Half of the people in the world live in severe poverty, surviving on less than $2 per day. Around 340 million people do not have the Bible in their own language. In Mott Haven, a part of the South Bronx, nearly sixty percent of the population is without a high school degree and forty percent of the households earn less than $10,000 a year. These are just some of the facts the children of Redeemer discovered during our “Missions Month.”
Throughout the month of July, the children who attend Redeemer’s Sunday School classes gathered to learn about and pray for people living in other parts of the world. The focus was to further expose the families of Redeemer to God’s purpose and our part in making His name known in New York and internationally. The theme verse was Mark 16:15, said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”
The children learned ways they can take part in reaching the world for Christ and how to value other children in New York City and around the world. During July’s Vacation Bible School, they learned about loving and serving THE CITY. On Sundays they heard about many different cities of the world and how missionaries go abroad to tell others about Jesus. They also thought about specific ways they can participate in missions as children. In one class a five year girl was asked, “What is a missionary?” She simply answered, “Someone who goes and tells others about Jesus.”
We were able to partner with Redeemer’s Short Term missions teams to create a tangible and memorable experience. The children had learned for weeks about missionaries and then the missions’ teams came in person to tell about their work in Argentina and South Africa. A highlight one Sunday included an opportunity to speak directly with orphans living in South Africa by video chat. The children previously brought in sports equipment, shoes, school supplies and other needed items for the orphanage which the missions teams delivered earlier in the year. It was a wonderful experience for the children at Redeemer to connect and chat with the children in Africa. We hope to continue this partnership year after year.
Another way the children learned how to engage in foreign missions was through prayer. We prayed with the children for all parts of the world, that Jesus would make himself and his love known to the children and adults living there.
Lastly, the children raised funds and donated sports equipment for an afterschool program for children in the South Bronx. The children raised over $1000 in one week. A parent told of her kindergartener who had been saving for a long while but then donated his entire savings when he heard about the situation and need in the South Bronx.
It is such a joy to see the children of Redeemer fall in love with Jesus, gain a vision for world missions and give sacrificially. Our long term prayer is that these children will become the next generation of New Yorkers influencing our city and the cities of the world for Christ. We invite you to pray along with us.