Truly a first for KIDStory: an international training team of 11 people from 4 countries equipping over 300 people to reach and disciple the children of Manila and its surrounding communities.
KIDStory relies on the method of Jesus’ teaching through telling stories combined with interactive experiences and meaningful discussions. It is part of Kids Around the World (an American-based organisation who puts playgrounds around the world, conducts feeding programs and reaches out to children through KIDStory) and aims to impact the lives of children and the youth with God’s transforming hope by the telling of His story and the working of His Spirit.
Last November we launched KIDStory Philippines through three conferences held in Quezon City (Manila), Bacolod and Davao. For this occasion, we assembled as an international team of 11 people from four countries (Philippines, USA, India and Italy). In Quezon City we had an attendance of about 290 delegates, in Bacolod 110 delegates registered that day, exceeding our expectations of 50-60 people, and finally in Davao we had about 35—these 35 delegates alone represented 20 different churches/organisations.
God was very much with us that day: one of the challenges we were given was how to keep the workshop relational and experiential, though we had hundreds in attendance. Initially, when discussing with the Philippines Director of Wycliffe the possibility of having a KIDStory workshop, we expected a maximum of 50 people. When he expressed his belief that God would bring hundreds to it, the immediate thought was, “we don’t conduct trainings like that – there would be key elements missing.” However, as we soon found out, God intended for us to do things differently.
That is where our team of 11 took on the challenge of having breakout groups which then continued to teach on what was presented in the large group. This medium size group then further broke down into small groups to allow time to practice what they had learned. Amazingly, it worked! We do believe that the people who attended the conferences were those that God Himself wanted to be there and be equipped.
Many are the testimonies of attendees encouraged and challenged to use this strategy for children’s ministry. Several asked for further training and expressed the desire to be trained as trainers:
One public school teacher gave testimony to how the workshop revitalized her as she knew she was becoming stagnant in her teaching. She was further surprised how God allowed someone, whom she just met at the conference, to speak into the storm that she was experiencing in her life.
One participant was so excited because now she finally had a way to teach the Word of God to the children in her church.
Another gave testimony on how the workshop not only gave her a vision for teaching in her church, but healed a deep wound that she had been carrying the last several weeks after hearing some difficult family news.
One person shared she had been backsliding for the last couple of years but for some reasons found himself at one of the conference. Through the Bible stories, God had renewed in him the desire to be one with Him.
This 18th of February we will be conducting another training and we are scheduling more both here in the Philippines and abroad, as well as follow-ups to those who have been trained and are using the method in order to create a community of practitioners within the Philippines to start with.
If you are interested in what we are doing or you want to have a training in your area, please get in touch with us at [email protected].
To God be the glory!
Gary Strudler, KIDStory Global Director
Tina & Giuseppe “Joe” Laporta, National Coordinators KIDStory Philippines