During an evangelism event, more than 200 children and youth from three communities where the Church of the Nazarene has active discipleship programs for both groups. Thirty-four of the participants decided to accept Christ.

The children and youth enjoyed a time of prayer, music, games, and a Christ-centered message addressed specifically to them.

The event was held in May for a group of children and youth pastors and discipleship teachers.  Additionally, the ministry Samaritan’s Purse donated gift boxes to share with them. The box contained items such as games, colored pencils, clothes and shoes, notebooks, coloring books, etc.

The children and teens are part of the discipleship groups in the churches Bethel de La Lima, Colonia Martínez, and Colonia Pineda N° 2.

Gerson Martínez, coordinator of the event and district leader said that in the Martínez and Pineda N°2 neighborhoods in the far reaches of the city, there are many needs and that the people suffer from problems such as gang recruitment, malnutrition, lack of medical care, family disintegration, school dropout for lack of economic recourses, and child exploitation.

In Pineda N°2, community leaders lent the church a patch of land as a temporary site that will serve as a meeting place for ministry to children and youth with whom they continue to meet. In addition, the leadership is preparing to minister to parents and other members of the community there.

“The misión is to establish a church that can meet the spiritual and social needs of that community,” said Gerson Martínez. “We hope to build networks that will permit us to achieve the plans we have for this community.”

Additionally, the pastor of the Bethel church, Gladys Hernández, said that the community of Pineda is vulnerable in every aspect, and they were very thankful that the children had received the benefits of the activity. She also said that after talking with the parents about the activity, they were motivated to volunteer that they provide the snacks. Later, many of them attended the activity.

“A box was given to each one, they were enamored and excited to see what each box contained. It was really exciting to see that contagious happiness. We thank God for being able to see this joy,” said Pastor Gladys. “It is satisfying to be part of the group of workers, and we express our thanks to all who were part because all work in the Lord is not in vain.”

Source: Gerson Martínez, event coordinator and district church planter