By Rodney and Trina Kirkpatrick
Proverbs 22:6 NASB
Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
While Trina’s love for children is the foundation of our work with them, it is her vision for the potential in people that has paved the way for children’s ministry to touch entire communities.
She has no problem looking past cultural differences, skill deficiencies, or really anything that might stand in the way of working with anyone to help kids know what Jesus thinks about them. She doesn’t need to be in the lead, is a true team builder, and has been used in extraordinary ways, in a wide variety of contexts, for many of these reasons.
One of the biggest impacts of our ministry in general has been through the Holiday Bible Club that we have helped host since 2011. Here is Trina’s synopsis of this experience:
Holiday Bible Club has been a big part of our children’s ministry for many years now. It started when a group of my friends got together and decided to take a leap of faith in running a holiday club for the children on the North Coast area of Durban. Using the model of American VBS we thought we were going way out to trust God for 100 kids and we had 180 that first year. The next year we had over 200. It has now grown to a consistent attendance of 300 kids and a team of around 80 volunteers. The key to success in this venture has been the involvement of nearly ALL the churches in our area. Every child who accepts Christ as their personal savior gets a Bible to take home. HBC has been a tool the Lord has used to unite our community with teamwork, enrich children’s lives and change families by teaching the love of Jesus.
Helping to manage hundreds of kids at one time is a significant challenge, but it has proven easier than helping to build a cohesive team among adult volunteers. In 2011, there wasn’t any inter-church initiative that sought to reach out to the community on a united front and approaching pastors and individuals from different fellowships to join together was met with more than one raised eyebrow. Countless hours were spent from one year to the next building relationships until a culture of cooperation was built between churches on this event. Trina served, without wavering, three different “heads” of the Holiday Bible Club who were very different leaders in terms of strengths and weaknesses. This selfless determination enabled her to contribute to a Jesus Encounter for many children, their families & the entire North Coast community of KwaZulu-Natal.