Fruit from the Field Vine and Branches Ministries (Mexico) by Alex and Dianna Aburto
Our first generation of L.I.T.s is making an impact on the next generation even though we haven't been able to gather as L.I.T. The principles learned in their hearts from L.I.T. are now being shared during quarantine in their homes. Thank God for L.I.T.! Since quarantine, God began to provide for our students to be discipled from home and online. For months, V.B.M. student 7-year-old Iker has developed the habit, along with his family, of having a daily time with God. His older sister Marifer (13) learned the discipline & blessing of a daily time with God when she previously went through our L.I.T. (Leaders In Training) course in 5th-7th grades. During COVID, Marifer and her Mom have diligently worked with the family to establish their daily time with God using V.B.M.'s monthly discipleship booklet and prayer guide to read the Bible, memorize Scripture, and talk with God. His family is steadily growing in the Lord and sharing Jesus with their family and neighbors. Praise God!!!
(Picture: Thirteen-year-old Marifer on our L.I.T. mission trip leading her first person to Christ (left) and is now discipling her siblings, who are now leading their neighbors to Christ.)
The Training Has Changed Our Ministry
Tanya in Western Zambia attended the Empowering The Next Generation Conference. She shared, "The training has changed our ministry. Our ministry is no longer like it was before we were trained. Each time I meet with my kids, I have children who can stand on their own now because of what they have learned and been allowed to do in the church. I have children who pray and intercede for other children. We have children who are becoming leaders who can teach other children."
L.I.T. Taught Me to Be a Leader by Holland Coleman
When I was old enough to join L.I.T., I jumped at the opportunity to do for others what had been done for me. Looking back, the most amazing thing I learned was a degree of ownership that many adults think kids are not ready for. Although we were supervised, when it was time for a Kids Jam (Children's Worship) or Kids Blitz (community outreach), we were responsible for everything. That included transporting our equipment, managing the stage, setting up and tearing down the auditorium, leading worship, all the various performances, teaching, and the invitation. This taught me a great deal about leadership, taking the initiative, and working with others to accomplish something.
Most importantly, my time in L.I.T. taught me that the Gospel is not merely an idea or a story, but that Christ is living and active among His people today, and that if you want to experience intimacy with Christ, the best way to do that is by coming alongside Him and joining in His work. That same sense of fulfillment that I first tasted in L.I.T.—of working toward an eternal purpose—is why I'm currently in seminary today and eager to pursue full-time ministry. (Picture of 5th grade Holland teaching in San Marcos, Texas during 2007, L.I.T. Mission Trip.)
While listening to testimonial videos from western Zambia today, my heart lept for joy. They got it! As I heard the leaders share their stories and what they took away from the conference, it blessed me so much. It has been my dream to develop training that can be duplicated internationally. For the past five years, I have prayed, taught, prayed some more, and fine-tuned our training into what I feel will impact thousands, possibly millions of children. To God be the glory! I praise the Lord for His leadership as He has guided me each step of the way. As He has revealed to me His vision for children, it has been such a blessing to be a part of a ministry that allows me to cast that vision to thousands of leaders who in turn will disciple and empower children around the world. The wonderful thing is that it comes from His leadership handbook—the Bible, God’s Word. I love to explore God’s Word and connect the dots to children and His plans for them. The greater joy is when the eyes of leaders are opened for the first time to the idea that believing children receive the whole package at new birth. It’s not partial salvation; it is complete in Christ. The Holy Spirit who lives in them is not a “baby” Holy Spirit—it is THE HOLY SPIRIT.
L.I.T. Helped Me Fully Understand the Seriousness of Sharing my Faith
From the teachings of L.I.T., I have learned what it means to step up and be a leader. This gained character trait has not only aided me in the mission field but also in my relationships with the people around me. L.I.T. taught me the importance of having a daily quiet time, or time spent reading and listening to God's Word.
L.I.T. helped me fully understand the seriousness of sharing my faith with others and that the mission field does not disappear once we go home. Even as a young adult, these foundations are still a part of who I am, and I continue to use the tools that L.I.T. equipped me with to this day. —Jaydn Elkins, College Freshman (Jayden is 18 years old, and she has participated in fourteen mission trips, eight of which were international).