This holiday, 170 children attended the Junior Bible Boot Camp to learn more about the Holy Spirit and enjoyed their own personal experience with God.
By Annie Wong
City Harvest Children Church organized a Junior Bible Boot Camp at the church’s Jurong West premises on Nov. 23 for about 170 children aged between 4 and 12. These young campers spent four full hours learning about the Holy Spirit, praying for the gift of speaking in tongues, and learning to listen to God.
“To ensure holistic development in our children, we have included this spiritual element in our holiday program,. We want the children to have an encounter with the Holy Spirit,” explained Lynn Tan, 32, the pastor in charge of Junior Bible Boot Camp.
The children started the morning with great anticipation. They rushed into the hall the moment the doors opened. Tan’s animated voice then led the children into a fun time of games.
Divided into two groups–the Powerstar and the Superstar–the children charged the room with deafening cheers. The participants were all on their toes, catching items and balls passed to them by their teammates, who were jumping up and down excitedly. Every child was focused on helping his or her team win. The Powerstar group won both the Scavenger Hunt and Ball Pass.
LEARNING THROUGH PLAY
Station games were set up to give the children an experiential lesson on different spiritual topics. At the first station, the teachers use the analogy of an egg to explain the trinity of God: trinity is made up of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, just as an egg is made up of the yolk, the white and the shell. Thus, even though God is made up of three separate Beings, They are one in the same Body.
The children were also taught that the Holy Spirit is like the wind. They can feel the wind, see the impact of the wind, but they cannot see the wind. Just like the wind, they may not be able to see the Holy Spirit, but they can feel the Holy Spirit, and see His impact. When they invite the Holy Spirit into their lives, He will live inside them and teach them the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
At the end of the station, the teachers prayed that the Holy Spirit would help the children to be more loving and to grow in the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
The next station saw the children answering a Bible quiz on the chapter of Acts. Questions include how many chapters there are in Acts, who wrote the book and so on. It was amazing to see all the children flipping through the book of Acts to look for the answers and write them down.
The third station required the children to be divided into groups and each group was to create a newsletter on the Holy Spirit. They were given materials like the newsletter template and art material. The children took their task seriously, searching through their notes to pick up the important points to be included in the newsletter. At the end of the session, colorful newsletters were produced.
Kang Zhi Yu, 7, enjoyed a three-minute animation on the book of Acts that was presented to the children. “Now I will remember what the Holy Spirit did to help the people to achieve. I must put on the Holy Spirit too.”
The Bible lessons taught the children about the person of the Holy Spirit. The lesson started with the Holy Spirit introduced as their friend–one who lives within them, who will teach them all things and who will empower them to preach and heal the sick. The children learned that in order to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, they needed to believe in their hearts, and open their mouths to speak in tongues by faith. When the teachers gave an invitation for the children to receive the Holy Spirit into their lives, many little hands went up in response.
In the second part of the Bible lesson, the teachers used the movie The Avengers as an example to teach the children how they need to “put on” the Holy Spirit to be empowered in life. If a guitar is not properly tuned, the guitarist will never be able to play beautifully no matter how skilful he is. Likewise, the children were taught that they too needed to be “tuned” by the Holy Spirit, first by putting on the Holy Spirit, then by listening and following the directions of the Holy Spirit. Using the Bible character Samuel, who had heard from God at the age of 10, Tan encouraged the children not to despise their youth but to believe that the Holy Spirit will use them powerfully.
After the Bible lessons, Tan guided the children to have their personal experience with God. She taught them to close their eyes and prayed to God to speak to them. The children were given some time to listen to God before proceeding to write or draw on their worksheet what God is saying to them at the camp.
Chloe Tan, 9, drew a lot of singing notes and shared that God wanted her to sing for Him. Joel Chua, 11 also shared that God reminded him of Psalms 42 and was encouraging him to long for God as a deer longs for water. After that, many children started to share on what God had spoken to them about. Some received assurance of God’s love to them, while others shared that God wanted them to speak to people who do not know Him, to “help the seed grow up.”
Many children were touched during the camp and learned many things; Kendric Loh, 11, shared that he liked the station activity on creating a newsletter. “I learned about teamwork there and was able to discuss about the Holy Spirit with my friends. Now I am able to share more about the Holy Spirit with other people.”