Giving children space to grow

Children’s services are important, and with an eye on the future, an important offer in our congregations. Children need space, attention, and a great deal of support.

Walking the road together. Two children’s choirs, a rehearsal weekend, two workshop concerts. Music can be so beautiful yet so exhausting. The concerts by the two choirs and the children’s orchestra of North-Rhine Westphalia (Germany) once again delighted this year’s audiences. The young musicians gave concerts in Hagen and in Bochum, presenting the pieces they had learned over the course of the year. The motto “Walking the road together” comes from a song by Dirk Pfau, a children’s song composer. The song says something to the effect of: Why don’t you come along. Let’s walk this road together because we are heading to the same goal. The concert-goers were asked for donations, and generous 2,600 euros was collected. The money will be donated to the Meridian School in Nduruma in northern Tanzania. NAK-karitativ will make sure that the money reaches its intended recipient.

Sharing with others. Children from France also spent time with each other recently. On Sunday, 14 October 2018, a large group of children from the Lorraine district in France came together at the church in Metz, where Apostle Jeannot Leibfried conducted a service for them. The topic was “Sharing”, as the Bible text Matthew 7: 12 implies: “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Or as it says in the International Children’s Bible: “Do for other people the same things you want them to do for you.” After the service the children’s choir presented some songs, which was followed by lunch for everybody.

Allowing yourself to be guided. Many congregations in Africa are made up of large numbers of children. This is also the case in the area around Kimberley, situated in northern South Africa. Children from four congregations gathered for a service in Beaconsfield, which Apostle Brian Swartbooi conducted. Excited children filled the hall. Soon all available seats were occupied and extra chairs had to be set out. Before the service started, the children had a final recorder rehearsal. Then the long-awaited Sunday School service could finally commence. The Apostle used a Bible text from Luke 1: 66: “And all those who heard them kept them in their hearts, saying, ‘What kind of child will this be?’ And the hand of the Lord was with him.” The children’s voices filled the air with “Saviour, like a Shepherd lead us”.

Becoming strong. “And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him” (Luke 24: 40). Another service for children, again based on a passage from Luke. This time in Sierra Leone. Apostle Albert Garber conducted a service for children from several congregations in Mattru Jong in the south of the country. Children read aloud from the Bible, recited the Articles of Faith, and participated in a quiz based on questions from the Catechism in Questions and Answers. It was an unforgettable service, in which the Apostle helped the children understand that Jesus did not only grow physically, but also spiritually.

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