This was written by Emily Kam, an Agape Fish high school intern. View the original post.
I would have joined in the exercise, but I wanted to heal quickly from the mild cold that I had developed overnight and thus be able to use more energy being with the kids, so I stood to the side and watched. The children ran around the open space outside the dining area, doing jumping jacks and various stretches led by Yunyun and the other camp counselors.
After introducing a new song to them for music class (one in English called “Deep and Wide”), we dove right into the crafts, which was decorating the painted frames with stickers and shaping model clay. Beth gave them instructions for both crafts, with the (only) bilingual teacher translating for her. We helped the kids to color the Crayola Model Magic with Crayola markers (we’re not sponsored or anything haha), and then rub the color into the clay.
At first, the kids seemed a little unsure of what to make. We told them they could make grapes, a banana, a dog, anything they wanted. I helped a girl make red cherries, and Beth made one of the kids a very cute little pink mouse. Suddenly, more people wanted little mice! And I couldn’t blame them; I half-wanted one myself. Beth and I made more mice for the other kids. A girl asked me to make her an orange cat (which I internally struggled to shape), but thankfully it turned out quite winsome.
“Uh, Yunyun said that you guys would lead the afternoon activity,” said one of the counselors, stumbling a bit over the English words. “Do you have something planned?”
“Oh…yeah, yeah, of course,” I answered, and rushed inside to grab my ukulele.
“Beth, find something to use for the ‘potato'”, I said, “We can play musical chairs and hot potato with them!”
Everyone helped to bring about fourteen chairs outside and arranged them in a circle. I strummed series of chords progressions on my ukulele while the children ran around excitedly, all senses alert for when the music would stop.
Interestingly, the children here love competitions. We have winners (and losers, but only implied), and no one minds. It’s all in good fun! Back in America, I hear too often the phrase, “Oh, we’re ALL winners!” Well, if everyone is a winner than no one is a “winner”, and prizes don’t mean anything anymore. We had “winners” of our games, but really, everyone was a “winner”, in a sense, because everyone was happy. I noticed that several kids who had started out the camp with straight-lined mouths already had begun to brighten up, smiling and laughing more. We don’t have to win (although it’s nice to win)—we just have to be happy. And we were very, very happy.
Read about the life-changing stories on the mission field.