After Paul and Marty arrived at Lodja in February of 2007 after several year’s absence, Marty noticed that there was virtually nothing being done with the children. Marty decided to initiate a children’s Bible lesson on Wednesday afternoons after school. The idea was to tell Bibles stories to children between the ages of 4 and 14 using felt graphics, have them memorize scripture, color Bible pictures and then have a play time outside the church.
Children came out of the woodwork and almost immediately there were more than 200 children attending. Soon the numbers grew to between 160 and 225 every week. The program was obviously meeting a tremendous need and there was the potential of expanding the work to include other villages and hundreds of more children. First, however, the lessons had to be translated into Otetela and the program on the mission had to be established. A young man who spoke English was hired.
The leadership team noticed that approximately 19 of the children really excelled in the memorization of the Bible verses each week. They decided to form a special class on Mondays for more extended scripture memorization and invited these children to join. The children were enthusiastic about the class and soon they had 19 children working on memorization ranging from selected verses of scripture to the books of the Bible and the Ten Commandments, and many other scriptures. The next goal was for the children to memorize the entire book of John. The goal was to enable these children to “hide the Word of God in their hearts” as a life-changing influence.
Teaching with Felt Graphics