Friday, June 20, 2008

Little Wave Riders

This week we had Vacation Bible School at our church. The theme this year is Outrigger Island: Living God's Unshakeable Truth. For the past few years I have been with the four-year-olds (its actually 4 and 5 year olds). So I was with them again this year. And boy was it interesting! We have always had a huge 4 year old class. So this year they decided to have two 4 year old classes: the North Shore class and the South Shore class. Everyday we had at least 21 in our South Shore class. The North Shore had a big group also, but I wasn't in that group. So I don't know their numbers.
Well, needless to say, those little ones kept us quite busy. I had been bringing my camera throughout the week, but I didn't actually get any chances to take pictures until today. There are so many stories that I could tell you about these little "wave riders," but let me put out some pictures first.

Here is most of the South Shore class. It was so hard to get good pictures of these little ones. They are always on the move! And I wonder sometimes. During the lesson some of them would seem not to be paying attention. But when Mrs. Teacher would ask questions about what she just taught they would answer in a heartbeat!

But these two boys were good. They sat still (for the most part) and payed attention.
If you're wondering about all the little green t-shirts at this point let me explain. At VBS in the past, each child would get a name tag. Now, this was an especially trying thing in the 4 year old class, because they would constantly twirl them around, get them knotted up, tear them off, and even chew on them or eat them (Don't ask, because I haven't even the slightest clue as to why they would do that. How can they be so picky about their snack and drinks, and yet have no problem consuming a dry piece of card stock that smells like permanent marker?). We were constantly patching them up with tape or making new ones. But this year a Genius Godsend came up with the idea to give the little ones t-shirts with their names on them. We didn't even have to worry about them bringing their own shirts for the "t-shirt making craft day." And the best part is I didn't see any of them trying to eat it.

See little ones? Those who behave come out looking very nice in the pictures. I'm so proud of these little ones. They didn't even get any of that ice cream on their shirts.

I am so glad this shot turned out. Ah, little boys being little boys. Creek (the one with the tongue) is always joking around while Cale (the one with the look) is always so serious. The little ones with the yellow shirts are from the North Shore class. This way it was easier to tell them apart, as we did a lot of the activities together.

Now, I know this little one was not in my class, but he was so cute! He saw me taking pictures so he gave me this little smile. It took me a while to realize that he was posing for a picture. So I gladly took one and gave him a thumbs up.
Ok, one last story (I am missing the Croatia vs. Turkey game). And this one is my favorite out of all the little stories I've come to accumulate over the years. The other day our lesson was about Jeremiah and how he prayed to God to ask him for help. After Mrs. Teacher had finished the story and questions she gave each little wave rider a chance to come up and say their own little prayer. Just about every one of them had gone up to say their prayer when little Bri raised his hand. He went up and prayed for his mom, and dad, and the little baby that was coming soon. When he sat down Mrs. Helper (another one of the teachers) said, " Oh yes, Mrs. Teacher. We need to remember to pray for Bri's mom. She's having some heart problems. And with the pregnancy and all we need to remember to pray for her."
While the teachers were all commenting on this another little one who had already prayed, Val, raised her hand. "I want to pray. I want to pray again," she said. "I want to pray for Bri's mom." Now this amazed me. Val is a very soft spoken little girl. She went up there and prayed for God to protect Bri's mom, and for God to give her what she needs, and for God to help the little baby and give the little baby what he needs. Now, I know I shouldn't say this because it can't be true, but if I didn't know any better, I'd say that was a perfect prayer. It was a short little prayer with a simple vocabulary from a little 4 year old girl, yet it had a certain eloquence and strength from a fresh and sincere little heart. Everyone felt it, even the little ones remained quiet after she finished. "Now that," said Mrs. Teacher. "gave me goosebumps."

"Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength,"

And its true. Every once-in-a-while a little one will do or say something that really humbles me or causes me to think. Sometimes they may even be able to comprehend something better because of the way they think. Their thought process is very different from the thought process of "us grown-ups." We can always learn a thing or two from the little ones. Jesus said so himself in Matthew 18:4 and in Mark 10:15. That is one of the reasons I like to work with this particular age group in VBS.

"Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." -Matthew 18:4

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