by Moses Ondeche
Every year we anticipate big crowds during our retreats, and with new students joining the fold, a lot was at stake for the staff to plan something new and exciting! Politics has mired our city with fear and uncertainty, but on that day we still prayed for our students to show up in large numbers.
They did not disappoint as they came in one after the other, being dropped at the office by their parents. Many of our primary students were surprised to find out that this year’s event would be held in the church compound, unlike the previous years where they could only guess where we would take them.
By 10:45am most of the children had arrived and we kicked off with singing, dancing, and presentations. As we worshiped together with the kids, we could not help hearing gun shots outside the compound as police dispersed men trying to steal a truck. Regardless of all that was happening outside the church compound, we kept worshiping as Michael led us in a thanksgiving song that speaks of how “thus far the Lord has brought us”. Those preparing the surprise outside were in a frenzy looking for the best spot to hide away from the gunshots!
By the time we got back outside, you could see the excitement and surprise as their jaws fell and their eyes sparkled with amazement as they saw a big inflatable castle set up outside the church, and a trampoline to its right! Their eagerness to play was loud and clear as most of them screamed their way into the bounce castle! Two hours had passed and we could not spot any sign of fatigue from the children. Jumping, dancing, singing, and playing, the staff joined in as the fun went on and on.
Later in the day, we had a special young man named Gift (sponsored by Daniel & Sarah W.), not yet in first grade, who gave a short poem on the unshakable nature of those who have Jesus in their hearts. The crowd burst into shouts of joy as they clapped for him and for the bravery to stand before people and speak about Jesus in a poem.
At the end of the presentations, a dance was performed, but first, the newest engaged couple in the room, Allison and Michael, were welcomed on stage to dance with the team! The song that played was a love song, speaking of the greatness of finding someone in the Lord, proposing to the lady of your dreams, and the joy of her saying “yes”! It was a time of celebration for the primary students who shared the excitement of having an upcoming wedding that will bring so much happiness to all of us.
This was the best primary retreat we have ever held, and everything worked out perfectly to the glory of God!