Newsletter Issue #13 -- May 7, 2018
Featured Writer: Emmalea Butler
Today's Bible game, God's Safety Zone, was created by Emmalea Butler, a longtime writer and subscriber to SundaySchoolNetwork.com. God is doing amazing work through Emmalea. She is impacting her community with the love of Jesus by being his hands and feet. She is the co-founder of The Great Adventure Club and the Executive Director of The Lord's Locker, a non-profit food and clothing pantry ministry that shares the Gospel. I hope Emmalea's story inspires you!
Emmalea writes, "This year was our 15th year of holding an after-school Bible Club in public school. We had 66 Recruits this year, with an average attendance of 61. The first year, we offered the Good News Club through Child Evangelism Fellowship. At the time, we were told we were the largest club in the world except for a club in Africa. We had 285 children, grew to 315, and included children from Kindergarten through 5th grade. After having a 6-week club, for each semester, the decision was made to form The Great Adventure Club for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders, and write our own curriculum. We now limit our clubs to 80 children, have up to 30 volunteers, which also includes 12 middle and high school peers as assistants to our adult leaders. Our club is divided into 8 groups of 10, with 2 adults and 1 teen per group. This ratio works out wonderfully.
This semester we taught the Armor of God, (see coordinating game link, below). Look at our great group of Recruits---Soldiers of the Cross!
My favorite part is that parents, grandparents, other family, and friends are invited to come see the closing program. Much like a VBS,
the kids will participate in showing our guests what they have learned. We have a response cadence about our club that they eco back as each line is called out. The Recruits lead the pledges, opening prayer, and recite the memory verse,
this semester they memorized Ephesians 6:10-11. They perform an action song,
Armor of GOD, and then they sign and sing, I Can Only Imagine, sung my Mercy
Me. Truly a crowd pleaser (parents often cry); you can hear a pin drop in the gym when they finish. I instruct the parents to not applaud at the end and experience the worship gift of the silence. We truly feel the
presence of the Holy Spirit. It is such a precious moment.
The gospel will be presented with kids responding appropriately in military
style. Certain things I say, they respond with big, husky loud voices. They
really do sound like military men with a BIG "A-MEN" voice at the end of our
The kids don't know it yet (in case it falls through), a retired soldier requested the use of a Humvee to display for the kids. Hopefully, we will also have at least 20 soldiers in uniform sit in a section of the gym bleachers to watch the kids program and hear the gospel presented! We live near an army base; it is SUPER busy right now. We are hoping and praying for GOD's favor in having this treat next week. I haven't received confirmation yet! I have NO other backup plan, so PRAY with me on this, that GOD grants this favor for the kids, and for the 20+ soldiers that need to hear the gospel. Most of the troops are preparing to go overseas!
There's a miracle girl in the photo, above. She's the one holding the hand of the woman in green, far left, next to the man sitting down who's wearing a black t-shirt. The girl's name is Audrey. She has half a brain! When she was a tiny baby, she began having seizures. No matter what the doctors tried, the seizures got worse, to the point, she had them continually. She had no quality of life. The doctors said they could try removing half of her brain that was damaged. It worked! She walks and talks like any other child, loves to read, but is very timid and fearful of trying some things. The step up onto the bleachers was too much for her. Stepping up was a challenge; she was fearful of falling, but she agreed to try, IF someone would hold her hand.
She is a little slow, very quiet, overwhelmed at the games of running around (like the game I'm sharing today) so she doesn't participate in those activities but will watch. She has taken dance classes at The Lord's Locker 'A Time to Dance Studio' for 4 years. She dances with her class of 6, but has never performed on stage. Last year was the first time she went on stage to receive her trophy. I'm praying she uses her full armor of GOD, and will get on the stage to dance this year.
Audrey is a miracle and a joy to work with. She likes me, but mostly she likes my monkey puppet, JoJo. After all the kids have left the gym, she stays with me until she is picked up a bit later. I've let her put JoJo on her arm. Today, for the first time, she moved JoJo's head and made the mouth move. Some younger kids were in the room and she agreed to let them see the monkey. They thought she was a wonderful puppeteer. She became braver to move the monkey a bit more. The little ones giggled. Audrey came a bit further out of her box! I loved witnessing this!"
Thank you, Emmalea, for sharing your inspirational story!
Guard your minds in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 6:10-20, Philippians 4:7