Igor, who oversees the church planting in Ukraine, says “Children are not usually considered part of the church. If a church had 50 children and only 10 adults, they would say they are a church of only 10 people, not 60.” This mindset is typical of churches across Europe, hence the vital need to communicate the absolute value of children and reaching them. In Kiev, John taught the local church planters about Kid’s Ministry, as there are no established Kid’s Workers to connect with.
Five countries had more abortions than live births in 2000: the Russian Federation, Bulgaria, Belarus, Romania and Ukraine. Overall, the rates are substantially higher in Central and Eastern Europe and the CIS countries than in Western Europe and North America. In most countries there has been a decrease in the abortion rate since 1990. However, in some countries, especially those with a lower abortion rate (such as Belgium, Greece, Iceland, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom), the rate has increased during the same period.
The Anglican Church has realized that they need to do something different as they want to begin to grow and have an impact on society. At a recent Kid’s Leaders Conference run by ‘New Wine’, (the charismatic part of the Anglican Church), it was our privilege to speak about reaching the kids hearts, not just their minds and to inspire the Kid’s Workers to think differently about what they do and why they do it.
During our trip to southern Italy, I questioned why African women were sitting by the main highway at the entrance to the olive groves. I was informed that they are girls in the slave trade – they are promised work in Europe only to find themselves controlled by the mafia and forced into prostitution.
Currently, there are 5.5 million people in Slovakia and only 1 paid kid’s pastor that we know of! About 30 people with an interest in Kid’s Ministry showed up to hear John’s training along with the local Church Planters. He was extremely well received and the local Slovaks are now considering taking Kids Ministry on board from a national perspective.