2019 EMMC Gathering – Children’s Activities Report – July 5 & 6, 2019 Soul Sanctuary, Winnipeg
While the adults were worshipping and learning together at the Gathering 2019 on July 5 & 6, 2019, the children had their own time together to learn and play and worship. The children’s activities were headed up by Jennifer Dyck, with Mehardeep Friesen and Betty Ann Dueck assisting.
The activities took place in the Day Care/Sunday School area of Soul Sanctuary, with a fenced in area just outside allowing for outdoor activities.
Although we had a schedule outlined, we held to that very loosely, as we let the days unfold, based on the number of children, and how well they were entertained on their own. Since we had an area designed for children ages 3 – 5+, there were plenty of toys, puzzles, cars, books, kitchen sets, etc. to keep the children entertained for hours. Jennifer had planned several crafts and also brought a lot of supplies like paper, markers, etc. so they could do their own crafting, which the kids thoroughly enjoyed and allowed for creativity based on age and interests. She also brought slime, and Betty Ann brought play dough, and this too kept the kids quite entertained. Betty Ann had a number of activity sheets (word searches, puzzles, and coloring pages) that the kids could access at any time. We had times of games, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, parachute, etc. outdoors to help break up the indoor activities. This worked well, but since it was quite warm, most kids did not want to be outdoors too long.
Each day, Jennifer had a time of “teaching” as she told the story of Isaiah and his response “Here I am, send me”, following the theme of the Gathering. Our theme song was about being the hands and feet of God, going where He wants us to go. On Friday we talked about how we were a family of churches coming together to worship God; on Saturday we focused on how our churches were answering God’s call and being sent out to do missions all around the world. We looked for all the countries/areas on the map where EMMC people were involved in missions. Many of our activity sheets were also based on the themes of “Here I am, Send Me”, the EMMC churches, and where they were involved in missions. Saturday, Natasha Friesen came to share her story, of how she, along with her family spent time in Bolivia as missionaries. She did an amazing job of engaging the kids in her experience.
Jennifer had rented a bouncy castle as a special treat for Saturday afternoon, and everyone was excitedly waiting. But…no bouncy castle showed up. In spite of Jennifer calling to confirm her online rental, the people claimed they had no request for a rental, and therefore could not deliver. Jennifer had a movie in her car, and that became the special activity for the afternoon.
Mealtimes were spent as a family, so the staﬀ had a break then. We had 3 extra helpers during some of the time on Saturday.
They were an amazing bunch of kids ranging in age from 1 to 11. They came from various churches across the EMMC, and seemed to get along very well, even though many had never met each other before. The overall experience was a very positive one for the kids, the parents and the workers.
~ Betty Anne Dueck, Winkler EMMC