Last night we had our AWANA awards night. If you are unfamiliar with AWANA - it stands for Approved Workman Are Not Ashamed - and is an awesome scripture memory ministry for children (and youth). Our church offers classes for Puggles (twos), Cubbies (threes and fours), Sparks (Kindergarten, 1st grade and 2nd grade) and Truth & Training (boys and girls clubs in grades 3rd, 4th and 5th - 7th combined). It is truly the best I have seen for children. You can check it out at http://www.awana.org/
This is one of my favorite nights as children are given their year ribbon, plaque or cubbie bear for their work at hiding God's word in their heart. I am so thankful for the 75 + workers who volunteer each week through the school year. These leaders teach children God's truths, teach them how to be on mission for Jesus, play AWANA games, prepare them a snack supper and more than anything love and nurture them. What a great privilege. AWANA store nights are fun but WOW! on Award's night it is incredible to see the pride in all they have learned. I am thankful for our Kindergarten Sparks who shared their club song and Books of the New Testament song.
I left last night wanting to begin next year with a challenge to our adults- to memorize the scripture along with the children (most likely they are already). I also want to figure up how many verses were memorized each year. I know it is well into the thousands with 250 people present each night (workers and children).
We have said goodbye to AWANA until September but I am so glad the truths of God's word we never say goodbye to- once we commit them to memory ...... they are there forever!
I praise Jesus for all the boys and girls who when faced with a choice to make and don't know what to do the things they have hidden in their heart (GOD'S WORD) will help guide the choice they make!