Two days ago our oldest daughter accomplished something that not a lot of young people her age accomplish. Our precious oldest daughter started Awana when she was 3 1/2 years old. She kept asking us to let her join Cubbies, and we told her that she couldn’t go to Cubbies until she wasn’t afraid of Mr. H_____ (Mr. H and his wife had worked in the nursery when she was a baby, and were very good friends with D and I, but Mr. H is a very tall red-headed man, and for some reason R was afraid of him as a baby/toddler/preschooler). She was DETERMINED to go to Cubbies, so one Sunday she ran up to Mr. H and gave him a hug and turned to us and said “I love Mr. H______” So, off to Cubbies she went! (Mr. H was the director of Cubbies at that time). She ZIPPED through her books! She was saying 3-4 or more sections every week (for those of you that aren’t familiar with Awana, it is a program that in the younger ages emphasizes hiding God’s Word in your heart….scripture memory). She KNEW those verses too! After 2 years of Cubbies, she went to Sparks, and then into Chums in 3rd grade, the following year, they switched the program to Truth & Training (T&T) and made the books for the boys and the girls the same. Bekah’s 2nd year in Cubbies she didn’t complete her book because we had a new baby in the house, and I didn’t have time to work with her on her sections, and she missed a lot of Club that year. In her 3rd year of T&T (5th grade), she went back and finished her Cubbies book because she had completed her T&T book early. At that time we were in a church that gave a special award called the Pastor’s Award that was given to those clubbers that completed every book from Cubbies through the 4th book of T&T (which is 9 books, and hundreds of scriptures commited to memory, as well as some doctrinal training). We moved to a different city at the end of 5th grade, and the church that we went to/did Awana at didn’t do the same award , but they graciously ordered a special award for R and we were able to get a letter from the director at our old church to read to R at her Awards night and present this special award to her. It was such a special night. At that time, we didn’t really realize just where the Awana program was going to take us as far as our R was concerned. Then that next week there was an award that was presented to two young ladies that were graduating from High School…..R made that award her new goal. So in 7th grade, she went to Jr. High youth group and we weren’t quite sure how/where Awana would fit into her life again. In 8th grade, God took care of that detail, our Awana program and our Jr. High programs had both grown to a point that they could no longer meet on the same night….which meant R could be an Awana Leader in Training (LIT) and begin working on her Jr. High Awana book. There was some confusion that year with what work needed to be completed, and we would find out her Frosh year of high school that she actually had only done half of what she needed to do for that year. She did start her high school Awana books though, and over the course of the next 4 years, she has completed 5 1/2 years worth of work in order to lead up to this night…..
Monday, May 2, 2011, our oldest daughter said her last section of her Awana career. 15 years of hard work, 15 + Awana books COMPLETED, hundreds of scriptures hidden in her heart, most of the Bible read and summarized….and one week from tonight, our girl will earn her Citation Award. This particular award requires 10 years of work to have been completed, many hours of leadership training, many more hours of working in an Awana program and/or doing community service, and LOTS of dedication. I couldn’t be prouder of our girl for earning this, for working so hard and so tirelessly to complete this. Even when she felt burnt out, she would take some time off and then come back after some time and re-apply herself. It hasn’t always been easy, and it hasn’t always been fun, but she has loved it and known that this was what God had put on her heart so many years ago. This was not our goal for her, although we did encourage her onto this goal as she grew weary, this was HER goal, and one that she has very valiantly and proudly accomplished! R, your Daddy and I are so very very proud of you!!! We love you sweetie!
Here are some pictures through the years….unfortunately I don’t have a lot on the computer, many of them are already in albums or in boxes.
Awards Night 2003–4th grade
Awards Night 2004–5th Grade
Awards Night 2005–6th Grade