For the past two years (this June is year 3) my church has done a family retreat. 2 days of living on a college campus, eating together, playing together, worshiping together, and learning about Jesus together. It has been an honor to be asked to head up the child care portion of the retreat each year. Four sessions that I get to come up with a theme, organize volunteers, come up with a schedule, curriculum, crafts, games, and all sorts of fun shenanigans. Last year some very dear friends were worried I had been asked to do too much. I was so grateful for their concern, but smiled. No one asks me to take on this task, I practically beg to do it. Now before you think I’m tooting my own horn, I’m not. Actually, I don’t think of it as a sacrifice, but a pure joy and SO MUCH FUN!
There’s a couple reasons why…
1. I love kids. Several years ago I decided (after reading a book) that if God was not allowing me to have children of my own in this season, then I would love on everyone else’s. I get such a kick out of being an honorary auntie to half the kids at church. The waves and hugs each Sunday make me one happy girl.
2. I want the kids in my church to love the Savior. What better way to do this than to make learning about Him fun! And trying to lead by example. What better way to show them the love of the Savior than to serve them joyfully (with a little bit of silly thrown in!).
3. But most importantly, the Bible says to lay down our lives for others. It talks about serving His body and serving to the point of being tired. This is a way I can obey my Savior and love his redeemed children, with the talents and abilities God has given me. Nothing special, seriously it’s not. Just being a Christian.
I love each and everyone of the kids in my church. And more than anything I want them to love Jesus with everything that is in them. I want them to feel loved, safe, and have SO much fun! I want them to view Christianity, not as a duty, but as a joy. I pray that by showing them love, they grow to see that love as an evidence of Christ’s love towards them. For the next month my bedroom will be littered with crafts, inflatable parrots, butterflies, vines made out of paper, and all sorts of safari related things. Renew Kidz isn’t serving to me. It’s probably one of my favorite times a year. Nothing beats the smiles on their faces as they eagerly walk down the stairs that first night. It’s simply living life in the dearest place on earth!