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‘I Love This Ministry; Better Yet, My Children Love It'
Volunteers, parents and kids share how Awana is impacting their church, families and community
My little boy turned 3 and barely made the cutoff for Cubbies. Are we glad he made it! When I first looked through his book, I thought there was no way he would memorize and recite the verses. Not only is he memorizing and retaining them, but my 18-month-old finished his verse the other day while we were practicing. Tears came to my eyes as my little boy and I were saying God is and my little girl chimed in true. I tell everyone I know about Awana. I think Awana is the best thing ever for kids! Thank you for making such an impact on our family!
Temple Baptist Church
Anderson, South Carolina
Awana is the best program I have ever seen for bringing children and families into the church and teaching children the Bible.
Third Baptist Church
Awana is a really great way of spreading the gospel not only to children but to everyone the children choose to tell. And if they are anything like my daughter, she tells everybody.
Sparks (K-2) leader
Hilltop Baptist Church
Crab Orchard, West Virginia
I honestly feel that Awana in our church has been the greatest thing to ever happen in our children’s and youth ministries. The children love it, and they bring visitors each week!
McCullough Chapel Baptist Church
I love this ministry and, better yet, my children love it. Thank you so much.
Parent of a Sparkie
Calvary Baptist Church
I have lived the last two months of my life with the Lord, and it is so awesome. Awana means everything to me.
I have CP (Cerebral Palsy). I tell everyone that handicapped people can get involved in Awana! God has changed me! Thank you.
T&T (third to sixth grade) leader
Munford Baptist Church
Three years ago my oldest son started Sparks. I was a helper then, but last year the Lord put it on my heart to become a leader. About three weeks ago I took the training. Now I am a Sparks leader! Awana is great!
Southside Community Church of the Nazarene
Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada
We created a Life Saver room at our church. Our leaders share the gospel there every week. Our club is seven weeks old, and in the past three weeks we have had 11 clubbers accept Christ as their Savior. Awana is a calling! I feel blessed to be a part of it. I can't stop thinking about Awana.
Calvary Bible Church
I’m very thankful for Awana. This is my sixth year in Cubbies, and I love it. We will never know until we get to heaven the seeds that we are planting. I praise Him that He has given me the opportunity to serve Him in this way.
Double Oak, Texas
In Large Group Time, the leaders started talking about testimonies, and some really touched me. I went to one of my leaders to help me get saved and I was. Monday night came and people from the church talked to me about being baptized, so I said yes, and I was baptized on Sunday, April 28. It has changed my life. Thank you, Awana!!!!!!
Northcrest Baptist Church
A grandma wanted her granddaughter to know about God, so she brought her to Awana. Pretty soon the girl was going to Sunday school, too. Next Grandma and Grandpa were staying for church, and then Mom started to come. Two years later Grandma and Mom got saved and baptized and joined the church!
We have just started Awana at my church. I am the Sunday school teacher for third and fourth grade. I was teaching a lesson, and one verse that I asked the students to turn to was last week’s memory verse. They all were so excited because they remembered it. They said, “We don't have to turn there. We know it.” They started to recite the verse and also the verses from the week before. I was so overwhelmed. I am a believer in the program. Thank you for all your hard work.
Highland Gardens Baptist Church
Recently I was at an AwanaGames™ coaches meeting. Scanning the room, I saw a familiar face. Excitedly, I nudged my co-leader and said, “See that boy over there? He was one of my Sparkies!” After visiting for a while, I learned he is now commander at another local church. It was so exciting to see a former clubber actively serving God. It was also exciting to get news on MY former leader … his father! God is good. His message is passed from generation to generation!
Because of Awana, I felt an urgency to come to Christ and “get with the program.” I was baptized and officially became a Christian this year. I do not have children of my own biologically, but God has called me to serve Him via Awana. It is the most rewarding thing I have ever done.
Lighthouse Christian Church
Awana is such a great tool! If it were not for the ministry and my son's involvement, I would not have been open to His work in my life. Encourage even those who may not know the Lord to attend club with their children so they can hear the message!
Panama Baptist Church
Panama, New York
I went to Awana only one year when I was 13 and was so impacted that I had to have my four girls in the program when it came to my church. A child shall lead them.
