GROWING UP IN THE CHURCH
I am head of the Children’s Department at church. Along with a staff of five others, I lead the Sunday school program and other activities for kids. We divide our young folks into three categories: 3 to 6-year-olds, 7 to 10-year-olds, and 11 to 14-year-olds. The 11 to 14’s are called Light (Lumiere). I teach them every Sunday morning and host them for a Jr. Youth activity every Sunday afternoon. I also see many of them on Tuesdays for a Jr. Youth Worship Team activity. Many are band members and soccer team members as well. I see them a lot.
In our church, when a young person turns 15, they are free to leave Lumiere and join the Youth Group. Many are not ‘ready’ to do so right away. They continue in Lumiere for as long as they choose, with 18 being the absolute deadline. As such, we give them three years to make that leap out of childhood and into real Youth activities.
This month, we are helping 11 young people make that jump away from childhood. It is a powerful moment in some ways. I get to know the kids very well in the three or more years they spend in Lumiere. Many of them I have worked with since they were tiny. I remember the day some of them reached the age of 11 when they could finally be part of Lumiere. They come in with great big smiles. It’s a step toward adulthood. It’s growth. Now, several years later, they are looking more and more like adults. I send them on to the next step in their lives.
I love my job. I love getting to know the young girls and boys that are in our church. I love watching them turn into adults. It is a joy to see their personalities develop. I thank God for the opportunity to be here doing what I do.
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Missionary in Haiti.