own illustrations to their lessons! I work down the hall from the Graphic Arts Department in the Discipleship Center grading the Best Friends Bible course for nine and ten year olds. It is thrilling to see that courses are now available for ALL age groups, not just the pre-schoolers. Many other ministries worldwide use our lessons and find that having follow-up materials for all ages is a major advantage in discipling those with whom they work.
"Living the Lessons!
Many of the things I know and do now are directly related to what I have learned (and continue to learn) through The Mailbox Club. When I share the gospel with a new friend, my mind goes back to those basic five steps I cut and pasted fifty years ago! Recently when I was in the hospital, I awoke thinking about an illustration in one of our lessons. The graphic shows how God works in the details of our lives to bring about good. That gave me the peace I needed and helped me to re-focus on Him! Our goal continues to be to plant God's Word in the hearts and lives of children and adults worldwide to glorify Him through simple Bible lessons!