It all began with a few Facebook posts. In 2015, Weng Daquila was approached by Queeny, who’d seen her posts of her daughter, Onyx, then 5, eating a vegetarian diet and singing for Jesus. Queeny wanted the same for her son, Simon. This interaction led to Queeny, her husband and son attending children’s Sabbath School at the Daquilas’ church, studying the Bible and getting baptized months later. A similar request from Catherine, who has a young son and daughter, Erith and AJ, led to more baptisms—Catherine, her husband, cousin and office mate. Now, Onyx, Erith and Simon sing together at church. These experiences paved the way for “Team Daquila True Education Experience”—an online page where Onyx and her parents share principles from Child Guidance. They also offer online Bible studies for children. Onyx, 10, has also participated in Central Lauzon Conference—CLC—and Southern Asia Pacific Division (SSD) initiatives, including a storytelling program, a children’s vegetarian cooking show and the SSD’s 25-year Children’s Ministry anniversary. She also co-hosts her church’s Zoom worship services.
On Sunday, the 7th, attendees of our first Walking and Working with Jesus digital evangelism training for children and youth were inspired by testimonies of real digital missionaries like Onyx and others. For viewers on 153 devices, a key takeaway was – “If [they] can do it, I can do it too.” In the “Using Social Media for God” segment, Pastor Ardison Bernardo, Faith Filipino and Mississauga Filipino Churches, shared several gems for others wanting to follow in Onyx’s footsteps. Here are a few:
- Get to know God for yourself. “To share God, you must know God.”
- Use social media to share insights and opinions and post meaningful Christian content.
- Think before you post. Remember, you have a global audience.
Pastor Bernardo covered more precautions in the “Pitfalls of Social Media” segment. For starters, according to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, the minimum age for using various social media is 13. Thus, young children must partner with their parents online. Parents should also limit kids’ screen time via parental control apps (e.g., Downtime, Family Link, Wrong Key, Norton). Other tips included:
- Always check the privacy settings on posts; use private groups as needed.
- Turn off your phone’s geotag settings.
- Respect intellectual property and copyright rules.
As the training progressed, John Scott, Youth Ministries director, checked in with the children on what they liked best and what they were learning. Several hands went up:
“Small children like us can do big things for God,” said Jayden Sibu.
“I will try and use my social media to showcase God more than I’ve been doing!” said M.Ebifegha.
“I hope to use my programming skills to share the word of God!” said Zachary Fowler.
Parents also chimed in. Said the Gomez family, “I want to encourage children that they have such a wonderful opportunity to share Jesus that adults don’t have. When they speak the Word of God, people listen. Take advantage of every opportunity you have.”
Pastor Bernardo concluded with an earlier point—prioritize your relationship with God (Matthew 6:33). “The Lord will use you mightily if you put Him first in all you do.”