Last Thursday, I had an internet video meeting with one of our EGM team members in East Africa. During that meeting, he shared the progress of our training and development programs for children’s ministry leaders in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In eastern DRC, the EGM-DRC team organized various four-week Model Children’s Worker training programs. During one of the training sessions, a Congolese leader was taught the fourth Model Children’s Worker quality: discussion. The quality of “discussion” centered on the phrase “talk about them” in Deuteronomy 6:7. The focus of the session was creating small-group discussion where children can talk about the Bible teaching as it relates to their real lives. That Sunday, as the Congelese leader was applying what she had learned, she taught a lesson from Jonah 3 on the theme of forgiveness.
During the “discussion,” two young girls shared about their struggle to forgive someone who had abused them sexually. In the DRC this is illegal, must be reported and is also an enormous social problem. Some sociologists suggest that one-fourth of women in the DRC have been sexually abused. The children’s ministry leader took the appropriate actions; and most importantly, she ministered to the two young girls in the name of Jesus Christ.
During the leader’s next training and de-briefing session with EGM-DRC, the children’s ministry leader shared about these two little girls. They had been going to the church she attended for some time. In Sunday School, they had memorized Bible verses, sang many worship songs and told Bible stories. However, there had never been an environment where the Word of God was brought to bear on the real-life challenges that children face.
I thank God for His Word that encourages us to teach Bible truth; “impress them on your children…” Deuteronomy 6:7 and “talk about them” in the context of real life situations.
I also thank God for this Congolese leader who learned to speak the language of these two young girls, both literally and figuratively. She is clearly the right person to be equipped to bring grace, truth and the love of Christ in a culturally relevant way to these two precious little girls.
Children all over the world are dealing with challenges, problems and “life.” Some of these issues are greater than others. All of them offer the opportunity for children’s workers to connect God’s Word to real life. In so doing, children can experience transformation in Christ through His Church.