A Child Will Lead Them...
Youths Sing Songs in Slum
There is great insight in Isaiah 11. The Messianic Kingdom is portrayed here vividly: "The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the bear and the yearling together, and a little child will lead them." You see the place of the child? Leading!
That is what is happening at Jagaran Church in Balkhu slum. This past year our very first Awana club in the slum was started. The ministry is impacting the lives of the children in this unique way.
The other day I was attending the club meeting at Jagaran Church. Their club meeting starts at 7am and ends by 9am. I went there by 6:45 in the morning. There were already 25-30 clubbers at the Church singing some songs. More clubbers kept on coming in and then there were around 70 clubbers by 7am. The uniqueness of this club is all the Awana leaders are below the age of 17. Here are the names of those leaders: Asha Pariya-17, Renuka Ghale-13, Yashodha Pariyar-13, Sanju Lama-14, Amita Thapa-12.
I really enjoyed the worship time. I was asked to preach at their Church service followed by an Awana club meeting. This is a new Church in this slum. There were about 20-30 adults attending the church service. All the clubbers from Christian families were attending the service also and it was led by Awana leaders and clubbers because the adults cannot read the Bible. There were eight children standing in the front leading the worship service as a choir. I was reminded of Psalm 8:2 "From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies to silence the foe and the avenger". Children are ordained and designed to praise God and His glory. They are not consumers or future adults, but worshippers of the creator God. Their ears, eyes, feet, hands and voices have been created to praise God. This is their true nature and purpose. Children have not been at the heart of our life together and our worship. We have tended to see the work with children as outside the mainstream of church life and worship, but now I realize children are the true worshippers. These children are the active members of this church. Children are not future leaders, but they are the present leaders of this Church. The Word of God is true "A child will lead them…"
Here are the testimonies of an Awana leader and a parent from the Balkhu slum.
"Children are very excited to attend Awana every week. I can see a great change in the lives of children. After starting Awana some of our children are leading the congregation as a choir during weekly Church service. Children are very much involved in local Church activities. So, Awana is helping us develop leadership in our Church. We are thankful to Awana" -Pastor Daniel Chandra Pun, Jagaran Church, Balkhu slum, Kathmandu.