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Every Child, Every Nation, Every Day

5-Day Club Leaders Amaze Me

By Celia Brannon

I shut down when I’m overwhelmed. Loud situations that look a little chaotic make me look for an exit faster than anything else. Cases in point: A community center on a Monday that has 45-50 kids whose programming is running behind schedule; a church that sends about 50 kids for a four-hour program (including many who are toddlers)—these are not my kind of situations. But that’s just me, and I’m only an observer. Thankfully, CEF 5-Day Club types come alive in situations where I shut down. They smile and seem completely unfazed while I check to see if anyone will notice if I disappear out the back door. (Spoiler—they will.)

I wasn’t going to write about this. I didn’t think it would be nice to mention that situations aren’t always ideal. I’ve been in enough 5-Day Clubs now to see that a fair amount of what looks like chaos must be counted on. To be clear, it doesn’t have anything to do with a lack of planning or disorganization on the part of CEF. Honestly, there’s truly no other thing to expect when you are in someone else’s church with or get a time slot at an extremely busy community center and are at the mercy of their programming, their staff and their staff’s plans.

Regardless of there being no fault for an “active situation,” it’s going to happen. God has reminded me that children are very often in just such circumstances, and this is the world that they know. That was their community center’s schedule and their youth-packed church. God wants me to know and to encourage you that He can use any situation, even an imperfect one to do His work. When I visited CYIA training, the ballooning lesson was fun and loud. Balloons were popping; the room was loud and, indicative of their success, there was balloon sword fighting. No one seemed to be watching the instructor, and I felt positive they couldn’t hear her. I was amazed when they still all managed to come up with balloon dogs and swords, just like she had been teaching them. Somehow kids just get the important messages through all the noise and action.

5-Day Club leaders, adults, and teens alike amaze me. They thrive in this. I watched them leave that community center grinning, pulling their suitcases full of CEF teaching gear. They were running too, but not running away. They only had a few minutes to get to the next club. They were running to their cars to go tell the next action-packed groups about how Jesus loves everyone and forgives our sins.

That church with the wide age groups, language barriers, and all the noise? Nine children got saved that day. What I see as chaos works just fine for God. We all have our places in what can look like a chaotic world. Some of us love the action and noise and the children themselves. Some of us are observers sent to encourage and donate snacks. Some of us draw the pictures, make the videos and printed materials, or conduct the business to make sure the mission continues.

I hear the children coming, and God needs you in your places!

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