A Missions Project Story: Through the hearts of children

By Audrey Cop

How does a small group of children at a little church in a little town called Melvern, Kansas, serve God in a really big way in the world? In this instance it happened through a missions project that started in the hearts and minds of a handful of children in a small Sunday school class, in a small local church.

Around the first part of August 2018, several children at the Melvern United Methodist Church Sunday school class came up with an idea to help people in Africa have safe drinking water for their families. The children had learned that many of the young children in these countries were dying from diseases caused by contaminated water. The parents have no source of water to provide for their children – other than the contaminated rivers and streams around them. So, the children started giving their Sunday school donations to a designated clean water project just for this purpose.

Then, the idea expanded to include the children, age kindergarten through fifth grade, at that church’s weekly after-school ministry, called “The ROCK”. The program’s name stands for Reaching Out to Christ’s Kids. This program is available to all children in the area, regardless of whether they attend that church; it meets after school on Wednesday evenings. Then there were about 20 total children involved in the missions’ project.

The children’s group decided to expand their clean water project to include sustainable food sources for people in Africa. The children had also learned how so many other children are hungry and malnourished because there is not enough food for these families. They expanded the mission project to include purchasing chickens for eggs and dairy animals for milk and cheese to provide to the families. The families could consume the eggs, milk and cheese and sell any excess food to provide much needed additional income for their families.

As a group, we prayed for God to bless this project and help us raise the money to help those in need. The children set a goal of $500 to be reached by April 2019.

God worked in awesome ways with this little group of children and the volunteers who help in this children’s ministry. They did not do any special fundraising projects.

Out of their generous hearts, the children simply brought their own money – dollars, quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies they had earned for doing chores or from part of their allowance. With some help from the adult volunteers, in just five months the children had raised $414.66.

On Dec. 23, 2018, the church’s congregation was excited to learn how well the children were doing, and it was decided to take up a special offering to assist the children in meeting that goal. With that special offering they went over their goal by a total of $37.30. The mission project funds totaled a whopping $537.30. And they were four months ahead of schedule.

The children were able, through the Samaritan’s Purse organization, to purchase the following items, which are also distributed to the people overseas by this same organization: Three household water filters (clean water project) to three families, two goats (dairy animal project) to two families, six chicken units (chicken and poultry project) to six families, and two blanket units (blanket and bedding project) to two families – plus the small left over amount was given to “where most needed” for Samaritan’s Purse.

Let the accomplishment of this small group of children be a lesson for all of us. We are never too old or too young, too rich or too poor, to make a difference in this world when we decide to serve God, however He leads us. These children have a big heart for Jesus and want to spread His love to others, all around the world. Their project did this and will touch many lives and impact all of eternity.

No wonder Jesus said in Matthew 19:14 (NIV) “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Well done, children!

Audrey Cop is the children’s ministries director at Melvern United Methodist Church.

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