“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6
This month our church took over 600 children from Garnteg, Cwmffrdoer and Victoria Village Primary school(s) on a journey through the Bible.
The exhibition (provided by the Open Air Mission) comprised of 18 boards that included pictures, infographics and bite size narrative for the children to follow*.
The first board told the story of creation, the second the Garden of Eden and so on.
The children could see how wonderful the world was when God first made it. There was no death, no pain, no sickness, what a wonderful place to be.
God then made Adam and Eve and gave them all that they could possibly have wanted. With just one rule to follow, “do not to eat from the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil” (Genesis 2:17).
This rule gave Adam and Eve freedom, they now had a choice, to love God or disobey Him.
As we all know the devil entered into the garden as a serpent and convinced Adam and Eve to break this rule and partake in the forbidden fruit.
The children were then invited to share some of their school rules and the punishments they would receive if they break them. (Times have changed).
The children could all see from this simple exercise that (just like in school) God gives us rules for our own benefit and safety. They could also see that God has every right to punish people for breaking His rules (which is what the Bible calls sin).
Adam and Eve sinned, they broke God’s rule. For the first time they knew that they were naked. They felt ashamed at what they had done and were banished from the garden to live in this cold, hard, fallen world.
But in love, we are told that God covered their shame and comforted them with animal skin.
The children could see right at the start of the exhibition (and the Bible) that rejecting or ignoring God’s life giving rules, logically leads to death. God loved Adam and Eve and did not want them to die, so innocent blood was shed, so that Adam and Eve’s shame could be covered.
This theme pointed all of the children forward to the promised Messiah who would fix the problem of sin in the same way by His death.
The display moved on to Noah, then the Tower of Babel, we looked at Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (Israel, God’s family whom the promised Messiah would come into the world). The Exhibition took us then to Joseph and his journey to Egypt, the Story of Moses, the Ten Commandments, the Passover and Exodus. Always reaffirming the point that God (who made us) gave us rules to live by so that we could be happy but (just like today) the people in the Bible constantly rejected God and broke His rules (sin) and that such action requires punishment, just like when you break the school rules.
The children could see for themselves that for the guilty to be reunited with our loving God, innocent blood had to be shed, so that God can also remain just in His punishment, whilst at the same time remaining merciful to those who He love who did the wrong.
The exhibition progressed onto Elijah, the Judges, then King Saul and David, the Babylonian captivity, Daniel and the prophets, before ending with Christ’s birth, death and resurrection, explaining again the significance that for the guilty (us) to be reunited with God by grace, innocent blood has to be shed to make atonement for our wrongs, so that God can remain just whilst at the same time being merciful to us.
The display ended with a clear lesson.
Christian’s believe that Jesus is the promised Messiah, the one who God sent to deal with the problem of sin (that alienates humanity from our loving Father in Heaven).
Jesus did not break a single rule, He was totally innocent, yet on the Cross He took the just punishment for the sins of all people who love Him. (1 Peter 2:24).
A truth that we asked each of the children to consider.
Volunteers from the church dressed up as characters and spoke through their story (in first person) at different stages throughout the exhibition. The children then had the opportunity to interact one to one with the “heroes of faith” that brought the teaching alive.
The exhibition gave clear Biblical themes throughout to help the children come to their own conclusions.
The Christian world view was presented to them fairly and in the greatest of love without putting any pressure on them that could damage the witness in the future.
The exhibition takes just one hour out of the school day and is interactive (so the children stay focused throughout). Head teacher Garnteg Primary School Susan Roche said: “The whole week last week was great as it gave the children something different. It combined very important aspects of the curriculum like RE, history and the humanities and brought it together in an interactive way which made it very meaningful.”
We can thank God that many children still know the key events of the Bible today; from the fall to Passover, David and Goliath to the birth of Christ, but the exhibition illustrates superbly how all of these historic events fit together as one big story of God’s redemptive plan for humanity.
At the end of the exhibition the children filled out a quiz, which volunteers from the church marked. The following week the Mayor, local councillor and the press joined us to present prizes to the children.
Each child was rewarded with an information pack that includes games, treats and information about the church.
We hope that such outreach will inform the children and their families of the many services that we provide for the community and that through this outreach the elect would come to church, hear the gospel and know a changed life that will glorify God.
Read the Article online here
A huge big thank you to the wonderful volunteers at the church who gave up significant time and resources for this to happen and to the OPEN AIR MISSION for their support.
*Narrative by JP Earnest (Field Operations Manager) Open Air Mission