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Children and youth making a difference

   
 


Singing for Jesus at Mennonite Church Canada’s Children’s and Junior Youth Assembly 2011

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July 15, 2011
-Elsie Rempel

Waterloo, ONT. — “Let’s make a difference!” the kids sang out at Mennonite Church Canada’s Children’s Assembly on the morning of July 7, 2011.

The children and junior youth gathered for Assembly 2011 were being encouraged to focus on others who follow the dreams God puts in their hearts.

As Ilene Bergen retold John’s vision of the New Jerusalem with the help of strong visual aids, we almost gasped at the wonder and beauty contained in the closing words to our Bible. Our hearts were glad for this hopeful conclusion.

A little later Jeff and Tany Warkentin, Mennonite Church Canada Witness workers recently returned from Burkina Faso, spoke about how their heart dreams grew into a ministry placement in Ouagadougou. We listened eagerly, and I suspect some dream seeds were germinating as we did so.

As the children went into their individual response groups, I settled into a bit of organizational work, but kept an ear tuned to the wit and wisdom emerging from the group who called themselves “disciples”. I wondered what nicknames Jesus might have for the colourful members of this group. Sons of Thunder, perhaps?

I stepped into the hallway just as cleaning personnel came by. They told me how different the Assembly children and youth were from some of their other guests, and expressed their hope that we would come back. They were deeply impressed by the friendly way they saw children working and playing together, by the respectful conduct they observed and experienced from them, and by the tidy state they left behind in all of the spaces they occupied.

Our children and youth are making a difference.  I took the opportunity to say a little about who we are as Mennonite Church Canada, and that I hoped it was the light of Christ that was making a difference in our lives. As we parted ways, their farewell words included “God bless you”.

May this glimpse into Children’s Assembly bless you too.