Watching God Move

by Jess Slenker
This past year I have seen God move in a strong way at Awana! This year Awana leadership was expecting a low number of children. We had a lot of 6th graders move up to Pulse youth group and we couldn’t see where children would come from. In our Cubbies group (ages three and four), we were expecting only to have about four children, for Sparks (K-Grade two) we expected 12 and for T&Ts (Grades three-six) we expected about 24. God had something else in mind and was moving without us seeing. The four Cubbies we thought we would have turned into 14, the 12 Sparks turned into 30, and the 24 T&Ts turned into 46. That’s double the amount of children we expected!
It’s fantastic, but the number of kids is not what is important. It means nothing if they aren’t learning anything when they walk through the doors. God is too great and too big and too wonderful to let that happen. We start every Awana meeting with our theme song and prayer as well as pointing out the prizes/rewards they can earn. We follow this up by saying and asking, “the awards are good and fun, but they are not what is important. Why are we learning these verses? Why is it so important?” With a beaming smile and hand raised high in the air, Miss Finley Hess answers, “So we can hide God’s Word in our heart!” (I think this is her favorite time at Awana. She loves to share God!) The kids get it! They know God loves them and that it’s important to know His Word!
Before Christmas I taught a Candy Cane Lesson to go with our Candy Cane Theme Night. That simple lesson brought two Sparks to know Christ as their Savior. The following week, I taught the Christmas lesson and gave the opportunity again to accept Christ. This time four children prayed. I knew some had prayed before and I was concerned they didn’t understand salvation. I wanted to be sure they knew it could never be taken away from them. I prayed to God and talked with Pastor Todd. I came to realize that God took care of everything at the beginning of the Awana year! He is so good!
The next lesson series I was scheduled to teach was on the fruit of the spirit. I was able to go over teaching that salvation is prayed for one time, we never lose it, and after that God ripens the fruit inside us so we become more like Him. The examples the kids give and the understanding they have blows me away. You can see the love they have for God and the excitement. And it is showing not only in the way they talk but also in the way they learn their verses.
At the end of the Awana year, awards are handed out for finishing books (usually we have about 10 Sparks and 10 T&Ts) but this year we have record number of children finishing books. We have children knowing all 66 books of the Bible and so excited about God! We are seeing God move in the questions the kids ask, the answers they have, the love they have for one another, and the way they worship God.
God further confirmed that He is moving in Awana after I started writing this. Miss Devon, who leads the Cubbies, teaches her Clubbers to praise God through song and dance. They then share that worship one evening with the rest of Awana at our closing before dismissal. This year she picked “God is on the Move” by Seventh Time Down. She sent this after I titled this devotion “Watching God Move!” I just love God and how He works everything together. God you are truly amazing and I never cease to be in awe of how You move!

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