Church of God offers African adventure for children

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Local youths have an opportunity to go on an African safari, via Ridgeview Church of God.

Karen Snavley, vacation Bible school director, with the help of Tracy Haskell of New Creation Church, is organizing a weeklong Serengeti trek-theme program that starts Monday.

"We have all kinds of wonderful crafts and snacks that correlate with each Bible lesson of the day," Snavley said.

The participants, ages 4 to those in sixth grade, will visit seven stations each day during the program, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. They will play games, watch videos, read books and attend the "mane event," before going home each day.

On Tuesday, for instance, the children will learn about the theme "Talk to God," and read the story about Daniel in the lion's den. They will then make a snack using rice cakes, candy corn and red licorice.

"It's going to turn out to look like a face of a lion," Snavley said. "The snacks really correlate and reinforce each lesson."

The projects are child-friendly, requiring minimal adult assistance.

"This is more geared toward elementary-aged students," she said.

The room will be decorated in wild animals found in Africa, and the children will play games that also relate to the day's theme.

At the end of the day, children choose daily challenges for themselves, such as taking out the trash, making their bed or helping with dinner. The next day, they will report about whether they completed their task.

If so, the children may place a leaf on the acacia tree, which giraffes eat. The tree is bare at the beginning and grows as the week proceeds.

"It's really neat to see the tree fill up as we go along," Snavley said.

This is fourth year she has directed a vacation Bible school in Craig. She is expecting 80 participants for this year's program.

"We are also reaching out to children in Kenya by bringing in new school supplies, and we'll be sending those to children in Kenya at the end of the program," Snavley said.

"We are reaching out to kids beyond our neighborhood. That gives the kids perspective on kids beyond our own area."

She invites anyone interested, regardless of religious affiliation, to attend the free program. Youths can come and go as they like, attending one day or all five.

"It's for anyone, and we welcome parents to come and observe," she said.

She especially thinks parents will enjoy watching Friday's closing session, beginning at 11:50 a.m. Participants will perform for the audience a synopsis of what they've learned throughout the week.

Those interested may register at any time, even Monday morning. The classes will be held at Ridgeview Church of God, 690 Riford Road, in the Ridgeview subdivision.

For more information on the program, or to get involved, call Snavley at 824-9619 or 824-7888.

"We're hoping the children will come away from this with a better knowledge of God's word," she said, "and what God has in mind for them personally, that he wants to be their forever friend."

Michelle Perry can be reached at 824-7031 or mperry@craigdailypress.com.

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