Missions Sunday @ Wesley CM
On Sunday 12 June 2022, the 7 to 10-year-old children in the Children’s Ministry (CM) were treated to a very special experience.
The children were first gathered at the Plaza rooftop, for a briefing and prayer by Rev Adrian Ng. Then they were let into their usual classrooms, where to their surprise, their usual seats were nowhere to be found. The air was warm, and all sorts of rubbish was strewn across the normally tidy area. Filled with questions, they shuffled into the dark and cramped spaces that were once their classrooms, now transformed to a state that they had not seen before.
For the children’s first Missions Sunday held on-site in two years, the Children’s Ministry and Missions Committee combined their efforts to give the children a memorable and interactive experience, by trying to answer the challenging question: How would you tell a child about God’s call to missions?
Primary 1 to 4: Experiential Learning and House of Prayer
The Primary school children stepped into sites that depicted an environment where the living conditions did not have the comforts that they were typically used to. It was meant to portray an experience of what it might be like living in places where electricity, light, or water are not readily available. It was also meant to depict the life of a child who, instead of going to school, had to help support the family (through making crafts).
After 20 minutes of making pressed flower cards in the stuffy, uncomfortable room, their opinion was clear.
“So hot!” One child exclaimed. A teacher, hearing this, remarked: “It’s very good already, can still feel some air-con!”
“So annoying!” Yet another chirped, finding the craft too difficult to do in the dark. His teacher gently reiterated that for other children, they have no choice but to carry on, because their survival depends on their work. The teacher indicated that this could be how some children facing difficult circumstances might feel.
“Teaching moments like this are pivotal in a child’s spiritual development,” said CM Pastoral Team Member (PTM) Daryl. “When the children go through an experiential learning activity, compared to a classroom lesson, it impresses the key message onto them more powerfully. It is hoped that they can get a small sense of what it would mean to live in an environment with less-than-ideal conditions and having to work at a young age to survive.
Next, the children entered the House of Prayer, comprising three prayer stations, to learn about and pray for the less-privileged as well as missionaries. It was not easy to introduce these difficult topics to the children. Some were restless at first while hearing these unfamiliar ideas; others listened intently but were unsure how to respond. Yet by God’s grace, at the end of the stations, the teachers could sense a change in the children and many children took the bold step to say a prayer for the people. Praise the Lord!
We give thanks for the teachers who were patient to teach the children. It can be really challenging to catch the Missions heartbeat, and then frame it in a way that our children could grasp and relate to. I think our teachers did so superbly and the children’s eyes were really opened that day.
“We are proud of our teachers, who really trust God and have boldly come forward to serve Him by discipling our children,” said Audrey Ng, CM Vice-chairperson.
Please continue to pray for the following:
- our children to keep growing in understanding and in compassion for the needy;
- our children to be curious and open towards missions in the future; and
- for more hands in CM to help the work of discipling the children.
Pre-school: Missions Sharing for Preschoolers
The preschoolers had the pleasure of having a missionary who had served in East Asia for 15 years, to share about missions work through her lenses. She was there to teach English to the children.
To start off, the missionary invited the children to participate in a tug-of-war game, illustrating that missionaries have to contend with many challenges – lack of money, being unable to speak the language of the missions field, having no friends to support their work, and even having poor health because of the differing weather and environment conditions. One group on one end of the rope represented the missionaries’ efforts, and the group on the other end represented the difficulties faced — the latter easily won the tug-of-war, showing that the challenges faced by missionaries could be overwhelming and tremendous.
But it was not over! With churches supporting the missions work and other co-missionaries helping in the field (represented by more children joining the missionary’s end of the rope), it seemed that the missionary’s side just might prevail! Yet, the other team won again. It was still not possible for the missionary to win the game. What would be the factor, introduced in the last round to help the missionary, that could turn it around?
It is God, the Holy Spirit!
The Missions Sunday activity ended with a Prayer Wheel craft. After the children happily coloured the pictures, their class teachers led their children in praying to bless missionaries around the world, in their work. Yes, with a little guidance, even our little ones can do their part in the missions field by praying! Indeed, God hears every prayer that goes to Him – this is the power of united prayers!
Many teachers could see that the children were very engaged by the activities and hoped that the children learned a few things about missions and God through them. “Indeed, while they may not be able to experience missions yet, the little ones can certainly still do their part,” said Cassandra Leung, CM PTM.
The following lyrics from Heart to Change the World aptly describe our CM missions message:
You and I’ve got to have a heart to change the world.
Let the song start to sing in every boy and girl.
Start to care. Start to share from a heart of love.
Let the world know that Jesus loves them!
We hope that through such interactive activities, the children would be brought one step closer to developing a heart for missions. We express our thanks to our teachers for bringing the missions message to our children!
Children’s Ministry needs volunteers who will disciple our children as teachers or shepherds each week. If you have a calling to disciple the next generation, or want to find out more, contact the CM team at email@example.com
(Photos by Jacqueline Lok)