by Danielle Hood, KidZ Short-Term Team Member
I wanted to share with you about my trip to Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) in November. We put together a training conference using the KidZ at Heart workshops. Friday, a day before the training, we met with five key children's leaders who currently oversee many churches and their ministries to children. In the meeting, they seemed hostile and uncomfortable. The leaders expressed that they had been to many trainings before. From these they received good ideas about children's ministry, but they made no lasting impact on their ministries. I tried to explain that we were not there to tell them how to do ministry, but rather to provide principles they could easily apply in their culture and ministry.
Leaving this meeting, I prayed that God would provide a miracle and bring blessings to the people who would attend the training. God heard those prayers! During the training we could see the faces and hearts of those leaders change! Nearly 40 children's pastors and leaders attended! We shared the key KidZ workshops, “Nurturing Great Children” and “How Children L.E.A.R.N. Best.” Both workshops were received very well. The participants were engaged, excited and encouraged.
My translator, Therese, is a young University student who is studying education and is passionate about empowering Sunday school teachers. When she was doing the training with me, she could not stop beaming about how incredible the material is. She told me that she expected us to get there and just lecture them, but was surprised to see everyone engaged, moving around, and discussing the concepts. She said she had never been to a training event like this before, and that it was incredible to see us modeling what we were sharing about. The overall response was that everyone left feeling like they could apply what they learned. The leaders have invited me back and desire more trainings like the ones we did! Many pastors left wanting their children's ministry workers to receive the same training.
We went to some Sunday school classes the next day, and I was encouraged to see the teachers already applying what they took away from the workshops! I'm not sure what the future holds for me and the continuation of KidZ at Heart trainings here in Côte d'Ivoire, but the church here is eager for more.
I just want to thank you for everything you have done! The work you are doing through KidZ at Heart is making a huge impact across the world and now in Côte d'Ivoire as well!