We are thrilled to celebrate with Lynnette Stander, the recent Faith Leader Award she received from Walk Thru the Bible International _.
Lynnette serves as a Regional Trainer for Walk Thru the Bible Southern Africa – training otLIVE instructors who teach otLIVE to children in schools in South Africa, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Hear from Lynnette about her passion for this work:
“The Bible became precious to me as a child. My passion is to see it become precious to children today too. And otLIVE is such a great way to do this. It helps children develop a love and understanding of God and His grand story – by teaching them the big picture of the Bible in a fun and interactive way. I am so excited about training instructors who can go out and teach otLIVE in our schools. I want children to know and experience that God still talks to children today through His Word.
My own story began when I was five years old and I gave my life to Jesus at a children’s meeting. I still remember the day. A little old English lady from Lancashire in England came to South Africa. She told Bible stories in such a fascinating way and this little Afrikaans girl clearly understood her Gospel message. When I was 10, I started teaching my friends the Bible. And then, when I was 11, I started my own Sunday School – based on what I saw others do.
I was also given a Bible at Sunday School and I read it passionately. When I look back at that Bible now, it is amazing to me to see the passages I had read and marked as a child – and how God spoke to me even then. A verse that clearly stood out was Jeremiah 1:7: But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. As a young child, God had already called me to work for Him. And I was always drawn to children’s ministry because I had seen in my own life, how God had spoken to me and used me as a child.
When I was young, we would often visit my grandmother over the holidays, and we went to church with her. The pastor there preached mostly out of the Old Testament. And he brought those stories to life and made them so relevant. I think that’s where my love of the Old Testament came from. And so when otLIVE came along, it just seemed like the perfect tool to bring the Bible to life for children – and help them experience the God of the Old Testament and how He still speaks today.
I remember the first time I taught otLIVE, there was a young boy who didn’t actually want to be there. He wanted to be watching the rugby instead. But by the end of the day, he was smiling and talking about how much he had enjoyed it and how excited he was to also learn about the New Testament. I love seeing youngsters enjoy the Bible!
There is such a high level of Bible illiteracy among our children. And they are growing up distracted by so many things like technology. But with otLIVE being such a fun different way of learning, I see so much potential to reach children in schools, churches, aftercare centers, and holiday clubs. There is something that really touches me when I see how excited and enthusiastic children get as the stories of the Old Testament become real for them. They really have an openness and thirst for God’s Word.
But otLIVE is great for adults too. I have had a pastor with 7 years of theological training tell me that it was only after otLIVE that he really understood how the Bible fits together.
It is my dream for people, and especially children, to discover the Bible and see it relates to their daily lives. I pray that it will be their hope, security, and direction in a world where there is so much confusion.”
For more about otLIVE please click here.