I have a few urgent prayer requests for our weekly inner-city Kids Bible Club!
Many of you know that for over two years, Eric and I have been invited into the after-school program at a city Housing Development. This is a tremendous opportunity because this is a secular organization that invites us in to share the gospel with unchurched kids! That’s so so so great!!!
We meet in one of the roughest areas in the city. There have been stabbings, and shootings, lots of drugs, and crime abounds here. These kids have experienced much more than most of us have.
After a few years of running the Bible Club, God has built up a great relationship between us and Mirtha, who runs the program, and with the kids themselves.
Recently Mirtha, who had been running the program, left for another job. This made me wonder if the new person would be so open to us preaching the gospel.
It took a while for the Housing Development to hire a new head of the program, but recently Theresa was hired to replace Mirtha.
I stopped in a few weeks ago to meet Theresa, and she was shocked that the kids all ran over to me to hug me and say “Mr. Mark, Mr. Mark, we missed you!” She asked me who I was and asked why the kids know me, and I told her, and she invited me to start up the Bible Club right away!!! I praise God for that!!!
After only two weeks of re-starting the Bible Club, I have some urgent prayer requests:
- Theresa, the new head of the after-school club, has acted strangely. She hardly knows me at all. Yet at the first Club, she told me she was going to step outside for a bit, but she ended up being gone over an hour! She left 8 kids in a virtual stranger’s care for that long!!! Then, the second week, when I showed up she told me she was feeling sick and was leaving and wasn’t coming back that afternoon. I’d be in charge of dismissing the kids back to their homes. This is awkward, strange, and dangerous. Please pray for me for wisdom on how to handle this. If Theresa keeps leaving me alone with the kids, I’ll have to talk to her about it. It’s not wise to not have other adults in the room.
- We have two Muslim kids: Istanbul and Huda. This needs to be handled delicately. While I’m THRILLED to be able to share the TRUE Gospel with Muslims, having a Bible Club hosted by a secular organization requires us to be “wise as serpents and innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16). All it takes is one irate parent to ruin the Club for everyone.
- We’ve had 9 new kids – kids who weren’t in the club last year. That’s terrific! Please pray that they will be open to hearing the truth from God’s Word!
- The kids were very well behaved the first week. But the second week was the worst they have ever behaved in the two and a half years I’ve been working with these kids!!! Please pray that they will be respectful and listen and hear the gospel message. They were very disruptive – getting out of their seats, provoking one another, not listening to the teaching, and making it hard for the other kids to listen to the teaching. I don’t expect perfect kids by any means – but they were so bad the second week, it was nearly useless being there. Very discouraging.
- I believe this Kids Club is a significant outreach where a real difference can be made in the lives of kids. Please pray that it will continue to be successful, and our enemy will not have a stronghold to keep these precious kids captive.
I really do love these kids, and consider it an honor to work with them. I’m concerned about Theresa and her willingness to leave the kids. I’m concerned with the dizzying lack of respect from the kids this past week. I’m concerned that the Muslim family might cause trouble for the long-term ability to stay here and teach the Bible. I’m hopeful that Jesus will work all this out for His glory.
I appreciate your prayers, interceding on behalf of these kids!
I hope the following photos are an encouragement to you, and help you “see” who you’re praying for:
Thank you for your prayers, notes of encouragement, and financial support. Without all of those, we could not be reaching the lost for Jesus Christ!
Please feel free to share this with others you think would be encouraged by it, and who will pray!
all for Jesus,
Mark (and family)