India Children’s Bible Schools
Many hands and hearts worked together this year for the children of India!
Some went, others stayed, some taught, others prayed, some printed, drew, laminated, cut, gave, translated, designed, colored, punched and packaged!
All was done with one purpose in mind….
to share the love and light of Jesus Christ with eternal souls that need to know Him!
As always, I want to begin by thanking everyone who helped in making this years CBS’ so wonderful! Missions is always a team effort and that is especially true with the children’s ministry since it requires the preparation of so many materials. When the suitcases were all packed we were carrying over 10,000 Telegu laminated memory verses, 2500 missionary quotes, 6500 prepacked crafts, some puppets and various items for object lessons. That’s a lot of stuff! I love the thought that on all of those things were the handprints and heartprints of so many friends back in America who played their part in the ministry!
Once again, we had an incredible number of kids, somewhere in the vicinity of 2500 children over the course of the two week ministry. There were many highlights along the way but one in particular that I will share with you. The story begins back in January when Gene and I were in Papua New Guinea. At the end of our time there we visited the village of Kawawoki. It is a village full of poor people with a great love for Jesus Christ. For the second year in a row these amazingly gracious people gave out of their own poverty to assist the children’s ministry in India. Their desire to reach out to far away lands to people they have never seen moves me to tears, because they themselves are in so much need. I promised them I would invest their love offering into the souls of the little ones in India. While I was teaching the children in Kawawoki they sang a song in broken English that captivated my heart. So, I videoed them singing it and doing the actions. The words go like this…
I’m free, I’m free, I’m free, I’m free,
I’m free to be a servant of The Lord.
He taught me how to praise Him,
He taught me how to sing a song,
He taught me how to love,
(at that point they count to 10 and hug the people around them)
I’m free to be a servant of The Lord!
Now the story goes back to India. We taught this song to the senior class in India and they loved it, it quickly became the theme song for our CBS. In addition, each day I tell my senior class a missionary story and they learn a missionary quote. So one morning I shared with them the story of Jim and Jaki Parlier and the ministry that we are now involved with in Papua New Guinea. I was able to hook up a laptop and show them actual pictures of the people and work in PNG and close by telling them that some of the crafts that they were enjoying so much had been supplied through the grace of the poor villagers of PNG. They were amazed and seemed to feel an instant bond with those gracious souls in PNG. The next day, my senior class of 600 Indian students joined together to bring their own offering out of their poverty- they wanted to reach back across the miles to the children of PNG and share their love for Christ with them. I went back to my room with a bag laden with 1 and 2 rupee coins and sweaty little folded up 10 rupee notes. That little bag full of love has been converted to US dollars and is sitting in wait until we can return to PNG next January to invest it in the lives of the children there. And, I recorded one of the favorite songs of the Indian children to now share with the village kids in PNG! It’s so encouraging to be training up young ones to have a missionary heart and build bonds between people who’s only common ground is the love of Christ!
My special thanks to Kim Maguire, Janet and Elizabeth Preston, Jackie Gonsales and their sending churches. They each added so much to the India ministry- Kim is the bright light of joy and compassion, Janet keeps us all organized and yet never gets flustered, Elizabeth is the youth, energy and melody of the team, and Jackie is the trophy of one who serves God with willing heart and capable hands.
I’m so glad to be home, and miss India so much!