Kids Club has been running in Yirrkala for over 3 years. Every week there are 50-70 Yolŋu, kids and adults, gathering on the Church lawn, or inside the church building during the wet season. Although playing games and having food are part of the evening, sharing the gospel message is the purpose of the ministry.
The ministry has at times proved to be tiring and seemingly fruitless; however the kids turn up every week in expectation of something different, something for them. There are no other gospel-centered activities for children in the community.
MAF staff members along with some key Yolŋu leaders have faithfully led the activities of Kids Club throughout the years. The year 2011 was a very encouraging year in many ways for the ministry. The year began with a renewed enthusiasm from both MAF staff and Yolŋu people to see Kids Club as a place where the gospel message is proclaimed.
Throughout the year the children have been watching the recently released Gumatj Good News DVD, which was put together by MAF Learning Technologies in early 2011. After seeing portions of the DVD on the big screen, the children would gather in smaller groups to discuss concepts of Christianity and what it means to follow Jesus.
One particular Kids Club night began with some teaching on the Holy Spirit. The concepts were explained in both English and Yolngu language and the invitation was given to give their lives to Jesus. The children demonstrated with a show of hands that they wanted to follow Christ and the Yolngu leaders led them through a sinner’s prayer in their heart language. Over the next few weeks, more than 40 children made a public decision to follow Jesus.
The children were encouraged to read their Bibles at home. However, the Kids Club team soon realised that these kids didn’t have Bibles and most of them had never seen or read one for themselves. How would a ‘Bible for Christmas’ concept work? Time would tell!
MAF staff immediately set to work and researched the most appropriate Bible for these children. The Bible needed to have pictures to explain the concepts as most would struggle to understand English text. There are currently no children’s Bibles available in their heart language.
Eventually the right one was found and an immediate order for Bibles was placed online and fast shipping was requested.
The names of all the children that made the decision to follow Christ were written down, but a decision was made to give a Bible to all the kids that had regularly attended Kids Club, including those who had not yet made a commitment to follow Jesus. Praise God that the Bibles arrived in due time for the last Kids Club, to give them out for Christmas.
There was general excitement in the air as the children gathered to play games, practice Christmas carols and eat some food. They knew that their Bibles were coming!
As each child was called forward to receive their Bible with their name inscribed in it, the rest of the children yelled and clapped. A challenge was made from the Kids Club team to respect these Bibles, to read them and treat them like a treasure.
It was very encouraging for the Kids Club team to see children happily looking through the pictures in the Bibles together.
Please pray for these children that they would in fact read their Bibles and that the word of God would impact and change their lives. Pray that they would grow to become men and woman of God, and be influential in their community. Please also remember to pray for those kids that have not yet made a commitment, that as they read their Bibles they will be challenged by what they see and read about.
We give God all the Praise and Glory for MAF having the privilege to be involved in a ministry that is having such an impact on the children and adults of Yirrkala and the surrounding areas.