Received 2/8/01 from Christiansburg, Virginia

We are a Willow Creek Association church in and we will celebrate our 3rd birthday on Easter!! We currently
average 260-270 attenders (including 55-70 children each week). Our children's ministry has been modeled
after Promiseland for all 3 years. We started using the curriculum with your Summer Curriculum and now we have
been thrilled to use the Fall, Winter, and soon Spring curriculum! I am so thrilled we are teaching kids Bible Truth
that is true and relevant to their lives!! I never had that growing up in a traditional church. We are looking forward
to this years conference! There should be 5 of us attending!

 

Received 1/29/01 from Bowling Green, Kentucky

I just had to report what a truly AWESOME day we had yesterday with this assembly in New Generation.  It was certainly
full...we usually only have 20 minutes per assembly, but yesterday we also took the 20 minutes the leaders usually spend in the small group activity...so we were able to do everything in the lesson, both dramas, the Metamorphosis tournament and the quiet time going from table to table.  It was beautiful watching the kids stream to the tables, and then most chose to go to each one.  You could tell they thought about what they were writing, especially at the "I'm sorry for..." table...and to see the papers hanging from the cross, WOW!  Everyone involved was truly moved.

 

Thanks for such great ideas.  We know God was honored, worshipped and praised at Living Hope Baptist Church yesterday.

Received 1/2/01 from Bowling Green, Kentucky

I want to affirm your excitement about the curriculum and to say what a blessing it has been for our team to use it so far this year. 
We have had people "catch the vision" ever since we started in August.  On Sunday, even one of our elders performed the
monologue of the tax collector in the first lesson in the Divin' into Jesus unit in the 3-4-5 assemblies.  And the puppets for K,1-2..
.well, we have a strong puppet ministry and had just the right puppets to fit the parts, so this was great!

Thank you so much and we can't wait to see you all in March!

Received 12/19/00 from San Antonio, Texas

Hi Promiseland!

First Off..We Praise God  for this curriculum!...We spent last year writing our own ..it's tough to do... We survived..(barely) and
we love this curriculum.   Promiseland rocks! Thanks for all the great weekly small and large group tips. 

Received 12/13/00 from Des Moines, Iowa

Hello!

Last Sunday, we finished lesson 13 from the fall quarter by performing Old Testament Rewind for our 3-6th graders. 
The kids (and adults) loved it.  The exciting thing is that the drama team members that performed it ranged in age from 7th to 10th grade. 
They did a fantastic job.  The script was so fun and creative that they really took ownership of it.  Plus I think they learned a lot about
the Old Testament.

We love the promiseland curriculum because it teaches the Bible creatively and yet also focuses on life-application. 
It is impacting many lives in our church.  Thank you!

Received 12/11/00 from Huntsville, Alabama

Our group just finished the "Christmas Forgotten" video lesson. During post teach, large group leader Chip Manning asked
the kids to repeat the day's Bible verse after him. A few of the 50+ "Kids' Cove" children repeated the verse, but one kid,
continued with the entire Christmas story from Luke - verbatim! A hush fell over the entire gym (we meet in a school)
as he recited the words. He reminded me of Linus in "It's Christmas Charlie Brown!" What a great moment!

Received 12/10/00 from Vancouver, British Columbia CANADA

We have just done lesson 2 of the new winter curriculum.  The kids thought the video was great and has really set the atmosphere
for rehearsal this afternoon for the Nativity play for next week, in the evening. We did have one comment  about the Fall presentation:  
The adults, were surprised, but also the children remarked that the actor who played "Moses" didn't look like "Moses". 
They thought he should have long hair, but if he were bald at least he would have a long beard.  (The adults were all thinking of
Charleton Heston so we didn't count their comments) However, this very talented actor, was given great acclaim in the
"rewind video" when he wore tinsel on his head to portray an angel.  There were many comments of  "Did you see Moses as an angel?".
It's amazing how quickly the children visualize these important Bible characters in their mind. That "rewind video" was absolutely fantastic. 
We all laughed children and especially adult volunteers but the message was very clear and will be well remembered.
We particulary liked the "cheer" for the South!!! Well done to actors and producers.   This is such valuable and vital work for God.

Thank you again for this valuable work!

Received 12/4/2000 from Brazil

Hi, my friends,

Some very exciting things happened this weekend and I could hardly wait to tell you. Yesterday we had baptisms in our church
(It is a Baptist Church) and 15 children from Morumbikids were baptized.

