|With the Asia Pacific team of OneHope. Countries represented: Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, Fiji, Cambodia, and Thailand. Yours truly is third from the right, wearing the striped shirt. || AP Conference, Nov 13-16|
Our team mates from Asia gathered in Manila to have a fresh look at OneHope's journey as a ministry, share best practices, brainstorm, and pray for each other. It was the kind of "break" that my heart and mind needed. I was reminded of OneHope as an amazing platform to reach the children and youth of the world (1 billion+ of them), giving them Scripture in languages and formats they can understand. The task is great: almost half of the world is under the age of 20 and children are the largest people group we need to reach, but my time with the AP team showed me that we are not alone. The people pictured above are co-laborers and family. Led by the Lord, we can give his word to every child and youth in the world.
As much as I look forward to grad school, marriage, and other changes that need embracing next year, this is where I am right now. I am part of giving God's Word to Every Child and helping the ministry primarily through research.
Over the course of my stay with OneHope, I learned that children are part of the Great Commission. Discipleship is not just for adults. Not only do we reach out to them but if you profess to follow Jesus Christ, you can and must equip children and send them out to reach their peers. The Greek word used in Matthew 19:14 is paidia (from paidion—a young child under training). Reach the children, train them in their youth for they are the future of the Church. If you are a parent, you are in the perfect position to disciple your children.
After the conference, I found myself praying something in my heart: Lord, I want children. That prayer goes beyond having biological kids but "spiritual children" as well. I have an increased desire to pursue both faithfulness and fruitfulness.
There is a lot we can learn from children. They exercise faith easily, they question things, and their sense of wonder is something we need to regain in adulthood. While Paul admonishes us to "put the ways of childhood behind", this does not mean we should lose our childlikeness. There is a difference.
I'm grateful to be part of a ministry that helps me behold children in a new light and reminds me to be a child before my Father.