Month: May 2014

Ministry Focus: Brigades in Our Communities

splodgeheaderFDr Wess Stafford, former president and CEO of Compassion International writes in his book Too Small To Ignore, “No matter what the setting [of society], children seem to be a second rate mandate…
Dr Wess Stafford, former president and CEO of Compassion International writes in his book Too Small To Ignore, “No matter what the setting [of society], children seem to be a second rate mandate. No matter what the ill of society, it tends to downward spiral and eventually land with its cruellest and most smothering impact on our littlest citizens. Small, weak, helpless, innocent, vulnerable and trusting, they are waiting victims for our simple neglect and most evil abuse. No matter what goes wrong, the little ones pay the greatest price…Our most vunerable citizens have become the world’s most disposable commodity.” (Too Small To Ignore, 2005, page 3).

Children are often left voiceless in our society. They rely on us, the adults of the world, to be their advocates. So often we do a terrible job of protecting them, and our ‘advocate’ status translates to nothing more than ‘child-minder’; someone baby-sitting the children until they grow into someone who can really ‘offer something’. But it is clear from Jesus example in the Gospels, and all throughout the Bible, that we are charged with being the ‘voice for the voiceless.” Followers of Jesus are to reach out to those who cannot speak up for themselves, and to fight for them.

A few months ago I met with the state co-ordinators for Girls and Boys brigades. Both Girls’ and Boys’ brigades do an amazing job of reaching children of the community, investing in them and their families and training them to be influential Christ-followers in their own communities. Brigades across our state are gathering together in many shapes and forms to give fathers to the fatherless, mothers to the motherless, to build leadership skills and invest in children so that they know their worth isn’t in what society tells them, but in the love of Jesus Christ. I was encouraged to hear stories of boys without dads who came to brigade and now have godly men investing time into their lives and showing them what a good father can be like. There are stories of girls who have been bullied at school coming to brigades to find a place where it doesn’t matter what clothes they wear or how good they are at something, but find worth in knowing godly women want to spend time teaching them about Christ.

Brigades of this state are doing a wonderful job of not just advocating for the importance of investing in young people in our society, but also reaching the community in a tangible and effective way so that churches have a way they can connect with families and build meaningful relationships with them. I was so encouraged by meeting with these passionate leaders of brigades that I asked them to share some of their experiences so that you too could see the difference they are making. Below is a story from Glenda Brooks, the state co-ordinator for Girl’s Brigade.

“During the first week of January, 145 girls and 50 leaders from all over Australia congregated at the Currumundi Campsite on the Sunshine Coast. The theme for the week was “Rise, Shine for your Light has come.” from Isaiah 60:1. As part of the activities for the week, the girls were challenged in the “Shine” sessions by Chaplain Jess Currie to rise, shine and let the Light take over the dark areas of their lives.

At least ten girls made first time commitments and for many the comment was “I have not been walking very close to God but this week has re-awakened my desire to get close to Him again.” Girls’ Brigade is a ministry within seventeen Baptist Churches around Queensland.”

If you or your church is involved with Girls’ and/or Boys’ Brigade, be encouraged that what you are doing is not out-dated or unimportant. You have a real and exciting opportunity to invest in the children of our society and to teach them about Christ and the worth they have in Him, in a way that truly shows Jesus’ love. I hope that this article encourages you as much as meeting with these leaders encouraged me, and that you are led to pray for, invest in and partner with those who are reaching the marginalised in our society. It’s what Jesus did, and it’s what we are called to do. (Luke 19:9-10)
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Post date: 14/05/2014Post Author: Sally Foord

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Dear reader,

We would love it if you could use/adapt any of the post above or the excerpt below to reference our QBKids news post:

QBKidsMinistry Focus: Brigades in Our Communities
Dr Wess Stafford, former president and CEO of Compassion International writes in his book Too Small To Ignore, “No matter what the setting [of society], children seem to be a second rate mandate…
For this post and others like it, please visit: kids.qb.org.au

Global Interaction: May Missions Month Program

QBKids[image url=”http://kids.qb.org.au/wp-content/uploads/peter cornelius angel sketch.jpg” raw=”true” alignment=”left” margin_left=”0″ margin_right=”10″ margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”-4″ border=”smallBorder” shadow=”1″ width=”120″ height=”120″]Global Interaction has produced some material for children’s’ workers to use during May Mission Month. There are various individual and group ideas for different ages. We hope you take advantage of these free resources to help kids learn about overseas missions this month, as churches across the state do the same!

