Grant Helps Take First UMC Denton Ministry Global

Child playing

Godly Play is a Bible-based curriculum that allows the children to hear a Bible story, see the story, create things that illustrate the story and re-enact the story using three-dimensional materials from a story box.

Peace With Justice funding from CMO expands children’s ministry training in Russia

Spreading the Word in Russia has received some help. Thanks to the Center for Mission Outreach, Marfa Ministry has received a Peace with Justice Grant.

Marfa Ministry, founded FUMC Denton member Janet Fisher, has had a relationship with the Methodist churches in Russia since 2002. Initially, it was the goal of Marfa Ministry to help the churches become self-sufficient. As that goal was achieved, the emphasis changed to outreach.

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God’s plan was beginning to take shape. Vladislava, Pastor Dmitri Nokikov's wife at The United Methodist Church in Saratov, Russia, wanted to start Children’s Sunday School. At the same time,  Brandi Southwell, the children’s director at First UMC Denton, expressed her desire to go to Russia. Plans were made to train Vladislava in Godly Play. After a successful start for Children’s Sunday School, other churches began noticing what was going on and they, too, wanted to be trained. 

Plans are now underway to train others. The international trainer for Godly Play will be the instructor, and the training will take place at the Moscow Theological Seminary of the Methodist Church. To facilitate the planning, letters were sent to the Russian District Superintendents asking how many people they would send to this training? The answer came: 60 … more than double the 25 that can be accommodated! Methodists in Russia want to do more to help their children learn about the Word.

At a gathering of members of The United Methodist Church in Samara, Russia, Dennis Fisher, a longtime First UMC Denton member, shared that this training is in the planning stages. Their responses were, “Praise God! Hallelujah! This is an answer to prayer!”

The Saratov church has had 24 Godly Play kits since September 2017. One 6–year-old boy knows all the stories! The children enjoy participating in this hands-on curriculum.  When it is time to leave worship and go to the Sunday school room, the children eagerly line up at the front of the sanctuary as the pastor prays for them.

Just think … Saratov multiplied by 25. One can only imagine how many children this will reach. Hopefully, it is unending!

Thanks to the Center for Missional Outreach for this grant. Marfa Ministry is hoping to pay for room and board for the 25 participants and transportation costs of our eight partners. A Peace for Justice Grant will help make this possible.

Published: Thursday, February 14, 2019