There is an unreached people group in Nashville that only gets bad press in the local news: the families living in the projects of East Nashville. Even churches are afraid of doing evangelism there, as no one had been going until members of our team set out to love especially the children and tell them about how to be saved, something most of them had never even heard of before.
How absolutely thrilling and humbling that God would let us go into this high crime district of domestic violence and drugs to light the way weekly with Bible verses, Bible stories, books, Bibles and tracts for the kids to offer them new hope. We play games with them, teach them songs from Child Evangelism, play live music for them with other songwriters and musicians in Nashville, and tell them how to be saved according to the Bible and have a relationship with God as their Father through Jesus.
These sweet kids run up and greet us with hugs when they see us coming every Wednesday. They love the songs we are teaching them like “Did You Ever Talk to God Above?”, “This Little Light of Mine” and “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus.” They all clap and sing along and have learned the right answers about whether or not Jesus is God and how to have a relationship with Jesus as their Savior and Friend through being born again into God’s family. The Gospel is truly a light in the midst of darkness there in these rough projects.
At the close of one of our times together, an intoxicated parent was passing by one of the little boys there with us and began cursing at him. It was truly like night and day after all we had shared from the Bible about God’s pure love. When I asked one little girl to give an example of a “sin,” after just teaching her the meaning of the word, she said, “Shootin’ somebody?” I answered, “Yes, shooting somebody would be a sin.” They are raised in a whole other world from what most of us have known.
Lighting the Way Worldwide has an outreach of evangelism to these children in the projects of East Nashville. In this area known for its shootings, telling these little kids who are being raised there about Jesus is no doubt close to God’s heart. When we first began telling the kids how to be saved and who Jesus is and why He came to die, it was like we were off somewhere in the outer regions of Africa, as the kids could not answer even the most basic questions about Jesus. As we returned week after week, the children really began to understand and respond. Publix donates food, and I plan to speak with Walmart about a donation pertaining to basic needs of the kids like school supplies. Thank you for your prayers and donations to make this outreach possible and to keep it going.
We work with accomplished musicians in Nashville who bring their instruments for the kids to even get to strum a mandolin, guitar or banjo for the first time. Slowly we have begun to get to know the parents as an evangelistic outreach to them also. Especially the single mothers have been receptive as we continue to give the children materials to take home for their parents to read to them, which also lets the parents know more about Jesus, too.
We began doing one “Bible Club” program in the area of their main playground, which grew in number week after week as the kids would gather and word began to spread. When we then saw children playing outside afterwards in a whole other section of the projects, we felt led to repeat the program there for another club. We do two programs in different areas, back to back on Wednesdays beginning at 4:30, so as to reach as many kids with the Gospel who live in these projects as possible.
“Let the little children come to Me… for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14
“Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called the children of God.” 1 John 3:1