We've begun a new activity - with some reluctance on the part of some of us. We are in a new church and one of the activities sponsored by this church is Awana. It's a club that meets once a week. The kids learn Bible verses, play games and hear a Bible story.
One of my dear friends had been involved with this for years at a different church so I knew it was a great program. I thought it was worth us giving it a try. I took our 3 boys. Daniel is a "Spark" (K-2nd grade) and Isaiah and Joshua are both in T&T (3rd-6th - Truth and Training). I told them that I just wanted them to give it a good try. I wasn't sure if this would work for our family. There are a variety of needs - learning, sensory and medical - and I wanted to be sure this was going to be a positive experience for all of us.
Daniel has never been in any type of group activity like this. He does field trips and co-ops, but family is always involved in those and they are multi-aged. Sunday School has been a struggle for much of his life, though thankfully he is doing really well in his new (and very small) class. He is really doing well in a lot of areas and for that I'm really thankful!
The leaders have been fine with me staying in the class with Daniel. I'm so glad that this hasn't been an issue as I know it would not have worked for him at all if it had been. He was a little unsure of things at first, but it didn't take long before he LOVED it!!!
The boys each worked through a small booklet memorizing verses. When these were complete, they received a book and either a vest or shirt. Daniel was the first to get his and he told me that "it is the coolest vest ever". When we practice his verses at home - he wears his vest. He counts down the days until he can go to Awana. On Sunday, he counts down the hours.
I'm not sure I can explain what this does to my heart. To see him playing games and interacting with the others kids has my eyes brimming with tears at times. I see him growing in confidence too. This has been a huge step for him and to see him having so much success is exciting! Sensory Processing Disorder can be a confining thing in so many ways and to see him making so much progress over the last few years is a real blessing!
My other boys have not been as excited about the program as Daniel, but both are doing pretty well. It's harder on one of them though. Thankfully he has really great teachers who have been so open to hearing about some of his struggles and helping him to work through things. (I sometimes wonder if they think I'm an overprotective and paranoid mom. LOL) So many of his struggles though have come to the forefront in this group. I am hoping and praying that this will be a blessing for him too in the long run.
I know that hiding God's word in their hearts is a great thing. Its been great for me to learn the verses along with them! I hope that one day it will be something that Eliana might be able to join in too - though I'm just not sure. For now, I'm grateful for this program and for the experiences we are having. (I'd love prayer for my little boy that sometimes still has a hard time.)
Here they are in the club attire.