Our hopes lie in the next generation. In most developing countries over 70% of the population comprises of those under the age of 18. This majority if educated in the values of Christian character development, Siloam believes would start to make a positive difference by eventually transforming the whole society of those developing nations.
The programme is used by our partners Childcare Worldwide, in Peru, Kenya, Uganda, India but also by some of Siloam’ partners where the programme can be taught on either Saturdays or after school as an extra curriculum programme.
For instance, in Kenya almost everything requires a bribe and it is reckoned that the average Kenyan family has to pay 16 bribes a month just to live a normal life! How would we survive if we had to pay a bribe in order to see a doctor or to have something delivered? The problem is so endemic in Kenya that it has become part of the national psychology!
The concept of Christian character development is a key to changing the prevailing mind-set and it has already made significant impact on the lives of children like Edwin Maina with his Bible. Edwin was formerly known as a class bully but after attending the C.C.D. programme, he was literally transformed and his life turned around. When he first began attending the extra curriculum classes, he was extremely sceptical as he was with everything else in his life but he soon began to realise that he lacked the Christian character traits that were being taught. Suddenly, it dawned on him what he was missing out on and he became very interested and actually started practising what he had learned not just at school but also at home. Edwin’s life started to change and everyone began to notice. He soon became more obedient in school and more forgiving with his peers. He began to take his life seriously and his studies improved and eventually he was appointed head boy. This was the highest position of pupil leadership in his school.
The C.C.D. programme operates slightly different in each country to fit the national needs and embrace what opportunities are available.
The C.C.D. programme uses scripture memory verses, skits and dramas, stories from the Bible and illustrations from everyday life which act as examples of the various Christian character traits that need to be absorbed into an individual’s life. The national illustrations are very important and were highlighted when Siloam UK Director Richard Norton visited India during a field visit. In Richard’s hotel that morning, he received a free copy of the Hindu newspaper as all guests received. In the letters to the Editor column, there was a write-up about a rickshaw driver who it was reported had collected a female student from a bus stop and taken her to her college. Later during the morning, the rickshaw driver realised that the student had left behind in his rickshaw, a laptop computer in a carrying case. Unlike some rickshaw drivers, who are not known for their honesty, this rickshaw driver travelled back to the school and handed over the laptop computer in its case to the Principal. The girl student was incredibly appreciative and grateful for the safe return of her laptop as she had almost resigned herself to its complete loss. On top of that, the Police who were also informed were so impressed with the rickshaw driver’s honesty, that they called him in and gave him a special financial reward and a citation commending him for his honest deed.
Richard Norton was able to relay this newspaper account to great effect, to the children at the Life Centre because it was relevant to Indian society.
Illustrations are very important but they need to be in the correct culture setting. While in the west, we would all understand and appreciate the story about the honesty of George Washington who admitted that he had cut down his father’s favourite cherry tree when asked about it. We know that later he became the first President of the United States of America. But, many children living in Africa or Peru may not have heard of George Washington so the story may not be so culturally relevant to them.
From a personal perspective, I remember meeting up with my Uncle Gordon who is now in his 80s when I visited him in Vancouver, Canada a few years ago. Uncle Gordon recounted a story which obviously had a great impression upon him as a small boy. He remembers finding at home a foreign coin similar to a sixpence. So, when he was out one day, he thought he would try his luck in a vending machine which sold chocolate.
The coin worked, and he was ‘rewarded’ with a bar of chocolate. However, later when the shopkeeper opened his vending machine, he discovered the coin and he believed it was my Uncle Gordon that tried to fraudulently use it instead of a sixpence. The shopkeeper contacted my grandfather who was also a Christian businessman running a bicycle shop nearby and told him about the incident. My grandfather was extremely upset and hurt that his son would do such a thing as he had always been taught honesty in his Christian upbringing. My grandfather held my Uncle Gordon by the collar and frog marched him back to his workshop. He then took the coin and placed it in a vice in his workshop and began hitting it with a hammer to make it unsuitable for such a use again.
Uncle Gordon recounts well the pain that my grandfather expressed realising that his son had done such a dishonest act which had brought shame on the family for not teaching his son to be honest. This episode in my Uncle Gordon’s life obviously left a great impression upon him because he told the story to me when he was in his 80s. He said he learned a great lesson at that time and as he was not physically punished, the lesson that he learned obviously changed his future attitude about being honest and truthful. Because he observed how his thoughtless action has caused such pain in others.
It is hoped also in the near future to be able to make the lessons that we have available on a special website that can be downloaded in English anywhere in the world and used to reach youngsters and so eventually transform their societies that are currently lacking in honesty. This programme is constantly under review for improvement and contributors can help by making the programme available free of charge as a tool for reaching young people with the gospel and encouraging the current generation of youngsters to embrace Christian
character attributes for the benefit of future society.
You can contribute by designating your gift to project: 090 – Siloam’s Christian character development programme or you can also contribute for the Life Centres on a regular basis by becoming a Life Centre Advocate – project: 018 and entering into a regular commitment to help provide for their modest expenses. If you would like to have a Bank Mandate Standing Order to help you with this commitment, please download one from our website.
Our Christian Character Development Programme takes place as an extra curriculum activity after school. Committed Christian teachers impart Christ-like character traits and attributes at the end of the school day.
Want to make a donation by bank transfer?
We would welcome larger donations by bank transfer to save PayPal fees. To make a donation, please log onto your bank online or call them and use the following details to make a payment:
Siloam Christian Ministries, Account Number: 00932329, Sort code: 60-12-35
Bank Address: NatWest, 59 The Parade, Leamington Spa CV32 4ZX. Please Quote Reference: Project: 090, your Initials and Surname
Edwin Maina was formerly regarded as a school bully. He abused other children physically and verbally and he was wild and reckless in his attitude. Edwin never listened to his teachers and was totally unconcerned about his future prospects.
After being in a few of the Christian character development sessions, his life changed and he became totally a ‘new boy’ embracing obedience to his teachers, and being forgiving and loving to his peers. He eventually became the head boy. Edwin’s aspirations are to become a pastor so he can tell more people about his Christian character development experience and share his new found faith in Jesus Christ.
Children reading the lessons and listening to the life centre teacher in Peru.Siloam’s Christian character development programme (C.C.D.) takes place as an extra curriculum activity after school. Committed Christian teachers impart Christ-like character traits and attributes at the end of the school day. In many cases, the children also attend to have help and tuition for their regular homework.
Children who attend the CCD programme were presented with the Holy Bible in India.
Children in India holding the Bible memory verse cards.
The Christian character attributes which Siloam endeavours to pass on to youngsters in their formative years include the following:
Children holding up the Bible memory verse cards and drawings.