Our Sunday school and other youth works have been so blessed and growing rapidly, that we dedicate this Newsletter to give you some insight as to the important developments in this vital part of our ministry.
The theme for this year in this Mission:
To Know HIM and to make HIM Known
and this is also the objective in all of our youth work.
Our main operation is at present our Germiston Church where we have about 50-60 children attending Sunday school every Sunday. Many new faces are now coming to us from the surrounding Germiston area, which is very gratifying because that means that we are starting to make inroads into the community and into their homes. Some of our children are still being brought from town by bus every Sunday together with grown-ups, being some of those to whom we ministered years ago in the centre of the city.
The curriculum we teach in Sunday school is ‘Bible Studies for Life’. These focus on making the teachings and the stories of the Bible relevant to the child in his / her particular stage of maturity.
We have at present eight teachers qualified to teach and we have five still in training. In the year we spend some 12 hours in teacher training, seeking to equip our teachers to serve our Lord more effectively in this very important part of our Church activities.
We run a Kids’ Club every Friday afternoon and have 25 -30 children attending each week. Here the focus has been on the curriculum as offered under the heading ‘Roots of Faith’. It gives the Biblical backing to the foundations of the Christian faith throughout the Bible and is a most fruitful study which our children thoroughly enjoy and participate in.
A new addition this year to our youth activities has been our Youth Club, designed to meet the need of the older children in the local area. In average ten children are attending. The curriculum taught is done in discussion style, a close follow-up on the previous week’s Sunday school material. Participation is lively and our youth are on fire and hungry for opportunities to reach others with the Gospel while wanting to learn more about the Lord.
The Lord has opened a very effective door for us to minister in a local Crèche at the M.E.L International School. Here we are now reaching 360 each week. The ages range from 2 years old up to the school Grade 6 age. We are able to teach the same material which we use in our Sunday school program and this gives a great and very relatable message in this school setting.
It has been most gratifying for us to have had a good number of positive responses amongst our children to the privilege of effectively showing them the Way of Salvation.
We have also over 3 months focused on intensive Bible Study, teaching our children how to study the Bible and in the process instituting proper Bible Study methods. These have certainly yielded great results and manifested in a hunger for God’s Word amongst the children.
It is indeed a thrill to see the enthusiasm amongst the children, their keenness to attend the different meetings, their growth in understanding the Word of the Lord and their keenness to live for the Lord and in the process take the Gospel message to their different homes.
While the main Church service is in progress, we also run a Children’s Church with 25 on average attending with great enthusiasm and inspiring participation.
OTHER AREAS AND ACTIVITIES
In the Cosmo area (just close to the Lion Park) we managed to start a Kids’ Club, using the first year ‘Roots of Faith’ material. We are reaching about 40 children on average and are glad that so many of them are being linked to the Church work which is in operation under our supervision in this area.
In addition we started a soccer program there on a Saturday morning, helped very much by the youth from our Germiston work. This began as a ‘soccer outreach’, using the game as a gateway to share the Gospel to those who would otherwise not be interested in the Church. We have been able to provide these children with ‘soccer kits’ and the enthusiasm is certainly running very high. We have on average 40-60 children attending this soccer program and in the process all kinds of doors are busy opening for us in the community for other means of ministry.
During the school holidays we had the privilege of running no fewer than 4 ‘Vacation Bible Schools’ namely at Eldorado Park, Ennerdale, Cosmos and Germiston. Each VBS ran for 3 days and in the process we could share the Gospel with more than 750 children. In response to the Gospel invitation, we could show at least 150 children the way of salvation. We believe that these efforts will certainly leave a very definite effect in these different areas.
We must conclude this brief report with a special acknowledgment of the dedicated and very sacrificial work being done by Jarred and Megan Etheredge who have simply poured all their energy and time into the service of the Lord in these fields, in addition to other requirements which we place on them. We also acknowledge that they have a team of very willing helpers and it is a joy, and encouraging challenge to see them in operation.
We regard our youth work as most important and absolutely vital to the growth of the Church of the Lord in any one of the areas where we operate. Let us therefore pray very regularly and fervently for this work and particularly for these workers, trusting the Lord that this work will grow mightily for the glory of His Name and that, from all these labours there will arise truly godly young people and leaders in the Church of the Lord and in our communities.
With Warm Greetings in Christ,
Staff of Gospel Outreach