Kids Around the World Impact team Trip to Panama lead by Team Leader Dan
The team of 30+ was predominately comprised of students, both high school and college age. It was a joy to serve alongside a group that had been so clearly discipled throughout their lives and witnessing the outcomes of that in how they served one another and the community at large. As we neared the end of the playground installation, I stood aside and engaged in a conversation with one of the young men on the team. He mentioned how much he enjoyed the approach KIDS takes in being missional. I explained that it’s no different than the surf or skate contests they had run the day before for the children of the community. These are simply environments where we can help kids encounter Jesus. I shared our child discipleship strategy (KIDStory) by taking him through the story of Jesus inviting Peter to join Him on the water. He mentioned his anxiety about what’s next, his concerns about the possible consequences of his choices, his confidence in Gods work…but there was still that part of him that could not shake the fear of “what if”. He could not decide if he was more like Jesus in the story (confident of God’s abilities in His life) or Peter (desiring to trust in the power and sovereignty of Jesus, but losing focus and slipping beneath the waves) or was he most like the others (terrified to even get out of the boat)? We circled back to the story and found ourselves in a conversation about trust and faithfulness and what did he feel like God was calling him to do as this next season approaches…and then I told him, “This is what we do with kids at playgrounds…it’s that easy to turn an environment like this one into a discipleship opportunity.” His eyes lit up as he connected the dots of what he and I had just done could also be done with kids. Less than two hours later, while I was back at work, I looked over and found this same young man, surrounded by three young boys. By his movements and the excitement of his voice, I could tell that he was telling the same story and bringing these boys to a deeper understanding of who Jesus longs to be in our lives. It was not enough that he had experienced this awakening…his heart burned to share it with others at the first opportunity. KIDStory is accomplishing this around the globe and playground sites, feeding centers, churches, refugee camps and anywhere else that a story can be told!