Something’s changed in the children’s work on Sunday afternoons at Chilongolo. What’s going on?
There has always been children’s ministry at Chilongolo. Over 100 children at a time would attend the meetings, children of all ages from babies on backs to older teens. Something drew them every week. It wasn’t any sophisticated presentation – we just met under a thatched umbrella in the early days! It wasn’t even regular handouts of gifts, although occasionally we were able to give small items to the children.
It may have been the open space for playing. But most of all it seems to be the love and attention that is always there for them when they come for that hour to Rainbowz – the Holy Spirit at work.
The missionaries have manned Rainbowz for 12 years, along with help from local young people who have assisted with translation; people like Jojo Banda, who lived with his parents on the plot in 2004 and was co-opted to help. He’s still doing it.
In those 12 years many visitors have enjoyed helping out with their special skills whilst doing other useful things for FMZ and have brought teaching and games materials too. Some supporters of missionaries put child-friendly items into parcels or containers.
The venue changed a few years back- from the thatched shelter, which served as a waiting area for passengers in times past, to a purpose-built area for community projects like this one.
What has also changed is the leadership. The young men and women who have until now been helpers, are now able to lead the ministry themselves – and well. We heard tell that just a couple of weeks ago a whole group of the children was led to trust Jesus with their lives.
There have been some adjustments to be made, as one would expect, but the leaders say they are working together well now and enjoying it. What a positive step this is: young people leading younger people on a continent which is largely made up of youth.
Let’s pray for them in this new venture that they will be mightily blessed by many more young people coming to Christ as they reach out in love to the neighbourhood children of Makeni Konga.