Harvest Kidz workers had a wonderful time of refreshing and learning at the recent R Conference.
The R conference saw 178 children church workers gathering in City Harvest Church’s Jurong West campus, on May 10, for a day of learning, and also to be refreshed in the Holy Spirit. Organized by Harvest Kidz, CHC’s children’s church, the conference attracted participants from different countries like China, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.
The one-day affair served as a platform for workers to learn the essential skills of working with children and at the same time to draw revelations from God. When it comes to learning, age is obviously not a factor. The attendees ranged from teenagers to seniors over 70. They were all united by their interest in the welfare and development of children.
“The ‘R’ in the R Conference stands for rain,” explained Eileen Toh, pastor of Harvest Kidz. “It signifies the rain of the Holy Spirit that will fall upon us at the conference.”
In her opening message, Toh shared her vision for the attendees that they would be prepared to impact the next generation through the R Conference. She encouraged the attendees to retreat into the presence of the Holy Spirit and be refreshed. This would help charge them up for the work ahead.
To create an atmosphere of rain, a video of raindrops falling played in the background. School of Theology student Jin An Hui, who is in her early 30s, said that it helped her to feel the Holy Spirit like the rainfall.
IMPACTING THE NEXT GENERATION
Patricia Koh, the renowned founder of Pat’s Schoolhouse who has since sold her franchise and now works with Maple Bear Preschool, was the second speaker of the day. She has done extensive research on early childhood in Australia and UK and has served as Head of Childhood Education Department at Singapore’s National Institute of Education. Koh encouraged the attendees to handle children with an open heart. She said that children can teach adults things in the most natural and creative way. She encouraged attendees to pay attention to the children and learn from them; only then can they teach the children. She also encouraged them to teach with a positive attitude and use only positive words of encouragement.
A Harvest Kidz volunteer in her mid-20s, Lynnette Sim, said after Koh’s session that she learned how not to treat children with threats or any form of negative words because children would learn such behavior. Instead, it was key to use appropriate words on children.
Shirley Yeo, 75, the supervisor of CHC Nursery was impressed with Koh’s session, particularly Koh’s quote: “We don’t need to mold our children to be like us; we need to be more like them.” Koh had referred to Matthew 18:2-6, where Jesus taught his followers to be childlike in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
NUTS & BOLTS OF TEACHING KIDS
In her workshop “Managing Challenging Behavior”, Lynn Tan, a pastor in Harvest Kidz, talked about how before the workers can effectively manage challenging behavior, they need to understand what challenging behavior is, as well as why children present such behavior. Tan also gave the attendees a mental checklist that helps teachers respond to challenging behaviors they may encounter.
Another workshop, “The Art of Teaching”, by Connie Yong, one of the founding members of Harvest Kidz, was impressively passionate. Many of the pointers Yong gave sound simple but require much practice. Among Yong’s many Yoda-like sayings were: “teaching is to help one to learn”, “teaching is being”, and “teaching is the way we are experienced”.
The final session with Choong Tsih-Ming, a pastor in CHC, on the topic of revival, saw an outpouring of the Holy Spirit among the attendees. Many fell under the power of God while others burst out in holy laughter.
Cindy Olivia, a School of Theology student in her late 30s, felt deeply blessed by the conference. Hailing from Jakarta, Olivia felt the urgency to minister to young children and impart spirituality. She felt that the conference gave her practical knowledge on how to teach young children and she looks forward to more such conferences.