A Letter From Bintu in Bukavu
We have had a wonderful dry season this year! Wonderful indeed! Not too much dust, because we had some more rain during the very dry month. Yesterday again we had some rain. We have been having running water most of the time. Electricity was an issue sometimes but really things have not been too bad this year. Also, God has given us a wonderful VBS week with the children at the end of July through the first week of August.
This year our friend and coworker Jean Michel suggested that we work on the theme “Excellence”. At first it sounded really confusing to us and we could hardly think of how to explain such a complex matter to the children. But as we continued thinking and searching on Internet we found elements that allowed us to construct the most popular of all VBS sessions we have ever had.
Our theme: “A la poursuite de l’excellence” or “Pursuing/seeking the best”.
First, our goal was to teach our 24 young teachers and helpers to seek for the best of best in everything they do. Help them integrate the idea in their mindset so that during the 5 days of VBS class they could try their best to teach and help the 60 children, the participants in VBS, about this.
TARGETED POPULATION AND STAGES
24 young adults were trained for two mornings, to help as teachers.
60 children aged 6 to 14 were trained for one week in the VBS program.
About 15 young adults from families that sent someone to take care of their child on the field trip were taught the lessons of that day as well.
About a total of 99 young souls were trained in how to do our best in all we do.
Key verses: Ephesians 4:24-29
24 …put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness
of the truth. 25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we
are members of one another. 26 Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on you anger,
27 and do not give the devil an opportunity. 28 He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must
labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one
who has need. 29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good
for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
Our community in Bukavu is ruined by bad habits that have implanted and are becoming norms. Lies, corruption, robbery, prostitution…
Our goal in selecting this passage was to help learners decide to get rid of some of those things to present themselves better before Christ and their neighbor.
On the fifth day of the activities, we took a trip with our learners and went to a Nun Monastery called Murhesa. It is a very quiet place well kept where people go to escape from the busy city. We sat with the children on the grass and had a quiet moment of meditation on the Word of GOD and the best decisions were made of our lives.
PHYSICAL GOALS – to have a plan in everything we do and to seek to do and accomplish things in the best possible way in order to get the results for our own, for our family’s, for our boss’ satisfaction and for all the people who depend on us. Here we taught that one has to set different goals to live for and aim at in his/her life. We have to choose strategies and means to reach those goals. We may set financial goals, intellectual or learning goals, business goals, small projects goal and more.
Let us remember the 99 will bring the teachings back home and will impact at least 50 families that sent us their children for this year’s VBS.
Discussion class – In this class the children had a chance to discuss the Word of GOD with the teachers about how to work your character with GOD in order to build an excellent life in HIM and with those HE put around us in our family, school.
Music Class – In the music class our children learned the A, B, C of music; they sang a new song according to our theme. “We will work our best to be excellent in things we do…” Then they also learned how to play a few guitar and keyboard keys.
Craft and Creativity Class – In this class, children learned how to draw, color and build a paper house and a school.
Acting/Drama Class – The children created and read poems as well as short plays always in the theme. They performed on that Sunday for their parents.
Taking the bus to Murhesa – On the fifth day we took the children to Murhesa where we had a very pleasant quiet time with them. We meditated on our theme and on the life changing Word of GOD. We taught the children what it takes to please GOD and improve our relationship with him and with our neighbors every day.
Picnic Time – Most of the children have their picnic packed by their parents. However, our girls have to check and find those who have nothing. Another perfect occasion to teach the children about sharing.
Playtime – On our way back to town we stopped 13 km from Bukavu and had a great playtime for the children. This is a unique place to be with all these very excited young ones, as this is a yearly occasion for most of them. Last year we stopped here as well. They loved it!