God is calling everyone to know Him and have a personal relationship with Him—and children are never too young for it. Here is a story of a family who allowed God to use them to reach out to the kids in their neighborhood.
I have been a Kids Church teacher here in Iloilo for three years now. When the enhanced community quarantine was implemented, God placed a burden in my heart to continue ministering to children. Even if they don’t say it, I feel that they can sense the uncertainty brought by the pandemic and it affects them in some way, so I started praying about it.
One day, I saw my neighbor’s daughter and thought of inviting her to listen to our online Kids church story for that weekend. Since our garage is just beside their garden, she can comfortably listen to the story while I play the video from there. It seemed like an ideal setup for us, but God had a better plan.
When Sunday came, which was Mother’s Day, I was surprised to see our neighbor’s shy, four-year-old daughter approach our garage, along with her two cousins. Seeing God draw these kids to Him in our garage was the best Mother’s Day gift ever. They came the following Sunday, too. To ensure their safety, we made sure they kept their distance from each other and wore masks. As the quarantine guidelines have eased, we now have a few more children in what we’ve fondly dubbed as “Garage Kids Church.” Recently, the subdivision’s administrative personnel even let us use the clubhouse for the succeeding classes.
The excitement we see in the faces of the kids gives us so much joy every weekend. We are thankful for the online videos and craft tutorials that our Kids Church staff in Manila have been consistently preparing for them. Seeing the kids look forward to every class simply warms our hearts. Most of them are actually more excited now to have their own Bibles than to receive treats from us! They may be young, but we know that God will use them to make an impact on the generations to come.
Though my family, including my husband and three children, has been actively volunteering in Kids Church prior to the outbreak, it never really occurred to us that God could use us to bring Kids Church in our village—especially in a time like this. Truly, God can use anyone. My husband and I are not educators and our children are relatively young, but it is humbling to see His grace at work in our lives so we can do what He has called us to do.
As we serve, we can see God’s hand at work not just in the hearts of the children we minister to, but even in our lives. Serving this way became a family bonding for all of us. Our 12-year-old, 14-year-old, and 22-year-old help us prepare the crafts, welcome the kids, and work on the technical setup, while my husband and I engage the kids and preach the word. Doing Kids Church is like moving our entire home to the clubhouse every weekend, but it has also been an amazing family experience with God.
We do not know how long God will allow us to continue doing this, but we are in faith that whatever happens, the seeds He is planting in the hearts of the children—and even in their parents and guardians—will accomplish His purpose in His time. The world may be on lockdown, but God’s word will never be locked down.
When discouragements come, we remind ourselves of the word during the second day of the midyear fast: We have access to His grace, and He can use us wherever He places us. We know that we can continue being faithful to His call because He will always make a way for us to reach out—to our family members, neighbors, and friends. We don’t have to look far; we just have to open our hearts to God. He is not looking for the best or the most skilled people. He is looking for hearts that are yielded to Him and ready to serve.
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 2 Peter 4:10
Janet dela Cena and her family are Kids Church volunteers in Victory Iloilo; she and her husband are leading a Victory group.
Even if there are only a few active coronavirus cases in Iloilo, they still limit the number of attendees and strictly follow COVID-19 protocols for everyone’s safety.