Outreach From Neighborhood to Nations
Go into the world and preach the good news to all creation - Mark 16:15
Discipleship with Technology (XO-Laptop Project):
As Christians, God has given us a privilege and a duty while we are on this earth. Our privilege is the fact that those of us that accepted the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the penalty paid for our sins have earned the right to be called children of God (John 1:12).. Our duty is to bring others to his Kingdom so they too can be called children of God and become disciples of Jesus Christ (Mathew 28:19). How we go about witnessing to others and making disciples can take many forms, but its goal is to make Jesus known to others. One approach Ethiopian Evangelical Church in Minnesota is using to spread the gospel and make disciples is using technology and digital medium. With the help of a laptop called XO that is designed for children, our ministry uses this laptop as a tool to attracts children’s attention and draw them near the person that can teach them about God’s redemptive plan. The lessons being thought using the XO laptop have a spiritual and mental component. We have termed these lessons the 5C’s (Christ Centered teaching, Critical thinking, Communication, Collaboration and Creativity). The XO laptop is unique in that it is designed by experts from academia and industry to combine innovations in technology and learning and at the same time be child friendly and fun. The laptop is durable, functional, energy-efficient, responsive, weathers extreme environmental conditions such as high heat and humidity and supports easy field repair.
The XO laptop addresses the Christ Centered teaching in the 5C’s by providing the Jesus film for children in the local language the children speak. In addition to the Jesus film, other relevant Christian content can be uploaded. The critical thinking aspect of the 5C’s is addressed by using activities on the laptop that teaches children basic computer coding skills. For those that God has gifted in this area, this will open a world of possibilities that can build on as their education advances. The communication aspect of the 5C is addressed through the ability of the laptop to become an e-reader where the child can now access hundreds of e- books to read. By introducing a server called RACHEL, entire educational curriculums are now at the fingertips of the children and their teachers. The Collaboration aspect of the 5C is accomplished when the children huddle together to work on a problem or use the ability of each laptops to talk to each other so children can work on the same project together from multiple XO laptops. The Creativity aspect of the 5C's is accomplished with the various musical and art activities that are present as well as children friendly games available on the laptop . These activities will keep the children interest and engages their curious and inquisitive minds. This holistic approach of engaging children will allow their Christian mentor that owns the laptop to have more time with the children since the various activities will draw the children to him or her. Another important aspect is that as we reach children, we will also be reaching their parents, teachers and care takers since the children will be sharing with them what they have been doing with the laptop.
As part of our command to make disciples of all nations, this ministry accomplishes this mandate by training youth Christians leaders and equipping them with this laptop so they can reach children in their neighborhood with the message of Jesus Christ. The leaders will receive a three-day training on how to use the XO laptop to reach children and their community. In addition, centers will be established in churches where any child that wants to use the XO laptop can come to this center where they will be able to meet a mentor that owns a laptop which they can use. The mentor will then use this opportunity to tell the children about Christ and invite them to other church related activities since they are now on-site. It is this ministry belief that the 5C’s will help the children discover their identity in Christ and discover their God given talent as they explore their interest using the educational activities provided in the laptop. This ministry also plans to work with elementary and secondary school administrators by highlighting the need to introduce technology early in their education curriculum to prepare them for the jobs of 21st century. The ministry will use these types of opportunities to advance the Kingdom of God. God has called every Christian to be salt and light (Mathew 5:16). Non-Christians need to see the light within us that emanates from our relationship with Jesus Christ in what we say and do. They need to see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven. To this end, this ministry will make every effort to reach children early in their development so they can have a relationship with Jesus Christ at a young age. Research has shown that those that have received a saving faith early in their childhood have a higher percentage to remain disciples within the church once they become adults.