The Voice of Hope — Encouragement for Children’s Ministers
“Let’s not allow fear to dominate our lives. Instead, let’s put our faith in a strong God who is able to protect, provide and heal our land as Psalm 23: 4 says, ‘Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.’”
These are the words of Ps Julius Rwotlonyo, Senior Pastor at Watoto Church, as he continuously encourages and inspires Watoto Church members, other ministries and all those around him.
The Watoto Children’s Choir from Watoto Church in Uganda is a well-known choir that travels the world ministering the love of Christ through music, dance and storytelling. In March this year, 6 of the Watoto Children’s Choirs were rearranging their tours abroad to travel back home to Uganda as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic. Two of the choirs, comprised of 12 children and 10 adults each and returning from the UK and Canada, made it back before the Ugandan borders closed.
The 22 members of the choir who returned from Canada were free of the coronavirus and were successfully reunited with their Watoto families after completing their mandatory quarantine in Entebbe, and additional self-isolation period.
Of the 22 choir members who returned from the UK, 14 tested positive for the coronavirus. Since then, they’ve all recovered and, after a further period of isolation, they’re all back with their Watoto families and praising God for all He has done in their lives. This is an incredible testimony and reminder that, as we carry out our mandate to teach the message of hope and share the love of Jesus Christ, regardless of the harm that befalls us, we must always spread the gospel to the world and stay anchored in Christ.
In these times, the beautiful story of triumph of the children and adult chaperones from the Watoto Children’s Choir, challenges us to think outside of the barriers created by this pandemic and encourages us to stay steadfast in our faith — from reaching out to children remotely, to having to come alongside them navigate many mental and spiritual issues resulting from the current environment. We need to innovate and charter unfamiliar territories. As we do so, we are assured that we are not walking this journey on our own.
“A voice of one calling in the wilderness to prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God”.
In this season, we are that ‘voice of one calling in the wilderness’. We need to align our hearts to this scripture by asking ourselves some critical questions:
- Are we listening to the Lord or are we listening to our fears?
- Are we walking in the hope He has called us to according to Psalms 37:25?
- How are we making sure this hope is re-echoed in the hearts of the young people we have been called to reach?
We serve a good God who works in every time and season. This is the season to bring new hope through the gospel of salvation to young people. The time couldn’t have been better to be “the light of the world, a city set on a hill”.
And so, what should our message of hope to young people be?
- Though sin corrupts the world, God created a wonderful world for us to live in and sent Jesus who already defeated the enemy at the cross and that will never change. Colossians 2:15
- They have a future as God ordained for them Jeremiah 29:11
- Though they face challenges that seem to take them off the path they were on, God had their life journey written from the beginning to the end and our God does not change according to Psalms 139:16 .
The Lord is reminding us that we have the divine MANDATE, TOOLS AND POWER to make sure HOPE remains alive for this generation.
Dear brothers and sisters, let us arise and continue with the task ahead of us, knowing that we are the voice of hope for this generation and the Lord is at work. Knowing that the Lord has always empowered those whom He has called to live and serve in the midst of great odds, as entered in the “Hall of Fame” in Hebrews 11.
“And therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1)
Thank you for all that you do to reach, rescue, root and release the Next Generation. Now we would love to hear your story!
As we reflect together on areas where we need hope, click here to tell us: what has been your biggest challenge in doing ministry during this COVID-19 season?