The McKillops's December Newsletter
Training Sunday School Teachers
It is a constant challenge in Africa to raise the profile of children and to adequately emphasise the importance of teaching them in the things of God. Children's teachers often have no prior training and come with a simple desire to teach, but all too frequently they lack the skills and ability. We truly thank the Lord for the facilities and the trained personnel to assist in this work we have at Nyangombe. It must be said that we also struggle to correct a mindset which thinks that in order to properly teach children, visual teaching aids from overseas are needed, Many of the courses taught emphasise the use of locally available and easily made visual aids. As the course progresses teachers prepare Bible stories of their choice. One lady had made a clay model of the Good Shepherd leaving his flock in the pen and going in search of the 'lost sheep'. Pray with us that every teacher trained here will see this as an amazing opportunity to influence young lives for the Lord.
Christmas at NCTC
Christmas is a time when the children take part and parents watch on delighted as their children say their memory verses. Some learn and recite up to fifty verses and Mums and Dads think this is absolutely wonderful but, if we are honest, it can be a bit of a trial to sit listening for hours on end!! On a personal note, this is often coupled with the inner yearning to try and phone our own children and hear our grandchildren's excitement as they enjoy Christmas. It is of course wonderful here that so many children are committing Scripture to memory and hopefully it will remain hidden in their hearts for the duration of their lives.
All December Youth Meetings & New Year 2017
New Year night was different this year. About 50 young people had laboured to dig out and break rocks in the bush for a building project and secretly saved their wages for doing a thanksgiving barbecue on New Year's night. An invitation came to share from Scripture something to help them in the New Year. Sometimes Africa seems quite upside down in its ways and thinking. We arrived a bit late only to find that ALL the parents of the young people had also been invited. Not something that would happen in the UK and maybe our Western young folks are the poorer for it?
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They had a program well organised and many quite spontaneously prayed for the Lord's blessing in 2017. After speaking for 15 minutes, sitting in the open air ‘chota’ we enjoyed under the fairy lights their exuberant singing. Some minutes later another parent was asked to say something by way of counsel or encouragement and not just the Fathers but Mothers too were invited to share their aspirations for their grown up children present. As more and more pieces of chicken were dropped on the barbecue, the thought occurred to me again as it has done often at this time of year, that I'm very grateful indeed not to have been a chicken! Testimonies were given by some young people who had been specially touched by the Lord during the meetings which took place throughout December. When a visitor arrived during December the youth would quickly ask if the visitor would agree to speak to them. An anaesthetist from Northern Ireland, Dr Ray Allen arrived at Nyangombe on his was back to the UK at 14:00 and he immediately agreed to speak to the young people for a ‘short time’. Two hours later I went up to see where he was and he was still answering questions about life and Christianity.
To say that we were thrilled to be at the thanksgiving barbecue, the culmination of a month of meetings is an understatement. We praised the Lord for this youth group and for the many amongst them who do love the Lord and who have responded positively to His Word into their lives. Please pray with us that 2017 will be a year of special blessing for all who attend Nyangombe.
Gordon & Sybil