Parent and Awana secretary
Zion Baptist Church
I praise God for Awana and what it means to so many lost people. I’ve seen the hardest hearts softened through the Awana program. I am delighted to be involved in this work for my Savior.
Saint Joseph, Texas
We just started Awana recently. I have seen in just that short time a big change in attendance. It so far has been a big hit. I never thought at my age that I would read and memorize 160 verses in a year. I really think that is cool. Our youth group is really growing now that we have Awana. If I could tell anybody out there that’s my age something, it is that you need to get involved in Awana because it has really changed my whole outlook on life and church.
Highland Gardens Baptist Church
Being a part of Awana gives me the sense that we're changing the world one life at a time. It is both a blessing and an honor to be able to serve the Lord through Awana.
Harrison Street Baptist Church
The Awana ministry is such an opportunity to reach out to the lost and forgotten and instill that Jesus loves them more than they can imagine. Having the opportunity to share with the children opens up many doors to share the gospel with the families. Both my husband and I have enjoyed watching the Lord work through us and grow the club to the needs of the community.
Calvary Chapel of Pearl Harbor
The first church we were at, Awana was the main focus (the way it should be). Now, after two years, our new church has realized that the future of our church depends on families with children becoming members, and Awana is a great way to get families with children involved in ministry. I'm so proud to be part of the greatest youth program in the world. I wish every pastor could see the value of having Awana in his church. Serving Christ in Awana blesses me the most.
The Summit Church
The Lord brought me through two deadly cancers. I was saved in the hospital on my deathbed. Five years ago I would not go to church and now I have the keys to two of them. Awana and I are now inseparable, and I feel that the Lord kept me around for the sake of the children. I would be lost without interaction with children.
Tom Conway Sr.
Oakwood Baptist Church
Lexington, South Carolina
I am the parent of a 3-year-old Cubbie. Recently our church held our first Awana meeting. Among all the children saying Bible verses by memory was my son. His verse was John 3:33, God is true. He stood on the stage in front of the microphone and said it proudly. (This was the first time he had been part of any type of program.) My heart is so full I could pop! This program is amazing! And God is true! Awana is the best thing our church has ever done for our children!
Antioch Baptist Church
Waynesville, North Carolina
Tonight we had a mom get saved as a result of bringing her children to Awana! She went to our church’s adult Bible study, I think for the first time, and they were talking about revival. They went around the room telling about when they were first saved. When her turn came, she said she felt empty inside and needed God in her life! They led her to Him right there! I can't help but wonder if this was happening as I was just outside that room helping her 5-year-old son learn John 3:16!
Cornerstone Baptist Church
For 20 years, I was away from God — lost in drugs, alcohol and other destructive behavior. When my son was 4 years old, the babysitter took him to Cubbies. He came home and started telling me about the miracle Jesus performed with the two fish and five loaves. He was so excited. I felt so guilty but also felt compelled to bring Christ back into my life. My marriage, family, job and entire livelihood have improved because Christ is number one in my life again.
Yankton, South Dakota
I was a young mom with three small children and a non-believing spouse when I started Awana over 20 years ago. Today I can praise God for the way He has worked in my family life! My husband, Rudy, is saved! We have been working together in Awana for the last 16 years. Our eldest son and his wife have been teaching in Awana the last four years. A third generation of my family is in Cubbies and Sparks. We have served as directors, leaders, ministry team members and in secretarial positions. My husband is a commander at our church now. I don’t know what would have happened if I had left Awana years ago at the low point in my life. I have been blessed by riches only God can give.
First Fundamental Bible Church
Monterey Park, California
After struggling for two years to get back on our feet from being homeless, my family and I settled down in a small community. We met our neighbor when her young son came over to play while she was busy nursing her new-born daughter. We became close friends. Her church was having a yard sale in August. She brought over some clothes for my kids and told us to come over to the sale and take whatever we could use. At that moment, I knew what church I wanted my kids to be raised in! Our kind neighbor was the church’s Awana commander! I signed my kids up and stayed to see what Awana was all about. Now I am a Sparks leader and a Truth & Ttraining director! Awana has given me a renewed spirit! Now I am teaching the gospel to the kids of my community! Awana and my church have given me a sense of belonging. My home is small, but I have a world of riches and love!