Our leadership decided that Juliane (Morumbikids Executive Director) and I should enter the baptistery with the pastors and
the elders to baptize the kids. It was the first time in our church history that women were allowed to do this. It showed us that
our leadership really appreciates our ministry and sees the importance of a Children's Ministry. For about 10 years Children's
Ministry was not considered an important ministry in our church but God changed this completely and we are privileged to be
chosen for Him for this work.   I can not tell you how nervous and touched I was when I baptized our kids, specially because
we know that most of them accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior in Morumbikids when we presented the Salvation Message to
them (Lesson 7 from the curriculum). I can only thank our awesome God for this. What an incredible God we have!!! When
God gives me precious gifts as this one He gave me yesterday, I can see one more time how wonderful is to serve Him and to
be chosen for His work.

God has been so good to us that I can not stop to thank Him. We do so little and He gives us so much but I think it is His way to
teach us the meaning of His Grace.

Received 11/22/00 from Johannesburg, SOUTH AFRICA

In my own church, things are really beginning to heat up. This past weekend saw a huge Promiseland promotion. Our church
entrance area had children's Promiseland banners hung from the ceiling, we had a very visible Promiseland information stand
with all kinds of Promiseland promotional material on it, the Day in Promiseland video was playing so that everyone who entered
the church could see it and so on. I must tell you that 3 months ago, I never thought this possible. I believed that our senior pastor
would never allow this to happen. But . . . it happened!! Isn't God good?! Not only did He allow us to put all this stuff up, but he
has allowed us to keep the Promiseland banners up in the entrance indefinitely!!

He gave the message at two of the five services on Sunday and yeah, you guessed it, his topic was children and the church's
responsibility towards them. He gave a massive push for Promiseland and its need for volunteers! An 11-year old gave his
testimony which included how much he was looking forward to Promiseland next year and how he wanted as many of the
adults to be volunteers as possible so that "Promiseland can be even better than is being planned"! But that's not all . . .

From next year, songs sung in church while the kids are there (about 5 – 10 minutes) will have to be chosen by the worship
teams from a list of 20 – 30 songs chosen by the Promiseland leadership team. This directive came from the senior pastor with
no prompting from me! The first 20 minutes of the adult service every fourth Sunday of the month will be run by Promiseland.

We will be able to get our kids drama team up, have kids giving testimonies, sing kids' songs and generally be kid-focused!
This still is not all . . .

My senior pastor and I will be meeting in about February next year to look at the 2nd quarter material for Promiseland.
Why? He wants to use the themes in the curriculum to preach on to the adults so that the whole church can deal with the same
topic each week. Can you imagine - the children's ministry setting the pace for the whole church!!

I am amazed at how God is working in our planning for next year. Yes, we are still having difficulties but they are certainly
outweighed by the incredible blessings we are receiving. Just the other day we received a donation of three thousand rand
towards Promiseland. I can attribulte this to two things - committed prayer + committed leadership team = accomplishing the vision.

I do not know if we will have enough volunteers to launch Promiseland at its best on Jan 21 next year, but I do know that we
will give it our best shot and we know that God will honour our efforts.

Received 11/16/00

I can't tell you how thankful I am that Promiseland has published its curriculum.  Our program was modeled after Promiseland years
ago after some of our people attended a Promiseland conference.  In those days there wasn't any published curriculum to go along
with the program. Because of this, our people began to write their own curriculum.  Slowly over time, without the proper curriculum
to keep it on track, our program drifted away from its original intent and design. 

When I received the privilege of taking on our Children's Ministry Director position, I had the honor of attending last year's conference
where I learned that Promiseland was about to launch its first year of published curriculum.  I was so excited I could hardly stand it! 
The things I learned and the tools I received from the conference set our ministry on fire for the Lord. 

Because we now have the right tools in our hands to accomplish that which God has called us to we are seeing years of "drifting" falling
by the wayside.  We now have a new mission, values to stand by, and curriculum to help keep us on the right track. 
We are truly blessed to be part of the "Promiseland Family".  THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Received 11/15/00 from Oak Lawn, Illinois

I just got back from our church's vision night and I was given the opportunity to share the vision and mission of our children's
ministries with the whole church.  Only two people shared tonight, our pastor and myself.  This is my second chance at this, last month
the pastor gave me a few minutes to share what's happening and what we are doing with the kids now in our Sunday morning service. 
He is on board and excited about what is happening with the kids in our church.

God has blessed us so much this past year, we have accomplished things that humanly would have been impossible, but with God,
He has once again proven all things are possible.  Our small groups leaders are loving their part of this experience. 
We are up to 55 kids a week and are looking at adding another group soon.

I just received my Promiseland conference info today and it made me think back to where we were last year.
No team, no training, 4 teachers, 20 kids, no vision, no mission, no values, no small groups, no community among
our teachers, boring curriculum, a poor nursery, a preschool class with 3 kids, no security.

