June 2023



Saturday we reviewed and made a list of all the generations from Abraham to Jesus, which we find in Matthew, chapter one. (I illustrated generations with photos of six generations in my family.) I've never seen a lesson on this before. In fact, I've seen a lesson book for children that starts with the Creation and the Fall, and then jumps to Jesus dying for our sins, totally ignoring just about all the the Old Testament story and context for Jesus' coming. The generations in Matthew 1 link Jesus to the history of Israel, beginning with Abraham, not with the Creation.
After the children highlighted and decorated each name, and we taped them to the wall, God inspired me with a key question: "Who comes after Jesus in this genealogy?" We all had to think about that for a minute. Who are the children of Jesus? We are! And our memory verse is John 1:12. To be followed by Galatians 3:7.


Staying together


Should you separate the children into age groups or keep them all in one group? The pros say you should separate them, and I have always agreed until now. If it's a small group, and the kids are relatives, the smaller ones feel better with their siblings. It's more challenging for the teacher to accommodate their methods to the different ages, but I've always asked, "Should the teacher accommodate to the students or the students to the teacher?" I take the former. The burden is on the teacher, not the student. (In the indigenous communities we worked with, I have seen that the kids are comfortable with all ages staying together.)
So this Saturday, among seven kids, the ages ranged from 5 to 13. But they're all either siblings or friends. So they feel comfortable and work together. The challenge was mine to keep them all occupied and learning. We were reviewing the seven parables in Matthew 13. I avoid a verbal lesson. Rather I made flash cards, and we played matching games. Of course the bigger kids always win, but the smaller ones never complain. I have learned also that every age so far enjoys drawing and coloring, so we end the class with art.
Afterwords Anibal, our sponsor, asked me, "If more kids come, should we divide them into age groups?" So far my answer is negative, but we'll see.




Beautiful to see how God has put together a team for working with the children. We didn't even plan it that way. Anibal wanted to work with children; God had us meet unexpectedly; Jorge and Vilma come with us. Anibal invites the children; Faby and I give the class; and Jorge and Vilma take care of the snack and cleanup. What a team! Everyone does their part.
This Saturday set a new record of attendance: nine kids! Margori invited a friend; plus we were missing one faithful attendee: Josue. The ministry is God's; we are his instruments.


Who ministers to whom?


You would say I minister to the kids, but really they minister to me. It is more blessed to give than to receive, and when I prepare a class and teach these kids, it ministers to me. We are learning the seven parables in Matthew 13 about the kingdom of God, and they are preparing a booklet that summarizes each parable. I see they are memorizing the lessons, but the real blessing has been for me to understand and apply them as never before.