Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Building a gospel partnership is child's play!

When we visited with Church on Mill a couple of Sundays ago, I had the unique opportunity to share with some of the elementary age children there. These kids were already somewhat familiar with the work 20schemes is doing in Scotland because of a partnership begun this past summer through Vacation Bible School.

I was able to not only introduce (via photos) these missions-minded kids to Scotland and Niddrie Community Church, but also to Natasha and the kids she's been working with. Natasha has already received some of the benefit of this partnership through funding for additional training, and the kids in both of these congregations have been exchanging penpal letters and small gifts over the past few months. Kids on both sides of the pond have been intrigued and excited by this project!


Natasha interns at Niddrie Community Church, working with youth and children in a variety of ways. She loves the work, especially with the five-to eleven-year-olds. Teenagers are harder to reach, so Natasha hopes that seeds planted and relationships built during these earlier years will help these kids stay connected to the church when they become teens.

Natasha's biggest challenge -- just learning to love the kids, even when they're not acting especially lovable -- also provides one of her greatest rewards. "I see myself in them sometimes, and it just makes me even more grateful God has decided to use me to minister to them, I can relate to them," she says. When asked how she has grown spiritually through working with the kids, she responded with this:

I'm learning so much about how God is using me in Niddrie, and how he is turning me into the person he wants me to be! It's hard to be a Christian on a scheme, especially if you are from a scheme, friends and family will turn their backs on you -- the people you least expect to, will.  Life does get difficult, but in that I learned to trust God and not myself; he will provide and take care of me and he has.

But the benefit of all that is, people NOTICE, they notice you're not the same person you had been, they notice you making better decisions, they notice a change in your behaviour and attitude, and they have to and will ask
how? And there's a great excuse to glorify God and tell them it isn't through me and my works but God and his grace, and Jesus Christ.

Now all of this may not seem terribly remarkable to you unless you realize that Natasha is a relatively new believer who demonstrated a heart to reach out to those around her, especially children and young adults. Until she was saved, she'd never read the Bible or been to church, other than for a handful of christenings, funerals, and the like. Let me further introduce you to Natasha by sharing her video testimony with you:

Natasha's testimony

The local church played a vital role in sharing the gospel with Natasha. It continues to play a vital role in her discipleship, as well as in equipping her to share the gospel and serve in the church. She's among 20schemes' first indigenous apprentices, homegrown converts eager to invest in gospel work through the local church.

That's our mission in a nutshell: reaching the unsaved in the schemes of Scotland by planting local gospel churches. But we can't do it without you. Are you willing to partner with us?

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