And today as I look at our ministry, I'm bursting with thanks to God for all he has done.

We have a weekly team of 15 adults and 6 youth + 50 other volunteers working once every 4-6 weeks, ministering to
60 kids birth -5th grade each week, our own mission statement and values developed by our ministry team, 5 kid small groups,
regular team meeting building community and ownership of what we're doing, great curriculum that the kids love (THANKS!),
a clean and safe nursery where babies are being nutured and loved, a preschool class of 15, and a check-in system- volunteer
application- parent contact system- volunteer interview process.  And most importantly kids lives are being changed for eternity,
kids are being saved, making changes in their lives, and sharing God's love with their friends and families.

YEA GOD!!!!!

This would never have been possible without His faithfulness to us.  And also your faithfulness to God at Willowcreek, your
conference, online help, and contacts I have made with staff members there have been invaluable tools to me in the process
of this transformation.  Thank you so much for your servant hearts, they are helping us reach kids for Christ here.

Received 10/31/00 from Calgary, Alberta CANADA

Thank you for the high quality curriculum coming our way from Promiseland!!!!

We are not having any problems with the curriculum. We really do not have to change anything of significance to see
our ministry flourish.  Boy is that a blessing!!!

Thanks again, God bless as you continue to partner with us in helping kids hear the voice of God speak to them through the
Promiseland curriculum.

Received 10/31/00 from Hiram, Georgia

Just a note to encourage you all. I thought you would like to know that we had 8 first time salvation decisions this last week
on "God's Big Gift" Sunday. Several others checked the commitment card to say that they were
thinking about it. I am so excited to see what God is going to continue to do in the lives of kids and their families.

Received 10/26/00 from St Albert, Alberta CANADA

I am very happy with the age appropriate text of each of your curriculum. I am also a former public school teacher and I have
struggled with finding age appropriate curriculum for our church.  I am pleased to say that I am very pleased with the relevancy
of your programming.  Well Done!  Keep up the good work! 

Received 10/26/00 from Louisville, Kentucky

The curriculum is AWESOME!!!!  I am adapting the K/1 curriculum for my 4 and 5 year olds.  It is really working great. 
I had been writing our curriculum and really hit a creative wall.  It has been great to pick up this curriculum and run with it. 
Our kids are loving the new music.  I can also tell a change in Biblical truths they are grasping weekly.  The Small Group Leaders
are enjoying teaching the material.  The readiness and simplicity of the lessons allow them to feel more empowered as they
facilitate their small group.  The Programming Team is running with the Large Group Teaching manual.  They are excited with the
new and fresh creativity this has brought to our programs.  They thrive off the reactions we are seeing from our kids
every week.  You all have done a great job with this curriculum! 

Just to let you know, the videos are working very well with our kids.  There are times we run short on people and wish to
have a video option. It think it is a great addition to the curriculum boxes.

Thanks for all the time and hard work that has been put into this curriculum.  Willow is blessed to have such talented people. 
You all are an awesome team!  Thanks for being a great example, as well as sharing the things that are working for you.  

Received 10/26/00 from Battlecreek, Michigan

Hi, Everyone,

Want to send a huge THANKS for the awesome material provided for your Salvation Sunday lesson.  You made the gospel
message easily understood with  creative ideas.  I was especially impressed with the small group material for that lesson which
reviewed that salvation message with the kids on a more personal level.

One of the biggest surprises was the Commitment Card.  What an awesome way to allow the kids the freedom to respond to
the message in a non-threatening or peer pressuring way.  I believe it also gave the kids the opportunity to sort out and confirm
the decision they made during large group.  Several kids did indeed state that they wanted more time to think about making a decision. 
We can use that info to help them along during our small group times. We are loving all the lessons.  I appreciate the lesson reviews
at the beginning of each new lesson and the creative ways all the lessons are presented.

Thanks so much for sharing this material with us.  It touches our 'seeker' kids right where they are.  

Received 10/25/00 from Cannon Falls, Minnesota

Promiseland Curriculum Team,

Many thanks for an incredible job! We love Promiseland. It is working well with some adaptation for our church.
We just did lesson 7, salvation message, and had 5 children in our 4-6th grade (we're including 6th grade) make first time
decisions for Christ. That makes it worth doing. We are using the video. We don't have the resources or people to pull it off 'live'.
We are a 5 year-old church and have about 65-70 children in our K-6th grade. We are using 2/3 curriculum for our combined
K-3rd grade. It has been a challenge to adapt the material for our younger kids, but I think it is working. We are hoping to grow into the K/1 curriculum soon. I have found my volunteers love the specific details of what to do, especially in preparing the material for our
small and large group leaders. They enjoy being stepped through exactly how many copies of this, x number of these...... It also
makes filling these positions easier! I know how much work it is to go to such great detail. Thank you. We are very pleased and
plan on continuing to use Promiseland. Keep up the great work!

