When we first arrived, my boys wanted nothing to do with Sunday School. They didn’t understand anything and it was very different so they preferred staying with us in the service. However I knew that it would be important for them in the long run to make friends and be comfortable in our church. So I started going up with them to Sunday School every, every Sunday during the service for 6 months. Since I was up there I started watching and participating in the class. Well, before you know it, soon I was considered a teacher. Now, you need to understand that teaching is something I enjoy, but there is a reason I chose to teach High School and left the kindergartners to my calmer, more energetic sister. However one thing about teaching younger kids is that they are very forgiving about your language level. So that, in short, that is the story to how I have found myself now an official teacher in our Sunday School class.
The last three weeks were my first weeks teaching since back, there are two other teachers I rotate with and they gave a little bit of a break when we came back. Being my first time back, it struck me how different things are here and so I thought I would share with you a little of what it is like to teach Sunday school class here. I am a teacher in the small class, which means anyone under the age of 6. I have kids from the age of 1 to the age of 6 and we have no toys. It depends on the week, but there can be any where from 5 to 10 kids in the class and there is never more than one teacher.
The first part of the time the small class and the medium age kids are together. We sing songs, do offering and share prayer requests. During this time one of the younger kids climbed up on my lap and was asleep in a few minutes. One things to know about African kids is that they can fall asleep anywhere as they rarely nap in a bed. Once the singing was done the medium class took off to their room and it was my time to teach. This leaves me alone in a class with 7-12 kids under the age of 6, I am sure sometimes God is up there laughing at how I ended up here. Oh well, to be honest it has grown on me. So I get up and quickly tie the sleeping kid on to my back so that I can still teach the lesson. I learned quickly the value of having a wrap around skirt on hand at all times when teaching little kids. I am teaching on Noah. So I drew a boat on a whiteboard I made at home and each one the kids takes a turn drawing part of the story.
At least a forth of the class, mostly the really young ones, have no idea what I am saying as the kids at this young of age usually only speak their mother tongue which is different in each family as to which language that is. However they are all used being completely lost as to what is going on. At the age of 3 they start going to school which is when they start learning French. One young kid needs to go the bathroom, so I send an older kids (you know 6) with him to help him go bathroom. Once the lesson is done we lay down the mat, the kids take their shoes off right away and find their place on the mat.
Each kids sits with a picture to color. Crayons are spread out and then for the next 20 minutes the kids take their time and color their papers, Even the little ones sit down and color for the longest time, something they learn in school very young here. I have a model done because it is very important here for them to color it right (you know no purple boats or anything :)) We then clean up and get shoes back on. If the service isn’t done we sing songs until the end.
My kids now go up to Sunday School no problem without me, but the ministry has grown on me. I have learned so must through teaching these young little hearts. Yet it is crazy when I think about it, just crazy how God has changed me and my boys over these past few years.