Saturday, November 14, 2015

Stories with Sticks

We had such a great day at our Apalina children's meeting yesterday that we wanted to share all about it with you! First of all, we have to say a big thank you to Orsi, Ildiko and Judit for being such great partners in our work in Apalina. It is great to be involved in the work right alongside our Romanian friends.

A few weeks ago, Katie and I had the opportunity to attend a conference for those who work with children and youth in the church. We left feeling very excited about a few of the resources that we heard about during the weekend. One of these resources is This website has excellent pictures to use in telling Bible stories to children. It's also (as the name tells) FREE! You can download the PowerPoint version of the pictures along with a script (in English, Hungarian or Romanian for most stories) and you have vivid, readymade visuals to accompany your story. We have already used this site several times in our children's meetings!

Yesterday, we were able to use another idea we've been so excited about! I don't know the official name, but I'm calling them story-telling sticks. It's really just four pieces of heavy cardboard cut into equal lengths and attached with brads. You can then use these "sticks" to make many different shapes. We used them to tell the story of the paralyzed man being brought to Jesus by his friends from Mark 2:1-12. With this visual, the kids were much more engaged than if we had simply told them the story! They watched carefully to see what shape I'd make next.  The best part was after I told the story, when we had a couple of the children use the sticks to re-tell the story themselves! Even those who didn't use the sticks were helping tell what happened next because they were better able to remember the story.  And the kids loved using the sticks!

For an activity after the story, we went outside and had relay races in which four friends had to carry one of their teammates on a blanket (to mimic the paralytic and his four friends). There was so much laughter that many of the teams couldn't even make it back to the start without having to put their blanket down and regroup! We found this brilliant idea over on Mission Bible Class, another wonderful free resource brought to us by some very hard-working folks down in New Zealand!

We are very thankful to Angus Cleaver and his friends at the Cleaford Trust for sharing these resources with us. Thanks also to those of you who are faithfully praying for us as we share God's love with the children in Romania. Enjoy the photos and video below!

Using the story-telling sticks

Blanket relay races!

Enjoy the laughter and cheers!

- Paul

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