ANNUAL DISCIPLESHIP CAMP 2019

Dear Friends,
 
Plans are underway for our Annual Discipleship Camp (residential), from September 30th to October 4th, 2019.
 
This is the only chance in the year for children from several centre’s to come together to learn and enjoy some time together.
 
We decided on CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK for the theme of this camp. We want this generation to change their thinking about their relationships, careers, self and living in this world. We are planning to cover subjects like Characteristics of GodSelf-Forgiveness and RespectThe Cost of DiscipleshipRebooting your ThinkingHandling Success and Failuresome Bible Character studies etc.

Please pray for:
  • All of the preparations 
  • The staff and volunteers to be filled with the Holy Spirit to lead the children
  • The financial needs
  • Annual Discipleship Camp 2018 - Bommokal Centre
  • Annual Discipleship Camp 2018 - Group Discussion
  • Annual Discipleship Camp 2018 - Treasure Hunt
  • Annual Discipleship Camp 2018 - Group Selfie
  • Annual Camp 2018 - Teachers and Volunteers
  • Annual Discipleship Camp 2018 - Quiet time in groups
  • Annual Discipleship Camp 2018 - Group Photo
  • Annual Discipleship Camp 2018 - Group pic (Green)
  • Annual Discipleship Camp 2018 - Meal time
  • Annual Discipleship Camp 2018 - Game time

We hope that there will be about 100 people at camp and our total estimated budget is Rs. 2,18,700.
 
Children and volunteers will be helping to raise about Rs. 32,000, and about Rs. 25,450 has come in from other sources, leaving the remaining need at Rs. 1,61,250.
 

Sincerely,
 
Premdas (Manager)
for Shining Stars Centres for Youth Development

Consolidated Report of VBS 2019

Teachers Orientation Training Programme

This year we have planned 7 VBS programmes and our staff were well prepared to train the teachers and volunteers. We have conducted the orientation training programme on Saturday the 9thof April 2019.  We trained about 50 people from our partnering centres and some other neighbouring churches. We taught 7 songs, and gave some training on how to use the curriculum. 

Nacharam Centre

Like last year, the programme was conducted in partnership with Grace Gospel Church, Nacharam, which helped us to reach more children than we expected. The dates were from April 4th to May 5th. We had about 220 children and 45 teachers and volunteers. It was an exciting 10 days for the children and the teachers. Many of the teachers worked tirelessly (some gave-up rest time as they were working night shifts, others study hours etc.).

This year Seva Bharath brought forth some melodious songs.  They were really great and kids totally enjoyed them. The ground work which Krupa and his team had done, two weeks before the commencement of VBS    produced a hundred fold fruit. Every person in the hall right from the pastor to the youngest child was dancing in joy. Songs also had a great message. On the final day programme, when the speaker from Seva Bharath, Director Rev. Dr. Chirinjeevi heard the songs he was very happy and the children burst into shouts of joy.

Some Testimonies

She has completed 7th class. In VBS she was in Sravanthi’s (the junior class). She is from another faith. Her family objected to her attending the VBS, even then she attended VBS but was not involved in some of the activities and the closing programme. She loved the songs and enjoyed the singing and worship. So please pray for her faith to grow in Jesus and her salvation.

She has completed inter 1st year, Bi.P.C. She’s known about Jesus from her childhood. Through the theme devotions, she learnt to depend on God by spending time with Him as Abraham, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego depended. She wanted to be an inspiration to her society as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego for the glory of God.

She is from a village called Giddalur of A.P. She came to her relatives’ home and attended VBS. On the last day she shared that her father had passed away 2 years back. From that day she thought that God was not there,  she hated him, because she thought that God had cheated her. But through classes in VBS, she learned about God and his power. She accepted Jesus as her personal Saviour and said that Jesus can only fill her father’s place, no one else. She is thankful to God for the life He has given her.

  • From these 10 lessons, junior and senior children took a decision to be good citizens in society.
  • 7 children made a commitment to be world changers like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who influenced the king and people by not worshiping the idol.
Missionary Story

Unlike other missionaries, this year the kids were taught about a missionary who chose another way to serve people. It was none other than Mr. and Mrs. Franklin Wiig.  Mr. Premdas, our staff presented it in a great way. How Mr. Wiig came to India and married and how his family became a part of India. The children learnt about how a Christian life should be. 18 children took commitment to live their life like  Franklin and Margaret Wiig.

