Let's get walkin'

shoes.jpg

Did you know that every year NAD VBS picks a mission project to sponsor? They encourage kids to collect donations to help other kids in need! (Find out more here: Operation Wheels)

This year, our VBX (Vacation Bible Experience), Cactusville, is featuring "Operation Wheels". Operation Wheels is a Kids-helping-kids Refugee Mission project. 

In 2016, nearly 85,000 refugee came to the United States! Arizona, where Operation Wheels funds are headed, is in the top 6 in the nation of states that receive refugees!

We are so excited about this mission project that we decided it was time that not only the children raised funds, but we did too! Children's Ministries of the North American Divison is encouraging our directors, presenters, SS teachers, parents, and staff to participate in a Walk-a-thon!

So here is how it work!

What? A walk-a-thon. Simply get people to sponsor your activity! (Ex; $.50 per lap or mile, $5.00 per lap or mile). Here is the petition for you can use: Petition Form

Who? YOU! That's right. If you love children, and are passionate about Operation Wheels and what everything that Operation Wheels does... You're in!

Where? Right where you are. Just pick a spot, and start walking. Use an app to track your progress. Here's a list of a few good ones: List of Apps

When? From now until December 31st. Choose a day that works best for you or your family! 

How? Use #OperationWheelsVBX to promote and push this initiative on your social media pages! Wear your shirts (Order your shirt by emailing katibritton@nadadventist.org --Just $10 a shirt) and start asking around for sponsors! 

WE ARE SO EXCITED!

We've been working hard to keep you current on latest news, stories, and resources for your homes and churches and we are just so excited to spread the word.

Our friend, Henry Guerra, has recorded a promotional video for us to share! So if you're trying to get people to learn more about Children's Ministries... we invite you to share this video! And we even have it in Spanish too!

Check it out! 

It's here!

Yes! You read that correctly! We are done with our Children's Sabbath 2017 materials and they're ready for you to download for FREE!

CLICK HERE for all the pieces to an excellent Children's Sabbath program for your church!

Remember to take lots of pictures and use #ChildrensSabbath2017 on your pictures on social media for us to see how it's going!

Inclusive.

Group publishing put out a little booklet called "Children's Ministry pocket guide to Special Needs". It's a little, but very informative booklet that highlights quick tips to reach every single child. Whether it be in your Sabbath school class, day care, on the streets or at home.

The book starts off with "General Tips for Teachers" and I think it's IMPERATIVE to share these with you! (However, you should definitely read this entire booklet on your own!)

  • Understand that a child with special needs has the same spiritual needs as other children.
  • Talk with the parents about what can make the child feel more comfortable. Learn the child's favorite songs, Bible stories, or activities. 
  • Learn about the child's special needs. Most teachers want to help but just don't know how.
  • Use visuals-- simple listening to stories is hard for a child with special needs.
  • Experiment to find out what works best for the child.
  • Stability and routine are crucial. The simplest change in routine can be traumatic for a child (depending on the disability)
  • Remember that children with special needs are more like other children then they are different from them.
  • Be aware that most curriculum and activities can be modified or adapted to involve all the children in the classroom routines. 

Out of all these tips, there are TWO that stuck out the most to me.

1. "Learn about the child's special needs."

Did you know that "Up to one-third of parents of kids with learning disabilities don't feel prepared to take on the challenge? 

  • 35 percent have serious concerns about their ability to cope with their children’s learning issues. These parents feel isolated, guilty, stressed and worried about their children’s future.
  • 31 percent have conflicting feelings. These parents accept their children’s issues, but aren’t sure how to find or ask for help. They feel stressed, admit to being impatient with their children and are worried about their children’s future.
  • 34 percent are optimistic about their ability to cope. These parents feel able to take on the challenges and be good advocates for their children. They don’t feel guilty, are able to manage stress and have ways of dealing with their kids’ learning and attention issues.

Statistics from understood.org

This is why creating awareness of what it means to have a learning disability, or special needs is so important. The internet and libraries are filled with information on what exactly it means to "be on the spectrum," or "have an extra chromosome" and so much more. I encourage you to take the time to explore and read. 

When a child with special needs or a learning disability enters your classroom, ask their parents "What is he/she good at?" "What is their favorite thing to do?" Focus on their strengths and positives.

2. "Remember that children with special needs are more like other children then they are different from them."

LOVED THIS TIP! Inclusion is imperative in your classrooms and homes. Make everyone feel welcomed, love and cared for. All these kids want is to feel like they're "part of the family!"

At Children's Ministries in the North American Division, we have taken on the task to inform you as much as we can! With articles written by professionals and parents going through the challenges, we will constantly be providing you with resources on how you can improve your church or home's environment to create an INCLUSIVE one.  

The Nighttime Visitor

When a mother says she’s going to “change the baby,” what does she mean? How is she going to change it? Into what? You know what she means. But what did Jesus mean when He said, “You must be born again”?

Crickets chirped in the grass. Night birds sang. Quietly Nicodemus walked toward the place where he had heard he could find Jesus. He didn’t want anyone else to see him talking to Jesus.

When he found Jesus, Nicodemus said, “Teacher, we know You came from God! Your miracles tell everybody so!”

Jesus may have smiled in the darkness. He knew that Nicodemus really wanted to believe in Him. But Nicodemus was an important Pharisee, a member of the Jewish council. He came to Jesus late at night because He didn’t want the other Pharisees to know. 

Nicodemus knew that Jesus was a teacher sent from God. But he wasn’t sure that Jesus could really be God’s Son.

Jesus looked steadily at him. “Nicodemus,” He said, “miracles are not the most important thing! Unless you are born again, you will not see God’s kingdom.”

“Born again? What does that mean? I can’t go back inside of my mother! I’m a grown man!” Nicodemus exclaimed.

“You’re right, my friend,” Jesus answered. “But I’m not talking about being born physically. I’m talking about being born spiritually. Truthfully, Nicodemus, unless you are reborn by God’s Holy Spirit, you can’t be part of God’s kingdom.”

“I don’t understand,” Nicodemus said thoughtfully.

“Think about the wind for a moment,” Jesus replied. “You can’t see the wind itself. But you can see what happens when the wind blows. You can see the treetops sway and hear the rustling of the leaves. When the Holy Spirit comes into a person’s life, it’s like that. You can’t see inside a person’s heart, their mind. But you see what happens in their life, because their life is new and clean. Their life is changed.”

It was quiet as Nicodemus thought about what Jesus was saying.

“Nicodemus, your physical life came from your parents,” Jesus continued. “But a person’s spiritual life comes from the Holy Spirit. When a person chooses to let God come into his or her life, God helps them change their sinful mind, and gives the person a brand-new one. That’s being born again.

“Nicodemus, I have good news for you! God loves the world so much that He sent His only Son here to save the world. When someone believes in Him, God can give them that brand-new life! And that new life means you are born again! And those born again will receive the gift of eternal life!”

Nicodemus learned something that night that everyone must learn. Jesus loves us so much! He is ready right now to take our sinful hearts and lives and give us new ones! Will you let Him give you that new, clean heart today? Will you be born again? Will you take the gift of eternal life that He wants to give you?

You might want to say something like this to Jesus: “Dear Jesus, thank You for loving me! My life is sinful. Right now I want to give it to You. I ask You to give me a new, clean heart and mind instead. Change my life to be more like Yours. Thank You for Your gift of eternal life. I love You, Jesus! Amen.” 

Memory Verse: “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1, NIV).

The Message: God’s love changes us.

References: John 3:1–21; The Desire of Ages, pp. 167–177.

For this story and more... subscribe to Primary Treasure by going to primarytreasure.com.