The Christmas holiday club, held on Saturday 20 December from 1.00-4.00pm at Antingham Gospel Hall, on the Heartsease Estate, Norwich, was an answer to prayer.
At the beginning of December, the team had taken a second whole-school assembly at the local primary school, after which 400 fliers were given to pupils to take home.
A further 1600 fliers were distributed during four sessions of door-to-door on the estate. Prayers were prayed and preparations made and we planned once again for 20 children. The Lord answered our prayers above all that we could ask or think, as a total of 18 children turned up, with two more arriving for the final quiz, making 20 altogether.
They came from at least a dozen different families and ranged in age from 3-12. One of the three children who came to our summer holiday Bible club in another location returned and, apart from one other, all the rest were brand new contacts.
On arrival, the children made star-shaped badges, and then star-shaped biscuits, before we sat together to sing ‘Go, tell it on the mountain’ and ‘Silent night’.
The first lesson was called ‘God promises a Saviour’, and used Old Testament prophecies to show how God prepared the person, parent and place. This introduced the first part of the memory verse: ‘Christ Jesus came into the world’ (1 Timothy 1:15).
Following a refreshment break, the children decorated their now cooked biscuits, stacking them to form Christmas tree shapes. In turns, they also cut out and constructed a box to keep them in, ordering and sticking the words of the memory verse on the outside.
More singing followed with ‘Have you heard?’ (alternative words to the Jingle Bells tune), before lesson two was taught: ‘God provides a Saviour’. This outlined Gabriel calling Mary, Joseph’s dream, the journey to Bethlehem and the birth of Jesus. It concluded with the reason Jesus came: ‘To save sinners’. Then we went over the completed memory verse.
Games came next, followed by a quiz involving star-skittles that tested how well they had listened to the lessons; then a final sing-song and prayer. Each child went away with a Countdown to Christmas children’s tract, our own Preparing for Christmas tract for their families, and a Scripture verse pencil or eraser, as well as their boxed star-tree biscuit, complete with memory verse.
Not only had the children behaved well, but also many asked searching questions about God and creation and why God had made people who would then do wrong.
One boy came up to us afterwards and said, ‘He’s the King over all kings, you know!’ A lengthy conversation was had with one parent in particular about what we believe and many indicated they would like to be informed of similar events in the future.
We are grateful to the friends at Antingham Hall for use of their building and to many of our own members and other friends who helped in different ways.
Ultimately we thank God and pray he will lead these youngsters to the Saviour, who said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not forbid them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God’ (Luke 18:16).