“I’m very happy to receive this gift! Because it is my first Bible and it has brought many changes in my life. First it helps me to know and read the word of God and now I’m a good learner and I memorize easily the verses.Now I have a desire to share the word of God with my friends who are M* and Animist. I am even doing a bible study with my friend Jacques.Thank you and please keep us and our CIC Club in your daily prayers.”
Grace, 13 years, northern Africa* *Country and name undisclosed for security purposes
Grace is growing up in an area bordering the north of Africa where the spiritual battlefront is intense.
Somehow by God’s grace, she has received Jesus as her Lord and Savior.
In her CIC Club 50% of the children are M* and 48% are Animist, which is the traditional religion of Africa, focused on worshiping objects of creation and ancestors as having spiritual powers to bless or curse.
Daily life for children from ages 4 and up usually involves gathering water from the local well (often walking a mile or more with heavy water-laden buckets), tending to brothers and sisters, and helping out with chores like hand-washing the family clothes, preparing food, herding family livestock, and working many hours in the hot sun planting family crops. Some children are able to attend school as well.
Mosques are everywhere. The call to prayer echoes out daily. And K*/Q* schools dot the countryside. More and more are coming.
In many regions there are no churches. Not one.
For these communities, CIC brings the Gospel into a place where no church is.
Grace’s CIC Club mentor shared recently, “Before CIC, I did not know anything about ministry among the children, but I had a heart for children and when I heard and understood the vision and mission of CIC, I set out from our church to go to these children who do not have the opportunity to come in contact with anyone from the church. And now, the Lord is in the many lives of these children who have been delivered from witchcraft and deception. I am astonished they come and are attracted to what we say [teachings about their Heavenly Father and Jesus] and what we do in CIC Club [like games and songs.] It is for His glory. Praise the Lord!”
But what about these children? How do their parents react? Is it dangerous for them?
How does the Lord powerfully work through children in the advancement of the Gospel in unreached people groups and regions?
How do children open doors that have been closed to missionaries, churches, and other organizations?
It would seem impossible, given the growing and intensifying spiritual battle along this region. But somehow, the Lord does it and He softens the hearts of parents, families, and communities through the sweet fragrance of Christ when He transforms these children’s hearts.
One of our CIC Club mentors in this region explained one of the ways this happens in a recent testimony:
“Some of the parents in our CIC Club village locked up their neighborhood kids in the house during Club time, so they could not come. But over time they noticed a change in behavior in the lives of those who frequented the club. [The children were improving in school, obeying their parents, and were ready to help. Children who had been stealing stopped stealing. Children who frequently had lied were now telling the truth, etc.] The club changed the attitude of the parents.
When we had the presentation of certificates to the children in my club, I invited parents to come and participate; I thought they were not going to come because they are all M*’s, but to my surprise they came to the exact time and have stayed until the end, thanking me and making blessings for the club. They listened to the message of the gospel through our presentation of the Gospel. They listened to the verses of memorization by their own children and heard songs that elevate the name of Jesus as sung by the children in our CIC neighborhood club. I see the power of God working in hearts through the teaching and songs – it turns the hearts of children to Jesus and saves them against the evils of the world.”
Sira K., CIC Club Mentor Volunteer, Age 35
Where missionaries and churches are not welcome, the Lord somehow uses CIC Clubs to open doors. Doors to hearts, doors to regions, doors to unreached people groups.
But at some point in time, this open door could close. The battlefront is becoming increasingly intense across Africa.
Today the Lord has given CIC an open door. And indigenous pastors and churches are catching the vision, inspired to go, and reach their neighboring tribes with the hope of the Gospel. But how will they go if they have not heard the vision? How will they carry the vision if they are not equipped? How will they go if they are not sent? We have 18,000 African indigenous volunteers from local churches across the continent who are willing to go, without any pay, to minister to these children. Will you partner with them? They give everything they can to the ministry. If we can train them and also help provide curriculum, club supplies, local transport to clubs, etc., we can do this together as one Body of Christ. CLICK HERE to see ways you can be a part of this exciting work! May the Lord bless you!
As Jesus called us to go and make disciples of all nations, let us join together and be part of this Great Commission. We have this hope from Him, the author and perfecter of our faith, that by His glorious Gospel, He tells us:
“Those who were not my people, I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved, I will call ‘beloved.’(Romans 9:25)
“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’ And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, ‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen’ ” (Rev 7:9)
Living in Africa, Jen met Terry Andrews, Founder of CIC, in Arusha back in February 2011 - and was immediately drawn to all that God was doing in this humble, unique ministry. It reflected her own life passions - inspiring and equipping the local indigenous body, reaching and discipling children, and going where no one else has been with the Gospel. For her, joining CIC is a personal surprise that the Lord had planned her whole life - surpassing her wildest dreams. Sharing the love and truth of Jesus with a continent of children is an unspeakable privilege and joy. He alone gets the glory!