Clubs Just Like Yours

The best sermons come from kids

Two clubbers bring about change in their parents

Jon Gauger interviewing Naomi in Kibera Slum, Kenya

Sometimes the best sermons come from our kids.  I was reminded of that as we trekked through a Nairobi suburb today.

From the moment we piled out of our car--audio gear and cameras in hand--it was clear this day was about the kids.

It started when we were surrounded by little tots visibly intrigued with our white skin and strange hair color.  The bolder ones touched my hands and wrists lightly. Then they touched my arms (stroking the hair) as they looked quizzically into my eyes. You could almost read their minds: "So this is white a white person feels like."

They are so generous with their smiles--so anxious to try out the one phrase we hear all over Nairobi: "" (asked in an energetic, if not halting English).  They were charming and kept touching our hands as long as they could, even as our car pulled away. 

We stopped next at a church to interview a pastor.  But along the way, we met two fascinating little girls who bravely talked into our microphone, sharing their stories.

Cynthia is nine years old--her favorite color is red.  Cynthia was happy attending her local Awana club, but grew more and more concerned about her dad.  A chain smoking drunkard, his boozing often lead to violence.  Cynthia was painfully aware that he abused her mom.

But what's a nine year old to do?  Cynthia started sharing with her dad the Bible verses and lessons she learned each week at Awana.  To her surprise, he was very attentive--even curious that his daughter somehow knew something he did not.

For five weeks, nine year old Cynthia continued witnessing to her dad.  Finally, he came to church and prayed with the pastor to receive Christ.  He has since become a very good father and husband--and a member of the church.

Naomi (see photo) is a ten year old who went through the traumatic experience of watching her mother leave her father for another man.  Even at her young age, she was well aware of what her mother was doing--and the sense of abandonment it created in her own heart.   But Naomi did not despair.  Far from it.

"I had faith because of the lessons of Awana," she told us boldly.  In a visit with her mom, she actually rebuked her, telling her to "believe in God and never do that again!"  Naomi added "I told her she had broken God's command when she lied to my father."

The response of Naomi's mother?  "She promised me she would never tell lies to my father again."  What's more, Naomi's mom left the other man, returned to her husband and daughter.  At church, she received Christ.  "I was very happy," Naomi recalls with a broad smile.

As I listened to these two girls tell their stories with such poise and promise, I was nearly stunned.   

Sure "Awana is good for the kids."  But what it does for adults is just as remarkable.  Surely the Word of God is "quick and powerful"--even in the hands of a child. Indeed, sometimes the best sermons come from our kids.


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