Kids Connect to Congo!November 14, 2014
Each summer at Eureka Christian Church, Rev. Jennie Churchman leads a summer Sunday school called Kids Connect. This year she chose to use the “Journey to the Congo” curriculum in conjunction with the Congo Initiative, an eighteen month focus on partners and relationships between the Disciples of Christ and United Church of Christ in North America and partners in both the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo.
During Kids Connect, the children learned about the Congo and our long-standing relationships there, especially with the Community of the Disciples of Christ in the Congo (CDCC). They learned songs in Swahili and words in Lingala, two of the languages spoken in the DRC. In addition, the children shared snacks typical of the Congo (mainly fruit!) and made crafts inspired by traditional African handicrafts.
One of the great outcomes of this event was the raising of funds to build a well in the Congo that will provide clean water for a community. Each week the children brought in their offerings, some giving their own allowances. Offerings were collected at the start of the morning in a little bucket and each week they kept track of how much was still needed. The entire congregation also got involved and gave generously so that they could reach the goal. A total of $2000 was raised; enough to build one well with the extra supporting partners’ ongoing efforts to fight the spread of Ebola.
While the children focused on the Congo, they also learned about Global Ministries work with partners. Rev. Churchman said that one week, with a map displaying various countries, “we learned about several of our missionaries and what they are doing around the world. We had a world map displayed, and the children attached hearts to the map in the countries where those missionaries are serving. Each child named the missionary on his/her heart and what that missionary is doing.” In addition, the children learned about the work of Week of Compassion, each child marking on the map places where ministries are taking place and lives are being changed.
In reflecting on how this summer’s program affected the children of Eureka Christian Church, Rev. Churchman shared the story of one particular child. “After school started this fall, Adam, one of our third graders, was in school one day when his teacher pulled down the map for a lesson. His hand shot up as he recognized the country on the map. ‘That's Congo,’ he said, and he proceeded to tell his teacher and his class all that he had learned about Congo in summer Sunday school, including a Lingala word of greeting, a song, and that his Sunday school had generated money to build a well. He had evidently learned his lessons well, and he was one excited little boy!”
Global Ministries gives thanks for the children of Eureka Christian Church and their commitment to live in love and solidarity with sisters and brothers around the world.
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