A look back at 2018 Holiday Bible Program

Dear BPCWAians, Many of you will recall the various announcements for the 2018 Holiday Bible Program, and the requests for prayer support for this program. Since many may not have had children that attended the program, or even if you had, you may not really be clear why we have this program, and what do we do during the few days that the program was conducted.

Why do we have the Holiday Bible Program? This is conducted primarily with the children of BPCWA worshippers in mind. During the school holidays, parents are sometimes at a loss as to how to keep them occupied. What better way then, than to use some of that time to conduct a mini “Bible School” for students during their holidays. That is why this program is conducted during the Perth school holidays. While it originally started with it being conducted in July almost immediately after the Family Camp, it was later shifted to the Summer vacations, based on the feedback received from parents. As such, last year’s program was conducted from 17-19 December, just as school holidays began. At the same time, the Holiday Bible Program also serves as an outreach to other children as well. Through this program, we hope to be able to share the gospel to unbelievers, as well as to encourage them to attend BPCWA on a regular basis. In the initial years of the program, we were glad to have children from other churches join us. However, we also found that many of them had believing parents who were settled in their respective churches. With resource limitations, we thus began last year to be more targeted in invitations extended to non-worshippers’ children. With prayers raised to God for both of these purposes, we are thankful to God for bringing a total of 45 students, with 16 from outside of BPCWA. Thank God for the many that used this opportunity to invite children of friends, students, and even friends of friends! Having the opportunity to interact with young ones over 3 days gave good opportunities to preach the gospel to the unbelievers, and to answer some questions that they had about Christianity. Though young, their questions however often revealed a thinking not often expected at their age as they mulled over Jesus Christ as God and Saviour – questions that may baffle even many adult Christians!

What did we do during the program? Parents would drop off their children at church at 8:45 am.  Each  day would start with a short period of hymn singing and the memorisation of a Bible memory verse together before they are divided into their various classes according to their age groups. In previous years, due to larger group sizes, we were only able to handle children up to about 11 years of age. However, with an increasing number of our children now in or approaching their preteen/ teenage years, a new class for this important age group was introduced. As our children grow into this age group, values and character begin to form. As a church, we wanted to help parents ensure that their ties with church are maintained and strengthened, and that their faith is reinforced in what is often a “make or break” period of their lives. Respective class teachers would conduct lessons based on the program theme, which were then followed by a short tea break to quieten the rumbling stomachs. The day’s program then ended off with a time of crafts before parents returned to pick their children up at noon. On the last day of the program, parents were invited to come back at 11:45 am as everyone gathered in the sanctuary for the certificate presentation. It was touching to see some children peer anxiously towards the back of the sanctuary to ensure that their parents  were  present  to see them receive their certificates.

Was this program useful? The theme for each year’s program is prayerfully selected to help prepare our children grow up to stand strong as Christians in an increasingly ungodly age. Lessons are prepared to help instruct them what God says about these topics, and how to apply it in their daily lives and what challenges they may face at school living as a Christian. With some parents serving as helpers during the lesson program, we hope that both children and parents learned together    on these topics. With last year’s theme being “Godly Friendships”, someone observed that the children at church seemed to be closer and played more together, looked after each other more after the program. May they learn from young that “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” (Pr 18:24)

Yours in our Lord’s service