June 06, 2014

jr. youth group - at st. luke's in dagoretti

i have just finished the 4th session at st. luke's educational center in dagoretti.  the group of 11-14 year olds (which we combine for group activities, not the study books) consists of 29 students.  today i asked them what do they like about the group.  one girl said she is growing in morals; another said everything is new and interesting; another added that he is growing spiritually.  they all agree that it is fun!  after the opening prayer and an update about our first service project, i introduced the theme of being a noble soul.  i drew 9 lines around in a circle which made it look like a light, then lightly made a stick figure attached to it, explaining that our body is a temple for our soul.  they easily named 9 virtues to describe some of the powers of the soul which, when practiced and developed, enable us to grow spiritually.  we defined the words 'unique' and 'potential' as well as the 3 forms of 'exercise' and how growth involves pain.

i then gave them a blank sheet of paper to write their name on and pass it to the person on their left.  each student had to write something good and positive about this person's character.  when they received their name back the page was full of virtues and admirable qualities that others see in them, which i asked them to keep in their jr. youth notebooks.

i asked them to stand and sing something to give us energy.  they started clapping and went joyfully into 3 gospel types of songs that made me smile from ear to ear.  their enthusiasm and love for God is so natural and communal that i am convinced that having less money means nothing when it comes to true happiness.  these beautiful children have very little in terms of material comforts, or even essentials, yet they are spiritually rich and fulfilled.  when they pray they exude genuine thankfulness and remember those less fortunate than themselves.

we then endeavored to do an experiment with sprouting seeds by using a ziploc bag, cotton balls and water.  the analogy of our hidden potential being discovered from within just like a seed was discussed.  i made the mistake of not bringing enough bags so they had an opportunity to exercise the qualities necessary to share willingly.

we then went outside and enjoyed some group games, including relay races which were a lot of fun.  as we stood in a giant circle on the field, we closed with prayer and many happy goodbyes.
the 11-12 year olds beginning Breezes of Confirmation at the 3rd session

the 13-14 year olds are studying Walking the Straight Path on their own in a separate room

the teachers, principal, Mr. Kamau, and neighbors studying book 1 in preparation for becoming children's class teachers and animators

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