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The Tears of the Children

Welcome to Kids Club! Every Wednesday afternoon, which the kids have free from school, about 30 kids crowd into our little office/schoolroom. They are rowdy and rambunctious, but ready to listen to the story, get a paper to take home, and earn a candy or piece of gum for saying their verse. Probably they are more rowdy and rambunctious than ready! (All of these pictures were taken about 9 months ago when Joni Byker came to photograph our work in Tera. I love this one! I look really tall and slender! J)

I’ve had several helpers through the years since I first started the club. John is my present helper and he does a great job. I also have two teenage boys who still want to come and hear the stories, but since the club is geared towards younger kids, I put them to work with crowd control, handing out papers and crayons, and giving out drinks at the end. That way they help me, but they also get the Bible lesson.

On November 21 we had three different kids end up in tears. Believe it or not, that is not typical!

The first was Little Hamidou Fulani, as his name would be translated (Hamidou or some variation there-of is such a common name other words are added so you know who is being talked about). His uncle, Big Hamidou Fulani, pipes up with “Hamidou is sick”. I look over at him and the poor kid is crying. So we got him out of the room and sent him home. I don’t know if his head hurt or if his tummy hurt or if he thought he was going to spew or what.

The second was Saley, a cute bright-eyed little girl. She came in wearing a burka-type of head covering that covered her head but not her face. It also completely covered the top half of her body including her arms and hands. We were playing a review game. If the child answered correctly he could choose a card for his team. Point values were written on the cards that he/she could earn for his/her team. Or they might accidentally choose “Zonk!” and have all the points for their team erased. Well, somebody on Saley’s team had just won twenty points. The kids were all sitting on the floor, but when they won the points, they jumped up and were jumping up and down, cheering for their team. Saley remained on the floor and her hand got jumped on. She started crying quietly. Five minutes later she was still crying. John asked her to come to him so he could look at it. She pulled up her scarf and held out her little hand which was all puffed up. My first thought was, “Oh no! She’s broken her hand while under my care! We’ll have to pay all the medical bills. At least nobody will sue us!” Then I thought to ask her if it was swollen before she came. She nodded yes. That was when we realized she had a boil on her hand and it was swollen from that. No wonder she was crying! Boils hurt anyway, and then to have somebody jump on it……ouch!

The third was Hadiza. She’s cute, but with ten older brothers and sisters, she’s pretty spoiled. We were now at the end of class time. The kids say their verse to me on the way out the door, but they had gotten really bad about all crowding around me at the same time. Since they don’t sit in desks or tables it’s really hard to tell them to not leave their place….since they don’t have one. So John has started keeping them back and choosing one by one who will come to say their verse. Well, they started crowding him so he gave a push back. There was a mini stampede…..right over Hadiza. She really wasn’t hurt, but she started screaming at the top of her lungs. It was definitely a cry of rage. How dare anybody step on, over, or near her?!

Thus ended the kids club. John’s words? “I don’t know how you have the patience for them!”