“Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in Heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.” Matthew 18:14
For Filipino Haggai leader Aileen Alfonso Quilojano, Matthew 18:14 is more than a bible verse, it’s a personal mandate. When Aileen was six years old, she was introduced to Jesus through a Sunday school ministry. Church offered Aileen a refuge from her dysfunctional family, and she believes that it was by “the grace of God” that she was brought to faith so early in her life.
“From a very young age, I knew that the Lord wanted me one day to work with and alongside children.”
This childhood calling turned into a career, and today Aileen is a local missionary with Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) of the Philippines. CEF is an international organization that partners with area churches to teach the Gospel to children. Through CEF, Aileen and her team provide Christian literature for children and equipping for teachers, all while leading children’s ministry programs. Through this work, Aileen has reached children like Mira.
Mira began attending Aileen’s neighborhood Bible class when she was just four years old. A few years later, Mira accepted Jesus and became a Christian. Now an active youth leader, she recently participated in intensive teacher training with CEF because she wants to be a missionary, just like Aileen.
Aileen hosts a weekly children’s radio program called Paaralang Lingguhan, or “Sunday School on Air.”
As part of her work with CEF, Aileen leads a seven-person team that leads a weekly Bible class in the local dialect Hiligaynon, reaching children who otherwise would never hear the Gospel. In the past, her team hosted Vacation Bible Schools, Kids Festivals, and camps.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic began. Aileen and her team were forced to find new ways to keep reaching children for Jesus. “I don’t say our goals were squashed; they were shifted.” Maintaining a positive mindset, Aileen has seen God working for good, despite the immense difficulties of the pandemic. After COVID-19 struck, Aileen had the opportunity to attend the Virtual Haggai Leader Experience (VHLE).
Since being equipped through the VHLE, Aileen has used new avenues to share the Gospel. Using Facebook, TikTok, and radio, Aileen is reaching more people for Jesus than ever before. For social media, she crafts video lessons with songs, memory verses, and Bible stories. Every week Aileen hosts and produces a children’s radio program called Paaralang Lingguhan, or “Sunday School on Air.” Between her efforts on social media and the radio, Aileen estimates that she’s reaching 2,000 children every week.
Aileen has seen children brought to Jesus as the direct result of her virtual lessons. Niknik is a prayer partner of Aileen’s who underwent teacher training just before the COVID-19 lockdown. Since she could not teach children in person, Nikinik shared Aileen’s videos with her family which had been produced in their dialect. As a result, several of her nieces and nephews came to know Jesus.
For Aileen, “The next generation, especially the children, is my calling.” Her next goal, created after attending the VHLE, is to equip 300 teachers and reach 15,000 children. She will not stop until all children have heard the Gospel, in their own tongue.
“My experience is one reason I am passionate about reaching children because I know that to be brought to faith early is to give children the power to do what is right.”