Serendipity, I do not recall using this word before. It sounds too scholarly to be used in everyday language but I am choosing to use it as I write this.
Take 1: My friend Amy and I were heading towards our vehicles after finishing whatever we were doing one afternoon. And there I just learnt from her that her parents have been missionary in Philippines for a decade. Just like that, while crossing the road. As you could have guessed that our conversation kept on going and more I heard about her parents, more I wanted to sit down with them. I asked her,would it be possible for her mom to teach and share the gospel message as she has been teaching to the people of Philippines? When I learnt she will be in town, I wanted to make sure; my children and I get to hear her.
Take 2: My friend, who I see frequently and I knew have been on a mission trip to Haiti. What I did not know that her missionary trip involved ministering and sharing gospel with the deaf children. Call me absolute out of touch from the reality, I just never thought of the complete demography who will not be able to listen the message of the gospel like many of us do. That the technique will have to be changed. It just never occurred to me.Moment of awakening.Yes!
Take 3: My friend Rebekah, who I have known for a while, has been missionary to many Latin American countries .She shares the gospel proficiently in the language which is not her mother tongue.
What I realized is God has somehow orchestrated for me to know about these three unique individuals who shared the gospel in a language they do not speak, in three unique geography and demography. Philippines slum dwellers to deaf kids of Haiti to mountain people of Peruvian mountains.
How can these three ladies come together to teach a group of kids ?Somehow, as you know it God opened up the schedule and Bible summer camp happened. All together 7 families joined in with their kids.
We wanted to cover everything our three Bible teachers had to share, so we made it into two half day events. Each day, we had time to listen to the message, taste some yummy food, do crafts, and play around.
Food: We had done the camp last year and believe it or not, of all the things, my daughter asked to do the food the way we did last year. We carefully picked the food which represented each geography that our missionaries have been to. We also included food representing the heritage of some of our participants.
To make it fun, we played ‘Guess where it is from’ as they served the food themselves. People in many of these countries sit down on the floor (Indian mat in this case)and eat using their hands. Some food got thumbs up from the kids and some not so much but all in a good spirit.
Craft: Children’s livings in many of these countries do not have the luxury to play with brand new toys. They entertain themselves with what they find on the road. An empty water bottle becomes a sprinkler, a tin can becomes drum and a wad of paper becomes a ball and such. So our children during the camp had to make something fun using the empty cardboards, paper tubes, boxes etc. They surprised us with what they can come up with.
Message presentation country wise
Philippines: Our Missionary and Bible teacher, Diane, had a very unique banner. It was made by a Filipino man who ministered with them. It was long and divided into two segments. Top part said, God’s way and bottom part said, Man’s way. Each segment had set of pictures, depicting Bible stories. It told how things turns out when man insists on his way versus taking God’s lead. As you know pictures speaks thousands words, kids had their full attention.
Haiti: Our Bible teacher, my friend Emily, shared her experience with kids using pictures and stories from her trip to Haiti. She taught them basic things in sign language as well as how she used the signs to convey the gospel message to the children who can’t hear. It was powerful. Our kids were keen on trying the signs they had learnt.
Peru: My friend, Rebekah, opened up with analogy of treasure box, which tends to be favorite among kids. She took it further explaining to them the word of God-The Bible, is a treasure which never runs empty. She used maps, Peruvian artifacts and videos of their time in Peru to make the conversation come alive. Kids learnt some common Spanish words along with the message.
After each of our bible teacher has finished with their presentation, we wanted to give our children the opportunity to exercise what they learnt.We divided them in three groups. Filipino slum dwellers, Peruvian mountain dwellers and deaf kids of Haiti. Each group has to share the gospel with each other using the technique that they learnt. It was fun to watch kids using what they learnt.
Our children are the closest that we have. We need to teach them word of God and provide them with the tools to be an ambassador for Christ. Ultimately God does the equipping and He can use parents, friends, anyone to be the vital part of the process.Are you willing ?