By Miriam Ankerbrand, Group Events Coordinator
Recently, I visited one of our Bible Adventure classes. Bible Adventure is a part of Joy El, a Christian camp and retreat center in PA. When I arrived, the school coordinator greeted me, “Oh, we’re glad you’re here today! We’d love to have you be a listener! We’ll have you sit with the 3rd and 4th graders today.”
Quickly, she told me there would be three children in that group, two boys and a girl. She then shared, “Levi may be a handful. If he is a distraction, just know that he struggles to focus and it’s not because you are visiting.”
Soon, there were three young faces looking at me around the table where we sat. As the students studied my face and my name tag, I said to them, “I hope you will be kind to me today. I’ve never been a listener before and I need your help to know what I am to do.”
Almost immediately, Levi spoke up. “Miss Jane gives us a work sheet first and we fill that out. While we’re doing that, she asks each of us if we have any verses to say. *Tabitha usually goes first.”
Sure enough, Tabitha was ready to go and immediately looked up the verse for the day. She then explained it to me and recited it to me. “How many points is that?” she asked.
“Three,” I replied and Levi came around to my side of the table. “Here’s where you mark her card,” he said as he pointed to the appropriate spot. Levi didn’t seem distracted at all as Miss Jane had described. “Jaxson goes next,” Levi informed me. After Jaxson recited and looked up his verse, I said, “Levi, it’s your turn now,” I said to him.
Levi opened the Bible he had brought with him and tried to look up the verse. He was having difficulty. “Here’s a trick I learned to help me,” I said. “Psalms is in the middle.”
He opened the Bible to Psalms. “Now where?” he questioned.
“The New Testament is in the second half of the Bible and that’s where you’ll find Romans,” I told him.
He soon found the New Testament and with some additional help from me found Romans 3:23. He read it, but what he read did not sound familiar at all to me. “Are you sure you have Romans 3:23?” I asked.
“Yup, look.” He pointed to the passage. It was indeed Romans 3:23, but it was version I had never seen before and the wording was really confusing. “This verse doesn’t make sense,” he said.
I agreed with him and proceeded to show him the verse in one of the Bibles we use at Bible Adventure. “Now that makes more sense!” he exclaimed. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” he read aloud. “That means none of us are free of sin and if we don’t ask forgiveness for our sins, we can’t be with God!” he exclaimed. It was as if the Bible was coming alive for him in that moment! “Let me do another!” he begged. And so he did.
Then it was time for the lesson of the day. Miss Jane caught up to me and asked, “How did it go? How was Levi today?”
I shared what had happened and she was surprised to hear how helpful he had been. But I was more excited to share how he had understanding of what he was learning that day. She agreed that we needed to send one of the Bible Adventure Bibles home with him.
It’s exciting to see children get excited about reading God’s Word and understanding what it means! What a privilege it is that we can be a part of that with Bible Adventure!
*Names have been changed
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Joy El Camps and Retreats is a Christian Camp in PA, we offer Christian camps and retreats year-round in PA and we are a retreat center in Pennsylvania since 1974. Our focus on making disciples is seen in Bible Adventure and the 4.12 Leadership Training Program
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