A few of the children from PowerClub Kids were present to experience a speaker phone skype phone call to Tamara Henkes, Missionary to Romania’s children. Tamara hit a home run with these kids, amazing them with stories about life in her adopted country. Responding to their earnest questions, she spoke about the kinds of foods commonly eaten (various traditional dishes, although they also have McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken), the games children play (European football and basketball–they do not have baseball), the toys they have (mostly sticks and rocks from outside on the ground), the kinds of animals that can be found (lots of wild dogs roaming the streets, many of which are not nice), the houses they live in (varies widely, just like in the USA, but poorer areas have very limited niceties, including a lack of indoor plumbing), and so on.
The kids sang a song for her and also enjoyed learning how to say Jesus loves you in Romanian. Hopefully they will remind me, because I already have forgotten! *Deep sigh*
Most importantly, Tamara shared with the kids why she is in Romania. She helps train leaders all over the nation in how to reach children for the gospel of Jesus Christ. The churches there typically offer nothing in terms of children’s ministry. If children attend church they are expected to sit quietly in the service. Consequently, many children do not experience any kind of worship experience as they are left home while adults attend worship. Other children have no homes at all, fending for themselves as street children and orphans.
It challenges me to recognize the formidable issues facing Tamara and her colleagues as they strive to spread the gospel of Jesus to a nation deeply rooted in superstition, lack of resources, lack of knowledge in how to relate effectively to children on their level, and difficulty with religious persecution, particularly from the Orthodox Church in that area, which views Evangelicals as cultic.
When I asked Tamara if she would come to my church when she returns to the states she said, “Yes.” When I asked the kids if they would like that they screamed, “YES!” So, I think there is more to come in the very near future, a year or so out. Below I have posted a few photos of the kids as they spoke with Tamara on the phone.