I have walked with our pastors into the most impoverished village in the world. In places with little food and no family structure, and they have no hope to rise above the dire circumstances, they merely try to survive daily. My encouragement comes from watching those pastors reach out with compassion and love to bring hope to the least of the members of these communities. I am reminded of how it may have been to walk with Jesus as He called His disciples to let the children come to me.
Children are the most vulnerable members of our society. In every culture, children need protection and education. They depend on the adults surrounding them to provide what they are still too young to accomplish independently. It does not matter whether children are living in impoverished or affluent conditions. They need grown-ups to love, care for, and protect them.
The pastors and the churches become a safety net for these children in our communities. Some families lack any means of providing adequate food and clothing. Some cannot provide education. In these situations, the members of the church provide what is lacking. In many cases, the church members and pastor’s family shepherd the parents and guide them to learn how to manage and provide for their family. The church also brings hope and the love of Jesus Christ into these families.
In the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.Proverbs 14:26
Often impoverished communities need food, resources, and training to care for their children. The pastor and his wife provide an example of how a family lives together and grows in love and assistance to one another. They gather the children and give them experiences that will improve every aspect of their lives.
The Pastors Provide Education
Children can be gathered into traditional schools when there is a school available. But in the remote villages, there is no opportunity for education available. The pastor’s family becomes the source of informal education. Our pastors are educated and can read and write. They provide education several days a week to the community children. Without this input, the children in these villages would not have education at even the most rudimentary level. The pastors provide a start that opens future avenues as opportunities become available.
A Report From Pastor Cris Serving in a Drug Infested Community
Joy, the wife of our resident pastor Melvin, is handling the children’s ministry to the Badjao Muslim tribes. She is assisted by Kristal, Nena, and Jeraffe. They gather all these tribal children weekly in one of the local homes. Priscilla is of the Badjao tribe and actively attends our Sunday worship service. Her house was destroyed by the typhoon last year, and she has not yet finished rebuilding it due to financial problems. Although it is not yet completely fixed, Priscilla is willing to open her home for our children’s weekly activities. In typical fashion for this ethnic community, the house is built above the water with only bamboo posts that do not last very long. So, the place is not strong enough to hold many children, but it is an enclosed space and keeps our teachers safe from view by the tribal neighbors who are against our faith. The limited space is still enough for the children to sit on the floor or plastic bins.
The ministry by the members of this church has a tremendous impact on the lives of the children in this impoverished community. They hosted a VBS, and many children from the Badjao area attended the weeklong outreach. Pastor Cris noticed a group of boys in attendance and decided to make a special outreach to them.
After the VBS was concluded, he invited these boys to come with him and another children’s worker to visit Jollibee. That was a treat beyond any expectation of even the wildest imagination of one of these boys. As you look at the photo—do you wonder if one of them is an evangelist that will reach many lost people for the Lord? We never know the future ministry of someone, but the ministry of Pastor Cris and his team will change their story.
As a result of the diligent ministry by the church under the leadership of Pastor Cris and his team of servants, the children’s ministry has grown. When families see the love and compassion of the church leaders, they want their children involved. The group of children has grown so large that they moved outside under some temporary tent covers. [READ MORE]
Pastors Don’t Just Preach
Our pastors go far beyond the typical pastor duties to reach the most remote and desolate villages with the gospel. In the case of Pastor Alvin, he went to the area and cleared trees so he could make a road to the church property. Then he camped out in a tent to guard and protect the construction material as it was being delivered. [READ MORE AT PASTOR ALVIN’S PRAYER PAGE]
Your partnership keeps his family financially sustained while he establishes this church in his target area. Many people are resisting the gospel coming into this community, but new believers come to faith in Jesus Christ every week. Pray for Pastor Alvin and his family for the strength and courage to boldly proclaim the gospel and transform this whole community.