Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Bible class restart...

Sunday morning was the first time in many months that there has been a Sunday morning Bible class for children in La Palma. Jose had various problems with the teachers and felt that it was not working effectively so at 9:00 everyone (adults and children)came into the auditorium for Bible class and afterward is the normal 15-ish minute break for snacks, etc. Then everyone assembles into the auditorium again for worship. By the time worship is ending, the children who had been there since 9:00 are getting very wiggly and squirmy and being able to hear the preaching was very difficult over the noises and the distractions around. Jose asked me and Ruth to undertake starting over the Bible classes for children and we did that this past Sunday. There is a Betty Luken flannelgraph set here but the flannel figures are in disarray and it's going to take some time (and I'm going to recruit some help from local moms) to get it in order. There are also various boxes of curriculum and materials that I need to sort through and put in order so that they can be used. So I have spent the last couple of weeks getting some beginning plans put in place and will continue to get them in order for the months ahead. For now the class is for ages 5-10. As we get further into it we may break the ages into more than one class but we're starting from scratch so one class worked best.

I opted to start--where else?--in Genesis as we re-started the Bible classes here. So this Sunday was the story of Creation. I used 7 styrofoam plates and each one depicted what was created on the corresponding day. The kids were familiar with the story as most of them were children of members here. They enjoyed going through the story with the plates, though. (You'll notice in the picture that my son is the one not paying attention--I think he was making a face at his sister for taking a picture. *sigh*) The other students were eager to participate and listen. To review I handed plates to different students and put them in the wrong order at the front of the room and had the other students rearrange them to make the days in the correct order. Then I had a printed color page that they colored and then glued little pieces of crepe paper that I'd cut to make 'feathers' for the bird. Here Jessica proudly shows her finished paper. You'll notice that behind her, they're using their chairs as tables to color on. We're using one of the "spare" school classrooms (Teresa also uses it for English classes.) and were able to bring over small chairs from the church but don't really have any tables to use. The kids here are so adaptable and don't mind at all sitting/kneeling on the floor to color and sharing handfuls of crayons from a giant baggie with their neighbors. Not a one of them complained about the situation. :)

We also sang a few songs--I don't know that many of the children's songs in Spanish yet so we had to sing fewer than I would have liked. I plan to incorporate some of the older kids in the class in this effort next week and have them help me lead the songs because they know them and they love to sing. All in all, I think the class went well. The kids enjoyed it and Ruth and I enjoyed our time with them as well. Norma helped us this Sunday but is not going to be available to help every Sunday right now because she travels to San Sal on Saturdays for college classes and comes home Sunday mornings. Whether or not she can help depends on whether she can catch the early bus to La Palma. (Ruth even enjoyed coloring a little while! LOL)
The current plan is to get the class established and get the children used to being in class and sitting and listening and being in class. As that happens, we are looking for some of the members who would like to step into the role of teacher and will train them and gradually hand over the responsibility to them. Please be in prayer for the children's program here as it restarts and as we train the future leaders of it.


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