When Jade Haney fell victim to bullying as a third-grader, two things gave her the courage to stand: The encouraging prayers of her parents, and the Word of God she learned by watching Superkid videos. Today, at 23, Jade is still standing as she ministers the love of God both at home and abroad. And she credits much of her work to what she learned through Superkid Academy. Jade shares part of her story in the following letter:
I remember at a very young age feeling that I was different.
I grew up in a loving Christian home and gave my life to Jesus when I was 5 years old. In our home, talking about Jesus and singing praise-and-worship songs was considered normal. It was normal for my friends and me to take turns pretending we were preachers—praying for each other, falling down and covering each other up with blankets.
I remember once, when I was about 6, my family ordered pizza. After my mom had answered the door and gone to get money to pay for the pizza, I saw the delivery man standing in our doorway alone as a divine opportunity for evangelism! You laugh, but I’m not kidding. I looked up at the man in the doorway and point-blank asked him, “Are you a Christian?”
“Well, I try to be,” he nervously replied.
“You can’t try to be a Christian,” I responded. “You either are or you aren’t.”
Upon my parents’ realization that I was interrogating the pizza man, they speedily paid him, letting him off the hook.
Looking back, I now know that God had called me and that I was a good kind of different. But, as an elementary school student, being different didn’t always seem good.
In third grade, my life was made miserable by a group of four fourth-grade girls. I attended a private Christian school, but there was nothing Christian about how I was treated by my peers. Since the school was small, the third- and fourth-grade classes were combined. One girl in particular encouraged the others to pick on me, because I was the only third-grader in our class.
These girls would look for the pettiest reasons to laugh at my expense.
One day, for instance, as we were all running out to the playground, the ringleader shoved me onto the pavement and I skinned my knee pretty badly. She looked back at me with no remorse, completely apathetic. Thinking back, I believe the poor girl must have gone through something traumatic to make her as cold as she was at that young age.
A couple of years before this incident, when I was 6, my grandma bought a movie for my cousins and me to watch called The Intruder. From that point on, I started keeping up with the Superkid movies. For my eighth birthday, my mom’s friend gave me a copy of the Superkid Trilogy, which included The Intruder, Armor of Light and The Sword, all on VHS! This gift couldn’t have come at a better time…it was the summer before I was to encounter the horrible year of bullying.
I would watch those movies over and over, day after day. Eventually, I knew every song and every scripture in each movie, by heart. The two things that gave me courage to face those girls, and not believe the horrible things being spoken over me, were the encouraging prayers of my parents, and the Word of God that was packaged in the message of Superkid Academy and those movies.
I remember singing “Know Who You Are in Jesus,” and getting a deep revelation of who I really was in Him. When I began to really know Jesus, and believe I was who He said I was, I started seeing through the shallowness of my bullies’ insults. The presence of God was very tangible in those moments, and He began to stir up a fiery faith inside me. Every time I watched Armor of Light or The Sword, the Holy Spirit was doing something great in me. The depth of God’s love overwhelmed me, and I knew that I was His!
Today, I am 23 years old. I serve on several worship teams at my church for our regular weekend services, as well as for our Restore ministry, Elevate student ministry and our young-adult ministry, and I love writing songs. I am passionate about following God with my whole heart, and I want to take the gospel all over the world. I have gone on mission trips to Mexico, Guatemala, Singapore and Honduras, and next year I am going to India.
I am telling you this, not to lift myself up, but to give glory to God. If He can take a child who felt as insecure and odd as I did, and transform her into a bold and unashamed evangelist, nothing is too difficult for Him.
Every Believers’ Convention, every church service, every ounce of time, money, effort and creativity that was poured into making those films was well worth it! God used all of you to give me hope for my future.
Thank you for reaching out and teaching me about my identity in Jesus Christ!
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