Christchurch After School Club’s Kids Connect has been operating at Yaldhurst School on Thursday afternoons for the past 10 years and has provided the perfect opportunity to teach Hope for Kids. The Club is totally independent of the school and so the Gospel can be freely presented. What a blessing it was to realise that I was teaching a little 6-year-old boy the other day whose mother I had also taught as a 7-year-old and praise God she came to faith only a few months back. Kids Connect is a family ministry that builds caring relationships with the whole family and hence has the freedom to walk with them through inevitable crises when they occur. These are natural times to share the hope of the Gospel. I have a quiet assurance that the children that attend on Thursday afternoons are handpicked of the Lord and He is at work in their lives.
Adrienne van Rij, EE Coordinator, Christchurch.
In 2005 Anne Bowie and Christine Carr ran a (then known as) Kids EE training workshop. Fran Dawson, Tim Davis and I, among others, attended. Tim was at East Taieri Presbyterian Church while I was assisting Fran Dawson at Leith Valley Church and we immediately put the programme into practice. When East Taieri hired a full-time Children’s minister, I returned to Leith Valley, and helped run another two Kids EE programmes. The last one was interesting in that we only had ten weeks that term, so we compressed the programme into those ten weeks – the fun fair was deconstructed and each event was put with the accompanying lesson, we put “Growing in Jesus” into the next term, and wrapped our OJT into a Christmas visit to a local nursing home.
I am excited about the upcoming opportunities for training in the South Island for 2017. A commitment to four training sessions is fantastic! Unfortunately, there has been no regular series of training seminars in Dunedin. I wish the reason was that we had saturated the local churches with trainees. In reality, there is a lot more work to be done targeting the people who ought to be introduced to EE. But, if the question is, have children been introduced to the Gospel in a way that is memorable and able to be communicated? Then yes, they have. They have also learned the tools to communicate their faith. The first students we taught are now coming of age to leave home and enter Uni. Will what we taught them hold up when they are tested and do not have the framework of their parents supporting them? I was greatly encouraged to see some of those members of our first class being baptised this month. Their testimonies indicate they have internalised their faith and have had a real encounter with God. Time will tell if the other half of the programme is effective – can they share their faith with others?
David Jull, EE Coordinator, Dunedin.