Children Club ministry - Piet's testimony

Children Club ministry - Piet's testimony


I would like to tell you about the Children Bible Club that we held in Onseepkans for the past four school holidays of 2012. The daily routine was more or less as follows :

I told the children they must come in the late afternoon when it starts getting cooler, around 16:00, as none of them has watches. In spite of this, many still come during the morning and wait the whole day for the club to begin. Usually, during school holidays they are idle and have nothing to do, so they just wander around.

When they arrive we start by playing on the open ground opposite the mission for about a hour. Then they line up at the gate and and we tick of their names. We march them to the club on the music of the children gospel song “I am a soldier for Christ”. Then we sing a few songs, pray and have a Bible lesson. Then we do something for fun, like a puppet show, a science experiment, maybe a trick or they can draw a picture of the lesson we just had with music playing in the background.

Then comes the most important part of the club for most of the children, the opportunity to have something to eat or to drink. Because of the poverty in Onseepkans I often sensed that for many the motive to come to the club is just for that little something at the end. But in spite of this we try to use the food as an attraction and also as an opportunity for fellowship, for example letting them bake their own bread on a fire in the veld. The most memorable memories I have of the club are the days when some of the boys would bring fish to the club that they caught in the nearby Orange River during the day. After the club we will braai the fish with bread on a fire in the veld.

If I must summarize the spiritual condition of the children, I will say that they know the Bible, they know many children Bible songs, they have seen many movies about the Bible, but they do not live the message. It is difficult to reach them through teaching, they know much already. The big challenge is to reach them through our lives, hoping they will see the difference between knowing the message and living the message. Ritualistic religion without a life giving relationship with the Holy Spirit is a dead religion. Apart from religion the children’s lives are also heavy influenced by superstition stories of a water snake, “tokkolosies’ and many other strange stories that are commonly talked about as facts. Some also partake in an occult game called “ghost-ghost”.

On the positive side I must say that the children here are still more sheltered from the bad influences of the big cities like drugs, gangs and entertainment, although one can clearly see the bad influence that the television has in their lives. Many are strongly influenced by Harry Potter, Dragonball Z and Pokemon.

When I go back teaching when the holidays are over, I still have loving memories of the children and how they live and survive here in this harsh part of the world; catching fish in the river and braai it on a fire on the river banks, eating Prosopis tree pods and just enjoying being a child in the the creation of God.

God bless you and greetings in the name of Jesus. 

Pieter van Konijnenburg