Week One – introducing story
Acts 10
The Good News – game to start
Telling the Bible story
Drama
Word Search

Week Two – Pray and Give
Craft and Colouring
Prayer Stations
Gift Table
Projects

Week Three – Go
Maze
Grouping Game
Barriers

Week Four – Understand
Review the whole story
Quiz time – check understanding of the story through questions
Spot the difference
Kindness – thinking about helping others

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Footnotes: http://www.globalinteraction.org.au/Church-Partnership/MMM/Children-Resources.aspx

Post date: 07/05/2014Post Author: Sally Foord

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Dear reader,

We would love it if you could use/adapt any of the post above or the excerpt below to reference our QBKids resources post:

QBKidsQBKids is happy to include the following resource post on our website:
Global Interaction: May Missions Month Program
Global Interaction has produced some material for children’s’ workers to use during May Mission Month. There are various individual and group ideas for different ages. We hope you take advantage of these free resources to help kids learn about overseas missions this month, as churches across the state do the same!
For this resource post and others like it, please visit: kids.qb.org.au

Children in the Solomon Islands

QBKidsA first hand experience of a seventeen year old student shows us how God is using children to spread His Gospel in the Solomon Islands through the South Sea Evangelical Churches and their Sunday School rallies…
Often children are referred to as ‘the church of tomorrow’. Often they are valued for their ‘future potential’ of what they may one day become. Sometimes children are ‘kept occupied’ until a time we believe they can really make a difference in our churches and society. But children are truly the church of today. They are important members of our society, and Jesus tells us so. In Luke 18:16-17 it says, “But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Jesus emulates children as examples to follow when He explains how we should ‘receive the kingdom’. Recently I met with Matthias Lima, a representative of the South Seas Evangelical Church in the Solomon Islands. There is a revival of faith amongst the people there, and hundreds of children are coming to know the Lord at a time. Matthias said that many children are leaders in this revival and are bringing their families to faith through their walk with Christ. Matthias said, “Many people do not believe it, but children will stay up all night to the morning, praying for their communities.” Children are leading spiritual revival in the Solomon Islands, and I was encouraged to hear about Sunday School rallies they have locally, regionally and nationally each year. A 17 year old student of Westside Christian College, Emma Jesberg, recently was a part of one of these rallies on a trip she and her team went on. The following is her recount of her experience.

“After a long day of working in the blazing heat, you are exhausted and physical and mentally drained. Your mission leader gathers the rest of the team and announces that a large group of children from Sunday Schools all over the Solomon Islands are arriving tomorrow afternoon for their annual rally. You estimate that about 200 children will arrive only because your brain can’t think of a larger number. You are taken aback when the words “approximately two thousand children” are spoken. You shrug it off because he’s probably joking, he always is so you laugh. “Emma, this is no joke”, he responds.

The community my mission team and I lived and worked in was known as Kaotave. A small village and also a boarding school just short of an hour’s drive from Honiara, the Solomon Island’s capital. It was home for no more than thirty villagers and I was only senseless to think that the village couldn’t home anymore. It was during the afternoon of the Friday of our second week when literally truckloads of children began to arrive. I stood watching from my dormitory door as they drove down the dirt road, one by one, with great clouds of dust gathering behind each vehicle. Out jumped teams of minors and leaders carrying bags, tents and eskies filled with flavoured ice blocks to sell. Within half an hour, at least six hundred children were running around, kicking soccer balls and eating ice clocks. I could not stand back and just watch it unfold any longer. I drew attention to myself as soon as I set foot onto the grass. I and fellow team mates were swarmed by small children. They pulled at our hair and stroked our skin. The contrast of tones was not unfamiliar to me but for most of the children it was a completely different story. Most had never lay eyes on a white person ever in their life, others were taught to fear us. I made many new friends that afternoon as all they wanted to do was teach me new songs and dances so they could watch me make a fool of myself. But, it was a lot of fun. Later that evening I was flocked by little girls desperate to braid my hair. They sat me down on the grass and within a matter of seconds my head was covered in little plaits and tied off with coloured rubber bands. As the saying goes, ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ but I was yet to realise that two hours had vanished and I was left playing ‘tag’ with thousands of unfamiliar faces.

