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  6. ten year old Ashley Danielle Oubré
  7. Ron Cooper, 12/17/02

Think on this.

At the 1995 Mayoral Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., ten year old Ashley Danielle Oubré, delivered a memorable speech that brought the audience to its feet in two standing ovations. The brief mind-stirring text follows.

Good morning, Mayor Barry, platform guests, ladies, and gentlemen. I appreciate this opportunity to speak to the leadership of the greatest city in the world on behalf of the children. I wondered what I would say to you when I was first asked if I would make a presentation. Being young limits the experience you have in most areas, but not as being a child.

Jesus said, “Unless you become like a child you cannot enter the kingdom.” When I think about my friends, who are all young people like myself, many things come to mind.

If you would like to be a child in God's kingdom, I will share some of what we think about and do.

Children play together, have lots of fun, and sometimes fight, but the very next day we make up and play again. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, neighbors and our leaders would be more that way? It hurts us when we see you fighting and not making up.

When you tell us something, we believe it, and we don’t ask many questions. We have faith and trust in you until we grow up and find it's really not that way with adults. I think you tell us Bible stories because we are children. The Bible stories do us a lot of good, but you don’t tell each other Bible stories. Are they only good for children?

You teach us that when we have a problem, we should talk it out with others and with Jesus. You say that we should pray about it and keep our hearts right for Jesus. You say that Jesus can solve all of our problems, both big and small. But we notice, when people get older and have problems, they are embarrassed to talk like that among themselves. We wonder if you really mean it, or is Jesus only for kids? I am still young enough to believe that Jesus knows how to solve my problems, the problems of the city, and of the world. I hope I never grow old enough to stop believing and that you all become like children in search of God's kingdom.

Thank you very much for listening to me. God bless you all!


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