In proverbs 1:8 says: “My child, listen to what you father teaches and pay attention to what your mother says.” But in many families has happened the opposite, because the children have taught the salvation way to their parents.
One of the great joys of working with the children at PEPEs is to see how they learn to talk with God through the prayer. Everyday, before starting to study, we sit on the floor in a big circle for a conversation wheel where each child shares a prayer request. In the beginning of the classrooms the missionary educator teaches the children to pray and after about two weeks they not only learnt how to pray but also to show pleasure and interest in talking with God. It is important to teach the children how to pray, because even when they are at home, they can talk to God whenever they want.
One day, arriving to visit a church where we have a PEPE, the father of one of our students approached and told me how God entered in his life through his child: – “One day I took my family to a restaurant to have dinner with my bosses of the office and their families. We were about 30 people sitting around a big table. The food arrived and my bosses started to eat. It was when my son stood in his chair and said angry: -No one can start to eat without praying, let’s close our eyes and repeat with me. Before the scaring eyes, mainly mine, he started to pray and everyone calmly repeated his prayer. I thought that after that I would lose my job, but instead, my son was praised and I was proud and happy. Today, all of us are at the church because my son took Jesus to our house.”
It was like that that happen in one of our PEPE’s in Dominican Republic, a beautiful island located in the Caribbean, that has a little more than 10 million inhabitants and where we already have 245 children in our units of PEPE. At the Baptist Church Emmanuel, located in the city called Sabana del Puerto, we met a PEPE where the missionary-educator Zunilda Ventura, spares no efforts to teach the children to talk straight to God. There we could meet Yiliamny, one of our students that knew Jesus at PEPE and now has taken Jesus to her house. Her parents, grandparents, siblings and other relatives tell that they cannot eat anything without Yiliamny pray thanking God. And the most interesting is that the girl draws her family to repeat her prayer because according to her, everyone needs to talk to God.
This is our challenge: teach the children to talk to God! Pray for the Dominican PEPE’s, for more churches to accept the view in order to reach more children to Christ!
Juana de Mora
Coordinator of PEPE in Dominican Republic
Continental Coordinator: Carmen Lígia (Text adaptation)