Suzana and I started to promote CityKids earlier this year to pastors in Skopje. Their reaction was positive and they showed a lot of interest. We contacted them again later in the year and asked for permission this time to contact their Sunday school teachers and children’s workers. We wanted to invite them to a special meeting where we planned to explain the CityKids concept and philosophy behind it. We were so encouraged when 22 teachers arrived at the venue and participated in the programme. Their interest grew as we presented CityKids and taught the first class in the Basics 1 module from CityKids Seminars (a new modular training programme). As we finished this class the teachers were excited and wanted to know more!
We offered different options for training as some teachers had previously taken our Teaching Children Effectively Level 1 course. A number signed up for the Junior Youth Challenge leader’s course and 12 of those present asked to continue with CityKids Seminars. We taught the Basics 1 module over 2 evenings and Basics 2 on a national holiday, when the teachers were able to attend both morning and afternoon sessions. The teacher’s enjoyed the fresh format of the classes and were particularly challenged by the classes on, “Getting to know your city!” As they studied the city map of Skopje and marked in where the churches are; different neighbourhoods; schools; kinder gardens etc., they realised just how small the evangelical witness is, in comparison to the great need that exists to reach out to children with the Gospel. We constantly challenged them to think of ways they could reach out to children in their neighbourhoods. We suggested different events they could plan as a church, 5-Day Clubs, Seasonal clubs, LEGO building events etc., and offered help.
As we finished off the Basics 2 module the teachers had one question, “What’s next?” I have to say that this question, as a CEF leader and teacher trainer is “music to my ears.” Needless to say we are now planning our next training events. Some of the group will continue by taking a short intensive course for teaching pre-schoolers while the others will continue to take more modules in the CityKids Seminars programme.
Pray that this new wave of training will bear much fruit. We have never had such big group of teachers at one time, and we believe that God is doing something new in the city of Skopje. Pray for strength as the number of CEF labourers in Macedonia is small. But our God and our vision is big and we are excited that as more faithful men and women are trained in the churches many more children in Skopje will have the opportunity to hear the Gospel.
Pavle & Suzana Kostadinov (CEF National leaders, Macedonia)