I want to know what I should be doing with my life, and to be able to do it right now, without making mistakes or doing things that aren’t my ultimate purpose. I wonder if you’re as impatient as I am. Lately I’ve been learning that to know what you like, sometimes you must try a few things. And that’s totally ok! It can take time to work out where your right fit is and there is always time to try something else. I have not seen a clearer picture of this in my life than when I was serving God in East Timor.
With 40% of the population below the age of 15 in East Timor, it’s no surprise that WEC has several children’s ministry programs. My good friend Lauren and I have both done different children’s ministries over the years and so before we left Melbourne, we prepared some crafts and simple games and activities for this purpose.
Most of these ideas went out the window when we met with the team and saw their program. The children were a lot younger than I was expecting, and their English levels were a lot lower than I’d experienced before.
Three days a week WEC runs a children’s program called ‘Esperanca’ meaning hope. When we arrived, we were told they’d been learning the significance of the cross and so if we had a craft that would fit the theme that would be great. Through some quick online searching, we found a cross making craft that was easy to demonstrate to the children.
I loved watching the 30 children sit down and help one another make the craft. It was beautiful seeing them draw things they were thankful for as well as write prayers and the scriptures they’d been memorising in the program. One boy simply drew a picture of Jesus on his cross with the words ‘thank Jesus’ on the top. This brought tears to my eyes that he grasped the concept of the cross at such a young age.
Then the balloons came out and laughter and squeals of delight filled the atmosphere. I’ve never seen children so delighted by balloons before.
After being successful with the Esperanca program I was feeling confident that we’d have success with the Petra Kids ministry too. I thought that even though some of the children were younger, we’d be able to entertain the handful of children for a couple of hours with games and songs.
Well you could imagine my shock when we suddenly found ourselves leading 50+ children, who spoke very little English. Fortunately, we had some help from the WEC ladies, and were able to entertain them with crafts and activities for the 2hour program. By the time it ended I was exhausted!
It was at this point that I realised children’s ministry is not for me. Whilst I love and adore children, and will gladly play with them, doing this all the time is not my cup of tea.
Lauren on the other hand thrived in this situation. She was in her element and will make an amazing pre-school teacher (so glad it’s her, not me.)
For a while I felt guilty about this. I felt like to be a “good Christian” I should love kids ministry and doing this sort of thing. I don’t know where I picked up this idea but writing it down, I know it’s not true. I believe God gives us unique dreams and passions. Children’s ministry is not where I came alive and flourished, in fact I felt the opposite way. But I’m so glad that I went. We live in a time where we are saturated with options, and that’s can be overwhelming and exhausting! ‘Where do I even start, and what if I make the wrong move?’ Slowly I’m learning that sometimes you’ve just got to try something like I did with children’s ministry, because I can see that for now it’s not where I’m meant to be. So I encourage you today to give something new a try. You might find that you absolutely love it, or it might not be right for you and that’s ok too. But you won’t know that until you try.
Another time I want to share with you what did get me super excited, health work! If you know me or have read my “About me” page, you’ll know that I studied public health at university and loved it! So, stay tuned.
Thank you so much for joining me on this journey!