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