by Kurt Jarvis
Every day God brings across our pathway doors of opportunity to serve Him and to expand the Kingdom. It was Christ that gave us the assignment, the job, the opportunity. As He ascended into heaven He gave the charge, “go into all nations and teach them what I have taught youâ€¦” There were no restrictions on this charge; no age restrictions, no restrictions of talents, convenience or gifting (God had already given out His ministry gifts to each of us) nor did He qualify that commission to a geographic location, one’s personal resources or wealth, status in life, etc. It was just a simple “Go and teach.”
We all tend to make His calling so difficult. “I do not have the funds to go,” “What about my job?” “What about my home responsibilities?” “What about ‘conveniences’ and creature comforts?” “What will the food be like?” “Do they have doughnut shops there?” (Well. maybe not that last question)
In other scriptures, Jesus had already addressed the “what if” issues by reminding us that God would provide what is needed to accomplish the task. “Do not worry…” Jesus reminded us, “Hey, look at the birds and the flowers of the field. They do not sow nor reap but God cares and provides for all of them.” In like manner, God will also provide when we decide to follow and obey and walk through His doors of opportunity. When we walk though those doors we find His children and His workers just waiting for us to help them accomplish that very same call, that very same commission. God has given to us resources and training that overflows our cups. Can we not help but share what He has given?
The 2009 Pakistan International Initiative was the second project to this very needy country. This year Kurt Jarvis (INCM board member) and Marion Grant (INCM International Training Team member and missionary with BCM International, Canada) comprised the two people project team.
The first stop after the grueling 35 + hours of air and land travel was in Lahore, Pakistan, where 50 + children’s leaders were waiting. This year INCM had launched the new international training material, Bible Storying for Children, a unique yet proven effective approach to teaching the Bible to not only children, but adults also. This technique provides a chronological approach to the Bible by teaching “The Story of God” in a sequence of building blocks based on a carefully selected bank of stories that children can understand. Through this approach, each story reveals more and more of God and His desire to love and relate to each child. Those in the class immediately grasped this concept and found the interactive practical sessions exactly what they needed to develop skills for effective teaching.
Another class of 50+ leaders we’re involved in a second training seminar in Hydrabad. Each person in the class was provided with the complete Bible Storying for Children manual in their primary language of Urdu, as well as the new Bible Storying Quilt panel, to be used with the Bible Storying technique.
This innovative approach to teaching children takes into account age level abilities, learning styles and the child’s worldview in their life setting. The child living by the railroad track in a squatter’s makeshift tent with his or her family has a much different worldview than the North America child fortunate to be born into a family and life setting with incredible educational and opportunities.
Following the leadership training, the INCM team was privileged to serve at the Christian Women’s Conference in Multan, Pakistan. It was held at the Women’s Christian Hospital and under the auspices of the Brethren Churches of Pakistan. This event brought together over 250 women for a 4-day conference. Kurt Jarvis was the keynoter speaker and Marion Grant served as a breakout session leader. The final session attendees included the conference woman and many of their husbands, plus 5 churches in the area and included a large outdoor worship experience and combined baptism of new converts.
Kurt was asked to baptize the new converts and much to his surprise that number totaled 47. The hospital baptisms were followed by a dedication and prayer service for those who had made this commitment to become followers of Christ. Marion Jean assisted. In the Muslim culture conversion to Christianity does not come without personal cost.
The Pakistani people and leaders were so incredibly grateful to INCM for their willingness to fund and send trainers to train, encouragers to encourage, motivators to motivate and hands to help. In addition to the training and speaking sessions conducted by Kurt and Marion Jean, three children’s rallies were conducted by Marion Jean, providing program innovations and techniques that teachers and workers were excited to learn.
INCM continues its mission to “go and teach” what Jesus has taught us and the message of God’s love that is desperately needed for a hurting and violent world.
The new Bible Storying for Children material is available for purchase. For ordering information contact kurt.[email protected]
Kurt Jarvis holds a B.A. degree from Asbury College and his M.A. degree in Education from Rowan University. His experience has been in local church ministry, denominational ministry at both the national and regional levels, and international camping through BCM International, Camp Horizons (Canada) and various other camping ministries. Kurt and his wife, Judy, have four adult children and reside in Utah.