When I had to relocate to a new town because extremist groups had made where we lived unsafe, I decided to use the time to learn how to conduct the Adventurers class of Pathfinders. This group is for children 4-9 years of age. I had tried to lead Adventurers before, but because parents here are typically either uneducated or uninterested in helping their children with the program, running it as designed does not work.
But God has blessed. Bruna, one of our sisters who worked with the Benin Conference, is redeveloping the program so it can be taught in class instead of at home. One of our current student missionaries, fluent in French, has also been helping with the revision. It is almost finished.
Meanwhile, I have been scouring Pinterest and other internet websites for activities we can do here with our existing equipment and supplies. All those crafts with paper plates are not helpful as we can’t find those plates. And some crafts require a lot of preparation because cutting with scissors isn’t a skill the children have. Most families don’t own scissors. Also, most children in the younger classes can’t draw. They can hardly hold a pencil. So crafts must be at their level of ability.
I have 13 children in my class, ages 3-7. Some are in school, and some are still learning to walk. Thankfully the next class up has only three students, so their leader, a young man born after I arrived in Benin, helps with the outside activities. Once the older children complete the different requirements, they will move to the next class. Here I must say thank you to all the teachers in the world who work with children for eight hours each day. I am ready to call it quits after only two.
Lastly, I am grateful that Bruna found someone who could print their honor badges onto fabric. I have been sewing borders around the badges so we can add them to their uniforms. So, all in all, the program is coming together quite well, even as we iron out the wrinkles.