In April, Colombia celebrates the Day of the Child. It is a day to celebrate children and bring awareness to the realities they face. In many places, like schools and churches, they turn the whole month into the Month of the Child. It was so encouraging to see churches committed to creating spaces and experiences for children to interact with each other, with adults from the congregation, and with God. Comunidad Cristiana Shalom focused every Sunday on children, inviting guest pastors and preachers to focus on the value of children in Scripture, the relationship between children and parents, the role of the church community in the faith formation of children. I, Katie, was invited to share on the last team, and the children were the protagonists in leading the online worship service. Boys from the House of Peace, a ministry of Shalom, shared Scripture and led in a song. Other children gave greetings. Three of the kids lead in a time of signing and prayer. What a beautiful time of worship it was! I felt honored to be a part of it.
Shalom also held a Saturday night virtual pajama party for kids and families. We got online at 9pm and spent an hour “hanging out” with friends, playing games, laughing, opening a little gift the church had sent to each child’s home. Another creative engaging way to connect kids and families when we are in weekend quarantine.
On May 1st I will be participating in a panel discussion around the topic of children and the churches response to the way they are treated as “things” to be used, instead of valuable beings created in the image of God. This too is being hosted by Shalom. I’ve also had the privilege this month of leading online training for children’s ministry leaders and teachers in the town (and surrounding countryside) of San Marcos. Many of them are new to children’s ministry and so we are looking at what is involved in formation and the role of the teacher. It’s been such a beautiful time of sharing and learning.
It’s been fun to see our own kids this month use their creativity during their virtual learning. This week both boys had art projects that required them to get off the computer and get creative and a little messy. So proud of them and the ways they adapt and engage in learning.