The mission helpers returned back to the US this past Monday night.
It was a busy two weeks! We split into two teams. I and 4 others stayed with the CLCI and visited 9 congregations. We did a VBS program for the children at each congregation that covered seven major events from the beginning of time to the end of time: Creation, Corruption (the fall into sin), Catastrophe (the world-wide flood brought on by man’s sin), Confusion (the tower of Babel, another result of man’s sin), Christ, Cross (the suffering and death of Jesus to pay for our sins and reconcile us to God), and Consummation (the return of Christ Jesus at the end of time). We shared this message of man’s sin and the salvation God provided through His Son Jesus’ death and resurrection to over 500 children (it is hard to get an accurate count when they are all sitting in a group and squirming a bit).
Jyothi reports that the pastors and members “were greatly encouraged spiritually by this wonderful trip” and “all the Sunday school teachers responded very positively and some of the new Sunday school teachers said that they have never seen anything like this before.”
At the end of the lessons we distributed some gifts to the children: New Testaments and a Bible workbook in Telugu, some stickers, a pen/pencil box and a pen, some candy and a balloon. But by far the most popular item was a necklace with cubes forming a cross which reads “FAITH”. Everyone wanted one, including the adults.
God tells us through the Apostle Paul:
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
Jesus’ payment for our sins – our salvation – is received by faith. The forgiveness of sins and our faith are both the gift of God. None of it comes from ourselves.
Pray that the children and adults who heard the message we shared will appreciate the gift of faith and salvation God has given them and may the necklace we gave them remind them of this great gift!