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Kids pop out on kindness

By Kate Azumah

“Two of my Sunday school kids were in the car when we saw the woman and her children by the roadside. We were returning from a party and the kids had been given some gifts. To my shock, four-year-old Esther popped out of the car and went to give her treats from the party to the woman’s children.”

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it (Prov. 22:6). Sister Grace and her Sunday school teacher colleagues are seeing the fruit of their training reaching outside church walls. The International Fellowship of Christians Church (IFC) in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, has been intentional about raising their children to be generous and outward looking.

Sister Grace shares, “We teach and demonstrate to them that they have to reach out. We instill in them that culture and mindset, encouraging them to do what Jesus would do right from when they are young.”

Beyond teaching them to show love to the less-privileged, the teachers encourage putting into practice what they learn. They allow the children to brainstorm their own ideas and provide guidance where necessary. The church does not interfere; it’s the children’s initiative through and through. From Esther’s random act of kindness, the result is evident.

The children and teenagers have packed their own items – clothes, shoes, and other daily essentials – into shoe boxes for donations to orphanages. They took food along to share, and each Sunday school child was paired with an orphan. The children sang and danced and 14-year old Philip gave a short sermon. He spoke about how God has great things lined up for them despite their present situation.

The teens also embarked on a fundraising initiative to buy gifts for inmates at a juvenile prison. “When every season of giving comes, all the children are so happy to do it. It gives them fulfillment and develops in them a heart of compassion.” The IFC Sunday school teachers do not have to wait to see the effect of their investment and intentionality in the future. They are witnessing it now.

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