A Message from the Founder
Where did it all begin?
First was our connection with Engineering Ministries International which designs buildings for faith based organizations in Third World countries. In 2006, James Sellards was going to Nicaragua to help design some missionary housing and I was invited along to help teach English to kids at the church. Near the end of the 2 weeks, we took a side trip up the river to a poverty stricken village called Haulover. This was where the Lord laid it on my heart that we were to return and help this community with training and a Vacation Bible School for their children. My friends joined me and that was the very meager beginnings of Fifty5five.
As EMI continued to build churches throughout the world, they began getting calls asking if they knew anyone who could help set up Children’s Ministries. The number of kids attending their churches was increasing and they really had no idea how to meet their needs. Case in point would be India Christian Ministries. The Lord had given the Rebbavarupa family the vision to train pastors and plant the state of Andhra Pradesh (population 76 million) with small churches. As they succeeded with their program, squads of kids would show up at each new church and no one really knew how to effectively meet their needs. There was no program for children! James Rebbavarupa kept it in constant prayer but the Lord told him to stay focused on training pastors and planting churches - He would take care of the rest. All this was going on about the time I was on that first trip to Nicaragua and little did we know that we would be the answer to James’ prayers!
Requests for our services began coming in and in 2007 we applied for our non-profit status while a core group of us put together a training program based on our many years of experience in the classroom.
Our program began taking shape as we provided training in creative storytelling and games and crafts designed to reinforce the lessons. We delved into the types of personalities children have, the way they learn, age appropriate teaching and Godly ways to discipline the kids.
Following the training we gave our new ‘graduates’ on the job training during Vacation Bible School in nearby villages. This has become the model we have used this last ten years as we have traveled to many areas of India, Nicaragua, Cambodia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Malawi, Tanzania, and the Dominican Republic.
In addition, we have been able to train a core of teachers in India, Kenya and Ethiopia who have now taken on the work of training their own people in their area. The training by nationals is most effective and frees us up to move on to new areas of the world.
It’s very rewarding to know that the ordinary things each member of our team has learned ‘on the job’ while serving in our local churches have become the basis for training Children’s Ministry workers throughout the world. We feel very honored to be called to serve in this way and we invite you to be a part of this growing ministry.
Please pray about how the Lord might call you to help us minister to these teachers and children.
To volunteer for a trip visit our 'Get Involved' page for more details.
To support us financially visit our donate page for information on how to contribute.
To help prepare crafts and classroom materials to be donated overseas, please contact us at email@example.com
Above all else, please continue to pray that the Lord would make our paths straight and many would come to know His saving grace.