A Future Generation
What will God do with the lives of the teens who come to Christian Youth in Action? That is a question I have been asking myself since God called me to the ministry of CYIA here in Madagascar. I had always felt that the teens who would come to camp would be the future of Madagascar—the pastors, leaders and missionaries of the next generation. How exciting it has been to see God bring that dream into reality. Let me introduce you to just a few of the many teens who came to CYIA in Ranomafana and in Antananarivo.
Setra: The other teens occasionally called Setra, “Pastor.” He is 15 and was the only older boy who came to CYIA in Ranomafana, and to be honest, I was shocked to hear that he was coming since all the other boys were 11 or 12. We asked them why they called him that, and they said, “When the teacher at school asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up, Setra said he wanted to be a pastor.” And all week, as I watched him learn and grow, I could see that God had already called him, and he knew it.
Aina: Aina sat beside me after club one evening and said, ‘Tara, I want to be a missionary. When I teach the kids at club, I know that’s what I want to do with my life.”
Avotra: Avotra is 17. He couldn’t come to the first three days of training because he was taking what is the equivalent of a GED. But on his lunch breaks, he would come running down to spend lunch time with us then hurry back to the testing location. He caught himself up on everything he missed and was ready to teach with his team when we got to Tamatave. He was sitting by me one day as I watched my team do a demo of their club. When one of the boys was having a hard time reading something out of the missionary story, Avotra told him what it was supposed to say, word for word, from memory. I looked at him in shock since that wasn’t even the part he was teaching that day. He was the Bible lesson teacher that day on his team and that is usually plenty enough to keep someone busy during practice time. He said, “Hey, every part of club is connected and goes together. You have to know all the parts to teach well.” And you should see this kid teach. I had seen his passion since pre-training and knew God already had special plans for him. Avotra only confirmed those suspicions. He knew God had already called him to be a missionary.
God is working through CYIA and I can’t wait to see what He has planned for these kids’ lives. Thank you for playing a key role in CYIA here in Madagascar through your prayers and support!
CYIA, Malagasy Style
We crowded around the open fire that our giant pot of rice was suspended over, sitting on stones and blowing on the fire in an attempt to get the rice to cook faster. The pitch black sky over us was filled with more stars than I had ever seen. Everything was quiet, except us. The first four days of training were over and we had just arrived in a little town way out in the middle of nowhere to teach 5-Day Clubs. The 12 kids who crowded around the fire with me continually blew my mind. They ranged in age from 11 to 15, most being about 12. They worked so hard and put everything they had into their clubs. If they practiced their lessons in front of rocks and trees, they did so loudly and passionately. And when they were at club, it was no different. They would point out areas they thought would be perfect for open-air ministry and invited everyone in sight to the afternoon clubs. The Child Evangelism Fellowship® worker in Ranomafana, Henriette, was one of the sweetest, most humble people I had ever met. She did nothing halfway. She went above and beyond with everything and poured her heart into these teens whom she saw as the future of CEF® in Ranomafana. Seeing all this, I felt so very, very small. I wondered how it was that God had orchestrated this whole thing and had His hand in every part of it. I watched in awe as I saw a passion grow in the hearts of the teens to spread the Gospel. I watched as the club my teens taught, way out in a little village in the rainforest, filled with adults. The adults played the games and participated along with the children and while many children accepted Jesus that week, most of those who accepted Jesus were adults. I talked with the excited host about continuing the club each week during the school year and knew God had plans for that little village. Only God could have brought it all together. And that one sentence sums up everything that has happened at each of the three CYIAs this year. After each one, you can only shake your head in wonder and say, “Only God could have done that!”
The first four days of CYIA, the teens learned everything they would need to go out and teach 5-Day Clubs the next week. Here, Henriette is teaching a session during the CYIA in Ranomafana.
Each morning they watched demonstrations of what their part of club should look like before going to practice by themselves.
Practice time involved finding a quiet place and practicing out loud.
In the afternoons, they went out and taught clubs, putting into practice all they had learned.
A total of eight clubs where taught during both the CYIA in Antananarivo and Ranomafana.
They led children to the Lord who responded to the invitation that was given during the Bible lesson.
This was my amazing team during CYIA in Antananarivo. The teens where split into two teaching groups at the CYIA in Ranomafana where 13 teens attended and five groups at the CYIA in Antananarivo where 31 teens attended.
Pray for the students who attended Christian Youth in Action®—that they will continue to grow in their walk with the Lord.
Pray for me as I plan for CYIA™ next year and most importantly, put together a teaching team who can travel with me and eventually be in charge of CYIA.
Praise God for each of the 31 teens who attended CYIA in Antananarivo and the 13 teens who attended CYIA in Ranomafana, for the work He did in their lives and the many children who accepted Him through 5-Day Clubs.
Praise God for the teens He has called to serve Him!