March 11, 2016
A couple of weeks ago, I promised you I would expand on what is happening on Wednesday nights in the church. Here is a little refresher from that post:
“In January, Manis initiated a new Wednesday night service in the church. It’s intention is both to provide a fun, encouraging ambiance and to facilitate spiritual and intellectual development. It includes Bible study, new songs, games, lots of laughter, and questions–complete with points and prizes for correct responses!”
Wednesday nights have become one of the highlights of the week. Many families are attending and engaging faithfully.
In order to earn points (more about that later), they are bringing visitors as well–not only to Wednesday nights, but to Sunday morning services. And some of those visitors have such a good time, they decide to keep on coming!!
Usually, we start out with a couple songs, prayer, and then a Bible study by Samuel. Afterwards we play some kind of hilarious game.
(For this one, they had to get that cookie into their mouth without using their hands.)
We know how to have a good time!
In addition, someone is chosen every week to research a country of the world, and do a presentation on it….in French. The audience can then ask questions (again, in French, if possible) to see if the researcher really knows his/her stuff! This activity serves to encourage everyone–especially the kids and youth–in their intellectual development.
Judy has been teaching a variety of songs, including a song about unity and two songs to help memorize the books of the Old and the New Testaments. Here is part of the New Testament song:
Interspersed throughout, there are questions–some come from the Sunday morning and Wednesday night Bible studies, some are general Bible knowledge questions, some refer to the presentations made about the different countries, and still others are based on general information about Haiti, Lemuel, or the Plateau.
Depending on the chosen format, people from the audience can jump up to answer the question just posed (first one standing gets it), or they can dare to come to the front without knowing what the question is in advance! A correct answer wins points; an incorrect answer loses points.
The questions and points are actually an integral part of the Wednesday night service. It motivates people to pay attention and take notes during Bible studies or presentations. Each person carries a little ziploc bag with their points printed out on squares of paper. At the end of March, we will set up a big “store” in which the families can come with their points and purchase items–food, soap, jewelry, and whatever other hot commodities we can make available for purchase! The family with the most points out of all may even win a bigger prize…but its a secret!
One of the most touching (and at the same time, fun!) parts of the evening is when Manis calls upon older members in the audience to stand up and answer questions. Many of these folks never had the chance to go very far in school–if they went at all)–and have a very hard time retaining any information. However, Manis asks them questions they can answer, and gives them multiple tries until they get one. Everyone happily supports them and applauds their correct responses. So instead of being left out and irrelevant, they are valuable and active participants.
At first, many of them are very timid and reluctant to participate. One week, Manis called up a man who came forward very unwillingly. The poor fellow just could not answer a question, no matter how easy or obvious they were. It took try after try after try until he finally got one. This past Wednesday night, however, he stood up himself without having to be called upon–the crowd went wild with cheers! And he answered the very first question correctly!
An activity like these Wednesday nights is important for the development of people in so many capacities. Not only does it provide spiritual training, intellectual stimulation, practice in social skills, and a gentle boost to people’s sense of personal worth, but it offers a much needed time of refreshment, laughter, fellowship, and fun–a chance to come together and be encouraged and lay aside for a moment the problems and suffering at home.
It is all part of investing in people.