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World Missionaries Target Drug-Dependent Students

 

From school assemblies to small-group intervention, efforts are underway to combat substance abuse among children overseas.

The cry of Jacobus Nomdoe says it all: "We have elementary schools where over 80 percent of the students are sniffing glue. Students as young as eight years of age are addicted to crystal meth. We are overwhelmed with calls from parents to induct their children of 12 and 13 years of age for rehabilitation from drugs. We've got to get to the children with our message and support before the drug lords get to them!"

"Drug and alcohol abuse are rampant among children in countries such as Romania, and the need for help is overwhelming," says AGWM foreign missionary Steve Benintendi.

Substance abuse has become so prevalent in parts of South Africa and Europe that children as young as age 10 are coming to school high. One report indicates that Romania itself has about 20,000 homeless kids, many of them using drugs just to deal with their pain. Imagine the turmoil that exists. One would wonder how children at such a young age, who should be wrapped in innocence, could be drug dependent.

Foreign missionary Tom Lofton says that by God's grace, KidsQuest Drug Free (KQ Drug Free) was able to help Jacobus Nomdoe by providing school assemblies, teacher training, and helping children with Insight Group materials from the Assemblies of God founded Turning Point materials that deal with life-controlling problems.

Tom and his wife, Lois, serve as the founding directors of "Child in the Midst," which is a ministry of Assemblies of God World Missions. They have been commissioned to work with Teen Challenge centers around the world to minister to at-risk children who have drug and alcohol addictions as well as relational issues. They are also helping the "child in the midst" of hate crimes, forced prostitution, and HIV/AIDS.

Steve Benintendi and his wife, Mindi, are spearheading the development of KQ Drug Free ministry that will train leaders how to reach the drug-dependent children of their cities. The KQ Drug Free program consists of training church leaders the how-to's of the KQ Drug Free school assembly and how to provide training for school teachers on drug awareness and prevention. During the KQ Drug Free assembly, children receive a Be the Tiger comic book and wristband. The school teacher training enables them to teach on drug awareness and prevention, while also helping them identify children with substance abuse problems.

In addition, Tom Lofton is working with Turning Point ministries to develop a kid-friendly version of Living Free, which will be designed to help children avoid and overcome life-controlling problems. Tom says he will be equipping leaders overseas with training and Living Free to reach children who are drug dependent.

KQ Drug Free and Living Free present a holistic approach to helping children living overseas with substance abuse problems.


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