All Nations in Any Language
Every summer, churches across America open their doors to children of all faiths to attend Vacation Bible School (VBS), one of their largest outreach events of the year. Many times, VBS is the first time a child hears about the saving love of Christ, and it’s often when he/she becomes a believer.
This past summer, a mission team from Forest Baptist Church in Forest, VA worked with SBCV church planter Martin Solan* in his ministry area of Metro Washington, DC. They joined with Solan’s partner SBCV church* for a two-day VBS to reach the children of Arab immigrant families living nearby.
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed?
And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?
And how are they to hear without someone preaching? ~ Romans 10:14
Of the Muslims in America, 42% were born in the United States**. The children of this generation are raised in their parents’ faith, but they are exposed to Christianity in the communities where they now live. Pastor Solan’s desire in hosting a VBS was to connect with these families.
The team from Forest (made up of adults, teenagers, and children), shared LifeWay’s Go and Tell Mission Trip VBS with the children. This new resource is designed to present the Gospel to any child anywhere, no matter the culture or language.
“Having financially supported Pastor Solan and his mission, we were excited to ‘go and tell’ the truths of the Gospel to a community of people who may have never before heard the name of Jesus Christ,” says Joe Veres, Forest’s elder of missions. “Our desire, as the Holy Spirit prepares the way, is for the seeds of truth that we planted to be nurtured in the lives of children who will eventually come to faith in the Savior of the world.”
“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.
So, neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything,
but only God who gives the growth.”
~ 1 Corinthians 3:6-7
The children heard the Gospel through Bible story time, crafts, games, and even face painting. “It meant a lot to us,” Solan says, “because these kids and families were able to hear the message of Christ through the Go and Tell curriculum and crafts. Some of them had never heard these stories before. This has helped the community understand more about Jesus and how to have a relationship with Him.”
“I have never seen a kids’ program that cared for my son,” one Arab refugee mother shared. “My son enjoyed his time and enjoyed the games. He came home and shared the Bible story with me. This was one of the first times that my son clearly explained a story from the Bible. I hope next year they do it again.”
“All of these people are refugees and immigrants who have recently come from places like Pakistan, Egypt, and other locations in the Middle East,” shares Pastor Solan. “This has brought joy to their isolated lives and will help us to continue to reach them through our ministry here at the mission center.”
For more information on how to get involved ministering to Arab refugees, contact Larry Black (firstname.lastname@example.org).
*Name has been changed or withheld for security purposes
**Pew Research Center, April 17, 2018
All Scripture references are from the English Standard Version (ESV).
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