Mission Update: AWANA
What was your childhood introduction to faith? The Bible? Jesus and His love? For many… part of that introduction is AWANA. It is is a discipleship program for children from toddlers to high school. AWANA stands for Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed (2 Timothy 2:15). Each age group has beautifully designed curriculum that encourages Bible memorization, understanding, and application. There are clubs across the globe; together, they reach four million children with the good news of Jesus Christ each week. And we have one in Bethel at our church! This year, even with an online format for AWANA, we have about 36 children enrolled.
With AWANA online, some children engage with the Tuesday night worship and missionary group. Mrs. Smith (Nicole to us adults) prepares and leads worship for the children and is super motivating in acknowledging the progress of the children. We have a variety of leaders who call and listen to verses and check in with parents. Mrs. Perry (Alyssa to us adults) has worked diligently to have a wide range of adults share their missionary experiences. The children have
1) been taught about missionaries and organizations that the church supports (i.e., MARC and Arctic Barnabas),
2) heard from people in our own congregation that have served either locally or internationally (i.e., Dr. Ron and Kathy Bowerman, Nathan Hanna and Sandra King, Palmer and Bonnie Bailey, Fred Broerman),
3) listened to those in the Church Alaska congregation and their missionary experiences local and abroad (i.e., Bob and Rachelle White, Twyla Elhardt, Justine Chamberlain), and
4) learned about others who serve (i.e., Drew Williams in Scammon Bay, World Vision).
I’m sure there are volunteers and missionaries I have missed, but not intentionally. We are thankful to all those who have invested in our children! Pastor Adam has also provided some devotionals during this Tuesday night group. There are also a few groups that meet at other times online to dig deeper into the content of their curriculum.
One way that the children are celebrated for their progress in the curriculum is the “Caught Up Awards.” The point is not the awards. The point is to encourage children to engage and memorize Scripture. But the awards definitely help with that! These awards are given out a few times a year and the children/parents are always informed about the dates. When children have completed the required parts of their curriculum by a certain date, they get mentioned and an award 🙂 This is not the first year our program has done this, but we have seen the number of children reaching this award increase over time. This past “Caught Up” night, we saw 20 children receive awards! Congratulations to those children and families who have worked hard to stay on top of all the verses and lessons!!
While AWANA happens during the school year (which means we have a little bit left this season), it is never too late to ask questions, hop on the Tuesday Zoom, or even pray over the children (or over volunteering for next year).
Ministry Communications Director
PS. Our local AWANA had 20 of the 36 kids earn “Caught Up Awards” – meaning they are on track to finish a year of Jesus-focused discipleship curriculum! Learn more about curriculum and program by reading above or checking out our website.