Some Highlights
  • Twenty five kids realized and repented from their SIN and invited God into their hearts and accepted Jesus as their personal Saviour.
  • Seven kids who had already accepted Jesus, but had gone into the world again, recommitted their lives and came back to God. They decided to stand strong in God and not to turn back.
  • Most of the senior class children took a decision to read the Bible and spend more time in prayer.

Itikyala Centre

These 3 days were very interesting to the children. This year we reached 40 children with the gospel. We reached almost 14 new children who visited VBS for the first time.  Our teachers did really good work. This year the weather was very hot, but God gave a place to run the VBS.  We approached and asked the village Sarpanch (the village president) permission to run the VBS in the village school building and he happily granted us the permission. We had a nice time of songs – children where very quick to learn them.

Each day, in the evening, we played a lot of games with the children. They really enjoyed this and it helped us to build relationships with them. For the closing program we invited the Sarpanch and he was very happy. He came and distributed the gifts to the children.

The man in the saffron colour dress is the president of the village

Gouthapur Centre

Gouthapur is one of the new centres, which started this academic year. There is lot of opposition to the gospel. The centre was running fine with some obstacles from some of the children themselves.

We were a little hesitant to conduct the VBS programme this summer, but the church families were very         interested and wanted to give it a trial this year. We decided to conduct a 2 day programme to see how it would go. We had the programme from the 2ndto the 3rd of May and got a good response from the children and people of the village.  A team of 5 people went out from Shining Stars to conduct the programme and run it morning and evening and taught 4 lessons from the curriculum. The children loved the songs and games and showed a lot of interest. Some of the children who came did not take interest in learning the Bible verses, but we   encouraged  them and did not force anyone. We had 48 children continuously attend for two days and we did not give any altar call as the local church told us not to do so.

It was wonderful to see most of the funds raised from the community leaders who were inspired by our programme and, as the theme was I love my Country, they were pleased that we did this for the children in the community.  During the closing programme, we invited the president of the village and he said that he attended the VBS programme 30 years back when he was a child and he said that he knew what VBS was all about and how we teach the life lessons. One of the MPTC members was also was invited and he spoke to the children about how they should build themselves to be good citizens of the country and encouraged the children to learn the principles the church is   teaching.

Thangellapalli Centre

Like in Gouthapur, we conducted a 2 day programme for the first time in the village. We had children with us two full days (from 9am to 4pm), where we provided lunch for them. About 22 children attended and they sat in two groups, either beginners or primary. Only two staff went out to conduct this programme and it went well. On the second day morning we presented the gospel and invited the children to commit their life to Jesus Christ and three children responded.

Bommakal Centre

It’s always (every year) God who works out everything in running VBS in Bommakal as there are less facilities and little support from the local church. This year also, it was hard to raise the finances and, moreover, human recourses, but 3 of our full-time staff took initiation and went out to spend 5 full days with our children in Bommakal. Yes, the five days were great and we were able to serve 67 children with the help of 14 teachers and volunteers.  Though they were very hot days,  we all enjoyed as the children showed a lot of interest in learning about God.

We were able to give delicious and healthy snacks to the children and useful gifts for their further education. From all the groups, 10 children decided to follow Jesus and 20 children recommitted and /or reconfirmed their faith in Him.

I was impressed that though the majority of these children are from another faith; this VBS was an opportunity for them to learn more about the Saviour Jesus Christ.  Poornima and Meghana took a commitment to be set apart from the world and be a friend to Christ Jesus, which means they want to live for Christ throughout their life.  My sincere prayer is that God, who started working in their lives, will continue till the end.

The senior class students all decided to follow Jesus Christ. They want to share the gospel to their parents, friends and relatives. Some children are reading the Bible every day. Some children want to read the Bible but are facing opposition from the family.

I am (Mr. Premdas) very blessed be sitting with and teaching the junior group children. I had 16 children and all of them were very interested to learn. They are all very competitive in learning the Bible verses by heart;           especially Kavya, Meghana, Poornima, Sravani and Mahender, who always sat in the front row to learn and recite the memory verses.

The details of all 5 programmes

Note: # T & V means number of Teachers and Volunteers

Quarterly Ministry Report January to March 2019

NI Teachers & Leaders Quarterly Meetings

Odisha:- During 7th to 9th of January, 2019, two of our staff (Isaac & Premdas) spent time with four of our partnering centres’ teachers & leaders in ODISHA (NI).  This is the third quarterly meeting with our partners of North India.  We spent good amount of time with each individual centre and talked about their experience in running the child development centres.  Mr. Premdas taught at each centre the  importance of discipling the children and challenged them to start discipleship classes for their children.

