Youth Discipleship Program
At GSCH, one of the biggest things we want our children to learn is the importance of their relationship with the Lord. We are so thankful that a Honduran couple (and neighbors of the Home), Tatiana and Pablo, volunteer to lead a Youth Discipleship Program each week. The following is an interview with Tatiana. It has been translated from Spanish to English. Enjoy!
Hello, Tatiana! Thank you for speaking with me today. I want our friends in the United States to know a little about what you and your husband Pablo do for the kids of GSCH. Could you explain to me about the Discipleship Program and how you got started with that?
The need for a deeper bible study time, about the spiritual fights that all of us encounter, was brought to mind for us time and time again. Adolescence is one of the most difficult phases of life. Pablo and I were privileged to be guided in our own church through a discipleship program as teenagers, and it is a time that was marked in our hearts. Even though we were part of the youth ministry of our church, this discipleship time was much more personal. It was born in us to share the word of God in this same way, and to be part of the Great Commission -- “Go and make disciples.” And what a great place to do so! We shared the idea of starting this program at GSCH, a place that we love so much, and by the glory of God it was accepted.
I love that! Could you explain what the meetings look like? What themes have you studied?
We started with a manual and themes of First Steps of Faith. All of the kids were registered and in each lesson they had to present their homework which was related to the theme. They were also evaluated in different aspects which help us to grow in being disciples (responsibility, participation, respect, punctuality, friendship, etc.)
At the end of each module or book, there is a graduation where each youth is given a diploma of recognition for their achievement.
We try to have a recreation activity for each meeting that goes with the theme we are teaching (bonfires, biblical trivia, soccer). They each have a biblical focus, and we also include a time of prayer. This is a time for each of the kids to speak about situations related to the theme.
Has there been a theme that has stuck out to you or the kids the most?
One of the themes that struck most with the kids, and taught them most, was in how hurtful our words can be. The theme was “The tongue is small, but can be destructive.” They smiled a lot and spoke about their own experiences and the hurt that is caused by not controlling that very small part of your body. They also talked of how others have affected them by telling lies.
Another theme that they really liked was “Being Good Stewards.” They understood that God has sent us to be good stewards, taking care of our time, our words, and our actions.
Without doubt, there is another theme that impacted Pablo and I, and continues to impact our lives, and it also impacted the kids. It was the theme of “Inner Holiness.” There were many tears and hugs during this theme, when the kids learned that God can heal us and take away the heavy pain inside of us.
Could you share a story or two of how a child’s relationship with Christ or attitude has changed through the Discipleship Program? What changes have you seen in him/her?
We have seen how the hand of God has transformed each life, little by little. At first, it was almost impossible to get everyone’s attention when it came time for the study. Most of them wanted to play or talk with each other, or do each other’s hair (in the case of the girls). But we continued with the themes. We saw how they gave attention to the program and started to become more responsible. There is one girl specifically who had a big inner battle, and like the others, was resistant to the Word. Then, she started to receive personally what God says, and we were amazed at her words and wisdom. On occasion, when we asked for someone to pray, she would volunteer without hesitation. She stopped speaking about other people, and her prayers were genuine and moving. We saw Jesus reflected in her.
For different reasons, there have been weeks where we were not able to meet. And when the kids saw us, they were always asking if we would have the bible study the next week. Their faces reflected their enormous interest and thirst for God. It didn’t matter the weather -- many of them always wanted to listen to the Word and what God tells us. It didn’t matter the rain or the storms; we needed to continue to meet, knowing that God would give us strength.
We hear the testimonies of many of the kids who have left the Home, who received the first course that we led. They tell us how they miss that time, and that they received a ton of help that they are now putting into practice.
Thank you so much, Tatiana, for the work that you and Pablo do for the kids of GSCH. Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions today!
by: - Bailey Herrera, GSCH Media Volunteer