Let the Little Children Come to Me
My name is Irene Sarudzai Chiketa, and I am called by God to be a Children’s Minister. I am blessed to be studying the Bible to be equipped as a children’s minister at the Christian Leaders Institute (Learn more about online Bible courses, Click Here). I am happily married to Christian Chiketa for twenty-three years. We have two children aged twenty-one and nineteen.
Early Life and Conversion
Born in 1975, I am the firstborn in a family of five girls. I was not raised in a Christian family. However, from a tender age, I yearned to be part of a church. I would preach to my dolls. God responded to this desire by bringing Yvonne Moore into my life. She offered to take me to church. Then, I did the New Believer’s course, “The Cork Group,” which she conducted at the Hillside Methodist Church in Bulawayo. Being excited, I invited my friend to join Yvonne and me on Sundays. Before long, I had invited other friends from school who also stayed in the neighborhood. Therefore, Yvonne had the task of ferrying five little girls to the church without their parents.
From then on, my relationship with God began. I always looked enviously at other families who attended church together, while I was always with Yvonne and my friends. My prayer was that my parents would meet God and accept Him. Then the quarreling and the constant conflict between them could stop, and we would be a happy family. My parents and siblings did, however, come to church to support me when I took part in Easter and Christmas plays. They would come and witness these events but never take part.
Gradually, they all began coming to church, though quite sporadically. Later, my father accepted Jesus Christ into his life when he was ill before he died. We could all attend church together as a family, even though this happened when I was in college. We even prayed and fasted together, something which other people take for granted. This was a dream come true, and a prayer answered.
Calling to Ministry: Children’s Minister
After graduating from high school, I wanted to study Art or Law. My parents made an executive decision, and I ended up training to be a teacher because it was a “safe profession.” Then, I met my husband. The year I graduated, we married. Two years into our marriage, God blessed us with our son. The difficult pregnancy and the constant threat of miscarriage strengthened our dependency on God. We grew spiritually, and our son’s birth was a living testimony of God answering our prayers. Our desire as a couple was to attend a church where our children would receive foundational lessons about Jesus Christ. This had us praying and fasting. In response, my husband was promoted, and we moved to Harare.
We started attending a new church where I was offered a position as a Sunday School helper. I then trained to be a Sunday school teacher. I was in my element. As a teenager, I volunteered as a helper in Sunday School. I enjoyed playing with the toddlers and was not intimidated by their tantrums. Being the firstborn, I was always babysitting my siblings. So Sunday School was and still is phenomenal! I grew spiritually as I prepared for the lessons. The weekly memory verse recitation we did with the children helped encapsulate and imprint the Word of God in my heart also.
Children’s Minister Call
As a Sunday school teacher, I discovered how much I enjoyed spending time with children. Their honest, innocent, and candid responses helped me soul search about my relationship with God. The camps and Easter and Christmas plays not only fanned the burning desire I had for the Lord but made me realize how important it is for children to know God. God ceases to be a theoretical concept and becomes a true friend to the children.
I also realized that children did not consistently come to Sunday School. Like other church members, their parents perceived Sunday school as a babysitting service while they did serious stuff in church. This perception was held by other members of the church who were unwilling to help with the Sunday School. The result is that there are a few teachers who faithfully teach in the Sunday School. Therefore, almost every Sunday of the year, I would be in Sunday School. So when someone invited me to Bible Study Fellowship, God responded yet again to my prayers.
I was overjoyed because now I would not miss out on the teaching of God’s Word. Before long, my children also joined Bible Study Fellowship. The lively discussions with my children made my husband feel he was missing out. So, he promptly also joined Bible Study Fellowship. As usual, I could not keep it to myself. I invited my church mates, friends, relatives, work colleagues, siblings, and mum to Bible Study Fellowship.
This was just as I had done as a little grade six child back in 1986. Then, I realized that someone, who was as dedicated to bringing Christ to broken young children like me, introduced me to God. My life changed because Yvonne Moore responded to the call to go out and make disciples of all nations. From an unhappy home saturated with conflict and heartache, I met Jesus Christ because of Yvonne. Now, I also have a role to play in the lives of these lost children.
One of my friends, whom I had introduced to Bible Study Fellowship, migrated to South Africa and introduced me to Christian Leaders Institute because she knew the passion I have to study the word of God.
I enjoy writing daily devotionals that I share periodically with friends. I pray that these will see the light of day in the form of a printed book one day. Since 2006, I have served the Lord as a Deacon. I have also served as a Sunday School teacher. In addition, I enjoy studying the scriptures. Further, I dream of opening a Christian school and sanctuary for the numerous street children in my country.
I hold a Diploma in Education, a Bachelor of Technology in Education Management, and a Masters in Business Administration.
I want to study the Bible and all the other courses that will earn me a degree from Christian Leaders Institute and Christian Leaders College.
My goal is to receive formal training from Christian Leaders Institute to confidently open a Christian school here and competently serve the Lord. My passion is bringing children to the Lord. Often, adults are so caught up in their relationship with God that they forget to take their children to God, and, therefore, the children fall prey to the devil. I desire to reach the young as a children’s minister.
I enjoy helping the needy, reading, traveling, and running. I even ran a half marathon. During my early morning runs, I have my quiet time with the Lord.