30 May, 2010

Fun in the midst of serious work

Mission work can be somewhat depressing. I mean this in a positive way - the need of the world for the gospel is a need that presses us into service. We're sad for those who don't know Jesus. Who suffer unnecessarily because they don't have faith in the One who can give them hope. Therefore mission is serious. On home assignment we go from church to church telling people week after week about the desperate social and spiritual needs of Japan and the slowness of evangelism there. It can get you down. So when opportunities to have fun with it are a wonderful bright spot and help to balance things out.

Today was one of those. I had the opportunity to do the children's talk. I did the same one I've done all HA. I get the kids to show me where Australia is on a blow-up globe and then where Japan is. Then I pull out our boys' old Japanese kindy bag and pull some things out and talk about them (asking the kids questions along the way) - Japanese indoor shoes, distinctive kindergarten hats and the lunch 'bag' with a tiny Japanese lunch box, chopsticks etc. I finish with an illustration using chopsticks saying that they are pretty useless with out two of them and a hand. And say this is like mission - one chopstick is the missionary, one is the supporters back home and the hand is God holding it all together.

It usually goes fairly well, depending on the children involved. Today I encountered a brilliant bunch of kids. They gave me some really funny answers (plus some totally accurate ones). Even one three year old who, in answer to my question as to whether this bag was like what Australian kids take to school, delivered to the whole church a wonderful lecture on how it wasn't the same. We were in stitches.

I invited them back afterwards for some origami fun. After they'd played in the red dirt on the work site out the back, two boys came and wanted to make paper aeroplanes (I made them wash their hands). I helped two girls make see-saws and glasses and the three-year-old came back and we made a dog for him. It was such fun compared to the serious, potentially depressing work that we usually do.


Catherine said...

What an excellent morning. God knows our need for encouragement, doesn't he? And who knows which of those children you may have inspired for some future day?

KarenKTeachCamb said...

I love the way you use origami as part of your sharing, and the chopstick picture is just brilliant! Thanks for sharing.

Thelma said...

Enjoyed reading your presentation to the children. Children love objects and involvement. I am confident these children, or at least the majority of them will remember this for many years.
God bless,
You and your family are constantly in our prayers.