Received 10/24/00

We absolutely love the Promise Land Curriculum. We are a Three & ½ year old church with about 650 people attending, 60-100 kids.
We are doing the curriculum in small classrooms and making it work as best we can. The videos are awesome. Right now, we
are using them to give our actors and Large Group leaders a little break. Especially around Christmas, when most of our actors
will be in our church Christmas program. The amount of items to be collected and prepared each week is a bit over-whelming at times,
thank God for our volunteers!!

Received 10/23/00 from Lynn Magie in Essix Jct., Vermont

We launched WONDERWORKS on October 1st, and are offering it during all 3 services each Sunday for grades 1-5.
Our newly-created Children's Ministry Team attended the Promiseland Conference last March...which gave us the vision &
courage to make this huge step! After trying a "litmus test version" (using our own material) on Easter Sunday, we got nothing
but green lights... so all through the summer we met regularly ...literally trusting God to fill in the blanks as we went. Amazing things
are happening, as we had 85 volunteers jump in with their various gifts to mobilize the vision and get us off to a good start! God
is truly faithful to His promises!! Because we started on the Fall curriculum "late", we are just now beginning to talk about the
"God of Big Things". He has surely proven this to us as a Team, and we are an excited bunch! Here is one gem from last Sunday:
One of our Sm. Group leaders asked the kids to name one of the first 4 commandments. The reply?......"We shouldn't use God's name in Spain."

Received 10/16/00 from Marc Griffiths in New Zealand

We started the new curriculum last week. It was fantastic! Our kids loved it and were very excited. We had many comments
from parents who told us that their kids came home totally excited and that they had been impacted. So much time and effort
has produced a life changing curriculum.

Received 10/15/00 from Hillside Community Church in Alta Loma, CA

Thanks for a great lesson today ...(The Big Gift...Salvation). We had 51 1st-3rd graders make first time decisions.
The message was presented so clearly and the stations were a great visual. Thanks for sharing with us!

Received 10/5/00 from Pennsylvania

Well we finished the first unit and what a journey?? It has been great and a LOT of work. I attended the conference in March
and knew this was what direction our Children's ministry needed to go. Even though we are in a rural area of northwest PA we
still minister to modern day kids. Our start may have been a little premature (which has caused some lose of sleep) but now we
are on our way. Last spring our standard Sunday school was about 20 kids. In the first four lessons of Promiseland we have
registered 52 kids!! And the parents are STAYING for the worship & praise service. What a blessing. We need more workers
than were anticipated and at present don't have a large group to choose from. Pray that God will send us good workers to be
his skin in Promiseland. Here we go in Unit 2. PTL

Received 10/3/00 from Dawn Drake -- Meadow Creek Community Church in Mesquite, Texas

WOW! It is the only word to describe the year we are having. We began using Promiseland curriculum on August 20. We had
been having one large group with 1st - 6th grades, trying to put together curriculum as best we could. We now have 2 group
with 1st - 3rd grades and 4th - 6th grades. We are having a great time. The kids (and adults) are really learning a lot. I just love
how it really connects together. This last Sunday we had Lesson 7 or Salvation Sunday. We have 2 services that average 60-70 kids each.
We had 29 kids say that for the first time they prayed and asked God to be their Forever Friend. Praise the Lord!

Received 9/18/00 from John Bieker -- Bethel Baptist Church in Joliet, Illinois

Just to let you know we ran through the first lesson with Cain and Abel this week - it was AWESOME! The kids loved the sound
effects and doing the Undivided Heart song at the end was perfect. The visual explanation of keeping the door of our hearts closed
to sin so that they will remain undivided was outstanding. We're running this curriculum for kids ages K-5 in our church and I firmly
believe that we now have an opportunity to bring our program to the next level - I can't wait for next week - Abraham and Isaac!!

Received 9/8/00 from Margaret Spicer -- Auckland, New Zealand

My name is Margaret Spicer. I live in Auckland New Zealand and work through The Salvation Army. I am an ordained minister,
so I work full-time here. I am also a trained Primary School teacher and my primary spiritual gift is Creative Communication.
It sounds crazy now, but it was very real - I wanted to give up children's Ministry. I got to the point of frustration in writing curriculum
and pouring into the kids with little response other than entertainment. I seemed to be walking this road alone. Other adults didn't want
to sign on and help. I decided to employ a Youth Worker, who could do all that stuff! God closed the door hard on that one.
We just couldn't find anyone suitable. In frustration I wrote down all that I hated about my ministry to children. When I looked
at it I realized all the "hard stuff" was administration. What I needed was an administrator, not a youth worker. So I appointed one,
and life started to change. I was beginning to understand the process of the "gift-based" ministry.

