Let me introduce you to some children:
- Everton is 8 years old, and his prayer is for mothers and fathers in his community to be good parents.
- Plattini is 10, and his prayer is that people in his community would learn to say kind words.
- Kimani is 11, and his prayer is that God would stop the murdering and the stealing.
- Akeila is 8, and her prayer is for God’s help for her family to pay the bills, and for her community to be a better place.
- Jared is 12, and his prayer is for help with his GSAT results. (Grade Six Achievement Test, which determines which high schools children can go to).
- Donte is 7, and his prayer is for a car for his family, and bike for his father, and a firetruck for his community.
- Netury is 12, and her prayer is for her family and community to be just like Jesus.
- Atowbe is 8, and she wants to thank God for her Mummy.
- Chadrick is 11, and his prayer for his family in community is for some money.
- Atowbe is 8, she wants to thank God for her Mummy and her prayer for her community is one word: love.
These children, along with may others, wrote down their prayer requests on Easter Saturday, at a Festival that was put on by several churches and ministries working together in partnership. Each child wrote down something they want to that God for, something they need God’s help with, and a prayer for their family and community (so I only include a small selection of their prayers).
Activities over the Easter weekend:
The team running these activities had been doing a “Short School of Mission” training in community outreach, run by Fusion over Good Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. On Saturday afternoon the team split between the communities of Trench Town and Papine to run Easter Festivals at the same time. The Festivals were an opportunity for people to come together in these communities in a safe and fun environment, and included activities like painting a community banner about the hope of Easter, face painting, stilt walking, giant snakes and ladders, limbo, a watermelon eating contest and a boys vs girls ‘tug of peace’.
A man was driving by the festival in Papine, who runs a business selling cupcakes. When he saw the crowd of children he stopped and talked to one of the pastors of Christian Life Fellowship, the church where the festival was being held. He knew the pastor and offered to donate some cupcakes for the children. The pastor explained that there was also another festival in Trench Town at the same time that would be followed by a March on Sunday afternoon, so the man then donated over 900 cupcakes to be given out to children at the march.
On Easter Sunday, in the afternoon, the children in Trench Town gathered again to walk through the streets of their community. They carried the banner that they had painted, and gave cupcakes out to people in the community as they marched while wishing them a happy Easter.
Prayers of the children:
The march stopped at seven places around the community to pray the prayers that the children had written down the day before. Many parents, children and members of the community resonated strongly with the things that were on the children’s hearts to pray for, and so loudly expressed their agreement.
One young girl, Anija, had written as her prayer for her community that the violence would stop, and people would stop killing the children. As we read this prayer a hush came over the community, and when we said “Amen” over the microphone we heard other many voices saying “Amen” around the streets and even up in the buildings around us.
The children had also been rehearsing a dance to the song “Beautiful Day”, so performed the dance in the street with many proud faces looking on, and phones recording the moment. The event finished with a short celebration at Covenant Community Church which included a slide show of photos from the previous day. The children loved seeing photos of themselves.
On Easter Monday, some of the young leaders then went to another community to help run another festival in partnership with a local church. So it was a busy Easter, but one with several beautiful days in these communities.