A typical evening went something like this. Gather at 6 pm for setup and prayer. The main area had to have a number of rows of chairs set up for groups 1, 2 & 3, the big girls and the big boys. Groups 1, 2. and 3 were quite young children. Then we had 10-13 yr old children in the big girl/big boy groups.
At 6:30 the vans went out to pick up the children. As they arrived we gathered on the front lawn until we were all there. Then we organized into our groups and went into the building in an orderly fashion. Each child received a bracelet at this point. If they still had their bracelet at the end of the evening they received a sucker. The way to lose your bracelet was to be naughty.
The first activity was singing. Oh, how we love to sing! Next we got to watch the drama for the evening. The young men usually had a skit of some kind to teach a specific lesson. Following the skit we divided into groups for different classes. The younger children took turns going to the snack room, the craft room, the Bible story room and the game room.
After the rounds were completed we all returned to the main room to sing another song and say the memory verse. Then we stood to sing Bind us Together and say the Lord's Prayer before heading back to the vans to go home. If their bracelets were still on, they got a sucker from Mr Allen on their way out the door. Sometimes everyone lost their bracelets if Mr Allen had to whistle 3 times for silence.
After the children left we would need to pick up all the chairs, sweep floors and return things to their original positions. When the drivers returned from the home deliveries we held a debriefing meeting yet before going home ourselves.
So what does that have to do with jam? J.A.M. stands for Jesus and Me. We want these children to be touched with the love of Jesus and for that to make a difference in their lives. Sessions ran once a week Thursday evening from the beginning of March to the end of October.
We have had a few months' break now and time to reflect and regroup. We prayed about a different facility and God opened the doors for us to use an empty store building in Romney, owned by one of our church men. We have built walls to make a number of rooms for the different groups.
This year instead of different rooms for different activities, one group will stay in one room for their activities excepting game time. The way they planned the building will make dispersing simple and streamlined. Each row can pretty much march out of the main area directly to a room on their left without waiting for anyone else.
Having our own building will make it so much nicer in a lot of ways. The setup can stay set up from one week to the next. We have more space and therefore more children could be invited. The time will be changed to Tuesday evening because so often there were school activities on Thursday evening that kept the children from coming.
One of the young ladies from church knows sign language and is wanting to work with children from the deaf school in Romney. It is exciting to be able to reach out in more ways.
Following are a few photos from today. The boys & I and Grandpa went to help with the painting. Thomas, Stephen and Austin finished the drywall earlier this week. Others were helping with the painting too.
|Ms Joanna (Oops! The mirror caught me)|
|Here you can see all the doorways on the right and the stage in the foreground. Thomas was putting leveler on it.|
|Another room where the window is and Melvin getting a snack in the foreground. (Banana with peanut butter)|
What ministry has God called you to?
Don't think any place of service is small!