Raipur:- Kruapakar and Premdas met with our collaborators and their teachers on 14th February 2019 in order to develop, encourage and share the updates of the ministry. We were encouraged by visiting some of the homes of the children who attend the centre of VV Vihar and they shared that this centre has been making a big difference the lives of their children.  Right now two centres are running in Raipur and they expressed gratitude towards Shining Stars for bringing the vision of reaching the next generation.The programme has become one of the major parts of their ministry.  Pastor Sharat Naring owned the vision of reaching the next generation as his church’s vision and is preparing the ground to start 4 child development centres around Raipur with the help of some of his church members. 

Anjali was a layman of the local church, where her pastor asked her to take up this responsibility of running the child development centre in her home since 2015. After starting the centre, she became very close to the children and she became very passionate about the development of the children in her community. Now she says that she can’t live without these children and she has recognized her call for the ministry through this programme. Now, she married a pastor, where she is helping to run both the church and the centre.

Miss. Pooja, a teacher in V.V. Vihar centre in Raipur. She is basically an orphan who is living in an orphanage and pursuing her degree. She was asked to come and help in the centre as a teacher. She is now one of the main persons running the centre. She says I am learning more as I prepare to teach them; even this helped me to discipline myself in all areas.

Rathlam (MP):- Isaac took some time to visit and encourage our new partnering centres and their staff. During 5th to 7th of March 2019, for the purpose of quarterly meeting and visiting the centres, Mr. Isaac gathered all the centre leaders and teachers for a time of prayer, fellowship and sharing. He also visited all three centres and gave some gifts to all the children.

Nacharam Centre Children Picnic

We finally made a plan to go on a picnic, on January 17th, to The Nehru Zoological Park, to be away from the busy life. We hired a bus and the kids gathered, even before the instructed time, out of their eagerness to go. The amusement began right away in the bus, where it became a sound cloud, carrying those kids to the zoo with songs of joy coming from every overjoyed kid. After we arrived there, there was a sense of hastening in the eyes of the kids, as they couldn’t wait for the tickets they were being issued. To start off with, we took some time with God. We sang two songs of worship and a devotion was taken for the children from the Word of God. A few instructions were given to the children by the teachers. The children were then divided into groups according to their ages. There began the exploration of their inquisitive minds. Kids waited to see their favourite animals . . . big cats, giant reptiles, poisonous snakes and peacocks. They set afoot, ignoring any pain they might have been   experiencing. Staring at the king of the jungle was the most nostalgic part of the day.  They went around the zoo in a mini train . . . to every nook and corer. They saw the giraffes, bears, deers, elephants and the best part of it was the time spent in the colours of birds’ sanctuary.  Later we    gathered together to have a fellowship meal. Kids who had brought their own lunch boxes opened them to share with everyone around. There was an atmosphere of intimate relationship as they shared a love feast. We had some recreational time of playing games.  Other people around were really amused as they saw the kids playing with balloons. A few joined the circle of joy of childhood to play with the kids as they flew and swerved the balloons of red and white.   We closed the day with snacks given to kids. As the bus began it carried buckets and buckets of joy, also with a sense of penitence, for the day ending too fast. Tired souls were resting as we went back while some kids were still recollecting the best joys of the day. Every happy kid was hastening to reiterate the whole day with probably the tone of being on cloud 9. Their narration brought grateful words of affirmation from most of the parents. 

Sunday School Teachers Training Programme

 

We have conducted a Sunday School Teachers Training Programme at Bethesda Prardhana Mandiram – Weaker Section Colony, Kurnool on 23rd February 2019. It was a great day for us with about 32 young and dynamic people, for most whom the subject of working with children is new, who came from 5 different traditional denominational backgrounds.  Though it was tough for us to help them to understand the importance of working with the next generation, we enjoyed teaching some important things related to the teaching of Bible stories for    Sunday School children.  We taught them the child age characteristics, how to prepare and present a Bible lesson, we taught them the importance of using visual aids and teaching the memory verse.  It was very hard to bring a response out of them, but we tried our best to sow some burden about the children in their church and community by sharing the Vision of Shining Stars. We hope and pray that this training will bring some change in their church activities and especially Sunday school, for whoever is already working.  We are hoping to conduct a follow-up training programme for the same group in the near future. 

