Let the Children Come
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14
When Paul Kneeland was wrestling with the vision of the Orality Institute, he asked, “Do you have any interest in a curriculum specifically designed for children?”
Wherever we have traveled, the children are peering in through the windows, the doors, and even cracks in the wall just to see and hear what the adults are learning. We have had two young girls complete the curriculum as they sat in with other adults for two years of study. Several families have used the curriculum to share the Bible stories with their own children. It seems like an opportunity that we could pursue.
Paul put two posts on the Orality Institute Facebook page and those posts received multiple comments and several people shared the post. Here is one of those comments. “Many children seem capable of learning the simple Bible stories of the curriculum and seem to answer the questions sometimes better than adults. I am sure they would be capable of learning these stories and I would be willing to help.”
The board was open to the idea and now the discussion continues with you, our supporters. We are now asking you to pray with us as we evaluate the possibility of developing a Biblical oral curriculum for children in oral cultures. Everywhere we go there always seems to be children nearby curious about what the adults are doing/learning. If that is something we should add to the ministry, pray that it will be clear and that funding for that work would be provided.
The Narrow Road
What does it mean to follow Jesus? He doesn’t often lead us on straight and easy paths, but He does promise to go with us wherever He leads.
The Orality Institute has been working in many rural villages. Places that are difficult to get to, without the conveniences that we think of as normal. The normal essentials like food, homes, bathrooms, or even furniture are all different. It is a simple life, one that is not complicated by all the stuff we typically have.
It is not an easy road to take God’s Word to villages around the world, but it has been surprising to find that in those rural and remote places the people have a greater hunger for God’s Word. They are willing to work hard to learn the stories because it is the only biblical education available to them. They have a greater joy when they learn the stories because many times it is the first time they have heard or understood them. They are more interested in retelling the message to others because telling stories is their way of life.
Perhaps Jesus takes us to distant and difficult roads so that we can see what we have been unable to recognize when things are close and easy. Perhaps it is the simple life that provides more blessings than the convenient life. May we learn as much as we teach, may we go wherever He leads, and may we have open eyes to see the blessings that come on unexpected roads.And a scribe came up and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Matthew 8:19-20