Making Disciples ‘Today for Tomorrow’

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Today for Tomorrow’ is a discipleship and HIV-prevention programme aimed at primary-age children. Chris Maphosa of SIM Zimbabwe recently ran a Training of Trainers to widen the impact of the programme in Malawi

Chris Maphosa is a man on a mission. The SIM Zimbabwe missionary is also the ‘Today for Tomorrow’ Regional Manager for Southern Africa and, as such, is taking the message of Today for Tomorrow to a wide audience.

“Today for Tomorrow (T4T) is a ministry aimed at children aged 14 and under,” he said.

Developed in Zimbabwe

The programme was developed in Zimbabwe in response to a major need in African churches to have   well structured material for children at a time when the HIV/AIDS epidemic was rampant.

“T4T introduces the love of Christ to the children and helps them to become aware of salvation so that they can make a decision about giving their life to Christ and to be rooted in Him,” said Chris.

Linking with SIM Malawi and the Africa Evangelical Church (AEC), Chris recently visited Malawi to run a week-long training-of-trainers event, with 20 or so youth leaders, in Ngabu in the Southern Region. There had already been some pilot schemes running T4T in Malawi, and this was an opportunity to share experiences from how those had progressed and to widen to scope of how it is used in this country.

Chris with the trainees and their end-of-course certificates!

One of the delegates at the event was Joseph Antonio who led the pilot scheme at AEC Kawale in Lilongwe.

“We were the first ones to use the T4T material in Kawale Primary School,” he said.

“We approached the headmistress and she gave us permission to talk to the kids. We ran sessions on Friday afternoons throughout the school year.

“It had an impact on how the children socialised. Before we introduced T4T, the boys and girls would not play together or even sit together. But as we worked though the programme we saw their behaviour towards each other change and slowly they began to socialise. They realised that each group, boys and girls, had strengths and weaknesses and, if they worked as a team, they could really get things done. That has been one of the main outcomes of the T4T programme for us.”

Training Trainers

The Ngabu event saw those specially selected to become trainers from across Malawi and even Mozambique come together to learn from Chris and others who had been involved with pilots, to be equipped to establish the programme back in their own churches and communities.

Today for Tomorrow is supported by SIM Malawi Projects:MW 96157

HOPE for AIDS Master Project(training and literature resources)

and

MW 96850 Children’s Ministry Capacity Building (mentoring and follow-up of trainers)

You can find out more about T4T by watching the “Making Disciples: Today for Tomorrow” video by clicking here

The first-year programme consists of a series of more than 30 lessons which are aimed at the under-14 age group and which impact the children spiritually, physically and emotionally. Originally written in English, the AEC and SIM Malawi have been responsible for having the material translated into ChiChewa to make it easier to use, especially in rural communities.

One of the trainers hard at work

Countering secular teaching

“When we first saw this material, we realised how important it was for the Church and for the country of Malawi, because it makes us look at a child in a holistic way,” said Boniface Milanzi, AEC National Children’s Ministry Co-ordinator.

“The benefit is not just for the Church but, I believe, the country as a whole. I have been involved in translating the material into ChiChewa and we are looking forward to getting it out through the AEC.

“I think it is important material because it will help us to work with children who are learning some things which are contrary to Bible teaching, and this will help us to correct that.”

Spreading God’s love to children

Chris Maphosa sees a multiplier benefit of running training-of-trainers events, such as that in Ngabu.

 “We will depend on volunteer teachers, just like those we have trained this week. Going away from here we hope that they will train more volunteers who can also work with the children in their communities. We are looking to work with children, no matter what the circumstances in which those children find themselves.

They may be part of a church or have never been to church; they may be active or physically impaired. Whatever the circumstance, we want to spread God’s love to these children so they can make good life choices, and so that we can work towards an AIDS-free generation in the Region of Southern Africa,” he said.

.Chris’ Prayer Points

1.  

Please pray for the expansion of Today for Tomorrow in the Region of Southern Africa so that many children will benefit from it.

2.

Please pray for the volunteer teachers whom we train to remain committed to this ministry as they serve God.

3.

Please pray that the Lord supplies resources for the work because, as missionaries, we depend upon the Lord to supply our needs and the needs of the ministry

 

 

 


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