I go there every Friday afternoon. It’s like Sunday school but with more beat, more noise and more want. This is a children’s ministry called King’s Kids at Embo, a small community near Hillcrest, KZN.
What do we hope to achieve?
Our mission is to build relationships and teach them about God. If they go home with just one verse or a single thought, we have accomplished what we have set out to achieve.
Okay, so what do we do?
We are a few teachers and each of us has a Zulu translator; most of them still in high school. The language barrier can be quite challenging and frustrating as there is always that gap (where translation happens) before you can bring life to your thought process. And with a memory like mine I often forget what I was saying just before the translation happens.
The kids usually stroll in around 13.45 on a Friday afternoon and the Embo community hall echos their excitement, joy and anticipation. They’ve come for a show and boy, will they get one! We generally start with games and each of us have a turn to facilitate the games – up to now I’ve managed to lay low on this one. This is usually where I start pleading for a solid pair of ear plugs.
After the games someone else will take over and lead them in singing songs, where after yet another teacher takes over and tells a story – dramatically. I love this part! You need to really give it to them. The story must have oomph, an element of surprise, visual stuff, noise, acting and a few sudden movements to keep them intrigued. This part also happens with a translator.
After the story the kids all go to their classes together with a translator. I am the teacher for the Gr.1′s – what an adorable bunch of kids! During this time we reinforce the lesson, get to know them a bit better, pray with them and have them do a related activity like colouring in. This is also the point in time where I accept the fact that I will never get to pronounce or remember their names. Ever. Where we have names like Mary and Sue, they have names like Nombuyiselo and Ntombikayise. Helloooo! Is it just me? I just cannot do it. I’ve asked them to repeat their names to me plenty of times, but still have no luck remembering.
When we’re done with the lesson they queue for something to eat and drink and we all go home. Until next week, that is.
Why I love’it
I’ve always thought that I’ve missed my real calling: Acting. With kids you can never be too over the top which means that I don’t have to put in that much effort. At Embo I don’t only get to sow some eternal seeds, I get to play, love and act.