Christian Education for Presbyterian Children in Rwanda - February 2018 Update
"Let the children come to me…" - Jesus
Children’s Stories from the Presbyterian Church of Rwanda (EPR) Remera-Kicukiro Children’s Christian Education (Sunday School)
On a typical Sunday at EPR Remera-Kicukiro, you would find hundreds of our members singing, praying, and dancing. Unfortunately, you would also find the children of our church crowded together in undersized, packed classrooms. All of the children of EPR Remera-Kicukiro are forced to share one common space on Sundays. This includes children as old as 14 and as young as three. The classrooms are often so overcrowded that children must sit in each other’s laps as they are instructed. They come in large numbers anyway! The congregation has 224 children attending Sunday School classes. Church members who volunteer their time and have Christ’s love for the children serve as teachers. As a congregation, we are thrilled at the opportunity to grow and to count these children as members of our young church.
Because Sunday School and the education of our children is the main focus of evangelism of our church, the vision of our congregation is to make it strong and enjoyable. We know that the secret to having a future generation in the church and nation is to invest in Christian education for our children.
The Bible is clear about Christian education:
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Jesus also gave an important place to the children. The Bible says:
“People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.” Mark 10:13-16
Challenges Facing the Children
The biggest challenge the Sunday School children face is the building where they gather when they come to church for worship and learning is too small to host all the children. We have one small room for children 8-14 years old, while the children under 8 gather in another tiny room. This causes some parents to leave their children at home or to let them go to other churches. So, not having enough space also lowers the attendance numbers of children in Sunday School. It is not possible to group the children according to their ages or grade because there is not enough space. The children are not comfortable because they are too crowded, and the teachers are not able to reach each child during biblical lessons. Concentration and focus are a big problem.
For the church to overcome this challenge, plans to build a new larger room and to expand the existing rooms are underway. We pray that we will be able to get these rooms ready for the children as soon as possible so they can worship and grow in their love for God. Please pray for us and with us.
Your partnership with us is appreciated
Pastor Julius Ngendahayo
Read more about Christian Education for Presbyterian Children in Rwanda HERE.
The Outreach Foundation is seeking $10,000 for teaching materials and training for Sunday School teachers as well as supplies including children’s classrooms and children’s Bibles.