The Vacation Bible School has officially come to a close and all in all, it was … AMAZING. God answered every prayer that we (and you) prayed. He held off the rain during the VBS, the Word was taught, the Lord really helped us communicate clearly, and even our unsaved adult neighbors came to listen to the Bible stories (and color pictures!). We had around 60-80 kids each day and, miracle of miracles, they generally sat quietly and listened attentively during our lessons. And, all around our town, catechisms on the trinity, the ways of Satan, and verses of Scripture are being sung. We are elated.
Our goal when we were planning for VBS was to have every child walk away saying that the Bible teaches that the spirits of the dead do not live among them but instead are sealed forever in either Heaven or Hell. We wanted to do this because much of their religion hinges on the idea that one must spend his life seeking to appease the ghosts of their deceased family members. Grown men have shared with us how anxious they are that their dead mothers might be mad at them. Many people will often “share” their food with these ghosts which means that they take the little food they have off their plates and throw it on the ground. We wanted to set these children free from this bondage.
We are happy to say that even though the biblical perspective may have not been immediately adopted, the children now know that the Bible teaches that there are demons around us but not the spirits of our ancestors. And these demons have the power to tempt us, posses those who are not indwelt with the Holy Spirit, lie to us, and even cause physical disabilities like being blind or deaf.
They also heard story after story of Jesus’ power over the demons. We discussed his ability to conquer Satan in the wilderness with the Word of God. We talked about the promise that if we submit to God and resist the Devil, he will flee from us. We acted out the story of the rich man and Lazarus highlight the fact that neither the rich man nor Lazarus could leave their eternal dwelling place to go back and interact with the living.
The final day, we shared the Gospel explaining that there are two kingdoms: the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light. We are all born into the kingdom of darkness and manifest our allegiance to this kingdom in how we sin. But Jesus came and he showed his power over demonic powers and the power of sin. And whoever believes in him will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. And this Spirit is a good Spirit who dwells inside of us and who gives us love, power, and self control.
Truly, the Word was taught and the children heard the message.
So, So, So Much Work to Do
There were a couple things that really stunned us during this VBS week. First of all, we were struck anew on how the grand majority of these kids literally know absolutely nothing about the Word of God. The task of teaching them who God is and his work in the world as revealed in the Bible is daunting, to say the least.
Another thing that was a bit discouraging was that the kids, although very warm towards us, rarely opened up to tell us what they were thinking. Thus we do not know where they are at spiritually nor how much they are understanding. This may be because we are still foreign in their eyes or it may have more to do with the distance there is between adults and children in this culture. Kids do not open up to adults in general and are not encouraged to ask questions.
Also, there were adults who came, which was great. However, we were praying that the few Christians in our church would develop a love for the children and a heart to teach this up and coming generation the Word of God. We did not see that passion in these adults this week and thus we know we need to keep on praying for the Lord to work in their hearts. In September, we plan to introduce a new children’s curriculum on the book of Luke at our church and train the adults how to use it. We are praying that the Lord would use that to move their hearts to invest in children.
While We Are at It…
So, since we are talking about all the great need there is here, I thought I would put in a plug for a children’s ministry worker to join us on the field. Sadly, there seems to be a lot of neglect of children here and they are not taught as they should be. Our prayer is for someone to come and help churches implement biblical children’s programs, teach Christian parents the importance of teaching their children the Word of God and also teach the children themselves. So if you or anyone you know may be interested, please do let us know.
Anyway, we praise the Lord for his work this week and thank you all for your prayers and love for these kids. We could not be more pleased or excited.