Before Jesus did anything, He invited the children to come to Him. CEC is simply following this example.

When the Lord Encounters Children through His People: How the Children’s Equipping Center Impacted My Life

by Selenia Vera
4/10/18 Training and Events

When you read the mission statement and the who we are section on the Children’s Equipping Center (CEC) website, you will read about their mandate to encourage, teach, and equip children to be devoted disciples of Jesus. You will also read about how they desire to see children enjoy deep fellowship with God in His love—children who choose to love, serve, and obey Him with all their heart as they grow in the knowledge and love of God.

I bet you would agree with me that this is mostly the heart cry and mission statement of most Christian churches and families worldwide. Every parent, believer, and follower of Christ that I know wants the same thing for their children—for them to love, serve, and obey God. I have known families that have moved, changed churches, and endured long boring sermons in empty churches because their child was being reached and ministered to by faithful children’s church workers. Fortunately, for me and my daughter, this was not the case.

I would say that IHOPKC’s CEC does all they can to live up to their mission statement. But there is something that they don’t know, however, which is what has happened as they were doing business as usual—the things they did that aren’t written or included in their statement, and probably never vocalized. Like what they did for me and my daughter. This is our story:

I wish I could write that it happened that I had an epiphany one day where the angel of the Lord appeared to me and said: “Go ye therefore to Kansas City to the International House of Prayer and there you will find the Children’s Equipping Center and everything crooked in your life will be made straight. And life will be wonderful as I fulfill My will over your lives.”

Our situation was more like, well, it is better stated as Sheila Walsh once wrote: I was hanging on to heaven with hell on my back. For me and my daughter, it was run! Grab ahold of the horns of the altar, hang on for dear life and hope for the best!

You see, I was a divorcee, a newly single mom, full of shame, fear, and misplaced hope. A gal who had been given prophetic promises for the child she waited 13 years to have—once full of hopes and dreams on how they would come to pass—had suddenly found myself with nothing but a pocketful of ashes and a heart seared in the flames of failure.

With nowhere to go and no direction on how God was going to complete the work of performing His word over my daughter’s life, fearing that now I was disqualified and this disqualification was now my daughter’s inheritance, I could handle the struggle, the working two jobs, cleaning houses, the questions, the scowls, all the losses that came with my newfound scarlet-letter life, but what I could not bear was the lie I was hearing over and over and that resonated within my being—your eight-year-old’s life will be mostly despairing and she will never move into, much less inherit, the promise of God.

I knew nothing of the mission statement and mandate of God on CEC—all I knew was that for me, CEC would be a safe place to put my daughter while I met with Jesus in the prayer room and during my internship classes. I never really gave it intentional thought—I was a single mom with a broken heart who needed healing and longed for moments of reprieve. Little did I know that CEC would be the missing link that God would use as He would fulfill His word, purposes, and plans in my daughter’s life and also in mine—that God would use CEC and the people who were in partnership with His heart to watch over His word to perform it. And so it is that eleven years later, I remain in the house of prayer as one healed of the Lord, whose heart was mended and whose ashes became beautiful.

I suppose if you asked the leaders of CEC if they knew what they were doing and had done the things I will list here, you would hear a resounding yes, an affirmative absolutely! But I don’t think they will ever really know the ins and outs of how it came to pass.

They didn’t know what affirming my daughter in her position as a child of God was doing.

They taught me zeal, faithfulness, humility, and most importantly how to serve the Lord with all my heart. [all quoted words are from Anna herself.]

They didn’t know that assuring her that “Jesus Christ Lived Big in her” were words that took root. CEC taught my daughter that zeal for God and faithfulness to pray are attributes she should seek after. That her child-like faith was exactly what Jesus wanted.

When I think of my childhood, I remember how I felt the fire of God in prayer and the fiery boldness that I carried. They taught me to trust my child-like faith—it was the only thing I knew. Nothing scared me, nothing was too big for Him, there was nothing that He couldn’t do. I knew that if I asked it would be done. The Bible was made alive for me; the words would jump off the page when I read it. Songs and phrases from heaven would flow from my lips. They encouraged the song.

CEC trumpets this truth and believes that God is still calling children even as he called the young boy Samuel. Before Jesus did anything, he invited the children to come to Him. CEC is simply following this example.

They didn’t know she would always remember those years growing up—because it marked her heart.

One of my most memorable experiences was within the first year of moving to Kansas City. I remember the exact moment I radically encountered the father heart of God at a level I had never experienced before. My earthly father was mostly absent both emotionally and physically and up until that point I had no real understanding of the truth that God indeed is my father, much less that He loves me with the same burning passionate love that He has for His son.

We were in a prayer meeting and I was taken up in a vision—I was only eight years old! I literally saw and felt the Lord’s hand pouring hot oil over my heart and filling every empty hole. I was overcome with a blanket of love. I had never been taught or led in this manner in worship and prayer. From that point on, my heart was ignited. I began pursuing, seeking and loving him, listening intently in services.

Jesus was so kind to us those early years. He intervened and stopped the enemy’s plans for my daughter’s life way before the enemy had a chance.

They didn’t know she would grow up to advise parents.

There is no better place for your children than CEC. They will teach them truth and that seeking after Jesus must be their one thing and that they can start right now. It’s the thing that you, as parents, might so wish someone had taught you. They won’t sugarcoat Christ, they will train them to recognize darkness in this world and how to flee from it, they will show them how to open doors of intimacy with the Holy Spirit, and an eternally long list of other things that would take ages to state. I don’t know of another place that does it the way they do.

They didn’t know she would applaud children and encourage them to stay the course.

I would say, listen to your parents. Go to CEC. Stick it out. Learn to pray, worship, and fall in love with God. This is the biggest yes you’ll say in your life. Don’t wait until you’re older to start taking your relationship with Christ seriously. The Holy Spirit who lives in the adults is the same Holy Spirit who lives in you. There are no limits and no boundaries for the power of Christ working in and through you. Take a chance and see what Jesus does.

CEC may not have known the ins and outs and minor details of what they were doing. They were simply loving Jesus, opening the door to the chamber room of heaven, walking in, turning around, and discovering the children had followed them in.

As a mom who raised a kid as a single parent in the house of prayer with the Children’s Equipping Center, I would say to other parents, if the opportunity presents itself, don’t walk, run! Take your kids with you, epiphany or not, and allow the Holy Spirit to equip them, empower them, and enable them to receive the love of God and to go and do the same.

In the end, the adage “God works in mysterious ways” is indeed true. Truer still: His Words never return void without accomplishing the task for which He sent it. She had no earthly father present, but she had the family of God and she had the Children’s Equipping Center.

If you’re looking for a safe place for your children where they will learn about God and His great power, love, and plans for them, the Children’s Equipping Center will offer this and more as they train children to passionately pursue a vibrant relationship with God.

If you’d like to experience the Children’s Equipping Center this summer, we encourage you to register your children for our Signs & Wonders Camps (SWC), where we teach children to know and love God; experience the power of the Holy Spirit; love, respect, obey, and honor their parents; live by the Word of God; and encounter God in worship and prayer. You can learn more at Signs & Wonders Camps.

Selenia Vera


    Selenia Vera resides in Kansas City and has been on staff with the International House of Prayer for more than a decade. She currently serves as the buyer/purchaser for the Forerunner Bookstore. You can visit her blog at


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