Monday 28 September
Today was the first day with the kids. There were swarms of them.
The kids arrived on the bus with Natalia and Caleb at 9:00am. We then split up into age groups and decorated show bags for the kids to keep all their artwork in.
Most of the kids were a bit quiet and reserved to start with, but as the day progressed they became very attached to us and enthusiastic. Caleb, Tristan, and Anna did the drama today, which was very engaging, and Mr Taylor was Prince Phillip and the MC of the day. Today’s message introduced the idea that Jesus is King and the Bible skit starred the Ethans and Caleb R, with a feature by Caitlyn and Tayla.
During morning tea, the little kids played an energetic game of Duck Duck Goose, while the older kids chatted with some of us leaders. Craft time was not as disastrous as many of us imagined, and we didn’t make as much of a mess as we expected. The kids were extremely proud of their swords, shields, and woven plates.
In the afternoon half of us did sport and the other half did face and nail painting. The leaders of the painting team got a complete makeover, with arms, legs, faces, and nails done by the kids and each other.
In the evening we had a movie night and watched Wreck-It Ralph, with many of us enjoying having the little kids cuddle up to us. Emily and Victor did the bus in the evening, delivering the kids back home.
The day was very tiring, and we are keen to get a good sleep tonight, but even more excited to see the kids tomorrow!
Emily, Caitlyn, and Anna
Tuesday 29 September
Day two of the program and we were pumped!
I started the day doing a devotion with Natalia. We talked about being refined by God, going through fire to eventually come out purified. We then wandered over to the rec centre to start the morning session. We did drama skits, Bible stories, crafts, small group time, and some other funky things.
During the last couple of days, I have been trying to become close to this one little boy in Year 2. He did not seem to have many close friends and I wanted to show him that he is loved, by me and by God. Anyway, he never really said much to me, and I would be yapping on about so many things and he would look at me like I’m crazy.
During some of the activities, I was looking for this boy. I was looking all around asking people from our group if they had seen him, and nobody knew where he was. I eventually sat down and as I sat the boy just appeared right by my side. This was definitely a special moment for me because it felt like all the hard work I had been putting in with him was paying off.
Later, during the tournament night, he came up to me and just sat by me. He still has not said much to me, but I have a feeling it’s going to happen soon. It makes me so happy to see he is becoming more and more comfortable with me.
Tournament night was extremely fun. We set up the centre in a carnival style. We set up a bunch of games and the kids rotated in mixed age groups around the rec centre. At the end of the night, we counted the points and gave a prize to the winner and the best behaved. Caleb’s team won and Riley’s team and one other local girl’s team won the behaviour awards.
It was super cool to see how everyone came together worked as a group of all different ages and genders and worked collectively to earn points. It was also great to see all the kids and our crew getting into all the activities and games and seeing everyone having a blast.
I’m having the time of my life out here and I am so excited and ready to see how God is going to continue to work in not only my life but the whole crew, all the kids, and Leonora.
Today was exciting, yet arduous due to the morning, afternoon, and evening sessions. But because we had already gotten to know the kids, they were less rowdy today. Our team members enjoyed and continued to develop the close bonds and friendships we nurtured and created with the kids yesterday.
Today we were able to go through the plays and drama skits and relate that back to their relationships with Jesus as their king.
Specifically, I was encouraged in how some of the children who were reluctant to speak to the group previously were able to be more open in their opinion.
Furthermore, although I was challenged by some of the times the kids weren’t paying their full attention, I was encouraged by the learning and their added knowledge of the message.
During the afternoon session, it was great to run around the oval and learn more about the kids through a different forum – soccer. This is because oftentimes we are so engaged in teaching the Gospel that we completely forget or neglect the human we are preaching to.