6 Jul 2012

My Life as an AWANA Kid

Posted by Joanna


Timmi Yu

I am an AWANA kid. Fifteen years ago, I was in my first year of Cubbies, crying for my Mommy to save me from a place filled with other snot-covered kids. Now, I have finished my last year as a clubber and am serving as a leader for those same young Cubbies.

It was in AWANA where I met my best friend, and although we go to different churches and live in different cities, we always have each other’s backs and support each other no matter how much time has passed since our last conversation. In May 2003, during a church camp, both of us finally accepted Jesus into our lives. We were told to pray the “salvation prayer,” (back then it sounded really, really cool) and were rewarded by a little gadget that illustrated life without and life with Jesus. Obviously, we had no idea what we were getting into.

I grew much closer to God during the past few AWANA Scholarship camps. It was the first time I heard a testimony that didn’t begin with something like: I was born in a Christian family; I was given the opportunity to practice my faith by volunteering in an old folks’ home, leading younger kids by setting a good example, and speaking to more experienced Christians about my faith.

The counselors there truly had a heart for serving the Lord, and I turned to them for guidance and direction. I could open up to them and talk about deeper topics like relationships, friendship problems, and life and death; subjects I didn’t feel comfortable discussing with my parents or close friends.

One of my counselors told us her life story and how God somehow turned every bad situation into a good one. She told us about the grief of having a best friend betray her, the pain of past relationships, and the fact that she was ran over by a car as a baby, yet survived to tell her tale. Despite these disastrous events, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 *had helped her along the journey.  There is a time for everything. Even though we can’t see the positivity of certain circumstances, God has the ultimate plan. We just need to trust Him because, well, He is the Creator of the entire universe.

AWANA didn’t dramatically change my life in one go, but little by little, it has helped me practice the foundations of my faith in every aspect of my life. In Cubbies, it was sharing a crayon with other kids. In Journey, it was deciding to finish my Bible summaries instead of playing the most recent Pokémon game. It has helped me decide whether or not to eat the last cookie, or to give it to my sister. Most recently, it has helped me choose which courses I want to take in university.

I used to be terrified of talking about Jesus. I didn’t know why at that time, but looking back, I’ve realized that it’s because I never really knew Him personally. Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to share my faith with close friends, classmates, and even random people I meet on ski lifts when I go snowboarding. I’ve even had the privilege to lead some of them to Christ, and I have to say that those are some of the happiest moments in my life.

 

*Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

1       There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

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