In case you haven’t caught wind of it recently, there is something exciting brewing in the children’s ministry community. Michael Chanley, from CMConnect.org, is rallying children’s ministers and children’s ministries from around the United States and around the world to support a special ministry called Kidz Konnect 4 Jesus. Kidz Konnect was founded in 2009 by David and Karen Rhodes and the goal is to implement children’s ministries throughout the country of Belize.
For those who don’t know much about Belize (that would include me before this project came along), Belize is the northernmost country in Central America bordered to the north by Mexico and to the south by Guatemala. It is the only English speaking country in Central America. 52% of the total population of the country is under the age of 18. State sponsored education is only available through eighth grade (the equivalent of a 4th or 5th grade education in the United States), and most 14 and 15 year olds are therefore left out on the streets. Living conditions in most areas are well below poverty and health care is poor or non-existent in many areas.
Unfortunately, Kidz Konnect is short on both funds and resources to reach the children of Belize with God’s word. That is where the children’s ministry community project spearheaded by CMConnect comes into the picture. The goal is to raise $65,000 to support this mission. The money is earmarked as follows:
- $35,000 is a brand new 15 passenger van
- $7,000 will ship it to Belize and cover the taxes, fees, etc.
- $23,000 will send a small army of 8-10 Children’s and Family pastors to Belize to do training.
It’s a pretty big and audacious goal, but with God all things are possible.
What You Can Do!
There are a number of ways you can help out:
1. Click on the picture of the van below and buy a square (or multiple squares).
All money raised will go directly to the ministry.
2. Raise Money from other people to donate
Encourage the children in your children’s ministry to adopt this as a missions project. Have a competition to see who can raise the most money in a week or a month or three months and donate the proceeds to the cause. Have the kids drop their money in a van each week. Teach them about the ministry and about the children of Belize. Do a carwash to raise funds. Have a bake sale. Collect all of the funds and paste your churches logo on the van for Belize.
3. Spread the Word
Do you have a blog? Are you on Twitter or Facebook? Do you go to a church? Help us to spread the word about this worthy cause. Write a blog post. Publish something in your weekly or monthly newsletter at church. Tweet or update your facebook status to encourage people to give. Go to your elders and ask them to support this cause as part of their charitable giving. Help to spread the word about this worthy cause and help meet this critical need.
Additional Opportunities to Help
The cool thing about this project is that Michael Chanley, and a host of others, are constantly looking for new ways to draw additional people in. Recently, Michael gave away over $7,200 of resources to the person raising the most support before May 1. I haven’t got word of any similar give aways, but make sure you stick around CMConnect in case they come out.
One exciting opportunity which is still available is the partnership between the Belize Van Project and Big Bible Town. Here is some information about Big Bible Town from an informational pamphlet:
BIG Bible Town is an online game designed specifically for K-6 children as a Christian alternative to online games such as Club Penguin.The key difference is that in BIG Bible Town, our mini-games are interactive recreations of Bible stories.Kids create their own character and explore Bible story adventures to earn game coins and purchase virtual items for their character and homestead. They can also give game coins as virtual Tithes and Offerings to their Big Bible Town church and use them to add a school or park to their town. Finally, they can invite their friends to be neighbors to help grow each other’s towns. Choose from 29 Bible story games with more added each month.
Big Bible Town has committed to partnering with the Belize van project to provide a portion of any subscriptions to support the mission. So, you can get a great biblically based video game for your kids and support the Belize van project all at the same time. You can find out more about this offer by visiting www.cmconnect.org/group/bigbibletown.