Saturday, July 20, 2013

Ministry Update: The Story of Hope

It is 10:30 AM on a Sunday morning, and our five children are anxiously awaiting the arrival of their classmates to begin the "Hora Biblica" (Bible Hour) at church. In true Iquique fashion, no one is on time but slowly the students trickle in ... Diego with his cousin Cony; Cristopher with his sister Sofia; Jonathan with his sister Tiffany; Alonso comes alone. Our littlest boys, Ian and Alec, have only recently "graduated" to this class and so they sit front and center in a bid for their full attention.

I love this first class of the day not only because the children are still waking up and thus are slightly more tranquil (ha!) but because they seem to fully engage in the story at hand. Not just any story, but THE STORY - from Genesis to Revelation, from Creation to Coming King, the story of God's divine and eternal plan for mankind as written in His Word.

Sometime ago our missions agency began the task of creating a beautiful curriculum designed for evangelism and discipleship. Its focus and goal was to enable people to (1) clearly understand the Gospel, (2) genuinely embrace the Gospel, and (3) firmly hold on to the Gospel. Highlighting 40 events from the Bible, their first resource book walked the student through the history of mankind while revealing the redemptive plan of the Creator of mankind. We have been using two books, The Story of Hope and The Way to Joy, as one-on-one discipleship materials in our church for several years.

It occurred to me while planning for this year's "Hora Biblica" that we would benefit just as much by sharing those 40 stories chronologically in our children's ministry. Too often our kids hear random, exciting tales from the Bible (David & Goliath, Joshua & Jericho, Daniel & the lions' den) without understanding that each of these fits into the framework of God's eternal plan of redemption for the fallen human race - of which they are a precious part!

So it was with excitement and enormous gratitude that I discovered a children's adaptation of The Story of Hope was already available - complete with teacher's guide, coloring pages, game suggestions, and brand-new songs - and it was available as a FREE download to missionaries and children's teachers around the world. The only drawback was that so far the curriculum (called Adventures in the Story of Hope) is only available in English. This has added some extra work to my plate in translation efforts on those weeks when the teachers is someone other than myself, but it has been worth it.

To see our students grasping the greatness of God's plan for His people; the completion of His promises; and His purposes for their own lives is a great blessing. I pray they will hide these truths in their hearts and choose to become a part of the family of God, and an amazing future generation for His glory!

Previous posts in this series:

Coming Soon: Ministry Update Series
Ministry Update: Jovenes Mayores
Ministry Update: Valuing Life Conference
Ministry Update: Encouraging Future Leaders

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