Mission Field Report – 24 May 2005

God Did It!
Mission report from Children’s Bible Schools, India, May 2005-
Nancy Cunningham

Every mission trip is unique in its experiences, joys, trials and lessons. Inevitably each mission trip results in one of the team members coining a phrase that ends up becoming the trip "logo" and finds itself repeated in a variety of situations by all on board! The recent Children’s Bible School ministry in India was no exception. Three small but powerful words became our daily cry of joy…"God did it!"

"God did it" applied to the fantastic team from six churches that The Lord put together to prepare materials such as artwork, coloring books, visual aids, memory verses, crafts and missionary quotes in numbers hard to imagine. "God did it" applied to the unknown numbers who were motivated to support and pray, allowing this ministry to continue one more year. And when the first Children’s Bible School began and the number of kids walking through the gate to hear the gospel moved us to tears all we could say was, "God did it!"

At the first CBS we had a total of 1350 kids from the age of 3 and up. Some educated, some not, some well cared for, some not. Some came from loving families with decent income; some from tattered make shift homes of migrant workers. Some were believing children from Christian homes, many others were sent from Hindu and Moslem homes to hear for the first time the love and sacrifice of The Lord Jesus Christ. This diverse group of children all came together with one thing in common. God loves each of them and cares about the eternal destiny of their soul. He called each one there to come and meet His Son, to be fed with His Word and nurtured by His Spirit. How did they all come together? "God did it!"

Over the course of the three week ministry in India we ministered to nearly three thousand children. We were happy to send the kids home with gospel coloring books, memory verses, and beautiful crafts in hand. They went home with songs and bible lessons in their hearts. God enabled us at every turn, giving us strength, protection, joy, endurance, wisdom, comfort and love. He gave us a great time of ministry and a great time of fellowship. We often looked at each other and asked the question, "How could four middle-aged housewives/stay-at-home moms and one college student be called to such a fantastic experience?" There was only one answer we could come up with, "God did it!"

One moment stands out in my mind that I would like to share with you. We close each four day Children’s Bible School by having the children line up to receive a beautiful certificate of achievement with their name on it and hand signed by us as their teachers. Along with this we give them a gift of a pen or small pack of crayons, shake their sweaty little hands and with a hearty smile encourage them to stand firm in their faith. This year as I was going through this process with my senior class of 600 children I was struck with a thought that brought tears to my eyes. These children were jumping at the chance to shake my hand, look into my eyes and with a big proud grin on their face say, "THANK YOU!" It wasn’t a thank you of obligation or duty. It was a true thankfulness that came from an overflowing heart and a lifted spirit. As I looked into their eyes and repeatedly heard their little voice of thanks I wished somehow I could package it all up and send it back home to you all!

I knew these children were giving me the appreciation but it belonged to the Lord and to a huge team of people that He put together to all play their individual part to make this ministry a reality. You can’t see their bright eyes and happy smiles; you can’t feel the warmth of their heart or the grip of their handshake but please know that there are thousands of little brown faced children in India that are sending you their thanks through this newsletter! Receive it and be encouraged by it!

This is our fifth consecutive year of Children’s Bible Schools in central India, India. Each year the number of children attending increases by leaps and bounds. With this growing number of children comes a growing need for workers and a greater demand of time, effort and money for all involved in the ministry. With the growing number of children problems arise in India- problems of organization, appropriate facilities and manpower to effectively minister to such large numbers of children. It all borders on a logistic nightmare! The question was asked several times this year, "How will we continue this ministry?" All that I have seen of God’s faithfulness in the past causes me to trust Him with the future. How will we continue this ministry? "God will do it!"

I would just like to ask one more thing of you. Please don’t stop praying just because we are home safe. The children and Indian workers remain behind in India and need your prayers.

Prayer Requests-
1. Please pray for needed protection for pastors and team of workers that remain in India.
2. Pray for the Christian children that were taught at the Children’s Bible Schools. Pray that God would continue to edify them, protect them and raise them up to be the next generation of spiritual leaders in India.
3. Pray for those children that came and heard the Gospel but do not yet believe. Ask the Lord to prepare their hearts to receive Him.
4. Pray for the many Hindu and Muslim homes who now have the Gospel books in their homes. Ask the Lord to use these materials to open their eyes to faith in Him.
5. Pray for me and the team of artists here in Perth. We will soon begin work on the curriculum and materials for next year.

Special word of thanks to-
Diane Stier, Kim Maguire, Lynn Jensen and my lovely daughter Katie for accompanying me to the enchanted land of India, for being so flexible, so patient, so willing and so able to minister to the children. And to the families and churches that faithfully stood behind them!

In His joy, nan