South Bend, Washington
I grew up going to church. When I was about 7, my grandpa died, and illness often kept me from school. I accepted Jesus as Savior one night during my night-time prayer. Although I had accepted Jesus, I was obsessed with popularity and the idea of having a boyfriend. I attended Awana on and off from kindergarten through junior high because it was fun. In high school I rededicated myself to the Lord, started taking my younger siblings to Awana and began helping out as a leader there. God’s Word has changed me!
People’s Evangelical Free Church
An elderly woman asked whether I taught at our church. I told her I was Cubbies (preschool) director in Awana. “My granddaughter is in your club,” she said. She told me she had seen a wonderful change in her granddaughter since her involvement in Cubbies. Before she was very self-centered and unkind. Now she had become the sweetest little girl in the world. Can the Lord change the heart of a little 4-year-old? You bet He can, and He does. What a wonderful testimony of God’s love and grace. It reminded me of Matthew 19:14, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
Maple Grove Bible Church
South Haven, Michigan
I had a wonderful Easter. I have been bringing one of our neighborhood boys to Awana since February. He has been coming over to our house a lot to do sections. He came over the afternoon of Easter Sunday, and we did a lot of sections together. We went over the questions in each section and had a good discussion about what the verses meant and about the questions. The next day he came back over after I got home from work and we did more sections. When I came to the question “Have you accepted Christ as Savior?" I was surprised when he said yes. I was even more surprised when he answered the next question, “When?” by replying, “Yesterday when we were doing our verses.” I can't imagine a better Easter.
Grace Bible Church
We were raising money for our club’s Adopt-a-Club support. We decided to rake some people's yards to earn money. About 15 girls helped rake that day, including one who wasn't trying to learn verses and causing trouble in club. We were having fun while raking, and this girl connected with me. I was trying to encourage her to say verses while we were raking. Since that day, almost three years ago, she has finished three books, come to a saving knowledge of the Lord this year and was baptized. She comes up to me every time she sees me at church and gives me a hug. I just spent a little time with her and now will see her in eternity! That is what Awana is about!
Green Acres Baptist Church
Warner Robins, Georgia
I was born and raised in a small town near Guatemala City. I had a childhood like every regular kid, but when I was 8 or 9 my parents separated and we had money problems. Twenty years later I married a wonderful Christian woman, and we had three beautiful little girls. My younger is in Cubbies, my two other daughters are in Sparks, my wife is secretary, and I am commander in my church. There is no comparison to the blessing I’m receiving by working in God's ministry.
Saul and Marcela Orellana
Hispanic Ministry Team
Los Angeles and Orange Counties
I may never stop singing the songs that I learned in Awana, but I no longer need them to understand my faith. The foundation put in place through club has grown in me, beyond song lyrics or hand motions, to impact me for life. And Awana can have that same eternal influence on your kids, too.
I think Awana is the greatest youth organization in the world because it challenges kids. It teaches God's Word and provides a way to get into the homes of families who don't know Christ.
I started teaching in Cubbies for the first time this past year. On the first night of club, a mother came in to register her son, Ross. She explained that his dad had died recently from Leukemia. She told us that Ross probably wouldn't learn the verses with us or talk much, but she wanted him to get involved with kids his own age. By the end of the first night, he had repeated ALL three of the ABC verses with us. He wasn't very talkative; he just wanted to be hugged and watch the other kids get involved. Sometimes in the early part of the year he would throw small temper tantrums and refuse to do what he was asked, but we just loved him anyway.
As the year went on, he started running into the room upon arrival for his hugs and to say, “I love you.” He did his memory verse EVERY week! He even cried when one of the leaders was out for surgery. He has completely come out of his shell. When Cubbies started he wouldn't sing, play the games or do any crafts on his own. By the end of the year, he was doing it all. He even got on stage for graduation. It was amazing. His mother has told us that Awana has changed his life. She is grateful and amazed at what one night a week and a lot of love could do.
Trinity Baptist Church