Offend Not the Little Ones

September 4, 2018

     August was a fun month because I was able to participate in street ministry. That is always exciting to me. I have been getting plugged into different ministries around the area; and recently, I was asked to be a leader of a young adults group. Which is exciting to be involved in.

     As far as support raising, August was a bit slow. I ended up playing phone tag with people or couldn’t get hold of people... things like that; so one thing I want to emphasize in this newsletter is to pray for me to meet more contacts. I have been trying to get around to different places to meet new people whose hearts are willing to partner with me in Overland Missions. I know that all who read this are powerful people of the faith; otherwise, I wouldn’t ask you to pray. It is much better when an army of faith–filled prayer warriors come into agreement; because whatever is asked, is sure to come to pass. I hold onto the promises of God. 

     I suppose this is a bit unrelated to the rest of the newsletter, but it is something that burdens my heart. When I first flew to Zambia, there was a day where we covered the topic of children’s ministries. That day has stuck with me so hard. We were given statistics on how many children grow up in the church and how many fall away by the time they reach college age, or even high school. I do not remember any exact statistics; but, I do remember how outrageous it was. I am sure you also are aware of how many young people fall away in their college years from your own churches and because it is well-known information. We talked about how often we tend to wait to give children and teens the meat of the Word of God until they are adults. Adult sermons often times contain really good stuff; but for children, we are teaching “David and Goliath” like a story and nothing more, on the felt board. I remember that David and Goliath to me growing up, was nothing more than a shepherd boy defeating a giant. There is so much more that can be pulled from that story that we don’t pull out for the children, but only will for the adults. This applies to many Bible stories. What I am getting at, is that children are not deeply rooted at a young age. We wait until they are old enough to supposedly understand before we begin to deeply root them in the faith. Keep in mind too, that they are almost always being fed the lies of evolution and other unsavory topics at school. And these things can be found in Christian, private or public schools! 

     So on this day of children ministry teachings, our teacher played a video. The video was about child soldiers. Children trained from elementary school age to kill people. The line between child and adult disappears quickly with this type of indoctrination as we are now seeing young ones killing people and doing drugs in our own societies. Children who are not even ten-years old are being subjected to the horrors of this world. The video ended with a quote that will forever stick with me; “If the devil doesn’t wait until they are old, then why do we?” That cut me deep. I understood then, the battle for the souls of people doesn’t begin when we are old, but from the time of birth. The evil one wants your children. I have seen the importance of teaching and training children in a new light ever since then. 

     This last time I was in Zambia, my group visited at a hut of a lady who could speak English so our interpreter wasn’t really having to do anything. Something caught my attention though; I saw some children running around. I figured I would have our translator call them over so we could focus on the children while the others were talking with the lady. I was amazed at how hungry for the Gospel these children were! I had never seen children so intent on hearing the Gospel. Zambian children are usually very jittery. It looked like their whole worlds were changing before their eyes to us. Since that time, when I saw children, I was reminded of that verse, “but whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18:6. It would just ring in my head, so I would always call the children over so they could hear the Gospel because they need to hear it. 

     These are the children that were playing around at that hut with the lady. Every single one of them professed Jesus as their savior. Names from left to right: (Gladys, I forgot, Twalumba, Precious, Me, Trayo, Twalumba, Livias.) Two of them were named Twalumba, which in Tonga means "thank you." Their names were Thank You. The girl whose name I forgot was probably something hard to pronounce, which is why I don't remember it. I wish I could. Gladys and Trayo were siblings. Livias was our translator. He has been with Overland about four years as I recall. Leads many Bible studies and disciples many people. Awesome guy.

     There is such a thing as growing in the Word of God. There are things designed for the babies and children. The fundamentals of the Word of God are outlined. “So let us stop going over the BASIC teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the FUNDAMENTAL importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal life.” Hebrews 6:1-2 NLT (emphasis added). I wanted to highlight the words “basic” and “fundamental.” Those are very important words. Fundamentals are necessary for further understanding. They are the cornerstone. Let us take a physical example such as a chair. The fundamentals of a chair are the legs. Without the legs, the chair could not stand and would no longer be a chair. It will be a seat, but not a chair. Legs are fundamental for a chair. Particle science has what are called “fundamental particles.” That means you are dealing with a particle that cannot be broken down any further. Children are children and therefore children in the faith, let us have them grow into adults of the faith as they grow up. Eventually you must be weaned off of the basic things of the faith and learn about the meat. Children are weaned off of milk at a young age. Teaching Scripture can be a very similar process. I know people who have gone into children’s ministry with the intention of raising up these children into being powerful warriors of the faith and it has happened. These children... young children--ten-years old can preach and teach. They pray for people with boldness. Compare for me the faith of a child and that of an adult. Don’t neglect the little ones. Intend on having God grab their heart at a young age and don’t give the devil a foothold.

     I have tried to be concise, but this is a very important subject to me. I want to bring home for you all how important the little ones are. This realm of knowledge stretches beyond children’s ministry and into our parenting, as well as to simply being a good example around

children that aren’t yours. I hope after this newsletter you will see children in a new light and use the opportunities you have to grow children in the faith.

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