What happens when excited missionary kids are finally released from a long car ride and welcomed into a big room with other missionary kids to play with? Energy. Ideas. Creativity. Noise. Games. And a bit of chaos. Especially add to the mix that these children live in an isolated area and do not have many chances to be together.
This past week fourteen of our mostly under 10-years-old TCK’s (Third Culture Kids) from Tohoku had the chance to be together for five hours while their parents were meeting (giving their parents a chance for prayer and fellowship). Toys, softballs, games, and craft supplies were provided and the kids wasted no time diving into activities.
We wanted the time to have more meaning and purpose, so Helen Lyttle, the TCK Advisor, and I put our heads together for some ideas. We decided to look at the story of Samuel and how he served God even as a young boy, just like these kids can do.
Helen used an animated story of Samuel projected on the wall and a chance for interaction with a little drama. The theme morphed into God calling Samuel’s name and how God knows our name. We sang the song, “He knows my name, He knows my every thought.” This was reinforced by the day’s handcraft: a poster on black hard paper with the outline of their name done with a silver marker such that the kids could fill it in with stickers and shape punch-outs. “God knows my name” was on the poster for the take-away thought.
The kids did a great job of decorating their posters. We did some free-play and games. Then after lunch, we went for a walk to a large, unused parking lot where we could watch airplanes take-off and land at a nearby airport. I also grew up on the mission field and those airplanes reminded me that there are too many partings in our lives. But just as I am thankful for the friendships of other missionary kids from years ago, so these children are forming special friendships, too.
We were also blessed by a big rainbow, which reminded us of God’s promises. Indeed, God has promised to be with us wherever we are located and He knows my name.
By Rowena McGinty