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Each year during the first week of the September school holidays, Whitehill Church of Christ hosts a school holiday kids club for children from Prep through to Year 6.
Children’s Pastor Denelle Rosenberg, had a dream five years ago to hold an annual event to reach out to families in the church as well as the wider community. The program has grown from year to year and this year the event was at capacity.
Children from many backgrounds came to join in the daily program. This year’s event jumped on the back of the Rio Olympics and was called “Run the Race” looking at perseverance and what the Bible teaches us about running the race of life.
The children engaged in a time of praise and worship, hearing the Gospel message, eating some of the most amazing food, joining in craft activities, and with the Olympic theme, getting active with a variety of games.
The children who came not only had a tonne of fun, but one of the unexpected joys of the week was seeing the youth and young adults stepping out in faith and growing in their leadership skills.
“Some of the volunteers are not long into their high school years but displayed strong leadership values. They were being a ‘new kind of leader’—being intentional and investing in a child’s life because someone had taken the time to invest in their lives when they were younger,” Denelle said.
“The week provided opportunities for our more senior leaders to invest in the next generation of leaders, which was an added blessing. The fact that everyone had a load of fun was a bonus,” she said.
“Every year, this event gains momentum. There were many children who had not heard the story of Jesus before, let alone what it means to have perseverance in their everyday life. It was great to see them grow.”
The children who attended all enjoyed themselves and began to build relationships with the volunteer leaders.
“A parent sent through a message saying how much her son loved his time at the kids club and couldn’t wait to share with his family what he had learnt,” Denelle said.
Since the event, the church has seen children connect in more regularly with our weekly primary school youth programs.
“One boy in particular has been attending our Friday night programs and shared his very simple testimony about how coming to the school holiday program has helped him in making friends at school—something he found difficult before.”
“God has blessed so many lives in so many ways through this ministry and we can’t wait to see what He will do in the future,” Denelle said.
Planning for next year’s theme has begun—what will it be?
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