When I returned from my recent mission trip with AWANA International, my heart was overflowing with all the lessons in hope that God taught me while I was in Kenya. Kenya is a beautiful country, both in people and land. Last week I shared how blessed I felt to see the joy on the faces of the children in the Kibera slums. They do not allow their physical circumstances to dictate their feelings, but they praise God for all He has given them and all He is doing in their lives. This joy is present because these children know Jesus and love God’s Word! And not only do they love God’s Word, they KNOW God’s Word. They have memorized it and hold it closely to their hearts.
The Lesson In Hope I’m sharing this week is one I began to learn as soon as our team was introduced to the first AWANA club members. In America, if you are familiar with AWANA , then you might think of uniforms and handbooks. You may remember the style of the shirt or the color of the patches. You could even remember certain game pieces or batons. But AWANA in Kenya broke the American mold in my mind.
You see, AWANA really isn’t about the uniforms or handbooks or batons… the focus of AWANA is to reach children, equip leaders and change the world. This focus is based on the gospel and giving children the opportunity to learn God’s Word for themselves. THAT is the ultimate lesson in hope- that Jesus is the Hope of the world.
But my personal lesson in hope, the one I felt led to share with you today, is that I saw first hand what God can do when people simply make themselves willing to do whatever He leads them. This lesson in hope, embracing creativity, displayed itself so vividly. The AWANA clubs in Kibera can’t afford handbooks for each child. But they can afford a handbook for the leaders. And they don’t meet in a gymnasium with a beautiful painted or taped-off game circle. But they can take chalk and make their own, like this:
They don’t have matching batons that coordinate with the team colors, but they can use empty water bottles as substitutes.
They may not have drop down TV screens, but they can take recycled materials to construct a small boat to use as a visual aid for the Bible story of Noah and the ark.
The lesson this week? That resources should be used wisely and embracing creativity promotes the Gospel.
God is not as concerned with how much you have as he is with your use of what you have.
I had to ask myself on this trip:
Do I embrace creativity or excuse perceived inadequacy when sharing the Gospel?
Bloggers, welcome to Whimsical Wednesday, where each week I host a blogger linkup party and we create an incredible list of 100% Christian encouragement! So glad to have you join us.
I would love it if you would take a moment to watch the video below about the incredible AWANA endeavor- Not The End- for more information on how to get involved with this wonderful gospel-sharing project. Have a great day!