“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”
While we were in Thika, we visited a nursery school started and run by one of the churches whom LIA is a partner. The churches LIA is working with in Thika all recognize the need for an effective children’s ministry in each of the churches. Most of the churches have more kids than adults, and sadly most of the childrens’ parents do not attend church with their child. The church has recognized that it is their responsibility to pour into these children and to guide them in the truth of the gospel.
Anyway, at the nursery school the children were 1-3 years old and they stayed there during the day while their parent(s) went about their daily business. The pastor charges the parent(s) 20 schillings a day. On the walls throughout the room there were posters with the alphabet, pictures and names of animals, numbers, etc. I got to talk to the pastor of the church that is overseeing this nursery school and I was so encouraged by his heart and vision for this nursery school/children’s ministry. His vision for this school was for a place where kids get taught about Christ and a place where they are taught the basics so that they will be fully equipped for primary school. He also told me that they found out that most of the parents could not afford to send lunch with their child so the pastor’s wife cooks EVERYDAY for those children. This nursery school and the vision for effective children’s ministry in all the churches really showed the churchs’ hearts for children and their recognition of the importance of training and raising up children in the way of Christ. These children are the future of the church.
At the nursery school Jane, Steve (works in Kibera), and I got to feed some of the kids their lunch. Rebecca played games outside with the kids. Kimber chatted with the pastor while she held a napping baby in her arms. Daniel, Bonsai, and Jim awkwardly tried to figure out how to interact with the kids. Besides the kids being scared because we looked different from them, every time Jim looked at a child it started to cry—except toward the end one child grabbed his hand for 10 seconds! It was funny watching the boys interact with the kids. They eventually got slightly more comfortable. We all played games with the children and then we had to go. I loved seeing these children being poured into and being rooted in their identity in Christ at such a young age. I also appreciated how much the pastor, his wife, and the lady watching the kids loved them and cared for them as if they were their own.