Yvonne’s ideas ... from the General Secretary’s desk

My sister volunteers for an organisation called ‘Stop the Traffik’.

It started because Phil Lane, who was working in India, ran a children’s group. He noticed that two of the children, aged five and seven, had not attended his group for two weeks. He knew they lived on the platform of Mumbai Station (just like many still do today), he knew their mother had died and their father was alcoholic.

Stop The TraffikHe visited them and asked their dad, “How are you? Can I do anything for you? Where are your children?” 

“I sold them,” he said, “for $20. I needed money.”

My question, after silent reflection, was why hadn’t he been to see the dad before? Of course hindsight is a great thing. And of course ‘Stop the Traffik’ as an organisation might not be supporting and helping the thousands of people it does, if it had not been for those children whose fate is still unknown today.

The Congregational Distinctive report asks the question: How do we encourage churches to ask for help before it’s too late? It also queries: “Who rings a church or an area and asks how things are going?”

Be ready – I’m going to be ringing and I’m going to be encouraging!

Be inspired by these few ideas as a starting point.

Christmas Shoeboxes
I’ve never filled and sent off a shoebox but I know my mother-in-law has done many. At a conference last week the speaker was from the organisation Operation Christmas Child and I was moved by some of their stories. I’m asking all churches to create a shoe box, yes just one. I will even volunteer to collect it if need be – we are here to spread the good news of Jesus Christ.

Samaritan's PurseLet’s start by this...
1. Find a shoebox
2. Decide whether it is for a girl or a boy – and set the age range (2-5, 6-9, 10-14)
3. Fill it with gifts and a photo of yourself and maybe your church
* Toys e.g. skipping rope, yo-yo, musical instruments, ball, teddy
* School supplies – exercise book, pens, pencils, crayons
* Hygiene essentials: toothbrush and paste, soap, flannel, comb, hairbrush
* Check the website for more ideas (see below)
4. Pray
5. Add cheque for £3 per box
6. Drop off or contact me to collect by October 31st

Ring Beccy or Sam on 0115 9111460 for a pack or you can go online by clicking the link above to download the information.

Sunday school
If yours is like mine then we have few children and various ages. We have a solution! Annette Dickinson, area worker in the North West writes:

Postal Bible School“I have been running Postal Bible School ‘Bibletime’ in the NW area for two years now, kindly supported by BESweb. We currently have fifty-two children signed up on the monthly course of fun activity sheets.

The great advantage of this resource is that it is divided into 4 levels to cover ages 4-15. Each session starts with the same Bible passage and then differentiated activities for the age groups are given, solving the common issue of mixed age groups in Junior Church.

The NW Executive are supporting the printing and postage costs to send out to children and churches so that the resource is free to children. It is also free to download from Bible Educational Services Free Bible Lessons for Children www.besweb.com.

Feedback from our churches suggests that the resource is promoted as Bibletime as the word school can put children off meeting together on a Sunday.

As Area worker I try to visit the children in their groups to give small gifts and treats to encourage them in their walk with the Lord.”

Why not contact Annette and ask how your area can set up a similar scheme?

So I hope you are encouraged and don’t just read my words but act on them. Remember we know and love Jesus Christ now, not because of what he said but because of what he did.