A year later I went along to a Promiseland seminar and the door opened wide for purpose and the passion that was dying came to
life even stronger than before. Since then, we have restructured our programme to include the large group, small group process.

Later we had the opportunity to trial the "Live the Adventure" Kit. We made a few more intentional steps to shepherd our kids and
to present the gospel targeted to the children's needs instead of the leaders. The staff and children enjoyed the change and the fun
level increased. The benefits were not only that I had a break from writing curriculum, but that we experienced ministry in a different
way. From Promiseland's ideas came more of our own. We found it easy to use the basis and then incorporate our own ideas
developing our own flavour. Kids loved it, leaders were energised and the parents thought we were just the best.

And we had more people want to volunteer as leaders! Yesterday our Fall quarter material arrived and with great excitement
my team is looking at it. Regularly I have visitors from other Churches calling in to see what we are doing and having people
discover that they too can do something far more exciting that they have been doing. Watch out New Zealand, because children's
ministry is taking off.! The benefits we have seen in our children is that they are more switched on to God, they have small group
leaders who really care how they are getting on, they have trust and confidence that they really count. They are learning to pray
together and "be Jesus with skin on to each other" our adults are saying "what's up with the kids?" I intend to keep pressing on
towards giving the children the very best I have to offer for the sake of the kingdom of God. In addition to my own responsibilities
here at our Church, I now serve as a Children's Ministry Consultant for all the Salvation Army Centres in New Zealand, Fiji and
Tonga. This involves being a resource person via e-mail etc or training leaders through seminars. I help where I can only as time permits.
I know this is my destiny in God, I have found my purpose and want to live to give Him all honour.

Received 9/4/00 from Denise Anderson -- Mountain Valley Church, Scottsdale, AZ

Hey Promiseland Team! We just completed our first Sunday of implementing the curriculum for Looking at the Pieces
(we used it with our 3's thru 1st graders) and Making It Connect (we used it for our 1st thru 5th grade class). It was a total success!

From the kids, to the adult volunteers, to the parents, the new curriculum was well-received and everyone at our church who
has anything to do with kids is so excited! I am a former Willow Creeker (10 years) and came to this church 3 years ago.
I was "thrown" into teaching a class and the only experience I had was being a parent helper in various classes in Promiseland at Willow Creek.

Well, for 3 years I've been trying to re-create the wonderful program I saw at Willow by using other curriculum. I am now
the director of all our classes from Nursery to 5th grade and I am so excited to have THE REAL THING to work from.
I was thrilled as we presented the first lessons to our kids, because I knew how creative and attention-grabbing this curriculum
is all the way from Activity Stations, to Large Group to Small Group settings. Thank you so much for tackling the HUMONGOUS
task of publishing this curriculum and for your support as we all implement it.
 

Received 8/31/2000 from Sheryl Walden -- Hillside Community Church, Alta Loma, CA

Dear Promiseland Team, Last night our "Large Group Team" met to practice for the first week of your new curriculum....
After 2 years of writing our own, week to week, I'm thinking our team might be less crabby, we might look forward to Sunday,
we might even like each other! (SMILE)
Thank you for sharing with us. We are so excited to have this resource!

Received 8/21/2000 from Ana Lucia Bedicks -- Morumbikids (Sao Paulo, BRAZIL)

"Hi my friends, I must tell you we've started Promiseland Curriculum yesterday and it couldn't have been better. We had a 
very busy week preparing for it, because we had to translate everything (even the games, gameboards, and gamecards) into
Portuguese and rehearse the 3 different Large Group Programs. During the week we had some team disagreement and I thought 
about giving up sometimes. But the Lord covered our faults and problems and we've made it. Our whole team could feel God
supporting us every minute of yesterday morning. Our kids loved it and our volunteers loved and enjoyed it. When we finished,
all of us (kids and volunteers) were looking forward to next week. I want to thank the whole Promiseland Team for sharing this
treasure and the vision of a prevailing Children's Ministry with us. You cannot imagine the impact this first day of the new
Curriculum had here. We pray God will bless your ministry more and more. Thank you. I was so touched by what happened
yesterday that at the end all I could do was to hug my team mates and cry. Yes, together we will prevail!!!"