To facilitate a truly global conversation, we ask Christian leaders from around the world to respond to the Global Conversation’s lead articles. These points of view do not necessarily represent the Lausanne Movement. They are designed to stimulate discussion from all points of the compass and from different segments of the Christian community. Please add your perspective by posting a comment so that we can learn and grow together in the unity of the Spirit.
A response to:
Big Vision Simple Ideas – Wendy Strachan
Wendy in her blog insists that the major question that still remains is:
How do we disciple children effectively especially those who grow totally outside the walls of our churches?
I remember 4 years ago when we started our ministry in Ruamba (closed country in Asia) we were wondering what kind of strategy we would use in order to bring children not only to the knowledge of Jesus as their friend but also to grow their relationship with a living God.
Yes the vision was big: 5 million children. Certainly the ideas needed to be simple…not much money and a totally closed country… but effective!
We started off by training people with very simple ways of gathering children together in homes, outside, in a shelter… games allowing children to relate to each other and understand simple biblical principles. Lots of singing, lots of fun… all things they had never known before.
Flocks of children came and within a few years we could reach out to about 4000 children every week for an afternoon all over the country. What was so special was the incredible thirst of these children for trust relationship, for loving care, for learning about Jesus.
We understood that in this country children are looked down on, despised, considered to be worth less than a dog.
What is the outcome? Not only are we sharing the gospel with thousands of children but we are also bringing compassion, new ways of living family life, renewed relationships between children and parents.
One young girl Moe Moe, 13 years old, started her own club at home and now she has 25 little friends coming every week to her club. She is the one explaining to them how to become friend of Jesus. This has cost her the mockery of many school friends and even bad grades from her teachers for not bowing in front of Buddha.
Children and their parents are gathering and wanting to start new churches. Already six churches have started this way.
Although there is huge opposition since it is a Buddhist country, entire families are discovering true freedom and thus changing their mind about children’s value.
Hundreds of volunteers have been trained and are also changing their mindset on children. Whole churches are now thinking differently about Sunday school teaching.
These little and simple beginnings have brought a positive revolution. It is turning their way of thinking upside down, they aim lower by reaching out to children, they think smaller by letting children serve their peers.
After 4 years we see different denominations working together, different organizations partnering and serving each other. Nothing is perfect but in so few years God has already done so much in the hearts of thousands and thousands of kids, parents, families, pastors, heads of schools and orphanages…
When it is God’s time, His spirit performs incredible miracles. We just need to obey !
Anne-Christine Bataillard (Grain of Wheat International)