Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Kindergarten of Christ

Daily Telegraph, London
Kindergarten of Christ
Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 18/11/2006Page 1 of 14

The American evangelical organisation Kids in Ministry trains children as young as five in the gifts of healing, prophecy and speaking in tongues. Mick Brown attended its Extreme Prophetic Conference in Missouri

Audio: interview with Mick Brown

Sound & vision: Christ camp

At 9pm – a time when most of the children might have been expected to be in bed – the atmosphere in the Christ Triumphant Church was approaching fever-pitch. On stage, a teenage Christian rock band called Signs and Wonders was playing something sweet and exultantly hypnotic.

Keep the faith: children as young as five are trained to use their 'gifts'

Some of the children were dancing, their bodies writhing and twisting, their arms flailing in the air, perspiration on their foreheads. Some had fallen to the ground, 'slain in the spirit', as the phrase has it, and were now crouching and kneeling in prayer, while the grown-ups moved among them laying on hands, some speaking in tongues.

Ruth, who is eight years old, was sobbing quietly. Earlier that day she had been one of those to come forward during the 'prophetic dance' session, when Pastor Becky Fischer asked if anybody had heard the word of God and had something to impart.

Ruth had stood up and addressed the gathering of perhaps 150 children and half as many adults, seated in neat, attentive rows: 'Is there a boy in here named Alex, and a girl in here named Abi?' Two children had risen in different parts of the room.

Ruth had addressed each of them in a clear, unwavering voice. 'I saw, like, Abigail was going to bring people back to Jesus in China. And you, Alex, I saw that you were going to be a missionary in India.'

Afterwards, I had asked Ruth what made her say these things. 'When I was dancing,' she said, 'I just heard "Abigail and Alex, Abigail and Alex" come into my mind. And then a voice told me they were going to be missionaries.' She had never met Abigail and Alex before.

And where did she think the voice came from? Ruth looked at me, as if to say, isn't it obvious? 'God,' she said.

The numberplates on the cars and camper-vans parked outside the Christ Triumphant Church in Lee's Summit, Missouri, suggested that some families had travelled hundreds of miles to attend what was billed as 'The Extreme Prophetic Conference for Kids'.

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