Day 17 - English Camp!
Hey guys! Unfortunately, it's hard to write updates because the WIFI at our church hasn't been able to keep up with the 20ish of us who are using it :(.
However, we just celebrated the end of our English camp for the kids by hosting a special church service and ceremony at the Good Neighbor Church (the one that the Harbours started). The parents were invited to watch the kids perform a song and join the new Mandarin service after. For the first three days, we hosted the camp at Pinglin Elementary, which is located right next door to the church. For the last two days, we had to use the church instead because the school wasn't able to open on weekends. Here is a breakdown of the average day for our camp:
6:30am - Wake up!
7:00am - Head downstairs to have a small worship session, devotional, and breakfast with the team.
8:00am - Walk over to the church to prepare for the opening session. This is where we would have interactive worship songs, fun group games, and activities to help kids remember the fruits of the Spirit. Pastor Jimmy and Don led worship every morning which included our theme song, "Fruit of the Spirit"!
9:20am - After singing and praises, the kids would split into their two classes (blue & yellow) and listen to a Bible story, which incorporates English teaching into it. Our teachers used many different lesson styles including felt board storytelling, chalkboard drawings, and even skits to help give the kids a visual representation of the Bible stories. Most of these kids haven't learned any English at all, or just started learning English, so it was always a challenge to make our lessons clear.
10:00am - Snack break!
10:45am - After the snack break, one class would head back to the classroom to do a craft activity while the other class went outside to play some group games. Crafts would change each day, and with the help of our lovely Aunties on the team, we were able to come up with some very creative Biblical activities for the kids. For example, on the first day, the kids created their own bags with the nine fruits of the spirit sponge painted on the outside of it. The games were also geared to be examples of the fruits of the spirit.
11:15am - When crafts and games finished, the kids would head back to the classrooms to learn English. Our team taught many different basic English lessons throughout the week which included learning the days of the week, names and foods.
12:05pm - Once English class finished, all of the kids and teachers rejoined in the auditorium to practice the songs that the kids would eventually perform during the closing ceremony. The older kids learned "The Fruit of the Spirit" song while the younger kids learned "Every Move I Make". We would also give anybody the opportunity to earn some candy by reciting the Fruits of the Spirit in English, or if they must, Chinese.
12:30pm - After the song rehearsals, we ate lunch together. What's awesome is that the Taiwan kids would always bring their own metal utensils and bowls to school and would wash them after they used them. Most of them even had their own refillable water bottles in which they used to fill up with tea or water. Early on in the week, Naomi actually bought the whole team a set of utensils for us to use during every meal.
1:15pm - Finally, after all of the activities, games, lessons, songs, and food, we would end the day by playing board games with the kids. These board game sessions were very nice because they allowed the teachers/team to interact more closely with the kids and have fun together. Our board games, of course, were games that would teach kids English. We played games such as Apples to Apples so that they could learn definitions of single, English words.
As mentioned earlier, we just finished the camp and about 30 students attended throughout the week. Of 24 students who were surveyed, 22 wrote that they accepted Christ during a powerful Gospel message on Saturday by Beth. Praise God for this awesome news!
On Monday, Josephine, Yann, Julie, Dennis, Vivien, Pastor Jimmy, and I will fly back to the states. The rest of the team will stay to host the second English camp next week! Unfortunately, the internet isn't able to handle me uploading pictures to this blog post, but I will definitely edit a video of what our English camp looked like and how these kids experienced God through it.
Please pray that:
- We fly home safely tomorrow!
- Praise God that 22 children accepted Christ into their hearts. Praise God that most of them learned the fruits of the spirit too!
- Pray that God will continue His great work through the rest of the team that is staying for the second English camp.
- Pray that the children will stay connected to Good Neighbor Church through church service, Sunday school, or future English classes/camps.
- Praise God for uniting our team through love and fellowship.
- Praise God for diverting two typhoons that were originally heading towards us to go around Taiwan on the north and the south of the island.