Shining Stars 23 years Celebration

It was a great festival of Shining Stars Anniversary on 5thMarch, 2019. There was a simple decoration created in the centre, and an enthusiastic atmosphere. That day nearly sixty plus children attended and one of our alumni also joined with us. We sang a few action songs and played some games for a little while to the joy of the children.  There are a few children alumni who shared their testimony about what they received from Shining Stars. Yahh! Raising godly leaders. We were happy to hear their testimonies. Yes, Shining Stars helps us to grow morally and holistically. Premdas shared about the importance of the child education in the world. He gave a quote to encourage the children:  “Education is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world.”  – Nelson Mandela. 

Really, these words helped the children to understand the importance of education. We have invited our guest speaker, Dr. Ravi Abraham Garu. We were happy to see him among us. He shared about his academic life with the children, and believes he will be a role model. He stated, “Never mind about rank, but continuous understanding and education gives knowledge and wisdom to us.” 

 

Medical Camp at Nacharam Centre

It was Wednesday, the 27th of March, many kids gathered and teachers were all set to give their best to the kids. Doctor and Mrs. Ravi, came along with twelve helpers, all who were medical students; most of them completed  their M.B.B.S. and were about to go for practice. Different stages were set up with so much of concern and love. All the doctors took note of the children’s height, weight, mouth condition (decayed teeth, bad smell, etc) and the resolution power of their eyes (eye check-up). The last stage was to meet the doctors (General Physicians).  They analyzed their condition (the first five stages) and compared them with all the graphs, reports and experience they had and gave some  suggestions to the children. They gave them a kit containing A – Z Vitamin tablets, stoma worm tablets, brush, paste, soap, a general gift etc. They also gave them a list of a diet they should maintain and suggested that they consult appropriate doctors according to their need. Children were given a snack and sent home. The children really enjoyed the doctors’ care for them. Out of 78 children, around 60 children are     under weight and height, manyhave a vitamin and protein deficiency, 29 are suffering with dental problems, 18 are suffering with resolution power of eye and 7 children have skin allergy.  Parents don’t know about their children’s health and we teachers have started to explain to the parents and children.  

Swathi: She is studying in 4th class. In medical camp the doctor has noticed that she was suffering with a lung infection. We brought this to the attention of the parents, till that time they didn’t know about Swathi’s health condition and the parents felt happy with medical camp and the Nacharam club. They decided to take her to the hospital. 

Bharath: He is studying in 9th class. In this medical camp the doctors who examined him told him that he had a problem with lymphocytes in the neck region. They asked him to undergo a scanning. I (John) spoke with their mother she was thankful to Shining Stars for the medical camp and taking care of their children and she decided to take him to the hospital. 

Some parents took it seriously and took a decision to give a good diet to the children, for that we thank God. Many parents saw their kids coming home with kits and were overjoyed. Some came and expressed their gratitude for taking such care, some also came and shared their hidden problems and found out solutions for them.

Please Pray For
  • Upcoming new fiscal year, 2019-20 and for God’s provision of funds for all the needs of Shining Stars
  • Upcoming summer programmes and the need of teachers, and safety in travelling
  • The Sunday School Teachers Training programme that we are planning to conduct in North India in the month of May 2019
  • The follow-up Training Programme in Kurnool in June 2019
  • The Wiig family as they are preparing to come back to India soon

Quarterly Ministry Report October to December 2018

Annual Discipleship Camp 2018

We praise God for giving us another opportunity to develop and deepen 88 children (from 12-18 yrs old) in their lives. We conducted our Annual Discipleship Camp during the first term holidays (10th October to 13th October) at St. Paul’s International School, Shamirpet. We divided into two groups (juniors and seniors) and taught some very practical life lessons like what is salvation, what is the purpose of life,the truth of the Bible and some teachings on spiritual disciplines and career development. We also taught them how to have a quiet time with God, as we do each year.

We invited some very experienced people to teach the Senior children; Dr. David Anthony (a professor in a medical college and a youth counselor), Pastor. V. Moses Babu (a youth counselor and Bible teacher), Pastor. A. Emmanuel (a Bibleteacher), Twinkle Joan (an IPS), Mr. Nehemiah (a youth minister) and Rev. Praveen Banyan (a Bible teacher) who inspired the young people by their teachings and answered a lot of their questions.

This year the theme of the camp was JIO tho Kisliye? On the basis of the Bible verse from Galatians 2:20 and the purpose of the camp was to enrich the young peoples’ spiritual and social life.

We had about 27 young people as teachers and volunteers, who were also blessed. We believe that it helped them improve their leadership skills.

Though the camp was meant for believing children, however, when presented the gospel, about 12 children newly believed in Jesus Christ. Many children recommitted too.

