I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2 (NIV)
We’ve recently completed a six-part series covering the ministry of Elisha and what a timely series it was for our team! For various reasons the past seven months have been quite a struggle at TnT. Chronic illness and no small number of daily frustrations have hampered our ability to publish the final twenty-two lessons in the Mustard Seeds range for 3-11s.
All of these issues have served as a constant reminder that we live in a fallen world subject to toil and frustration. According to the Apostle Paul these difficulties are ordained by God so that we might turn to Him and look forward with eager expectation to the new creation.
Elisha was Elijah’s successor and his early ministry was dominated by famine and war. These were signs of God’s covenant curses being carried out on a stubborn and disobedient nation. God’s judgement affected both the guilty and the innocent, but Elisha’s various miracles alleviated the burden of this judgement in the lives of those who had remained faithful to the Lord. These included overcoming debt, death, drought, disease and little daily problems – like the loss of an axe head!
Elisha (more often referred to as the ‘man of God’) was the ‘second Joshua’ who entered the Promised Land by parting the River Jordan. He then retraced Joshua’s path, starting at Jericho. But Elisha was also the forerunner of Jesus, the man of God for all time, who came to alleviate the suffering of his people and through his death and resurrection provide them with hope and a secure future in heaven – the ultimate Promised Land.
And so as we consider all that we have been through over the past seven months we are reminded to look to the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth, for the help that we need to keep on keeping on. Please pray for our team.
Despite ambitious plans to publish three new products over the summer we only managed to publish Elijah by August.
However we did complete the writing of the Elisha lessons and conducted a trial run of the resource at our local church. This was a fun series which the mixed age group of 3-11s really enjoyed. We’re currently finalising this product and awaiting the last few illustrations before it’s made available online.
Because of the delays we’ve had to push back our eight-part survey of the kings of Israel in favour of producing the last of our early church material. We’ve done this for the sake of those closely following our suggested teaching programme. The balance of the Old Testament material including Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah and Malachi will, God willing, be published in quick succession after Easter 2019.
For more information about the entire Mustard Seeds range together with full sample lessons visit our website: www.mustard-seeds.net.
Rory and Kim served on the children’s ministry team at the Keswick Convention for the first time this year.
This was a brilliant opportunity for Rory and Kim to do active ministry side-by-side which they don’t often get to do. Being on team also enabled them to broaden the TnT network and connect with others who are passionate about teaching the Bible to children. An added bonus was an unplanned and encouraging reunion with our Norwegian church-planting friends, Daniel and Debby Garrett, who were also at the convention.
The first quarter of the academic year is always a busy time for training. We conducted a number of events including a session on special educational needs in Dagenham. This was a new training product which we will be delivering again for the Sussex Gospel Partnership in March 2019.
Other training days included return visits to the Isle of Wight, Kingston-upon-Thames, Bromley, Westbourne, The Wirral and Paris. Unfortunately the day planned for Bradford-on-Avon had to be cancelled due to the low number of bookings.
A new training day in Limerick (Republic of Ireland) was well attended by five churches. The training was very warmly received and there are plans to run another one next year. The event was a good catalyst to get like-minded churches together and we hope that they will continue to encourage each other in what is generally a very challenging ministry environment.
Enthusiastic crowd in Limerick.
Progress in South Africa has been slower than we’d hoped. There seems to be little appetite for paid training despite the fact that the few days Brenda has run have been well received.
Progress at the college is also slow with her class of six students now reduced to just two! On a positive note she is managing to promote the Mustards Seeds resources beyond our usual networks in South Africa.
At the beginning of every year the TnT board meets to pray and plan for the year ahead. This coming year we will be looking back on 25 years of TnT Ministries and planning for the next 25!
TnT’s fundamental commitment is to train and resource adults to teach the Bible to children more faithfully, more creatively and more effectively.
In our ever-changing world there are various challenges and many opportunities. These will be carefully and prayerfully assessed so that we may respond to the challenges and harness the most strategic opportunities for the sake of the gospel and the Glory of God. Please pray for the TnT board as they meet on the 3rd of January.
Thank you for your ongoing partnership and your faithful support. Wishing you a blessed Christmas and a year filled with many opportunities to serve Christ and make him known.
Items for Prayer
- Give thanks for the opportunity to serve on the Keswick Convention team. Pray that the new contacts made would result in ongoing and fruitful partnerships.
- Give thanks for the opportunities that we have to train the same churches year after year. Pray that the leaders would be growing in their ability to teach the Bible and their confidence in doing so creatively.
- Give thanks for the opportunity to train in Limerick and for the warm response received. Pray that the five churches involved would be an encouragement to each another and bold enough to make the necessary changes to their children’s ministries to ensure that they are more faithful, more creative and more effective.
- Pray for the work in South Africa, particularly that churches would understand the necessity of quality children’s ministry training.
- Continue to pray for Laura’s ongoing and debilitating health issues. Pray for relief from her pain and a good ongoing healthcare plan. Pray for her husband Toby as he loves and supports her in sickness and in health.
- Pray for the completion of the final lessons in the Mustard Seeds range for 3-11s. Pray that they come together quickly, but without compromising their quality and faithfulness to the Bible.
- Pray for the TnT board as they meet in January to plan the future direction of TnT. Pray for wisdom, unity and courage to be very ambitious for the gospel.