China (MNN) — You may not think about it too often, but children’s ministry in other countries doesn’t look the same as it does in the United States. For many churches, something like Sunday school is nonexistent.
Keys for Kids Ministries executive director Terre Ritchie recently shared this reality with us regarding ministry in a couple of countries. One of them is China.
“We were contacted a couple of months ago by a young pastor who works in a place called ‘Children’s Ministry’ in China. And what they do is try and train Sunday school teachers for in-house churches,” Ritchie says.
“In a lot of the in-house churches they have in China, when it comes time for church, someone just takes the kids off and entertains them or tries to keep them quiet while church is going on.”
This contact in China wants to change that. So far, they have training materials online complete with video, method explanation, and now devotionals.
“This is exciting for us because Mandarin Chinese is the [most widely] spoken language in the world,” Ritchie explains. The thought of potentially reaching the largest language group in the world with children’s Bible literature certainly is thrilling.
A few years ago, Keys for Kids partnered with Trans World Radio to translate a years’ worth of Keys for Kids devotionals into Mandarin Chinese.
Children’s Ministry is using that material for a phone app.
Ritchie says after only a couple of months using the material, they already have 1,000 listeners–and they expect that number to continue growing.
“This is something that we’re providing free for these folks so that they have some way to train the teachers and to give the devotionals to the children,” Ritchie says.
It’s not out of the goodness of their hearts that they’re offering this material to other organizations with the same vision. Ritchie says it’s just what they’re supposed to do: “We could keep this material to ourselves and just say, ‘We’re not going to share it with anybody.’ But that’s not God’s intention. God’s intention is for us to use that material to spread it as far and wide as we possibly can. That’s the way I look at ministry: it’s not ours, it’s God’s. And what He does with it is just amazing.”
And in trusting God with that, Keys for Kids gets to witness many blessings.
Ritchie says, “Even right now as these people in China are putting this up on an application called WeChat, it’s reaching 300 million people.”
WeChat is a messaging app. In China it is also used to share information like news articles and blogs. In effect, it’s perfect for sharing the Keys for Kids material with children ministry leaders in China.
Keys for Kids Ministries is excited with these opportunities. Are you?
There is something very meaningful about what Keys for Kids is doing for children worldwide.
Ritchie shares that with us: “Anytime God’s Word is opened up to a child, they’re opened up to a new way of life and a way of changing their life for eternity by accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior. That is the main reason we are doing the work that we’re doing and have been for 73 years. We just want children to know that they can make a difference with their life if they give it to Jesus.”
Part of the difference these children can make is by passing on the love they’ve received from Jesus to others.
“Even as a little kid, children can tell other kids about Christ,” Ritchie says, “I’ve seen it happen. I’ve seen whole entire families come to the Lord through the eyes of a child, through the words of a child. And that’s what’s so amazing about all of this.”
Why does it matter?
There are some ministries out there reaching people on a physical level–attending to everyday needs like food, water, and shelter. While these organizations do a wonderful job, it’s good to know that their goals extend beyond answering physical needs.
Keys for Kids is one organization that longs for children to know the spiritual change and satisfaction that comes from knowing Jesus.
Ritchie says, “I truly believe that God has gifted different ministries to reach certain people groups. Our people group is kids, and God has gifted our ministry through all these years in reaching thousands, millions of children over that 73 years. And if we can change just one life every day through God’s power of His word, that’s what it’s all about.”
Through this one changed life, an entire family might be changed. Their family history will shift and the implications of that change count for eternity.
Keys for Kids Ministries can always use your help, whether it’s financial or prayer support.
“We try so hard to use every penny that’s given to us in a way that would honor Christ,” Ritchie says.
To give, click here.