Mentors for our Children

(Extract from the opening message by Lawrence Temfwe at the AWANA Training of 180 Sunday School Teachers at Boys Brigade Ndola on October 9)

Several of the children you will engage in your AWANA programs come from families living in poverty. They come from homes with one or both parents who have passed away because of AIDS. They come from homes that have little family devotions, prayer or Bible Reading. As churches, you serve in communities impacted by AIDS and poverty and your children ministries have limited and at times, no resources whatsoever that churches assign to children ministry.

Abraham Lincoln once proclaimed, “The strength of a nation lies in the homes of its people.” Similarly, the Bible states that parents are to train their children- “Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul. (Proverbs 29:17). Now if most of the children in your churches do not have fathers to play ball with them and moms to tell them what woman’s world is all about, how will godly peace come to our country? Some of these children live with their extended relatives who have enough challenges with their own children, thereby abandoning the orphans to their own fate or abusing them. How does a church respond to challenges of children from such a background that needs to learn how a godly mother and father walk with God?

I am inviting you as Sunday school teachers to consider developing a strategy where your members become mentors to these children in need in your churches. You have children in your churches that have faced everything from divorce, death of parents, abuse, hunger and emotional issues. They have nobody to talk with. Many sing, “Jesus loves me” and wonder when will they ever see Jesus whom you as teacher speaks about so passionately. Many cry in their hearts – when will Jesus come to protect me from these brutal and uncaring guardians. God has answered the prayers from that orphan’s mouth and the tears from his eyes. God has fulfilled the promise to the orphan in your church that He will be a father to her (Ps. 68.5).Your church is the fulfillment of that promise.  We have therefore, invited AWANA to help you how you can make your church be God’s hand and feet to that orphan in your church.  We have asked AWANA to help you how you can develop a church that mentors children in the areas of their emotional, recreational, vocational, physical and spiritual needs.

As a Sunday school teacher, you are the most important spiritual guide for orphans in your class. However, you must also look for men or women who fortify the foundation you have laid. Be on the look out for men and women, who get on their knees for the sake of children. You cannot do it alone.  Ask God to direct you to mentors who can mould the children under your care in different areas.

Finally, you will not improve the children church ministry without the help of your pastor. Ask your pastor to suggest ways you can find mentors for orphans. Though some churches do have mentoring programs, many do not. Maybe you are the person God wants to use to start a mentoring program for orphans in your church. Make yourself available to some of the children in your church who may need mentoring. May the Lord use you to increase visible participation of children in your church through what you will learn from AWANA? May the Lord help you to influence your church to have a clear budget for children ministry? AMEN and AMEN

Lawrence Temfwe