The first thing we are going to have is The Word of God. Have you got a Bible? Ok, so you have got Bibles in orphanages. Have the children each got their own Bible?
In orphanages where the children do not have their own Bibles, I would say they should not be asking Oikos which Maths to get, but should first see to it that each child has their own Bible. Their own Bible in their own language, with which they are comfortable, teach them to read it .
Now how to bring that Word, that teaching into a manner in which the child finds it easy to understand? Especially in orphanages where you might have a whole mix of religions. We speak today from a God/Christian perspective with The Word of God. You might have in orphanages a big variety of different spiritual and religious aspects coming in. So the children don’t understand what is what. What we do, is we suggest that you start with the Word of God.
You start with where they came from, that God created them, that He loves them and that they are unique and special to Him, to love them the way He wants them to be loved.
So to bring that Word of God to them and make it understandable to them, we suggest you use Picture Smart. It has a manual for the New Testament and one for the Old Testament. It takes each book in the Testaments and deals with that individually. I am not going to go into explaining exactly how this is done, because on the Oikos website there is a video clip explaining each resource. So I will not go into product description here. What I want to emphasise is the importance of The Word and this resource (Picture Smart.) The children are going to colour in, because there is the Student book that goes with this and they have their workbooks to work in. What happens as a result of this is that by the time you have finished teaching them this (Bible/Picture Smart) not worrying about their Math skill, but teaching them this first, they have got an understanding of each book Of the Bible(e.g. the book of Matthew.) What it is all about and how that is going to help them through all of their life. By the time they have worked through this book they understand the New Testament (or Old Testament) they understand each and every book.
I can ask adults, what is the purpose of Ecclesiastes or Deuteronomy, what are you going to find in 1 Kings or the book of Luke? It often is the case that they find that hard to answer, it is all a jumble in their minds. Even theologians, and we have two parents that have studied theology, and taken their children through home education with Oikos, have said that they learnt more from this than taking the word apart and analysing every aspect of it. This gave them the bigger picture of it all, everything coming together through it. It works, Picture Smart helps your children get the bigger picture and understand that the book of Mark is where the theme is about being a servant. So if you say, we as a family are going to be servants to one another and love one another, it is all words. But bring it into context and bring it out of the Bible, where it says God requires you to be a servant. Where he says we are to be a servant to one another and when we are He will bless us, and if we are not, we wont receive blessing and we will have strife. So come on guys lets get rid of the strife, lets get in line with the Word of God, let us learn about serving one another. Then one of your children is going to go “Oh that is in the book of Mark” because that is what she would have remembered the book of Mark is all about, there is a spiritual awareness.
You can see already that there has been some formation of character, that spiritual awareness has been formed, you are giving them a gift that is going to assist them in their adult life and help them to be parents. So we could really stop here, I am convinced before God that if this was our focus and if we stopped here, it would be alright with Him. He would be delighted.
So that Bible resource follows on from the Word. But perhaps you have some little littlies, some 3 or 4 year olds in your orphanage, then you can take a more simple version of a Bible resource such as “Proverbs People” it is a younger version .
There is also Wisdom with the Millers and Scripture memorisation. All these books are on the Oikos web site, you might start with Picture Smart and then you might want to add Scripture Memorisation, you might want to add a story to the younger ones each day? A story about how to apply proverbs into their everyday living and then you might read a story from Wisdom and the Millers. Later in the day you might have a problem with two children who are pulling each others hair out and you have the problem to go and sort out, or you can say to them, remember that story we read about in Proverbs, God says if we behave like this then what will happen. Remember the story we read about those other children that were fighting? So you take the reference away from the fighting that is happening over here, and place it in the reference of the story that you were reading, then you are applying the Word to them.
It is God applying the wisdom, not you who are frazzled by the end of the day having gone from one difficulty to the next, you need to call on God to help you with this one. You will have got that Word, because you would have read The Word to the children that morning and you would have prayed with them. If you don’t, well then you are going to have a difficult day. I am not professing anything, it is just fact. When you don’t rely on Him you have to rely on yourself and the flesh is weak and now you are going to have to sort out this problem in your flesh. Instead you can sort it out in His Spirit, and there is strength, joy, word and support and it is no longer your problem.
Think of those little children going through difficulties, sitting with them and telling them a story, that is a blessing to you, it is as if there is sweetness in that, isn’t there? It is not you trying to be the fix the problem person. It is just you sitting down and reading them a story or praying with them.
I have not run an orphanage and so I don’t fully understand the bigness or greatness of it all,that is why I started today with a heaviness in my heart, not knowing how to encourage you and support you and help you carry on even though there are mountains to climb. I cant identify with what you have to handle, but I can identify with God’s heart and what He wants those children to experience. I know He is very grateful for you loving them.
Just a small testimony from our family that is only a drop but I do want to share it with you. When we started something and the chatter began “No, I wanted to use that colour” “No I had that first” and so on, I would not get involved. I would quietly get up and start to leave the room and I would say, “I need to leave now because God has asked me not to keep the company of fools, and this behaviour is foolish behaviour,” we did speak about not behaving in this way as it brings strife and we must not be a part of that (not the specific words but you get the meaning) Then it would stop instantly. They would stop what they were doing because I had brought a reference of God. He is not pleased with what is going on here, so I am separating myself from it, I need to go and pray, I need to go to God and ask Him how to deal with the strife that is here.
What would happen is that it would stop?
It became so that when there was strife and disagreement, all I did was start to leave the room and they would go “Oh no, don’t go” “Shhhh lets pray now, we will be good, let’s pray, let’s pray now” So you see, that is the truth, it wasn’t me or my wisdom, it was because I told them that God doesn’t like what is happening here and I must go and ask Him what to do. He likes peace in the home and this is not peace. We want a home of peace and joy.
You really can have Heaven in your orphanage an atmosphere of heaven. Because the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to the children, it is in the hearts of the little children. You can have this environment of joy and peace, when you bring His word in, when you sit and pray and operate according to His Word. It can look like that, I have seen it happen and know that it is possible. I know that it is what God wants, He knows you can’t achieve it on your own, so He will help you. With His Word.
To have this environment of peace and joy and help in your orphanage the next sep is KONOS.