15 Jun Reach the Neighborhood, Reach the World
By Romila Balaranjith
In our neighborhood in Redmond, there are many Indian families. In the evenings, our children all play together and through that, my husband and I have had the opportunity to build many new friendships. I have prayed for God to give me courage to share my faith with them. We parents have a Whatsapp messenger group through which we share information and communicate. I decided to make a post in the group about Kids’ Summer Camp. At first, no one responded.
I was discouraged, but knew that I couldn’t give up trying since none of them had heard about the love of Jesus and the new life He offers. I posted about Kids’ Summer Camp once again, and also mentioned that I was volunteering at the camp and I would drive their kids and keep an eye on them if they were willing to send them. Two families took me up on the offer and their kids came with us to Northshore Community Church.
I appreciated the work of the leaders who pour into my kids week in and week out, so much so that I decided it was time to join in and start serving with my children as well.
A friend had originally told us about Northshore, so we visited as soon as we moved here in 2015. We were new to the area, having recently moved here from Andra Pradesh, India. We have an eight-year-old girl and four-year-old boy, and it was very important for us to get connected as a family. Our children started attending the Northshore Kids program on Sunday mornings and also AWANA during the week. They have had such a positive experience learning about God and making friends. I appreciated the work of the leaders who pour into my kids week in and week out, so much so that I decided it was time to join in and start serving with my children as well. I signed up to be a volunteer at Kids’ Summer Camp last summer, and this past year I served as an AWANA small-group leader in my son’s small group on Wednesday nights. I was excited that now my neighbors would get to experience what we had discovered.
Back in our home country of India, Hinduism is the main religion. In India, the message of the Gospel is shared in many tribal/rural areas, but often it is very difficult to share about Jesus with well-to-do families that are highly educated and have well-paying jobs. As I posted about the Kids’ Summer Camp on our group’s messages, I wasn’t just thinking of my neighbors, but also about all of their families back in India. Typically, if one Indian family surrenders their lives to Jesus in the United States, there is a high possibility of those from their extended families in India hearing about Jesus too.
It filled my heart with joy to see my kids playing with the friends we invited to camp.
On the way home from Kids’ Summer Camp every day, I asked all the kids what they had learned. The boys we brought would always be quick to talk about everything they learned that day. They said that they would now pray to Jesus when their family member was sick, and they were excited to tell their parents about the different Bible stories they learned.
Their teachers loved on them from the very moment the boys stepped foot into the classroom. One of the boys even said he wanted to perform the worship songs in front of his parents. It filled my heart with joy to see my kids playing with the friends we invited to camp. I know seeds of truth were planted in their precious hearts, and I believe and pray that someday all of the songs, stories, and Bible verses will help to reap a beautiful harvest within them and bring them to faith.
“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please.” —Isaiah 55:11
Kids’ Summer Camp is a great opportunity where you can make a difference in the lives of kids. Learn more about volunteering and being part of the camp today.
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