Exploding Overseas Children’s Ministry

Exploding Overseas Children’s Ministry

God Can Use the Unlikely
This story is about a young rebellious man who made a commitment to Christ and has turned into a dynamic leader over a rapidly expanding children’s ministry. The story was told to Chet Swearingen in November 2017.

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One of 26 churches for children.
Nov. 2017

Putra, a 30 year old male, was attending the Church-Planting School beginning in the fall of 2014. His wife and children were at that time living in a distant city while he attended the school.

When Putra entered the school he was not a sincere follower of Christ. Chet was one of the teachers in the school, and by watching and observing Putra’s behavior and responses in class, Chet knew he wasn’t serious about the school’s purpose. Even though Putra’s father and two brothers were pastors, he was living a very rebellious life.

Prayer and Fasting
The local ministry that oversees the Church-Planting School conducts corporate fasts two-times per year. One in May and one in November. During the May 2015 fast, at the last session, Putra was crying uncontrollably and he didn’t know why. He then heard the Lord speak to him about his calling to children’s ministry. Putra remembers at that time not wanting to obey. And at the same moment, from the front of the room where the corporate prayer was taking place, the leader of this ministry, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit called out, “Whoever has been called to serve children, raise your hand!” Putra raised his hand.

One of 26 churches for children.
Nov. 2017

Putra confessed that at the time he didn’t know anything about children’s ministry, even so, he felt the compulsion of the Holy Spirit to get involved with it. He prayed and asked God to give him a verse to confirm this calling and he immediately heard the verse quoted to him from Proverbs 1:7: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Putra sensed the Lord speaking to him and saying: “If you serve me you must become obedient in the way you live your life. Even if you know very little about children’s ministry, if you will make the commitment to serve me obediently and turn from you sins, I will give you the knowledge you need.

Previous to him coming to the Church-Planting School, Putra confessed to:
1. Adultery
2. Heavy drinking
3. Narcotics
4. Smoking 6 packs of cigarettes a day
5. Gambling
6. Hanging out in rough areas of the city (bus terminal and market place)
7. Extorting “security money” from businesses as a thug.

After his encounter with the Lord, Putra went to the leader of the ministry and said: “Sir, I don’t want to live a sinful life anymore. I want to become a faithful husband and father. I want to be a sincere and true follower of Jesus. I’m ready to live obediently to whatever the Lord commands me to do.”

Putra and his wife, with Chet & Phyllis
Nov. 2018

Putra’s wife at the time was living in a distant city with their three children while Putra was attending the Church-Planter’s School. She had a very good job in a factory that made plastic products, like cups, plates, etc. After Putra made a full commitment of his life to serving the Lord wholeheartedly, he called his wife and told her of all that had taken place and of the fresh calling of God on his life. He asked her if she would be willing to move to the city where the Church-Planting School is located and serve alongside him. She said she would. He then informed her that if she would come, she must be prepared to suffer. The thought of suffering did not deter her, so Putra travelled to where she was and helped her pack their belongings and move to their current location.

Prior to Putra leaving to move his family, he called his father—the pastor—to tell him what had happened, but his father didn’t believe him because Putra had been an extremely rebellious and untrustworthy person up to this point in life.

When Putra arrived to help move his family, he went to see his father (who was living in the same city as his wife), and as he told him his father realized that he was serious and he began to weep uncontrollably due to the joy that his son, who was lost, had been found (Luke 15).

One of 26 churches for children.
Nov. 2017

After completing the move with his family, Putra began working under the children’s ministry leader, Mrs. Yane. The name of the children’s ministry is “Kid’s Warriors.” Putra began working as a song leader, teaching songs to kids as he played his guitar. As he proved himself faithful, he was then moved to the position of helping the teachers teach Bible stories.

Putra struggled with teaching for a while because the drugs he had been taking had messed with his mind, but the Lord miraculously healed him and he received a tremendous impartation of spiritual understanding and wisdom as it pertained to children’s ministry.

Putra then began teaching the Bible himself, and even began planting children’s churches around the city. He started 4 children’s churches, then in a short time later, 4 more, and it kept going until there were 26 of them by November 2017 (400 children). His goal is to have many more during 2018.

These children’s churches are not in association with an adult church service, as is commonly understood in the USA. These are conducted in a home in a neighborhood in which children in the area participate in a “church service” one time per week. It’s purpose is to ensure children are born-again and are then trained in Christlike character and how to make sincere followers of Jesus.

Due to Putra’s faithful service, the leader of Kid’s Warriors eventually asked him to become part of this ministry’s leadership team.

Though the children’s ministry is thriving, there are still many struggles and challenges for Putra’s family. Not only do they have the 26 children’s churches to oversee, they are also responsible to shepherd a congregation of adults—the demands of which can be overwhelming all by itself.

In Putra’s country, a local congregation will have a pastor, as well as “shepherds.” The pastors are the teachers and preachers. The shepherds on the other hand have the duty of knowing the congregation members personally and intimately, and ensuring that their individual spiritual and physical needs are being met.

Putra’s family now lives on the third floor of a house/shop. The second floor is where a weekly worship service takes place for adults, and the first floor is where the Sunday children’s ministry takes place, as well as a second weekly “children’s church.”
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