A story from Xolani, an otLIVE instructor, who has found creative ways to minister despite the pandemic…
“We have just started weekly otLIVE lessons which we run on Sundays in the yard of our home.
About 30 children from the community attend. We do the otLIVE lessons outside and try to comply with government regulations regarding social distancing and mask-wearing. Not easy with children!
(otLive is the new version of Walk Thru the Bible’s popular Old Testament Seminar, which uses interactive hand signs to teach the big picture of the Old Testament.)
This has been like a breath of fresh air for our family to get back to serving the kids. And you can see that the children have just been yearning for this!
Things are very tough for people generally in our community. The economic fallout from the pandemic has been massive. Families are in distress. Many have lost their jobs. The children often arrive hungry – so our church has been involved in reaching out with food parcels.”
(The outreach project for vulnerable children run by Xolani’s church is supported by Walk Thru the Bible, in partnership with turn the tide 4 children.)
Walk Thru the Bible Southern Africa through its associated entity turn the tide 4 children (ttt4c) provides monthly financial support to church-run projects which minister to vulnerable children. These projects are actively involved in Bible teaching and discipling children, as well as meeting some of their physical needs.
Pastor Praise Nkosi from Living Hope Tabernacle in Soweto shares the story of the children’s project run by his church. And after just a few minutes of conversation with him, you get a sense of the burden that he carries for his people…
“Due to initial government restrictions, we had to adapt our aftercare Eagle Youth Empowerment Project – where we ministered to children on a daily basis. So, we had to think differently. Because the people in the community are suffering, we decided to distribute food parcels to the families of children that we were feeding at the aftercare. We had to identify those who were struggling the most and we have now been providing food parcels to 50 families every month.”
According to a volunteer at the aftercare, Somi Sifile:
“There are many difficulties facing the families of the children in aftercare. It is painful. Most families are not working, and many people live in one house. There are problems with child neglect and drinking. Some parents are unable to care for their kids. We are trying to do what Jesus would do. We are trying to be with the people and share with the people and re-connect them with the church.
Please pray for strength and wisdom to encourage the volunteers in this work – that we might bring hope as we meet needs within our community. Please also pray for us for wisdom to best meet the needs of those in the aftercare.”
Bishop Thimlela David Mathebula, senior Pastor of The Hour of Revival Gospel Church shares:
“During the Corona Virus Lockdown, with the help of Walk Thru the Bible Southern Africa and turn the tide 4 children we have been able to provide monthly food parcels to 15 pastors and their families. This has been through our caring project called Acts of Compassion. These pastors were in desperate times. In these harsh economic times, their churches were unable to support them. Many of these pastors are also part of Walk Thru the Bible’s Pastor Circle, where they are equipped with ready-to-use sermon tools. These food parcels relieved a great burden for them, as they continue to minister to their people. The church really is the answer in our communities.”
Some of the pastors share their stories:
The groceries came at just the right time, when we were in real need, not knowing where to go to ask for help. As a family we were able to survive, and it was a great stress relief for me as the breadwinner and head of the family. I want to extend my gratitude for these gifts of groceries that my family have been receiving during the lockdown.
~ Apostle Alfred (full-time Pastor, father of three children)
The food parcels brought such a huge relief in our home. We had no other alternative except hoping in the Lord – and the food parcels were an answered prayer and are still so. We are singing praises to the Lord who has provided during these hard times.
~ Pastor Lucky (full time pastor in Kwa-Thema, married with four children)
I would like to take this time to Praise God for the help we received during the Lockdown period. It has been difficult for us financially, but the groceries we received during the past months have helped us as a family.
~ Pastor Jabulani (full time pastor in Daveyton and father of five children)
The excitement of the children who gathered at Revival Impact World Church in Chief Albert Luthuli Park in Johannesburg on Saturday the 30th of November 2019 certainly matched the bright sunny weather. The much anticipated event was a Children’s Day Celebration.
