We had a great 2 weeks of Bible college. Fifty-five students the first week, and 25 the second. The first week we had 2 guests from Texas. Tom Geer, who has been in children’s ministry over 30 years. And we got him for a full week! He taught our upper classmen the importance of children’s ministry.
What a gift! I’ve been here 4 years now. I’ve taught a few teacher training seminars, I’ve been traveling and working in various village churches. And at just the right time, a guest teacher comes. (And it wasn’t really planned, Bro Tom was already here in East Africa, and he just “happened” to have that week free.) Like I said… what a GIFT! Several of our pastors and Sunday school teachers commented, “God must really be trying to show us something.” I agree!! He’s getting their attention. The time to reach the kids is now!
When a pastor with over 30 years of experience says something, it carries more weight than anything I could say. I started praying as soon as I heard Tom was coming, that God would prepare the hearts of our pastors. That they would not just see the importance of children’s ministry, but start doing something about it. Bible college just finished up last week. Still too early to see who will take action, but all the students were excited about the class, and were grateful that Tom came. Here’s a few of the comments they shared with Tom before he left:
Pastor Delphinus, Ibungilo.
When it comes to teaching children, I used to be swimming in a pool of confusion. I had no idea what i was doing. I’ve been making it too difficult, but this week I’ve learned to start with simple things. You have showed me that it is easier than I first thought. Thank you.
Rhoda Joas, Ibungilo.
I learned this week that even young children 4 yrs old can be saved. I have a 4 yr old daughter, and I haven’t started teaching her about salvation. She’s just been learning memory verses. I know what I need to do. We women also want to thank you for challenging the men to get involved.
Anna Gervas, Igoma.
Thank you for giving of your time and resources to come teach us. I love what you said that if you don’t start teaching children when they’re young they’ll overwhelm you when they’re old. We have a saying in Swahili that emphasizes the same thing. Mkunje samaki angali mbichi. (Bend a fish while it’s fresh.)
Mussa Medadi, Igoma.
Truly you are right, reaching the children is a ministry that we have buried, but you have raised it to life. Thank you!
Pastor Daudi, Nyasaka.
I never saw the importance of children before, I honestly didn’t care. Now I see. I have seen in my own pastoring how difficult it is to work with adults. You are right. Just like you said… our hearts continue to harden the older we get, like a cement floor. We need to reach the kids while they are young. Thank you for coming.
Justa Delphinus, Ibungilo.
Please send a big thank you back to your wife for allowing you to come to Tanzania. Thank her for taking care of of you so well, so that you can continue in this ministry. Please come again and bring your wife.
Thank you Bro Tom and Mike for giving of your time and resources!!! We are so grateful you came!