11/14/2009: Working for the children and youth

The Lord bestows upon every human being skills and talents that need to be cultivated, especially the young generation whom we believe to be the hope of God’s work. With regards to this, we, by God’s grace and blessings pursue to hold Pathfinder Trainings. One of our requirements for the Master Guide Training is In-Service Training (IST).

Our priority is reaching the children within our churches. We enroll children seven-years old and above. Since we come from three different churches, we have three different induction ceremonies to welcome the new members of the club. They come from Havana, Lam-ao and Commonwealth Churches. We’re so glad to see the responses of the children and their parents for having this kind of training.

The training involves not only physical activities but also mental, social and most especially spiritual. The children that join our club became more active in their churches. They lead their congregations in the singing, prayer and other parts of the afternoon program on the Sabbath day and during their training each Sunday. They have become more and more interested and excited as they continue on learning and growing.

Parents have expressed their thankfulness to see these changes in their children. They love to stay in the church; their God given talents are getting used and are being cultivated for God’s glory.

We do our training once a week, on either Sabbath afternoon or Sunday morning. For the Sabbath afternoon trainings, we have studies. For the Sunday trainings we work on skills, like marching and drilling, hand signaling, semaphoring and other skills appropriate for their age. The most exciting part of their training is the camping, not only to the children but also to us who are trainees and are doing this to meet our requirements. This time we have to bear a great responsibility upon our shoulders. We have to be ready in every detail that should be prepared.

Children are really active; they need to be given an assignment every hour or else they will make their own program. In this camping, they experienced how to live outside the comforts of their home and sleep in tents. Other campers only have blankets and their bags as pillows. In every hour they have programs to follow. They have to wake up very early and eat at the right time, take a bath when they are told to do so. Every second counts! This camping is one of the experiences in their childhood that is hard to be forgotten.

The training didn’t stop when the camping was over and neither did the blessing from it. Upon completing their requirements prior to their investiture, they actively move and do the things they have to do. They showed intense interest and eagerly did everything to memorize and explain the memory verses and other memorization projects.

They have worked very hard and finished all of their requirements. We are just about ready for another investiture. Everybody is excited. We have about thirty Pathfinders who will be invested. We do the investiture by age. During the investiture, they will demonstrate the skills that they have learned during the last five months of their training. They will be awarded with insignias, which always make them very proud.

They parents are proud too, because they can see the changes for the better in their children and they hope that the training will continue.

The churches are happy too, because the young people are now so actively involved in helping out in church. The youth feel comfortable in doing in their part and being up front each Sabbath. They generate ideas and are actively involved in many of the happenings of the church.

The youth refer to me as ma’am, as they have been trained to refer to their superiors as sir and ma’am.

As one of their ma’ams, I am very blessed to be able to share in these experiences with them, even in the little ones. I feel blessed that the Lord has given me this challenge of leading out in these youth programs. I realize that if I bury this talent, it may be forgotten. The training has blessed me as much as anyone.

God really gives wisdom to those who want to reach all creatures with the truth for this time. The Missionary Youth Society (MYS) meets in Havana. Our project there is to distribute tracts to and offer prayers at the houses around. Because health is the right arm of the gospel, we gave out Kalusugan ng Bayan (Health of the Nations). The question that faced us was: where would we get the budget for printing? God provided for His work, such that before the scheduled date arrived the tract was revised to the Today’s Tagalog Version that will be understood by all, even children. Then it was laid out and printed. We were so happy and we allocated a few copies for ourselves because the number is limited and we don’t want to miss giving out to our close friends. By God’s help we were able to accomplish the distribution to the residents near Havana church.

When I was still in Philippine Maritime Academy, I wanted to share the gospel to my school through the library. One morning, while waiting for my nutrition teacher, I gave out tracts to my classmates. My teacher was surprised because the usually noisy students were quiet and enjoying reading the tracts when she came in. The teacher was so happy that she was encouraged to read it herself. Everyone found it practical and true. Even the teacher believed it and decided to discuss the tracts for the period. I praise the Lord that He gave me the opportunity to share the truth to my dear classmates and professor. The rest of the tracts I gave to the other students and to the library.

Though limited in printing, the brethren in Nueva Ecija also gave out tracts. One student gave it to a teacher who volunteered to photocopy it for others who needed health counsel. The MYS asks for your support to give this message to the lost, so they would know how to take care of their body temple.

Aside from health, another effective way of sharing the truth is thru the message in due season. Sister Sharon finished translating to Tagalog the book on Christmas, Easter and Halloween and she made another tract entitled Perfect Valentine Date? MYS once again gave out the tracts to university students on the evenings of February 13 and 14, 2008. Teenagers eagerly read the tracts and one even asked for the cell phone number of a sister for further questions. The young lady vendors stopped selling newspaper and sat under the lights so they could read the tracts. This year, 2009, we also gave out this tract in Quezon City Circle. We praise God for His love and how He has lead both with the Pathfinders for the younger children and the work of the older youth in the Missionary Youth Societ.

By Sarah San Juan and Mimi Nero. Philippines.