We are David and Rhonda Ochoa. Uganda was our home for six amazing years with our five precious children. As our children grew, so did our family’s needs. We returned to the States to rejoin our children, which we see as our first ministry.
Yet, we still have a deep love and burden for the children, families, and churches in Uganda. The need for biblical training and discipleship remains. So, on our return, we formed 28:19 Ministries to facilitate discipleship and training among the pastors of the thirty plus churches we were working with in the north.
God gave David and I a love and burden for children individually as singles and we continued that through courting and all through marriage. We have a desire to invest in children, by discipling parents and pastors, rooting them deeply in the word of God and their true identity in Christ, as well as who Christ is in and to them. God made little people with incredible openness while they are young. Several years ago George Barna conducted a research on children and parenting in the church and later wrote Revolutionary Parenting based on his study. Barna termed the name “spiritual champions.” (I don’t favor the term, yet I do agree with the concept. I prefer: Life-long Believers, Overcomers, Victorious Ones, Surrendered Ones. . .) You can draw many conclusions from this study, but here is what I surmised:
~Children were made by an amazing God who created them open, curious, and hungry to learn.
~God made them imitators, so whatever we put before them needs to be worth imitating, including ourselves.
~Children are relational and need our time.
~The word of God is incredibly powerful to hide in the heart of a child and will reap great reward.
~Parents need their church to partner with them to help them reach their goal of raising children that have a life-long love for God.
~Dependence on God in prayer is essential in reaching our children for Christ.
~Churches most important role might just be to minister to the parents to love their own children and pass down the living, wondrous, ONE-true God to the next generation from within their homes.
~We only have a few years with our children and then they are grown and have their beliefs established. Make every moment count while they are still young, impressionable, and looking to you to form their ways.
Parenting is a powerful role, one we cannot afford to take lightly. It is our responsibility and wonderful privilege to pass on God and relationships and love and grace and favor to our little ones looking up at us learning from our every move, word, and action. It is our responsibility to disciple each little one in our home. Our longing is to work within God’s framework of reaching to the heart of a child and to see them loved deeply by their own parents as we train and disciple the pastors in the truth of the Bible, who God is, what they are made for, and how to pass God down to the next generation. If we do this well by relaying on the Spirit of God for guidance and His power, the church will be a place for the children to grow in true grace and knowledge of their One-True God. The church will raise up the next generation to love and serve their God passionately and not turn back when the battles come. One of the great responsibilities of the church is to disciple the next generation.
Listen, my people, to my teaching;
turn your ears to the words from my mouth.
I will speak to you in parables
and explain mysteries from days of old.
The things which we have heard and known,
and which our fathers told us
we will not hide from their descendants;
we will tell the generation to come
the praises of Adonai and his strength,
the wonders that he has performed.
He raised up a testimony in Jacob
and established a Torah in Isra’el.
He commanded our ancestors
to make this known to their children,
so that the next generation would know it,
the children not yet born,
who would themselves arise
and tell their own children,
who could then put their confidence in God,
not forgetting God’s deeds,
but obeying his command.
Then they would not be like their ancestors,
a stubborn, rebellious generation,
a generation with unprepared hearts,
with spirits unfaithful to God.
The people of Ephraim, though armed with bows and arrows,
turned their backs on the day of battle.
They did not keep the covenant of God
and refused to live by his Torah.
They forgot what he had done,
his wonders which he had shown them. Psalm 78:1-11
Israel knew the importance of passing God down to the next generation. There are many things that we pass down to our children, some purposefully, some by accident. Yet, when you are in the face of Jesus, what do you think you will wish that you would have passed on to your children? It’s not too late. With God all things are possible.
With that said, we desire for the church to know her purposes and to be equipped to fulfill them. This is what we are working to do among the pastors and leaders of Uganda.