Seasons Change

A reflection by Tammy Slaughter.

Season: 1. one of the four periods of the year (spring, summer, autumn and winter). 2. a period of the year when something is best or available

Change: 1. to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of something different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone

We all have seasons in our lives, and depending on where we are and our perspective, we will determine whether each season requires some kind of change.

A student takes a break between homework and singing at Bible Club on the West Side.

A student takes a break between homework and singing at Bible Club on the West Side.

Julian* has been attending Bible Club Plus** off and on for about three years now. He loves to fellowship and have dinner with us, but it is difficult to establish a relationship with him. Additionally, he doesn't seem to fully understand the parameters and disciplines that come with attending Bible Club Plus. For example, he doesn't often have homework, so he wants to socialize throughout group, disrupting other students. Whether speaking loudly and out of turn, or hitting the boys and teasing the girls, Julian can be pretty disruptive.

Juanita* on the other hand is pretty quiet. She likes to hide away in the midst of the students. One day, 6 year-old Juanita was asked to share one thing she likes about herself. She said her [plaited] hair. The boys laughed. She shut down.

Another student Abigail*, needs a place where she can be free to sing and express her feelings. She’s 10 yrs old but at this age is already whispering to me about women, marriage and raising a family.

Each of these students is lively and vibrant and need to be able to express themselves without the fear of being ridiculed. They need separate clubs—one for boys and one for girls. Two clubs, one night. With the assistance of a new Bible Club leader this year, we've been able to provide a venue where the boys are able to be boys and the girls are able to be girls.

Julian has been joining groups a bit more often. One day he worked so quietly within the group, I could not stop affirming him. He was so happy, he reminded me on a number of occasions to share the news with Steve—the club leader—who would arrive a bit later. Across the street, eight girls including Juanita and Abigail would freely dance and sing to praise and worship music. Later, they’d write in their journals about how they believe God sees them. Their views are different and interesting.

A young boy receives homework help from volunteer, Jordan, during bible club plus.

A young boy receives homework help from volunteer, Jordan, during bible club plus.

There are many areas where we desire to grow and change. And the changes, although challenging to some degree, have been great! I can see where Pastor Les, Steve, Stefie, the kids and I are being challenged and stretched.

We hope this process will help us to understand these youth better, and aid in developing curriculum that more closely relates to them.

Would you please pray for us during this season of change?

* Students names have been changed 

**Bible Club Plus is tailored to meet both the spiritual and physical (or felt) needs of students in 1st-5th grade. We hope to build positive character traits based on Biblical principals while introducing students to the gospel of Christ. We also provide a healthy and nutritious meal and snacks and seek ways to increase family involvement. Additionally, students meet twice a week to receive homework support.