At about 7pm (Solomon Time), after a group of men lugged and set up a sound system and lights, the crowd gathered on a grass clearing and the Sunday School Rally began. Each Sunday school group had prepared a vocal item and one by one they excitedly gathered in rehearsed formation and sang songs of praise with the most beautiful voices. One Sunday school group had choreographed a dance routine with candles for ‘This Little Light of Mine’. Their voices were so warm, comforting and full of love and praise that even the most skeptical of strangers would have immediately been brought to tears. Wiping away my own, I had not noticed the dark patches they had already created on my skirt. Their little voices have had such an impact on me and to this day, seven months later, I still sing a song that was performed that night. The song as only ten minutes but I wished that I would never end. They repeated the line, “Oh sweet Jesus, we love him. Most wonderful Lamb of God, we will sing your praise.”

After about two hours of listening to what seemed like angels, a Solomon woman came centre stage to give a message to all the children. She preached to the crowd about how great God’s love is for his children and how we can become a child of God. She strongly emphasised the point that we are all God’s masterpiece. She spoke in a language that used some English vocabulary and from which my team mates and I picked out key words that helped us understand. Although, it was relatively challenging. Half way through this sermon, I heard weeping coming from behind me. I turned and I was surprised to see one of my team mates drowning in her own tears. She explained that she was able to understand every word the woman was speaking as if she was speaking fluent English. I found myself in a state of complete awe as God’s power had never been so real to me. He had enabled my friend to understand words that she so obviously needed to hear at this point in her life.

The woman soon called upon children that needed prayer, to come to the front. I stood amongst hundreds of children half my age but all in one accord. A small boy, no older than seven years old, grabbed my hand and he lifted his other hand high and began to cry out to God in the most beautiful prayer. I felt an extreme sense of guilt and shamefulness. Those children had so little but where praising the same God as if they owned everything in the world. I was pulled away alongside a couple of other team mates by our leaders to have a time of pray. It was only then that I was able to understand the great power of this revival. Small children were praying for one another, hands risen, crying, wailing.

This concert ended at about 1am the next morning, but the prayer did not stop. Each of the twenty three Sunday schools met back at their meeting places and stayed up all morning praying, singing and crying. Their voices were truly magnificent and heart-warming, but at 3am my opinion was much different.

This mission trip was truly one of the best experiences of my life. Through the weeks we spent giving, in return I received a new outlook upon my life here in Australia. We have so much to be thankful for yet we take the simplest of things for granted. I also pray for children in Australia, that they too may one day experience God’s love for themselves as well as I did.”

Children are to be valued for their worth as they are, not what they will become. If we, like Jesus, and the Solomon Island church leaders, are prepared to equip, train and empower our children to make a difference for the gospel, imagine the impact we too could have on our society. Praise God for these children and the faith they have in Jesus, and for the way God is using them to glorify His name!
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Footnotes: http://www.qb.com.au/news-media/

Post date: 07/05/2014Post Author: Sally Foord

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Dear reader,

We would love it if you could use/adapt any of the post above or the excerpt below to reference our QBKids news post:

QBKidsChildren in the Solomon Islands
A first hand experience of a seventeen year old student shows us how God is using children to spread His Gospel in the Solomon Islands through the South Sea Evangelical Churches and their Sunday School rallies…
For this post and others like it, please visit: kids.qb.org.au

QB Kids

QBKidsQBKidsQB Kids and their families is a ministry of Queensland Baptists
QB Kids and their families exists to equip, empower and support Queensland Baptists in their ministry to children and their families. We want to see Jesus’ name lifted high above every home in our state and beyond. We exist to partner with and serve you. Please contact us!
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Footnotes: http://kids.qb.org.au

Post date: 06/05/2014Post Author: Phil Day

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Dear reader,

We would love it if you could use/adapt any of the post above or the excerpt below to reference our QBKids resources post:

QBKidsQBKids is happy to include the following resource post on our website:QB Kids
QB Kids and their families is a ministry of Queensland Baptist Churches
For this resource post and others like it, please visit: kids.qb.org.au

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