India (MNN) — For many, summer has begun. This provides opportunity for various outreaches to commence for children who are out of school.
Mission India has many of their Children’s Bible Clubs underway.
Lindsay Ackerman of Mission India says, “Our clubs are rolling out all across India. In most states, our Bible club leaders have finished their training and so they are focused on getting their clubs started in their villages.”
After club leaders are done training, they go door-to-door to get the neighborhood children excited for the club.
This excitement grows until it reaches surrounding children. “Maybe on the first day there’s a small group, and by the second day, friends have heard about it and sisters and brothers are curious, and the group starts to grow,” Ackerman says. Sometimes, even the parents are curious enough to attend.
Once the club is under way, the leaders are past some of the main difficulties they face. But until that point, it can be a scary thing to get a Bible club going.
“Our leaders face a lot of challenges. Often our Bible clubs are the first introduction our partners have to a village,” says Ackerman. And often, it is the village’s first introduction to the Gospel.
“This is just a great door-opener,” Ackerman continues. “But it is also a challenge because families don’t always understand why a club leader is coming, why a club is being introduced. So there can be, sometimes, a little bit of suspicion or resistance.”
But when the family finds out the club leader is a caring individual providing a happy place for their children to hang out, they learn to trust the Bible club.
Because of these challenges, and even because of the daily commitment they give to the club, the leaders need a source of strength. This strength could come from a number of places.
But did you know that they receive strength from you? From your prayers, that is.
Ackerman says, “Our club leaders are very encouraged to know that we’re praying for them. They very much depend on Scripture and personal prayer to keep their focus on what they’re doing, which is really serving the Lord and making the name of Jesus known.”
These Bible clubs aren’t all about having a fun time, though they certainly are fun. The clubs provide something much deeper. “Our ultimate goal is really for the kids to understand who Jesus is, that He is the true Son of God, that He is the Messiah. So that is something we really want kids to know and families to know.”
When asked what it means to be successful in this endeavor, Ackerman says, “India is one of the most-unreached nations on earth, and there are just thousands of people groups where there’s not a single Christian. And so for us, it’s a real success to be able to be in every state and to be able to reach out to the next generation and introduce Jesus to them.”
This vision for Mission India is one being realized more and more each day. “We really hope and pray that the Lord will transform India in our generation, that we’ll be able to see the name of Jesus known in every community across India. And our Bible clubs are huge part of doing that.”
Another way that Mission India is reaching out is through Adult Literacy classes. The current students are in their eighth or ninth month of classes.
The main thing that the classes provide the students is confidence: confidence in writing their names and counting money in the market, etc.
The classes also teach practical skills to make basic products that can be sold as a means of support.
Mission India is proud of their students and of the literacy teachers for their hard work and commitment. “We’re really excited to see how these students continue to blossom, especially after they graduate and they’re able to use these skills. We just pray that they will encourage others to become literate as well,” Ackerman says.
Your prayers have meant so much to the leaders of Bible clubs, literacy classes, and to the team at Mission India.
Ackerman shares some other ways you can be praying for the nation of India as well: “Continue to pray for openness in India to the Gospel. Elections in India took place over the last five weeks.”
According to Ackerman, 550 million votes were cast, making up one of the biggest elections in the world–an exceptionally high voter turnout.
This is significant and goes along well with the theme of the Children’s Bible Clubs, which is Superleaders. The children are taught to follow good examples and become their own Godly superleaders. The parents of India are teaching their children responsible voting and portraying one way to be a superleader.
Whenever leadership shifts, it is a cause for concern. Ackerman has one more prayer request: “We have new government coming in, and we just pray that those leaders would allow an openness to the Gospel to continue and that people would be able to freely share the Gospel and that there would be no increased persecution.”