AWANA teaches children ‘matter to God’
Program focuses on becoming disciples
By BOB COUPLAND
WARREN –”Because Kids Matter to God” is the theme of the AWANA Children’s Ministry program held each week at Grace United Methodist Church in Warren.
The international ministry program also is being held for children at many other area churches each week.
Lindsay Cameron, who organized the events for the AWANA program at Grace United Methodist Church, said on the first and third Wednesdays, children from the church and the local community receive a free meal at 5:30 p.m., followed by the program 6 to 8 p.m. each week that has a different theme.
She said she and other program organizers have put together programs where children are becoming lifelong disciples of God.
Cameron said children learned three ways God is with them: by praying to God, writing about God and reading the Bible.
”Be a leader. When God gives you something to do, he doesn’t abandon you. God is always with you during dark times, and when something bad happens to you,” Cameron said.
She said a different theme is provided each week, including ”Crazy Hair Night,” ”Superhero Night” ”Moustache Night,” and “Nickel and Dime Night.”
Cameron said through her research, she has learned that AWANA is the only ministry program that China allows to be used in its country.
“AWANA is helping children develop a lifelong relationship with God. They learn each week about God being in their lives,” she said.
Cameron said statistics show that of the people who participate in an AWANA program, 90 percent read the Bible regularly, bring their families to church and can quote verses from the Bible.
Cameron, who has worked as an English teacher in Chardon, said she is passionate about helping youth and providing them with hope and grace.
“AWANA is giving them resources and values and beliefs they can use the rest of their lives . I feel myself and the others helping with the AWANA program are making an investment in their future,” Cameron said.
She said church volunteers help with the program, which is geared to children in pre-kindergarten to sixth grade. A goal is to expand the program to include middle school and high school students.
Several children said they enjoy taking part in the program.
Hayden Culler, 9, of Warren, said he has learned about God and the ways God can be with you in your life. ”I learned that when I need Him, He will be there to protect me,” Culler said.
A’Keira Brown, 10, of Warren, said she likes learning about Jesus and having the opportunity to meet other children.
”We have learned how to communicate with God and our friends and leaning more about Jesus and how He works with us,” she said.
Alexis Kemmer, 11, of Warren, said this year has been fun with the games and activities each week.
For information, visit www.mywarrengrace.com