Children Experiencing the World

OM South Africa's Mission Discipleship trainees hosted a children's mission event in Pretoria. They focused on the culture of 10 different countries.

OM South Africa’s Mission Discipleship trainees hosted a children’s mission event that focused on ten countries at this year’s event in Pretoria. The participants divided into two groups, with one group visiting Thailand, Sudan, Albania, Japan, and Nepal. The other group visited India, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Paraguay, and Taiwan. Each country had a dramatic presentation and food or drinks from that culture.

In Thailand, the children were given a quiz before watching a skit that introduced Buddhism and child slavery. They watched the Buddhists pray to their ancestors and then listened as the household discussed sending their daughter out of the country to work. This was the first time that many of the children in attendance had heard about these issues. Afterwards, everyone was given ice cream sandwiches, but much different from store-bought treats. These ice cream sandwiches consisted of white sandwich bread frozen with a portion of vanilla ice cream.

 In Sudan, the children found themselves in the midst of a war between North and South Sudan. Soldiers with rifles inched their way through the crowd. A mother and son were given Bibles which they tried to hide. When the husband found out, his friend took the wife to jail. 

“I learned about South Sudan and North Sudan. They were fighting. Someone gave them a book; the Bible. She took it, then she went to jail,” Beau Mentell, a six-year-old boy, shared.

In Albania everyone laughed when a mother became angry because someone had called her child, “beautiful.” In Albania, it is the custom to tell people that their children are ugly, because they are afraid of the “evil eye”. They believe that the “evil eye” will be made jealous and will put a curse on the child.  Albanians also shake their heads “no” when they mean “yes”, and they nod their heads“yes” when they mean “no”. The children in attendance thought this was hilarious. They enjoyed eating Turkish Delight, a sweet dessert, at this station.

“The best part was when we got to eat the food. I liked the rock candy (sugar crystals) from Nepal. I learned about lots of countries,” Caden VanGilder, a seven-year-old American boy, said.

At the end of the event, Beau said, “Is that all? I want to go to more countries!” and Caden commented, “I want to come back again next year.” Most of the children enjoyed learning about other countries and how they can pray for their needs.

 

By Bonnie Mentel