Last week was my most exhausting one since coming to the island in September. School was so children were coming to my house asking for tablet, game, or story at about 8:00 in the morning instead of 3:00 in the afternoon when they usually show up. This and the fact that there was more than one group of kids meant an afternoon nap was mandatory 🙂
Last week is a blessing because I was able to connect with so many children, but the large number meant my connection wasn’t very meaningful.
On any mission field you will interact with individuals who truly want to know more about Christ, and people who are just interested in what’s being offered. In my case there are some kids who come to learn more about Jesus, while most are just interested in juice or tablet time. Sadly this is just a fact of life so my first inclination is to accept everyone, but eventually the people there just for the juice greatly hinders my ministry to those who truly want to learn.
Last Friday a little boy came over and since things were too loud on the porch we came inside for a Bible story. As the story talked about where we would spend eternity I asked the boy where he would go when he died, his response was, “I would go to Hell.” “would you like to know how to go to Heaven” I asked, and he nodded.
At that moment as I opened my Bible other kids started getting bored and decided to walk in the house distracting him (I don’t lock myself in the house when a child is there with me), the moment I got one out another would come demanding tablet time or juice. Eventually we retreated to the very back room (making sure every door was wide open) for a place of solitude but kids followed us there…some wondering what was going on, others asking questions or wondering when it was their turn for tablet.
Thankfully that little boy did accept Christ but in that moment I realized how larger groups of kids on the porch meant deeper ministry was almost impossible.
Much of my ministry with kids up till now has involved Bible teaching, but also emphasized administration or crowd control…that sort of thing happens when there are twelve kids on the porch 🙂 But this experience and others has created a yearning for a ministry built on discipleship or mentoring young people. In other words instead of twelve you have two or three which allows the connection and teaching to be deeper (my focus is on explaining the Gospel instead of keeping them calm).
This has resulted in two things
- Sending away the kids who only care about juice or tablet for a few days
- And inviting kids who I know are truly interested in knowing more about Jesus to visit me more