“What was your favorite thing about camp?”
“Food, Prayer, & Teachings/Teachings.”
This was a reply of a bright, but poor boy. A boy who on the last meal at camp, wanted to eat as much as he could. He had lots of food in his plate, but yet he wanted to go and get more, because he didn’t know when he would have another meal.
Operation Hope had a camp in Western Kenya, from the 21st to the 25th. This was the first time to have a camp in that area, and the children were so happy!! Actually we saw a change in the children, children that are normally sad and quiet were now happy and talkative.
I had the wonderful opportunity, with some friends to teach grades 2-5!! In my preparation time, I really didn’t know how things were going to go. I had never taught this age group before and creative teaching ideas weren’t coming. I gave the teaching to God, and God did His amazing work!! When I am weak, He is strong!! I had a wonderful time teaching and playing with my class!! The more I teach, the more I realize I enjoy teaching!!
Our theme was Salvation & Identity. In as much as we want to help them financially, this is in vain if we don’t give them what actually matters – Jesus and also helping them to realize that they are important, and that God has created them for a very special purpose!!! In the 3 days, 19 children and 2 adults gave their lives to God and we give God All the glory!!!
I used to think Salvation was complicated, and how do you teach it to young children but God has shown me that Salvation is not complicated. It’s actually quite simple – We have sinned, and are doomed to die, but yet God wants to give us a gift, the gift of eternal life. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.” When we give our lives to Jesus, we move from a life of shame and guilt to a life of peace and joy!! 🙂
For other sunday school teachers, here is a real helpful teaching aide to teach Salvation. Salvation bracelets with different colors explaining salvation.
Black – sin
Red – Jesus’ blood
White – Jesus forgiveness
Green – Growth
Gold – Heaven
I was amazed at how the children understood, and participated!! And we praise God for the souls that gave their hearts to God!!
Identity/Self-esteem – the sense of self, the understanding of who you are
“The way we treat our children directly impacts what they believe about themselves.” Ariadne Brill
Children, especially children in poor, vulnerable conditions need to understand themselves, that they are important, valued, & loved by parents, guardians, teachers, and most importantly God!!
This quote is so true. And that is why we have some children, who are not doing well in school, who are growing up and they aren’t able to sustain themselves. This is happening because their parents or guardians aren’t treating them with respect or love, but instead are abusing them, discouraging them, and even not providing their basic needs.
This is why we are teaching our children about self-esteem, and Identity in Christ. When we treat and teach them with love, value and respect, they will believe it, and grow up knowing that God created them, loves them, and has a plan for them.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalms 139:14
“What makes you sad?”
The one class/session we had was about our different feelings, and we were asked what makes us happy, sad, laugh, etc.
There was a girl in our class that was quiet, but yet very bright. This particular day, we noticed that she looked sad, and she didn’t want to look us in the eyes. We could tell something was bothering her. We asked her what was wrong, but she said she was ok. We didn’t push her, but we were watching her.
The children were writing their answers to the teacher’s question and I was walking around looking at their answers. I came to this girl, and when I read her answer, I had to stop. She couldn’t tell us what was wrong, but yet she could express it on paper.
And this is what I read.
“What makes me sad?”
“When my grandfather punishes me ie. by making me carry heavy stones.”
Her grandfather is abusing her.
Previously in a Salvation lesson:
Teacher: “What is sin?”
This student: “Abuse. Beating.”
This is what was bothering her.
This hurt me, and really bothered me. Its especially in these moments, that I wish that the orphanage was completed, and we could bring these children to Journey of Hope, and show them the love of Jesus on a daily basis!!
Sunday came and that meant it was time to tell the children “Kwaheri” Good-bye!!! It was hard to let them go home to no food, abuse, and other sad situations.
Camps like these, take all of your energy, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It’s the smile on the girls’ face, the children laughing at Mirah the puppet, the boy who is really good in soccer, and the other dear children that gives you energy to wake up and teach and play with them again. 🙂
September 3 – 6 Makueni visits
Tomorrow we are leaving for Makueni to visit our children. These children are poor. The area is dry. For your crops to do well, you need rain, this is something they lack, and that means food on a daily basis is a real struggle.
September 8 – 22 A visiting team from Ohio This team will be working on the orphanage and participating in other missions.
Thanksgiving & Prayer Requests
1. Thank God for the grace that He is continuing to give me to do His work. Its only by His grace and strength that I have come this far!
2. Thank God for the children and adults that gave their hearts to God. Also pray that they will continue in their walk with Him.
3. Thank God for the progress on the orphanage – we are hopeful that it will be ready for more children by the end of the year.
4. Thank God for the time I had with Andy & Karmen Miller, a couple from the US that was here for a year. They have completed their term and have returned home! They became like family, and I really miss them!
5.Pray for the Makueni visits, that God will give us wisdom in relating to the children, and guardians/parents.
6. Pray that God will continue to provide financially for the work that He is doing through me. I still don’t know how long I will be in Kenya, but I’m trusting that God will show me when He wants the next thing for me.
I thank you all for your prayers and support!! God bless You!
African Christian Mission – Canada African Christian Mission-USA
Box 511 213 Greenbrier Lane
Milverton, ON Dalton, OH
N0K 1M0 44618