During the COVID-19 quarantine, hundreds of Facebook users have been logging on to the social media site to find words of encouragement and faith from Addison Bensing, a third-grader at Shafer Elementary School. The nine-year-old has been on a mission to inspire viewers with 30 Bible verses in 30 days.
It was Addison’s mother Lynn who first had the idea as a way to bring positivity to the many who are facing a difficult situation.
“Since the beginning of this quarantine…I have felt very strongly about the importance of both setting a good example of how to handle difficult times and doing something positive in the midst of it,” she says. “I asked Addison if she wanted to do this and she immediately said yes and was very excited about it!”
Giving back and getting involved is not something new to Addison. An avid animal lover, Lynn says she asked that the Easter Bunny donate pet supplies to the local shelters this year. These videos were another way Addison could give back.
Lynn chose 30 Bible verses that focus on overcoming fear and anxiety, something there is no shortage of these days. She had originally distributed the verses during her last in-person Bible study at the start of the pandemic.
“When Addison first said she was scared in response to what was going on, I told her I had verses printed out and that we could read them together in addition to praying,” Lynn says.
Addison’s first reading was Isaiah 41:10:
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
“[This is] my favorite Bible verse of all times, not just now,” says Lynn. “[And] this verse just happened to be the first one on the list.”
When that first reading was posted on Facebook, soon hundreds of viewers were finding encouragement, strength, and peace in them. Each video averages over 200 views and over 100 likes. Meanwhile, there are dozens of comments giving thanks and offering hope.
“The comments that people have been leaving have been so sweet and supportive,” says Lynn. “It seems as though people are truly finding her verses helpful during this time and they look forward to them every day.
Even first-responders and healthcare workers are tuning into the daily readings.
“Oh Addie, perfect timing and wonderful passage, been struggling with anxiety today, but as always you came to the rescue to help put me at ease!” one nurse said in the comments of a recent video.
Lynn says she is not sure if the readings will continue past 30 days, but she hopes that Addison’s readings have made a lasting impact.
“I hope that people can find peace and strength from God’s word during this time, but I also love to read comments that simply say [Addison’s] video put a smile on their face.”