Saturday, February 14, 2009

Christian Life Club --a Grand Valentine Party

Actually, it was a Missions Night --"Tastes of Africa." Kathy Heisinger and her young helper, Catelyn Claytor, prepared several authentic African recipes and my 15 Trail Blazers (3rd and 4th graders) served them into 50 little cups so that all the Christian Life Club members and teachers could taste them. Kathy admonished them to not say "I don't like it --ychh!" and to say, instead, "It's different!" if they couldn't say they liked it.

I found all the dishes quite tasty, actually. And I was proud of how neatly the kids dished up the tasting cups, even carrying trays of ginger ale (they have that in Africa!) to the tables without spilling or getting tripped. Kathy told them to wash their hands, first thing, and then gave them each one plastic glove to wear. My assistant Bea laughed at the nose picking and hair smoothing she saw with the gloved hand. O well. What I don't see doesn't bother me!

The TABLES! BEAUTIFULLY adorned with Cotton fabric in bright African prints by Sue Conklin. She pulled the church's artificial plants and trees into the large foyer where she set up the tables --for an elegant African theme -with carved giraffes and elephants on the tables.

The teachers donned attire that demonstrated the different roles of our missionaries in Africa: nurses, doctors, teachers, ministers, builders, mechanics.

AFter that we retired to our classrooms where I had one half hour to help them make paper plate baskets. At each place setting I had baggies with 16 peel and stick foam hearts of different sizes and colors, and 2 red styrofoam plates, and a pre-cut sparkly ribbon. Treats were set up on a different table with a gospel booklet titled, "The Way to God." They took large red plastic cups, filled them with one each of the various kinds of candy, gum, hot chocolate packet, and a large heart lollipop. These they placed between the plates which they stapled half-way around. I punched a hole for the ribbon and they tied a handle for their paper plate gift basket, which they decorated with the pink, white and red hearts.

They were told to take these home and give them to someone and share the gospel booklet by reading it to their friend, preferably a neighbor and someone not in our church or the club. This was to fulfill two badge requirements --being kind to someone, preferably a neighbor, with a gift --and sharing Christ with them with the Gospel booklets.

Two girls brought treats to share, lollipop and cookie for each, knowing it was a Valentine Party.

They also got to fill a snack baggie with candies for themselves --and ended the evening with Dairy Queen ice cream bars. We got done in the nick of time ---and concluded in the chapel with the others, singing an African Christian song from the Wototo Choir kids from Uganda --who came to our church the year before to do a concert. "What a Friend We Have in Jesus," African style. "Ju ju ju ju ju" --"higher higher higher " --"Lift up Jesus HIgher!" and then "Chini chini chini chini chini" which means "lower, lower, lower--lower Satan lower."

That good old dualism! I sure do know it exists --as we see kids wrestling with temptation to do evil instead of good --to be selfish or not --to be mean or to be kind! CLC --is on the good side of The Force!

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible


kateb said...

What a nice post. It was a good experience for the kids. The duality of spirit can be clearly seen in your blog too.

And it's so tempting to talk to the evil one, isn't it? Because he knows how to frame the argument to get the biggest response out of us!

But it is good that while your kids have to learn to address the world's ways, they have the activities you and the others provide to keep them in the right frame of mind!

Jeanette said...

I once had a neighbor who was from Ethiopia. What a wonderful woman she was!

Her father was Italian, as the Italian military had been in Ethiopia for awhile. She was one of the girls who had been "circumsised", but I only learned that from her very good Italian friend who was my next door neighbor.

Maria (the Ethiopian)had married an American serviceman in hopes of being able to find a child that had been taken from her by his or her American father.

She would make wonderful food. Almost everything she made had curry in it. My husband loved the potatoes she cooked and seasoned with things including a big helping of what I think was curry.

The reason for all the seasoning was the lack of refrigeration and the spices were supposed to preserve the food.

I would watch her eat anything with her fingers and never did she have dirty hands during or after eating. She would meticulously and professionally scoop the food after running her fingers around the bowl to get it together and then put it into her mouth, licking off whatever drippings there were. Not in a gross way.

I would spend hours with these two women. They fixed boiled eggs and ate them with oil and vinegar. It was delicious, but I think that was northern Italian.

Spaghetti was like potatoes to my Italian neighbor. If I ever wanted spaghetti I would go to her house because it was always on hand. She would serve it at every meal with her meat dish and veggies.

Thanks for reminding me of these happy days and my experiences with different, authentic African and Italian cuisine. You can't find it in any restaurant, but it's better than what you will find in a restaurant.

Oh, and they answered the phone with, "Pronto? rolling the "r".

Anonymous said...

The world doesn't exist in black and white, most decisions exist in a spectrum of greys. Dualism is the refuge of those who refuse to think critically.

Barb said...

I think there are some grays --by the grace of God --but there are some behaviors that are wrong or right and clearly so. Children wrestle with self-control in these areas and have to resist temptation to do what is wrong --same as others. But will-power is either strengthened or not acquired in childhood.