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From this issue of News Update:
April 14 is Global 4/14 Day. On that day many churches, pastors and missionaries participate in a day of prayer and fasting for children in “the 4/14 Window”.
For many years, we have heard about and also set our focus on “the 10/40 Window” which referenced a geographic frame. When Christian missionary strategist Luis Bush, who also coined the term “10/40 Window”, wrote a pamphlet entitled “The 10/40 Window: Getting to the Core of the Core”, a new missional focus was set which got more church leaders attention. Nowadays, it becomes a global Christian mission movement focused on evangelizing children between the ages of 4 and 14 years old.
“The 4/14 Window” describes a demographic frame – a life season comprising the ten years between the ages of 4 and 14. It encourages the churches, missionaries and mission organizations to consider the strategic importance and potential of the 1.2 billion children and youth.
In the US, 71% of Christians converted before the age of 14 (according to a study conducted in 1995-96 survey commissioned by the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary). Similar findings can also be found around the world. As Dan Brewster (a director of World Vision) mentioned, “the 10/40 Window” is a vital Christian mission opportunity developed in the 20th century and “the 4/14 Window” is a Christian mission opportunity in the 21st century which may be just as important. He also argued that “The poor and exploited tend to be much more receptive to the Gospel” and that children and young people should be targeted in areas where disease, poverty and conflict have disrupted their lives.
By God’s grace, I have served in Ghana six times through CIM (Canada) short term mission trips (2008-2015) with my church’s brothers and sisters. I see the opportunity of “the 4/14 Window” in Ghana and also witness how CIM (Canada) is a blessing among their kids and youth.
I still remember the first time I served in Ghana in May 2008. The local church leaders asked our STM team to run a VBS for a week among their kids in their community. Our team only had eight members but 500 kids showed up at the VBS!!! It was quite a challenge to all of us. However, we didn’t give up and learned to serve by faith and His strength.
In 2009, I went back to Ghana again and served in another VBS with 7 teammates. Based on the previous experience, this time we asked the local church to accept 200 kids only. However, when we arrived, 350 kids showed up! An important lesson to keep learning: always be flexible in the STM trip!
As I am writing this newsletter, my church is going to send another STM team to Ghana through CIM (Canada) this coming May. When the team arrives at Ghana, a local Christian will join in and serve with them. He is one of the students that we led discipleship training among them in 2008 and 2009. Praise the LORD for His work and teamwork among us!
“Because of Your adversaries,
You have established a stronghold
from the mouths of children and nursing infants
to silence the enemy and the avenger.” – Psalm 8:2 (HCSB)
Rev. Xavier Law
Chairman of CIM (Canada)