Before the Oceania Convention, I had a chance meeting with Pastor Helen Kirby from Hope Adelaide. I chatted with her about general things through this brief encounter. Pastor Helen asked if I would come to Adelaide to work with the children during their upcoming church conference in September. I immediately thought that she must be mistaken because others could do this job easily, but not me! Inwardly I was rejecting the idea, outwardly I smiled and said that I would pray about it.
I let it sit for about a month, but I could not get the idea of going out of my mind. I spoke to a couple of people about it, secretly hoping they would suggest someone else. I asked God continuously what He wanted me to teach the children. I was reminded of what a visiting speaker had said: that children when they receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, they do not get a child-sized Holy Spirit!
The night before flying to Adelaide, I received the materials I would need and a list of the children’s names. To my shock and dismay, I learned that I was going to be working with the upper primary kids with the age of 7-12 years old. That may not sound like a big deal, but I had spent more than 30 years working with mostly 3-7 year-old that was where I felt my skill set lay and I was in my comfort zone there. I thought I do not know how to work with older kids, but somehow, I remembered that God had allowed this opportunity, so surely He will equip me to serve. So off I went.
I had organised to go straight to the church once I reached Adelaide. The children were due in an hour or 2, I was nervous and kind of dreading it. The children poured in, it was the first day of school holiday on Friday night, and they were almost literally bouncing off the walls. I knew I would have to find a way to get to know them and settle them down quickly, so I prayed! I asked God to show me how to reach them and how to minister to them effectively.
When the kids arrived the next day, they were settled, and we began by reading the Bible passages I had prepared. We had some really great discussions about sharing faith at school, caring for the lonely kids and generally how to live out their Christian faith. It was amazing, the children opened up and we had fun! On Sunday morning, I spoke to them about the visiting prophets coming on Sunday evening – what to expect and what it means if the prophets prayed for them. I prayed for the children as well. At that evening service, the visiting prophets asked for anyone who had not yet received the gift of the Holy Spirit, to come forward. To my delight and joy, two of my children went to the front to be prayed for.
My time in Adelaide, apart from ministering to an incredible group of children, was such a blessing in so many ways. I reflected upon the fact that my insecurities could have prevented me from having a truly blessed and rewarding time. God never disappoints, He always equips us for his service and sometimes you just have to say yes, even if it is out of your comfort zone and into the unknown.
Elevate W5, Hope Church Willawong