Kids' Bible Class
Here’s the truth. I am blessed because nearly every Sunday I get to teach a great group of kids. Akisa Mesa and I teach the younger kid’s Bible class. That is the not-so-official name - The Younger Kid’s Bible Class. Currently, our lessons are aimed for six to seven year olds because the majority of our kids are that age – with add-ons of an eight year old, a five year old and Kaela, at almost two years. Like any Bible class there are challenges to overcome, but also many rewards.
Since the beginning of the year our children’s Bible program has undergone a lot of change. From the time that we started in June until December of last year, we had a solid group of about seven kids. In January, things began to change. As the church here in Port Vila grew in numbers and changed in dynamic so did our children’s Bible program. The beauty of island life is that nothing is set in stone. If something is not working – you change it. In November and December, Akisa and I began to notice that two of our older kids were ready for more advanced Bible teaching. So, I talked with Shawnda and she agreed to start a class for middle schoolers, which I am happy to say was right up her alley. And then, in January, four people were baptized at Etas village and with them came about 10 visiting kids – give or take five. So, things have been changing and with those changes come the challenges and also the blessings.
One of the greatest challenges of teaching this age of children in Vanuatu is that while they all speak Bislama, none of them can read it. A few speak French, but not English. Others speak English, but not French. Then you add in the Etas kids, most of whom don’t have any education at all. When Akisa and I prepare our lessons everything has to be done verbally and/or with pictures. Bible stories, application activities, Bible trivia games, etc. This is probably one of the greatest challenges because it really limits what we can do in class. However, instead of quitting in defeat we choose to rise to the occasion and make the best of things!
On the flip side, while we have language challenges, we also have a group of children who are eager to learn. These kids love to come to class. They like to sing and laugh, they listen well (most of the time) and work hard to remember the answers to their Bible trivia questions. They even get excited about doing memory work! I was nearly bursting with pride the two Sundays that the kids recited their Old Testament and New Testament books for the congregation! They had worked hard and deserved the enthusiastic round of applause they received when Akisa and I presented their certificates.
I know that as the months pass by and the congregation grows even more, so will our children’s Bible classes. And while I am sure we will face many more challenges the rewards will be even greater. These children are growing and learning every week. And one day when they must make the most important decision of their lives – the decision to become a Christian - they will not make it blindly, but will be able to stand on solid foundation of the Bible that has been taught to them from the time they were small.