The 60 children and their Sunday School teachers participated in otLIVE as they learned the big picture of the Old Testament. In between the sessions there was much dancing and singing – and certainly a party atmosphere.
As the Sunday School teachers shared:
“The children learnt so much from otLIVE and so did we! otLIVE also reminded us about engaging the children to make Scripture lessons more interesting. The more we make learning fun and interactive, the more we will engage the children as we disciple them. Children’s ministry was important to Jesus and it should be important to us too!
As teachers we have the great privilege to teach these children about God for they are the future ministers of His Word. otLIVE really helps them all to understand how the big picture of God’s story fits together.
The children had so much fun with otLIVE. They want to know when you are coming back!”
This was also one of the first otLIVEs taught by the newly trained otLIVE instructor, Welcome Ndlovu – who had just as much fun as the children.
As one of the Sunday School teachers shared: “The kids just loved Welcome. He has such a natural repoire with the kids.”
(Our grateful thanks to Joyce Nkosi from Revival Impact World Church for this feedback)
** ttt4c (turn the tide 4 children) which is associated with Walk Thru the Bible Southern Africa were part of supporting this year end celebration.
For more information on otLIVE please click here
“KidZ at Heart (KAH) has as its aim ‘helping children fall deeply in love with Jesus’. Here in Southern Africa our partnership with Walk Thru the Bible has been so instrumental in launching our international ministry. The success of this partnership really was a big part in KidZ at Heart going global.
There is such a sense of God’s timing and favour in this partnership. Of great assistance were the existing structure and support networks that Walk Thru the Bible Southern Africa were able to facilitate.
This partnership here in Southern Africa is now also a model for us, that we have tried to replicated in other regions.
By God’s grace, KidZ at Heart now does children’s ministry training in over 45 countries with over 10 000 teachers already trained. Over 3 million children worldwide have been impacted.
Here in Southern Africa our partnership with Walk Thru the Bible has been so instrumental in launching our international ministry.
Gordon West (right) pictured with Patrick McWhorter, head of KAH Africa Ministeries
Plans for Southern Africa
We now have local trainers in place in both South Africa, and more recently in Zambia – who are fully qualified to train the local people in the KAH modules. We are so excited to see them grow in ownership for their geographical area and developing the people there. Please pray with us as we now also start to develop this model in Malawi and Zimbabwe.”
For more information on KAH please click here
Kairos Youth Centre, run by Tabernacle Church of God in Christ in Tembisa, is supported on a monthly basis by ttt4c (turn the tide 4 children) – which is associated with Walk Thru the Bible Southern Africa.
Zimkhithabang Mmotong, one of the Youth Centre leaders, explains:
“We currently minister to two groups of children in our local community. We run a children’s outreach and a separate program for teenagers called ‘Teen’s Chill’.
During both these programs we teach Gods word and involve the young people in worship and praise. Songs, dramas, dance and games are an important part of what we do. We also give the children snacks and treats. Initially, some of the children come for the refreshments, but they end up becoming part of our family as they learn about God’s love. So the food plays a big role in bringing the children in.
Our children come from a community which is mostly poor, with most parents working and not often at home. This leaves the children on the streets and unattended – and therefore vulnerable to all sorts of bad behaviour and influences. We try to create a safe haven for these children. They can come to Kairos Youth Centre to do their homework with the help of an adult. The church gates are always open for the children to come in and play.
We also offer extra classes on Saturdays to help high school students with their school work. Some of the people who assist with these classes are university students, who were themselves once part of the outreach program to children and teenagers.
It is wonderful to watch them becoming responsible men and women – who love God and who are pursuing their dreams, while adding value to the community. Many have gone from being quite wild children on the street, to respectful and responsible young people in the community. It gives us great joy to know, that as we release them to adulthood, that they are going to make the world a better place.
We cannot but thank God for granting us an opportunity to minister to His beloved children.”