We have to just say that this has been an AMAZING ministry year for us, seriously! And AWANA has been a big part of it. I know I’ve said this before, but I just wanna boast in the Lord ONE more time and then (maybe) I’ll hush about it: last spring, there were seriously about 10 kids in the entire program and far fewer leaders. We had no funding coming from anywhere in sight, and most of us who were in leadership had never even been trained in anything-Awana, so we were really just flying by the seat of our pants trying to keep the thing from going Code Blue. (Sorry for mixing metaphors. Gotta do it sometimes.) Keith and I were seriously praying about pulling the plug on the Atsugi Awana program, but oh, how we were mourning for our own children, who LOVED Awana so much in its glory days (when other “more qualified” people had been in charge!).
We prayed and cried (okay, I cried) and prayed and grieved and prayed and earnestly considered the cost. And then suddenly a few new fresh faces started showing up at Awana. Fresh faces with huge smiles and elbows ready to help us resuscitate this baby. We started having leadership meetings (novel idea, huh?), and praying together and strategizing and so forth. We advertised like crazy over the summer, and prayed, prayed, prayed. What’s that saying? “PRAY as if the whole thing depends on the Lord. WORK as if the whole thing depends on you.” That’s not in the Bible, but maybe it could be (in the Message, anyway. :-))
And I’ll be danged if on Day 1 of Awana sign-ups in September, about 50 kids (plus their parents!) showed up. WE WERE FLOORED! AMAZED! A LITTLE OVERWHELMED!!!! And by the end of the Awana year (last night, as a matter of fact), we had about 75 kids enrolled in the program. THOUSANDS of Bible verses were memorized this year by these precious kids, committing the Word of the Lord to their hearts week after week. And we were so blessed to see what God was doing in and through and around us! Thank you, Lord!!!!! So anyway, here’s a little piece of fruit that fell off the tree this year, our 2009-2010 Awana Slideshow. Enjoy!!!!
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