Recently I traveled to Venezuela to give a seminar on Children's CHE. After arriving in Caracas, I traveled to Maracay and then inland to San Fernando de Apure with José Luis and Tania Villega, who lead the CHE ministries in Venezuela. Venezuela is well known for its gracious hospitality. We worked in rustic conditions, but they treated me like a queen! (Except, perhaps, for the sopa de mondongo, which was made from tripe, the stomach of a cow.)
Emanuel Church already has a strong children's ministry. They are currently working with cell groups of children in about 35 or more communities. But they want to become more involved in the communities, working with the children but also reaching out to their families and their neighbors. Children's CHE, like traditional community health evangelism with adults, is an integral ministry, with a mixture of health training and Bible teaching, as well as training in practical skills.
With children (and during our Children's CHE seminar), most of the training is done through games and stories. So we enjoyed the seminar. (Did you know that a paper airplane contest is a good way to teach about planning?)
The "final exam" came on Monday, when the children lead a church service, complete with music, a praise time, and even a 5 year old preacher! But this one was different. We did Bible storying, with the children acting out the drama of David and Goliath. And then they divided into small groups. Each group of children used a soda bottle to demonstrate a health skill--giving ORS to a "diarrhea doll", using sunlight to purify water with SODIS, and a dramatic demonstration of the
danger of smoking.
danger of smoking.
Thank God for the enthusiasm of both the children and the participants in the Children's CHE seminar! Pray that they will carry through, working with the children to explore their communities, learn practical skills leading to better health, and carry out projects that will improve their communities. Even more, pray that the children will become faithful followers of Christ, and that their faith (and their health skills) will spread to their families and neighbors.