centrality of children in the plan of God

On my recent trip to Honduras, I spent some time in a remote village. There were chickens (living ones) in the kitchens. Stray dogs that were no one’s pets wandered around completely ignored by the people, just part of life. A thin cow almost walked into the side door of the church while I was speaking. This village just got electricity the month before I arrived (and it didn’t work for 75% of the time I was there). Many years ago when the gospel was first brought to that village, people had to walk 6 to 7 hours to get there. Now there are four churches in that region, and we were having our discipleship seminar in this village.

One thing I noticed at the discipleship seminar was all of these young children hanging around. They were looking in through the windows, standing in the doorways, sitting in chairs quietly. In all cases, they were quiet and still, not fidgeting but listening intently. In four different rural locations across this region, the children were like this. I asked a man about it and he said, “Oh yes, this is just how children are expected to be in public: quiet, respectful, and focused.”

So as I spoke, I was aware of my secondary audience. I made sure to tell a lot of stories. Every time I told a story, the kids would lock in even more. I got a sense from the Lord that I was supposed to call the children up and give them a message. I asked them to come forward and I sat down. I told them, “God has special plans for each one of you. When you’re young, you can hear the voice of God. I was a young boy about their age when I knew I was supposed to work for God. God may send you somewhere to help other people come to find Jesus. Some of you who are listening right now, even as I’m speaking to you, you know God right now is confirming that God has something special for you.”

Then I invited the Humberto Del Arca, the leader of their church planting movement to come and pray over the children. The adults leaders were touched and were also convicted that they weren’t thinking that much about the children.

Something about the remote nature of that village prompted me to pray for the children. You can’t get much lower in society, and I doubt many of them had aspirations. Nothing much was expected of them. Yet I had the sense that God may very well be doing some amazing work through them in the future. There was at least one child there, if not more, that God wanted to deliver a special message to. Sometimes amazing things come from unexpected places. “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”