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At CMS Summer School this year, in Katoomba, I had the privilege of seeing first hand someone who has a heart for Jesus serving on the children’s & youth ministry team for the first time. Having just turned 18 and collecting a good amount of different coloured hoodies at Camp Milimani and Camp MMM in years past, she was genuinely excited to be on the team. For many years she had also jumped aboard the stretchy or double decker bus at previous summer schools. It was encouraging to see her step up to the plate and play a part in what’s been said to be one of the best models worldwide to bring thousands of people together and focus on the gospel and global mission.
Of course, I could be biased (as Isabella’s father); nevertheless, her enthusiasm was there for all to see. Isabella and her good friend Erin, who forged a friendship at Illawarra Christian School, have both been studying childcare through TAFE. They are working to complete a Certificate III in childcare with the assistance of The Disability Trust, having joined a SLES (School Leaver’s Employment Supports) course and as beneficiaries of NDIS funding. Isabella hopes to work in the industry in the future and has already completed several blocks of work experience.
At Summer School, they gave up a week of their 4 weeks of holidays to be on the Creche Panda team, looking after the very precious under 1 (year old) age group—about 20 babies in all. Responsibilities included meeting and greeting parents, establishing a pattern, finding out special needs, working in a team, feeding, settling, floor time, observation and notorious nappy changes.
I asked both Isabella & Erin some questions about their experience on team:
Q. What was your favourite thing about Summer School?
A. Seeing the kids smile. Playing with the kids and working in a team. Erin added, staying in a share house over the week and doing a 1000-piece puzzle.
Q. How has working in the Creche Panda Team helped parents attending Summer School?
A.Parents & carers were able to go to the morning talks to hear to God’s word and grow in their faith.
Q. What were some of the challenges that you had to overcome?
A. Working out when the baby needed to sleep or eat or burp or have a cuddle. We recorded daily patterns on a chart and that would help us understand what they needed. Assistance from more experienced team members was also very helpful.
Q. Has helping at Creche brought glory to God?
A. People are there to learn about God and they will go back to their community and even overseas to share the Good News!
Q. Was it fun?
A. Yes, Yes, Yes!
If you would like more information about serving at CMS Summer School in 2020 please do not hesitate to speak with me. It’s been a privilege to serve alongside Isabella and Erin and see them seek to serve God with their whole hearts.