A window of opportunity

Jean Ngirimana

Lockdown in Rwanda meant that Sunday schools up and down the country had to stop. But we didn’t want kids to stop learning about God from the Bible! So we started writing lessons to help parents teach the Bible to their kids at home. This is rare in Rwanda, even in Christian homes. 

We had no idea how the material would be received. It was our first time writing for parents and most families aren’t familiar with teaching the Bible to their children. But it turns out that so many are using it! Different churches are sharing the lessons on their WhatsApp groups, individuals are sharing them with their friends and someone told me that her husband, who is in Nigeria, is using the material to teach their five year old daughter over video calls! It has been very tiring work but we are overjoyed with what’s going on. 

Alice with her children.

We’ve just finished a series of nine lessons in Acts, looking at the growth of the Church through the witness of the spirit-empowered apostles. A mum from Gospel Community Church told me, ‘After teaching some of the lessons my five year old boy asked me, “Mum, who are you sharing the gospel with?” I told him that I am sharing the gospel with him, at home every Sunday. This week, after teaching him Acts 10, he asked me the same question. When I gave him the same answer he said, “Not me, share it with someone else who is not from our home.” Then I realised how well he had been following the lessons.’ 

David, a member of my church, told me that he enjoyed using the materials so much that he has passed them on to others. ‘The lessons are very simple to understand and are very helpful for my evangelism. I have been sharing them with a pastor friend who lives in the south of Rwanda and to three children’s workers in the east of Rwanda.’ 

We have also been encouraged by a Rwandan missionary in South Sudan, who works among a group of people called the Laarim. The materials have helped him share the gospel with the children there and he said that his prayer is that they will know Jesus and take the gospel to their families. Please pray for these kids. 

We are now in conversation with the international Christian children’s charity Compassion. They have begun giving the resources to the parents of the 4,000 children they work with in the eastern province. If everything goes well, they will extend the project to the entire country – encouraging tens of thousands of parents to teach the Bible to their children.

Now we are wondering – should we continue writing this material after lockdown? We don’t want parents to stop teaching the Bible at home as soon as Sunday schools start up again – and I think they don’t want to stop either!

Please pray with us – pray that everything goes well and that many families and their kids will start opening up the Bible in their homes. Pray that they’d hear God speaking to them through his word.

Picture at top of page: Rose with her children after Sunday school at home.

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