This week I had the opportunity to lead the story/cinema station for our church’s afternoon daycamp. For four days I was visited by different grade levels, where we would review the Bible story for the day, learn our memory verse, and I would share a story of someone who lived out the day’s main point in their lives. It took a bit of searching to find just the right story to fit with each day’s point, and each story was inspiration to me as the leader so I hope it inspired the kiddos who hung out with me too.
Day 1 – Dream Big
The Bible story for the day was about Creation, so after we reviewed I asked the kids if they thought God dreamed up creation before he went to work creating. Then I asked the kids to share something they dreamed of doing, which got a lot of fun responses. (Turns out like 90% of the preschool group dreams of being as singer, just like their leader who shared first.) I shared that sometimes the dreams we dream are put in our hearts by God and that we show God love when we chase after them and don’t give up. Then we read Drum Dream Girl, about a girl who dreamed of playing the drums in her island community on Cuba but was told only boys could play the drums.
Day 2 – Be Bold
We learned about Esther this day and had a great time reviewing how she had to be bold to go to the king for help to try to save her family and friends. I asked the students if they had a time they had to be bold or do something courageous, and shared about how God helps us to have courage when we need to do the right thing. I searched high and low for a great story of someone being bold and kept coming back to Nobel Peace Prize Winner Malala Yousefzi and this great children’s book of her story. I was nervous to share with my younger students about her being shot point-blank, so I summarized her story as I showed the pictures and just told the children that the bad Taliban guys were so angry that she kept going to school when they told her not to that they hurt her badly. They hurt her bad enough to send her to the hospital. (One of my kindergartners was angry that I wouldn’t go into further detail about how they hurt her, LOL!) For my older grades I showed them this video from ABC News which showed just how miraculous her survival was. I especially loved that she claims that she survived because God was with her and the people prayed for her.
Day 3 – Imagine Anything
Our Bible Story for the day was about Jesus walking on the water, which I always love telling because of the ghost part. We talked about how Peter had to imagine something different then he knew to be able to step out of the boat in faith, and I asked the kids who gave them their imaginations. Of course they told me God did, and we talked about what a great gift an imagination is as we brainstormed all the ways we use it. I told them they could use their imagination to solve problems and come up with new inventions, and then shared this fun story of Margaret Knight, the “Lady Edison.” Even the youngest kids stayed engaged in this longer book.
Day 4 – Discover More
Today we talked about Pentecost and how God’s gift of the Holy Spirit lets us do more than we even thought we could. I shared about how we can take the things we learn in school or in life and honor God by making life better for the people around us. I had two stories of women who studied hard and then planted trees to make life better for the people around them. We read Wangari’s Trees of Peace about Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai who empowered the women in her Kenyan village by planting trees and then we read about Kate Sessions in The Tree Lady, and how she became a “tree hunter” to find, grow, and spread trees all over the desert of San Diego, and especially Balboa Park. For the older kids I showed them the books and gave them a brief rundown, but then watched the first 10 minutes of this video on Balboa Park, and this tribute video to Wangari.
And while I didn’t set out with purpose to find stories about women, I loved that each story I shared this week was about an amazing and inspirational woman.
Let me know if you check out these books for your kids and what they think.