Serving inner-kids in Florida, victims of a war in the Congo and the persecuted Christians in Nepal has steeled the faith and softened the heart of Kodiak Assembly of God youth minister Borghy Holm.
That heartfelt compassion is also at work in her current position as director of Kidsrock (kids rock,) a ministry aimed at 5 year olds through fifth graders who meet every Wednesday evening during the school year.
“I like to think [Kidsrock] has a dual meaning: That we love kids and we think they rock and that we’re building kids to be on the ‘rock’ of Jesus,” Holm said.
Kidsrock was introduced to the Kodiak Assembly of God in 2011 by Pastor Pam Hodges, whose husband, Tracy, was called to lead the Assembly flock. The Hodges left Kodiak this summer.
The program uses stories, skits, object lessons and other means to teach kids about the Bible, faith, values and good choices. Many of the kids are not churched.
Kidsrock attendees are provided with meals prepared by Sandra and Michael Powers. Holm is also assisted by other church members.
“It takes a lot of people to run the program,” Holm said.
After the kids are fed, they participate in prayer, worship, games and are taught a lesson based on Scripture.
The evening closes with prayer at the altar. “That seems to be something really special to the kids,” Holm said.
Kids at Kidsrock are faced with four important facts, said Holm. “Jesus died for you; God loves you; we have sinned; and you have to decide to live for God.
“Every single week we repeat those four things and explain them, so (the children) can grasp it and can have their own relationship with God.”
Holm said the program has had a positive effect on the kids. “You can see their faith growing; it becomes their own.”
Some of the parents also are sold on the program, Holm said. “They tell us that their kids love Kidsrock and keep coming.
“Sometimes whole families end up coming” to church because of their children’s involvement in Kidsrock.
Holm said that last fall 10 kids that had been coming to Kidsrock were baptized.
The Kidsrock curriculum comes from Transformation Station, which started in New York City and was aimed at kids “that might be facing challenges in their homes, such as single parent families, poverty and substance abuse,” Holm said. “It helps kids be equipped to face some of those real life issues that are hard.”
This is Holm’s second year as Kidsrock director.
She has been involved in children and adult ministries all over the world.
Part of Holm’s studies at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, included serving inner city children at the Mulberry Assembly of God Church in “a really poor area,” she said. “We did outreach to migrant orange workers.” The ministry was “pretty rewarding, but hard. We knew a lot of the kids weren’t eating well. Kids would come with huge holes in their clothes.”
The church provided meals and ran a clothing drive.
The workers dealt with “a lot of behavior problems,” but the children “were learning about God and having a safe place to go,” Holm said.
Upon graduating from Southeastern in 2006, Holm worked for Wycliffe Bible Translators as a publicity writer. “I got to have some cool adventures.”
Holm spent three weeks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo which was “in the middle of war. We were reporting on Wycliffe’s Scripture-based trauma healing,” said Holm, who interviewed survivors that had been hiding from rival tribes.
“People would come to (Wycliffe-sponsored) workshops and have a chance to grieve and have the community come around and comfort them,” Holm said.
Holm has also gone on mission trips to Panama, Mexico, South Africa, Thailand and Nepal.
Going to those places helped her “see the beauty of different people and how God made them,” Holm said. “It was really wonderful to get to see people’s faith in a totally different context. There’s a lot of poverty (in some of the places,) but I don’t see only that. I see the strengths of the different people in those countries. Their resilience is incredible. Their courage is incredible.”
Holm saw remarkable courage in Nepal, a country Holm visited in 2013 and 2013 through Global Ventures.
Nepal was exclusively a Hindu kingdom until the abolition of the Nepalese monarchy in 2008. Last year the government created a law that forbids proselytizing –converting anyone to another faith. Nepali Christians who adhere to Christ’s command to make disciples in all nations, feel targeted by this law.
They are treated as second-class citizens, Holm said. In some places they are not given space to bury their dead.
Holm’s friend, a Nepali pastor, was recently jailed for violating the anti-proselytizing law.
In spite of this persecution, Christianity is spreading at a rapid rate in Nepal.
Although the environment and political climate Holm observed in other countries stand in sharp contrast to the situations in her present ministry, she sees some common ground.
“I have a lot of empathy and a lot of hope that we can help alleviate difficulties kids are going through,” Holm said. “We may not be able to stop the hard things from happening in children’s lives. We can teach them that God is always with them, and they can always turn to Him. That’s the best thing, foundationally, that we can offer. Because when you have God, nothing can defeat you.”