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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hello World!

Hello! This is the Decatur Rising Youth Group's (DRYG) first post, and it will cover a little of what we have done in the past few weeks. We are a fairly new group, and this post will cover our activities from oldest to newest (so this post will be a lot longer than usual!). Starting this week, we'll try to get a post up after every meet (once on Thursday and once on Saturday).

The week we continued our new junior youth book, Breezes of Confirmation (which will be referred to as Breezes from now on), we had several new members (Hooray!). After welcoming them and telling them about what we did, we then tried to come up with a name for our group. This took almost half an hour! Most of our names were ridiculous at first (such as the A-Team, Nature Valley group, and other not-quite-acceptable names). But soon we started getting better names, and thus we came up with Decatur Rising Youth Group.

Then we started on Breezes. This book is about a girl called Musonda, who is thirteen years old and lives in an African village called Buumi, and as she grows up, she is wondering about what job she can have that will let her help others. We had already been doing this for a while, and the new members continued with us from where we were. We tuned them in a little by giving them a synopsis of the previous stories and introduced the main characters: Musonda, of course; her cousin Rose, who is one year older than her; Musonda's brother Godwin, who is 19; and Musonda and Godwin's family. Rose had come to stay with Musonda's family, and Musonda asked her about what she should do when she grew up. She wanted to be a nurse, but her family did not have enough money for her to go to a good college. Rose then told her about a word, 'confirmation', which meant a sign that showed you were doing the right thing, so if she tried hard and was destined to become a nurse, she would become one.

We then finished the questions and read the lessons' quotes:

  • 'Let your heart burn with loving kindness for all who may cross your path...'
  • 'Ye were created to show love to one another...'
These quotes were chosen because in the lesson Musonda had been wondering why people fight so much, when she read about a war in the news, and Rose explained that it was because of disunity.

Afterwards, we decided what to do that Saturday as our community service projects. We came up with:
  1. Community Day (this one was good, but we would need to plan for a while)
  2. Pick up trash
  3. Free car wash (since it was the middle of winter, we would wait until spring)
  4. Clean up the city (this was a big project and we decided that working community by community would be better)
After some consultation, we decided to choose pick up trash because it made the most sense out of the above.

On Saturday, we met up only to find that only three of our members had stayed home! We then realized the neighborhood was much quieter, and that most people had gone to see the marching bands! Luckily, a few of the other people in the neighborhood said they could help us, so we managed to to the project in the end. And all our trash bags were full too! We found several strange objects, such as pillows, chair legs, and other odds and ends.

We did another lesson from Breezes next week. In this lesson, Godwin's (remember him?) friend Chishimba was introduced. He had come over to Musonda's house for dinner, and when Musonda mentioned that she had been talking with Rose about confirmation, Chishimba asked what the word meant to them. Rose said that it was a sign that you are doing the right thing. We continued to read the story, and found out that Chishimba's father had recently been fired from his job as a security guard. This was because he would soon have to be paid his pension, having been working there for several years, and Chishimba wondered why God would not help his family. Musonda's father replied that God had not left them alone, but good things did not always happen. He said that they should try as hard as they could to get through hard times, and pray that God would help them get through their tests. The whole family then agreed to help out Chishimba's family while his father looked for a new job.

That Sunday, another Junior Youth Group invited us to their celebration party, because they had just finished their third junior youth book. They also invited another group to join them. There was a diverse mix of boys and girls, and we all had a lot of fun. We voted on what our first game should be: soccer, dodgeball, or football. Soccer got the most votes, and we set up goals with sticks and feathers. We tried to divide the number of adults evenly as well! It was an exciting game, with powerful shots and epic saves. The game ended 5-3. Then we had a snack of clementines, tortilla chips and salsa, and cupcakes. We also played pin the tail on the donkey (the donkey got pinned everywhere except the tail!) and sang songs with a guitarist who was walking through the park. Soon it was time to go home, and everybody went home happy.

This last Thursday, our lesson from Breezes was about Musonda and Rose wondering what they would be when they grew up. Musonda and Rose had a friend who worked at the nearby clinic, and they would sometimes visit her after work. Today they went to the clinic to see her instead, and while they were talking their friend mentioned that every Monday mothers would bring their young children for a checkup, after which the mothers would take nutrition classes. However, they had to take care of their children as they listened, and they did not learn as much as they could. Musonda saw this as an opportunity and said that they could help with the checkups, and afterwards she and Rose could have classes with the young children during their mothers' classes. This was perfect, because Musonda wanted to be a nurse and Rose wanted to be a teacher. Their friend said that that was a good idea, and the next Monday they came at checkup time. The class went well, and they played games, read a story and sang some songs. The mothers were happy, and Rose and Musonda were proud of themselves. As they went home, Musonda wondered if the day's activities had been a sign of confirmation, because they were both doing what they wanted to do when they grew up.

Yesterday (Saturday), we met at 10am to get ready for the day's activities. We decided to look for new members to add to our group, and began by creating a flyer. The flyer talk about the group and what we dp. We then went out and talked to numerous people, and got two people to sign up! This was great.

That was our most recent activity. Most posts will be between Thursday and Sunday (usually two a week). Thanks for reading. See you soon!