As you know, part of our activities include giving workshops on a variety of topics related to aboration and sexuality. During 2017 and the first part of 2018, we have had several opportunities to conduct workshops in Israeli schools for children of different ages from believing families.
The workshops dealt with issues of purity (in speech, dress, behavior, sexual perspectives and so forth), sexual identity and development, physical changes in childhood and youth, as well as shaming and bullying. The sessions were almost always held separately for boys and girls, enabling the students to speak openly and without embarrassment. Although the age groups varied, many questions and topics were the same. Children expressed a desire to change certain areas of their lives and to examine whether the faith they claim to have is truly their own or only that of their parents.
Sessions about shaming and bullying were accompanied with examples from Scripture (such as the woman at the well; the Lord on the cross, etc.), daily examples from children’s lives (if they were to see someone dress differently from them or someone who is sitting alone on the side…), and more. Here again, the children were challenged to take a stand and asked how they would react in different situations versus how they should react as children who want to live a life honoring to God and reflecting their faith in the Lord Yeshua.
In sessions about purity and sexual development, children learned about physical and emotional boundaries and were encouraged to guard themselves. This opened opportunities to speak with a number of children who had been victimized and hurt in the past. In some cases, we were able to take action to prevent these children from from further harm by exposing the event and, where necessary, even reporting the matter to the police.
For many of the children, these sessions marked the first time they had ever been exposed to the topic of sexual development and the development of the child in the womb. Interestingly, many children said that they did not feel comfortable to discuss these things at home, so they often tried to get information from their friends. However, most of them honestly admitted that their best resource for finding answers was the Internet. The vast majority of the children attending had no knowledge of these matters and felt ashamed to ask about them, until they had the opportunity to learn and ask questions in our workshop.
In each session, children were always asked to publicly state at least one thing that they had gained from the workshops, that they would walk away with. In this way they were challenged to return home with a changed attitude towards these matters, and to make an effort to live and do what Yeshua would do.
As you can see, these workshops are dynamic, fostering interaction with children of all ages. We look forward to continued open doors and opportunities for effective service.
Please pray for us that the right doors will open, with the right timing, and that the Lord would prepare our hearts to work on materials that will meet their needs and help them to not just “learn the facts of life,” but to help them grow in their relationship with Yeshua.