The Faith of a Child

Changing their world through prayer


_“Teacher, I think this prayer thing really works!” said a once-skeptical Korean student three days into Spiritual Emphasis Week at Alliance Academy International in Quito, Ecuador.

A team led by children’s minister Irma Chon from Cornerstone Christian Fellowship (C&MA) in Hilliard, Ohio, guided students and teachers on an amazing spiritual journey. First, we learned how to prepare our hearts for prayer. As the children began asking God to “get rid of the junk” in their lives, many realized how sinful their young hearts were. More than 30 children as well as one visiting parent prayed to accept Christ. Their tears and smiles proved the sincerity of their decisions. A boy who accepted Jesus said he felt so different inside that he wanted to jump, and he proceeded to hop down the hall!


This Korean first grader, however, wrestled with the decision for most of the week. The team from Ohio joined me and my prayer supporters in the United States in interceding for him. At one point, he could not do his schoolwork because this decision was all he could think about. I told him he could go to a quiet corner of the classroom to ask God what he should do.

Finally, he said he was ready. We walked with the rest of the class to the music room. He stood at the door and asked, “It’s my choice?” “Yes,” I said. “You can go to music class if you would rather.” But he said he wanted to pray.

One of the Ohio team members and I had the privilege of sitting with him as he started praying by himself in Korean and then switched to English. This boy had never prayed out loud at school before, but what came out of his mouth was amazing and deep. He started by saying, “Dear God, I like you a lot.” He prayed that God would take away his sins and forgive him, and he prayed for Korea and thanked Jesus for dying on the cross. He said that he knew he was going to see angels in heaven one day.

We sat in quiet amazement at this child whom we thought didn’t understand much of the message because it was in English. Since that day, he has been a different boy. The transformation is so obvious that his parents came to school to thank me. I had the privilege of explaining to them that it is Christ who has made the difference in their son.


During the week our children learned the steps for powerful prayers, including dying to self and being filled with the Holy Spirit. As a result, one class was impressed to pray for a mission hospital next to the school that was undergoing a serious labor dispute. The students put their small hands on the wall that divides the school and the hospital. Full of faith and sincerity, they asked God to bless the doctors and nurses and to heal the patients there. Then they asked God to continue to help them come to know Him and to stop Satan from destroying the hospital. None of the class knew that at that very moment an important meeting was taking place to try to settle the disagreement! The children’s prayers were short and simple, but God answered them and the ministry of the hospital has been uninterrupted.

Another day one of our kindergarten teachers went to the hospital with a variety of scary symptoms and was kept overnight. The doctors were baffled, and one medication after another did nothing to help. That morning her students prayed aloud for her. Most of these children have limited English, but their short and simple prayers were sweet to hear. At lunch time several adults went to the hospital to pray. When they arrived, she reported that her fever and the other symptoms were gone. Her husband is a national pastor here in Ecuador and had recently been teaching his church about intercessory prayer. What a blessing it was for little children to lead the prayers in the healing of his wife!


The final day of Spiritual Emphasis Week was just as amazing as each of the previous days. All week the children worked on posters as they prayed for countries and people groups around the world. On Friday the posters were hung around the chapel. The chairs were removed, and we laid down a huge floorsized map of the world.

The children were invited to go to the posters and the countries on the map and pray for the needs there. The children were brokenhearted as they prayed for war-torn countries, children with AIDS and the poor. A large wooden cross in the corner became a place where tears flowed freely as the children prayed for their family members.

The climax came when the children were asked to come to the microphone and pray for their native countries in their own languages—Korean, Japanese, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, English and more. We witnessed a taste of heaven as we were reminded that someday the young and old from every tribe and nation will worship our Lord around His throne.

Many times during the week, the adults at the academy were humbled as God reminded us of Jesus’ words in Matthew 18:3–4, “‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’”

God is working in the students at Alliance Academy International! They have just begun to learn how to pray, and there are still some spiritual battles to be won. Will you join us in praying that God will win the victory in the lives of these children and their families?

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