Train up a Child…

MAF has served the remote village of Mulia in Papua, Indonesia, since the late 1950s, when the Gospel was first introduced there. Recent flights are aimed at helping a new generation of believers in Mulia, and surrounding areas, follow in this legacy of faith.

In January, MAF pilots had the privilege of bringing a team of five Awana trainers to the remote village of Mulia. Awana is a weekly club-like program that evangelizes and disciples children through Bible stories, scripture memorization, games, and rewards. This is used by many churches around the world, and the Christians in Mulia were eager to participate in the training.

Participants at the Awana training in Mulia. Photo courtesy of Naomi Pandin.

Some of the participants at the Awana training in Mulia. Photo courtesy of Naomi Pandin.

The people in surrounding villages were so eager to learn this new discipleship method that they hiked for hours, some for an entire day, through the mountains; one church group of eight walked for two days and a night to reach the training at Mulia.

Making a joyful noise, learning new worship songs. Photo courtesy of Naomi Pandin.

Awana leaders make a joyful noise learning new worship songs.

Ultimately 654 leaders from 68 churches were taught how to use the Awana method to introduce the Gospel to the next generation of believers. Longtime Crossworld missionary at Mulia and co-founder of the Mulia Bible Institute, Lorraine Dillinger, figuring six youth per adult, says, “That’s 4,000 students who will potentially be introduced to the Savior. We trust that each will place faith in Christ as Savior, being personally confronted with the Gospel, while memorizing God’s Word which will remain in their hearts throughout their lives.”

Trying out some of the games with the local children.

Trying out some of the games with the local children. Photo courtesy of Naomi Pandin.

Naomi Pandin, one of the Awana trainers, said that the attendees told her they had been looking for something like this for a long time. “This is just the right tool to help them reach out to their children, to save the church’s future generation.”

The team returned again in March, specifically to train the Bible school students—giving them a role in aiding area churches and raising up future believers.

“It will be so good for the students to be involved in this practical Christian service while they are doing their three years of Bible study,” said Lorraine. “This really is an exciting new adventure for the churches, leaders, and students!”

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