Tonight marked the final night, the awards ceremony, of Awana. The program lasted an hour and twenty minutes, which is longer than I expected, but what a blessing the program was this year. Time after time the names Gimben and Hager were called. They received awards, posed for pictures, were applauded for all their hard work.
The names of many kids that I had worked with were also called. Church kids, van kids, kids who had been saved through Awana that year, kids whose paths would have never crossed had it not been for this outreach. Jakyra, Corrie, Alison, Tiara, Jamaya, Sarah, Lydia, Katie, Jaylin. Kids who will never be the same because they have a firmer foundation in God’s Word.
This was my fourteenth year of working in Awana. Combine that with the twelve years spent as a clubber, and I have been involved in Awana for twenty-six years. Has it made a difference in my life? Yes, I believe so. No, I can’t remember most of the Bible references that were required, but in difficult times, in good times, in normal everyday life, the verse itself pops into my head. Sometimes I pass over it, sometimes I hang onto it for dear life.
I pray that it makes the same difference in all these kids’ lives. Whether it’s Jakyra from the ghetto or Sarah from the farm, they can all be used and blessed by God, and I through Awana had a small part in that.