Shining Stars Alumni Bash (Re-Ignite)

With the purpose of brining the alumni back together and creating anopportunity for the younger ones to continue to grow, we conducted an alumni bash. This was initiated by some of the senior alumni. It was a full-day programme conducted on 21st October 2018, where about 61 of our old students attended. We had some teachings about togetherness and the importance of being thankful to God. We have invited some of the old staff (from the early days) and honoured them with some gifts. We had a time of discussion about what the purpose of the alumni get-together was and how to fulfil it. We decided to meet for about 2 hours on the 4th Sunday of each month. We have been meeting since then and it is going on well.

North India Partners Development Programme (Ratlam)

Mr. Premdas and Isaac went out to Ratlam of Madhya Pradesh to see the newly started centres and meet the partners, their teachers and children between 30th October to 1st November. We spent half a day in training the partners and the teachers in how to discipline children, how to write up a purpose statement for the work that they are doing and how to prepare guiding values for their ministry in their communities. Many of the children don’t go to schools for various reasons. Our partners are taking the opportunity to encourage them to go to school and write their exams, in order to improve themselves.

We have seen that there is a lot of need for children’s ministry and teaching on the importance of raising godly leaders in and outside of Ratlam of Madhya Pradesh, yet resources are scarce. We visited one of our centres in Kherda, which is about 45 km away from the town of Ratlam. It is in a very remote place, where there are not very many facilities available (i.e. no mobile network, no internet and no proper resources). We are hoping that our partnership will bring some awareness about the children ministry in the churches out there and some long-term fruit in the days to come.

Sonja Memorial Essay Writing Contest 2018

We have conducted the Sonja Memorial essay writing contest, 2018 on 10th November 2018 at St. Ann’s Genralate, Tarnaka. We added a drawing and painting competition to the essay contest this year. The children really enjoyed that. This programme is conducted in order to develop the children in their competitive and communication skills, as well as to bring out their talents. It’s also to encourage the English writing skills of Telugu medium students to be developed.

The winners of the painting competition got some gifts and the writing contest winners got some cash awards for their further education.  About 8 of the 10th standard children and 3 of the 7th, 8th and 9th standard children got cash awards as an educational scholarship for the next academic year.

Some highlights of this programme were; we provided transportation from all of our centres in Telangana and children from 5th to 10th class were invited. About 11 of the 87 children came to Hyderabad for the first time and 7 of them go into an elevator for the very first time.  This brought much joy to the sponsors. This year we gave a general gift to every participant and awarded the winners on the spot.

Telangana Leaders and Teachers Quarterly Meeting

For the purpose of fellowship, celebration and the development of the leaders & teachers we had our TS leaders and teachers quarterly meeting on 12th December 2018 for a half-day at our office in Nacharam. Part of the programme was Christmas celebration with our partners.

We had a teaching session on the Purpose of Jesus’ Birth, taught by Pastor Emmanuel, then we have a time of sharing, where all the participants presented their desire during this season and how they want to show Jesus to their friends and neighbours. As we do every year, we had gift exchange program.

Christmas Celebrations

Nacharam Centre

On the 21st of December 2018, we celebrated Christmas in the Nacharam centre, where some of our children presented choreographies, skits etc. Many of their parents were invited to see the children performances, which they enjoyed, and some of the Shining Stars Alumni also attended the celebrations. Mrs. Harriet Jemima (one of the Shining Stars Alumni Fellowship – SSAF) shared her greetings with children and parents by telling of the love of Jesus to us.

Mrs. Esther Rani (PTP faculty &counselor and advisor in Shalom church, Uppal) shared the Christmas message. She shared the gospel to all by telling of the importance of Christmas in our lives. Christmas is the birth of Christ in our hearts and at that time we can see joy in our life like Mary and shepherds saw in their lives.

We also conducted a memory verse competition for the children. Some of them were presented with gifts for the same, which encouraged others to learn the Bible verses too.

Every child got a gift, which made them and their parent’s happy. Every teacher and a volunteer received a gift from the Nacharam centre, which also gave them joy. After a long time,having the alumni involved, was a highlight.

Bommakal Centre

We had a wonderful celebration in an evening of Christmas for the children in Bommakal. 52 children attended. Two of our old students (SSAF), Prasad and Bhaskar, also participated. They led some songs and shared what Christmas means to them, and why we celebrate Christmas. At the end of his sharing, Bhaskar gave an altar call to the children. Akhil, Venu (Chinna), Ajee, Sravani and Sandy accepted Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. Some children also recommitted their lives to the Lord. Then we cut the cake, along with the alumni. Finally, we gave Christmas gifts and delicious snacks to the children.

Please Pray For