Bible clubs change children’s lives

By November 26, 2010

India (MNN) — Two children of a Hindu priest began attending a Mission
Children's Bible Club. When their
lives began changing for the better and they told their father about the
sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, he was very much opposed. However, he began attending the daily club
meetings to find out what was going on. 

As a result, the priest became a Christian and left his job at the temple. Now he works as a farmer, and the whole
family is part of a new church growing in their village. 

"That is a perfect illustration of how it works with children
hearing the Gospel and sharing with their parents," said Dave Stravers of Grand
Rapids, Michigan-based Mission India
. "Children in India are so open to the Gospel, and they're such great
evangelists for their parents and others in the community. We've found that families that otherwise would
be very closed to any Gospel witness become very open."

Another boy who recently began attending Bible club became a Christian
along with his mother. However, the village
became very angry. His father ultimately
kicked the boy and his mother out of the house, but the two remain strong in
their faith.

The vast majority of the
time, however, Indian parents welcome the opportunity for their children to
receive after-school tutoring along with Bible teaching. "Indian parents love their children, they want their children to have
the best out of life, and they also respect the work that Christians have done
over the decades with children," Stravers explained. 

The ministry is in high demand. Clubs form when local churches approach Mission India for help. They trainsworkers from the
churches to go start clubs in villages that have no local church. Mission India has a long waiting list of
communities that would like to have a Children's Bible Club, but it does not
have the funds to help every village. 

Why is there so much eagerness to participate in this ministry? Stravers says that God is working in India,
and openness to the Gospel has increased dramatically over the last several
years. India is going through a lot of
changes as a nation and a culture, and the spiritual changes are the most

"The Lord has really put a passion in the heart of so many Indian
Christians to reach their country with the Gospel, because they see the stark
contrast between Hindu and Muslim believers, and Christian believers," Stravers
said. "So they want to bring this
freedom and light to people."

The church's ministry does sometimes meet with opposition

"This turning to Christ is a big challenge to Hindu leaders in many
places, because they see the Gospel receiving acceptance all over the country
like it never did before," Stravers explained. "Hindu leaders are saying, 'Our temples are
closing; new churches are starting everywhere; what can we do about this?' So that does put us right in the middle of
some religious controversy in India."

In the midst of it all, however, the Gospel is changing the lives of

"The most frequent comment we get from the children is, 'We worshipped
Hindu gods. They're always asking us to
sacrifice for them. This
is the first god we've ever seen who sacrificed himself for us.' And that's why Jesus' sacrifice on the cross
is making such a great impact," Stravers explained.

It costs only $1 to get one child started in the first two-week program
of the Children's Bible Club. The club
involves Bible studies, Scripture memorization, songs, games, skits, and
prayer. Every dollar can be used by God
to change the life of a child and impact a community with the Gospel. 

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