Since many small church schools are part of mission churches, students might enjoy learning about what a mission church outside of the United States looks like.
Shared from the Orthodox Christian Sunday Church School Teachers blog, this article discusses the founding of St. Moses the African House Church through Orthodox Christian Mission Center: https://orthodoxchurchschoolteachers.wordpress.com/category/missions/
"With so many beautiful churches setting the stage for most of Christian history, it can be easy to forget the humble beginnings of our sacred worship spaces. Before Christians could legally own property to build churches, however, worship took place right inside people’s homes.
Although most of us are able to worship in ornate churches today, Orthodox Christians around the world continue to worship in simple house churches too, as the Faith continues to spread and grow. In those places, it almost feels like being back in the New Testament epoch of the Church.
The St. Moses the African church in Kisumu, Kenya, is one such example of a modern-day house church. Since Kisumu - the 3rd largest city in Kenya - did not yet have a single Orthodox parish, OCMC Missionary Dr. Bill Black made plans to establish a community with a house church, with the blessing of His Grace Bishop Athanasios of blessed memory.
Dr. Black worked together with Father Ioannis from Kakamega to establish the St. Moses the African parish community, and they invited as many people as they could. Their first service was Palm Sunday 2018, with only 5 people present. It was a great help when the bishop ordained Fr. Hierotheos James Mukuria and assigned him to this parish, and one by one the community has continued to grow since then. One young woman invited her friends, several of whom continue to come and participate, and a number of children from the area where Fr. Hierotheos James lives have been coming to the church as well.
In addition to Sunday Liturgy, they have also been organizing fellowship gatherings on Wednesday nights, meeting in different people’s homes. This has proved effective in engaging people with their ministry outside Sunday services. In recent weeks they have seen more than 20 crowd into Dr. Black’s living room for the Divine Liturgy. Glory to God, they are hoping to baptize 10-15 on Holy Saturday before Pascha!
This parish community is still quite new, but through just a patient offering of services, more and more have found their way to this simple house church. These are the fruits of being faithful stewards of the Gospel treasure, and it’s exciting to follow the early development of this house church. Please keep the community of St. Moses the African in your prayers."