Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Amazing Facts in Africa (part 1)

Amazing Facts in Africa? Yes! Keep reading! 
In less than three months, more than 80 teachers of the lower division have been trained in doing the Child Evangelism program of Amazing Facts. These trainings were conducted in three different sites, on three different dates and on three different occasions. Kenneth Ouma, a graduate of Philippine Amazing Facts Center of Evangelism (PAFCOE), was deeply impressed with the Child Evangelism program in the Philippines, that’s why he planned and organized so that the same program can be brought to Africa starting with Kenya. Two child evangelists from the Philippines, namely Renelyn Mendoza and Mayvilyn Ramos travelled to Kenya to spearhead the child evangelism program.

The first training was held at Newlife SDA Church where more than 30 teachers from 8 different churches around Nairobi participated. This was held last July 26-28 and August 3-4, 2013 at University of Eastern Africa – Baraton Campus then at Newlife SDA Church respectively. Pastor Philip Gai, the director of Publishing and SOP of East-Central Africa Division was one of the trainees. Elder Tom Ouma, the chairperson of the Children’s Ministries Department of Newlife SDA Church organized the event.

The second training was done at Mwangaza SDA Church last August 6-9 during the church’s annual camp meeting. More than 20 teachers attended and participated in this training. While the kids were at school, we grabbed the opportunity to train the teachers every morning for 4 consecutive days. This was organized by Jared Ochieng, one of the dedicated teachers from the church.

The third training was conducted at Monato SDA Church in Got Rabour, Homabay last September 30 to October 2. This was done on the final week of the evangelistic campaign in the place. 26 teachers, 3 pastors and 1 Anglican pastor attended the said training. Pastor Philip Gai, the main speaker of the evangelistic seminar organized the event in coordination with Pastor Duncan Wawo and Pastor Hellen Owino, directors of Publishing and Children’s Ministries departments respectively at Ranen Conference.

The Child Evangelism program is designed to equip lower division teachers with a variety of Bible-based techniques in teaching and evangelizing boys and girls.   The main goal of this program is to train lay persons to have the confidence in handling children’s programs so that every adult seminar will have a parallel program for the children. In that way, the spiritual needs of everybody in the community is met.

Three points are being emphasized in these programs.

1) Teach Bible doctrines. Even children should be taught important doctrines such as Sabbath, Law, State of the Dead, Tithe, Hell, Antichrist and even Mark of the Beast. Do away with fictitious and superficial stories where the children gain nothing. At an early age, if properly taught, they can be established in the church so they can do the purpose of evangelizing other persons.

2) Jesus must be uplifted. John 12:32 says “and I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me”. If Jesus is lifted up in all discourses, even children can be drawn to Him.

3) Let topics coordinate with adult evangelism.  Wherever possible in evangelism, let the topics be coordinated so that the children are learning the same truth as the adults are learning and when they go home, parents and children alike can discuss the same topics that they both have heard from the evangelistic programs.

Everyone who attended received a certificate of attendance and the complete files for the child evangelism program which includes the powerpoint presentations, scripture songs, craft pages and coloring pages. Recipients of these trainings have given positive feedbacks. They really appreciated the beauty and the holistic approach used in the program. They are more than thankful and happy for the new insights gained and for the materials that they can use in evangelizing boys and girls.

They all embraced the challenge to step forward and preach the message not just to adults but most especially to children because they have the greatest time on earth to serve God and to share the message about salvation. Children’s minds are just like sponges. They just absorb readily all the truths that they are hearing and they just not keep it to themselves but they also share it to their peers, families and relatives. Indeed, more people are reached by the message when we share it to boys and girls.
The Amazing Facts team are excited to hear child evangelism reports from everyone who attended the training. Below are more pictures:

  Check back for more stories from Africa and from OJT!