My friend has started a ministry that is branching off of an existing ministry (same location) that she has been involved in for the last several months. This ¨new ministry¨ is called ¨Super Saturdays¨ and runs from 3-5pm on Saturdays. She has asked me to help her to get things started. I said ok, I can do that. Our target age group is about 5-12. Its not geared towards teenagers. This last Saturday was Day 1.
Basically the program consists of 1 hour of free time in which the kids trickle in and play whatever games they want to. We have puzzles and board games, foozball, legos, matress and tires (don´t ask!), and many other things to choose from. Keep in mind folks that these kids don´t have a playroom full of toys in their homes. Their play area is the dirt and their toys are the trash in the streets. This hour of free time is really important to them.
At about 4pm we put all the stuff away and we play some kind of group game. Saturday it was musical chairs. They laughed and loved it even if most of them were trying to cheat. And we did manage to break one plastic chair in the process. I was in charge of turning the music on and off.
Then we had them get into a big group (about 15 of them or so) and we tried to teach them 3 popular childrens songs (originally in English but translated to spanish). Our Bolivian helper wrote out the words for us and then I am writing them out on large poster board. That didn´t go that well as the kids have seemingly never heard these songs. It will take some time to teach them. Us leaders need to learn the spanish words too! I´m confident that they will be singing and doing actions very soon.
And then we had our lesson time in which my friend did the talking and had a rather messy object lesson. Which of course the kids loved! The special thing about this program is that it is not only speaking of the Bible but is also addressing the very real practical needs of these kids. Saturday we talked about the importance of washing your hands with soap. Such a simple thing right? These things are never taught to these kids by their parents. At the end of our time we gave out bars of soap for them to take home.
After the lesson we have them wash their hands and faces in washtubs that we provide and then we give them some food. The average milk intake for kids in Bolivia in 2 liters A YEAR (a knowledgeable Bolivian friend told me this, I can´t direct you to a website for the statistic). So as often as possible, we give out milk or yogurt (drinkable). One package cost about .20 US. We also gave them some cookies, not so healthy! But they enjoy it :)
Next time I will be introducing puppets which is my greatest challenge so far. One, I am a puppet team of 1. Two, I am voicing the script, its not on CD. Three, I am writing the script! Four, I´m doing it all in Spanish! At this point it is a very simple script using very simple language. But they are kids after all. I don´t think they will hold it against me. It was a proud moment for me when I handed my first script to my spanish teacher for her to proof-read and correct and she changed very very little of what I wrote! Praise the Lord :)
So please be in prayer for this little ministry. That we would be able to teach the word of God and meet their practical needs as well. Next time we will be talking about the importance of brushing your teeth or you will get cavities and in the same way how sin eats away at you, ect. Photos to come in two weeks hopefully as well as an update on how things are going.