Children learn how to evangelise

A total of 92 children registered for their camp, with parents supporting them by preparing food and drinks and as well as extending a helping hand du

Jul 06, 2018

By Dr Ivan Filmer
A total of 92 children registered for their camp, with parents supporting them by preparing food and drinks and as well as extending a helping hand during the sessions. There were some children from other parishes, and some non-Catholics as well. This year, the camp facilitators were Carmelita Xavier-Arokiadass and Anuja Xavier.

The camp began with Praise and Worship carried out by the Youth Ministry. They were able to connect with the young children with action songs which got the children all fired up. The facilitators divided the children into ten groups, each with a team leader. It was encouraging to note that this strategy enabled the children of different ages to work together to build a sense of camaraderie in the team. Facilitators made it a point to give encouraging words to those teams who showed good communication and team work, even though they did not always succeed in the activities.

The first activity was the ‘human bingo’ which served as an ice breaker. Each of the participants needed to fill up the boxes with the names of the people who fit the category stated in the list. This activity helped them to get to know each other better within a certain time.

In the next session, the video of Jonah was screened. The children were guided through the story of Jonah and the way he first avoided doing God’s command and the importance of living a life like Jesus every single day. Anuja addressed situations of where the children are able to evangelise by walking the ways of Jesus, especially in their everyday situations at home, in school and in church. It was emphasised that God’s mercy is abundant and He is ever willing to forgive us.

The next activity involved getting the children to reach out for sweets stuck high up on the walls, without the assistance of any furniture. They were told to try with the help of the team. There was much enthusiasm and laughter as they tried, failed, but eventually succeeded. The point to this activity was to instill the importance of Christians supporting one another in everything.

In line with the parish’s focus on the Scriptures, the next activity, True or False, tested the children’s Bible knowledge. A series of biblical facts were read out and the children had to indicate True or False. Parish priest Fr Martin Arlando, also participated but made it confusing to further test the children. This made them think and trust in what they know as correct in their faith.

There was a session on ways to counter bullying in schools. The children were encouraged to address the many situations they go through in school. They were very receptive and talked about numerous incidents that set fear in their hearts. Carmelita emphasised that Jesus promised that He is always with them, walking with them, hand in hand and that He would not leave them. This greatly encouraged the participants to be brave and remember that God lives in them and that they have no need to fear to stand up for themselves and for others.

This was further emphasised by drawing the children to an activity called Toothpaste & Toothpick. The children had to squeeze the paste onto a piece of paper and they were told to scoop the paste back into the tube. The moral of this activity was to remind the children that whatever that has been said or done cannot be taken back and that the damage is done. Therefore, forgiveness is crucial to ensure relationships are restored and to pray for themselves and those who hurt them.

In the final session, each team was given a script from a story in the Bible and within a limited time, they had to mime the story for others to identify it. This proved how creative our children can be in ways they did the mime with no props. They showed the amazing talent and gifts that God had given them.

The camp was indeed a task for the two facilitators as they were challenged to deal with the enthusiastic energy and noise of 92 children, each wanting to be heard. The children learned the importance of evangelising to their friends by showing the values of Christ in their actions. It also showed how the Youth Ministry was able to contribute their talents in handling all the Praise and Worship sessions, giving much joy to the young ones.

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