The Kingdom of God


So how do you communicate the concept of "Kingdom" to kids, when we no longer have kings?
We made a paper throne which represents David's throne. Jesus is now sitting on David's throne. David ruled over a nation that God created beginning with Abraham: "I will make you into a great nation" (Gen. 12:2). That nation needed somewhere to live: "To your offspring I will give this land" (Gen. 12:7). When the Israelites conquered the land, they made David their king. God promised David: "Your throne will be established forever (2 Sam 7:16). When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the crowd shouted: “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” (Mark 11:10). Jesus himself proclaimed: “The kingdom of God is near" (Mark 1:15). Jesus now sits on the throne in heaven (Rev. 4). Jesus taught: "Seek first his kingdom" (Mt 6:33). We pray: "Your kingdom come" (Mt 6:10).
But where is this "kingdom?" "The kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21). The king rules within those who obey him.
Still, I wonder how a child understands "the Kingdom of God." The challenge to teach continues.


Kids and Adults


The Capulispungo congregation held baptisms at our home in El-Tingo. (We now have a small pool.) So I was able to see my ZOOM students in person. Faby took on the smaller kids, and kept them occupied with small toys. I was finally able to teach my kids how to fold a paper into a "flexagon" with six sides on which we pasted illustrations of the Parable of the Sower. (Couldn't explain it on ZOOM.)
The kids rejoined the congregation to witness the baptisms and communion, but they prefer being active.
We continue to pray for wisdom on how to integrate the kids into the "adult life" of the church.


Kids wherever we go


The pastor of Lirio, Gregorio, finished the second level bible course FLET back in January of 2020. But when the Pandemia mandated the quarantine in March, I hadn't given him his certificate yet. (Actually, I did visit him in time in his community, but we both decided that we needed to do the ceremony in the church service. So we set the date for Easter. Then the Pandemia hit.)
Now a year and a half later, he finally received his graduation certificate.
To our surprise, the Sunday service centered on the presentation of a child. Only the "child" was 18 years old! Interesting! His grandfather and his mother "presented" him.
I escaped during the sermon to use the bathroom. (We drove over an hour to get to the church.) I heard children's voices and went to investigate. Behind the church, in a small room, I found 2 teachers and 25 kids gathered for Sunday school. (No tables or chairs, just benches.) Since they had already finished the lesson, I said, "Hi!" and left. But the teacher followed me outside. We talked, and although she's taking some teaching courses nearby, she wanted more help.
This is the fourth church we've visited to see how they teach their children's classes. God has put on my heart to help churches in this area. I'm confirming that this area is largely ignored by the pastors. (Probably because they're too busy in other priorities in the church.)


Gaining experience with kids


Last Saturday, when we visited Cachisagua, we met a pastor from Ambato. After chatting, he wanted us to help him in his church with the children's program. So our first step was to visit the church this Sunday and see what they do. They only have two classrooms; one for toddlers, and the other for the rest. I visited the second class with 13 kids. The teacher had missed the week before to get vaccinated, and began to ask the kids what they had covered the week before. Plus she hadn't prepared the lesson. But now that I've gained some experience with kids (PTL!), I jumped right in! My lifesaver is paper folding. So I asked the teacher if they had some sheets of paper. Soon I had the kids folding the sheet a few times, then cutting it in half, and the result is a cross. They wrote their names in the center of the cross, and bible verses on the sides. Then we held a "contest" to see who could decorate their cross most creatively. By that time the class was over. I enjoyed it. The kids did too. And the teacher was relieved. I'm gaining experience. Onward and upward!

Visiting the Communities Again


So we have begun our visits again to the communities to talk with the pastors and leaders and see how they're doing.

Friday - trip to Capulispungo to chat with the pastor, Antonio Mariño. His wife and another woman prepared lunch for us. Lord willing, with Antonio we will restart the bible program FLET we were studying before the Pandemia hit.


Saturday - Cachisagua. The men of the church were preparing lunch while the women met in the church for a conference. Ruben, on the left, is the pastor. Their need: discipleship.


Sunday - the congregation at Shobol Llin Llin invited us to participate in evangelism at a community called San Juan, which has no evangelical church. We invited David Proaño and his family to help, who have a ministry of Open Air Evangelism.

That same afternoon with visited a church in Ambato to see how they run their children's ministry, and then, in the near future, to give them more ideas for their ministry.