A numerous amount of people from our church helped out in so many ways. The first thing that had to be done was the decorating. In one week our gym was turned into the city of Jerusalem as it was in the time that Jesus lived. It was amazing! In the city were the tribes of Israel, the gathering place, the synagogue, and the market place.
Instead of having groups by ages or grades, we divided the kids of all ages into "tribes". Unfortunately, we did not have enough to have 12, so we only had 8. The tribe leaders lead them around to different places in the city, and taught them about Jesus during "tribe time." Some tribes had their "home" set up in the rooms adjoining the gym or in the other buildings, while others were in tents outside.
The Gathering Place
This is where the day starts and ends. First we gather together and make two big circles for the traditional singing and dancing. One inner ring, and one outer ring. After we sang, we collected money for a missionary. While the children were in the gathering place they would be interupted by people from the village who heard some news of Jesus. These people (actually from our church) would perform a skit, then leave to go about their daily activities.
This is where the children learned about the old testament way of worshiping God and how the boys and men started learning about the scriptures at a very young age. During their time in Synagogue, the children wrote letters in Hebrew, and sometimes made coordinating crafts.
The Market Place
This was my favorite spot to be! The church bought brown tents and set them up side by side with curtains or brown paper sheets in between to make them their own individual shop. It looked like an actual market place! On one side we had the basket making shop, the weaving shop where they made bread cloths, an instrument shop where they made little flutes, and the pottery shop where the children could make clay bowls. On the other side of the street was the carpenters shop where they made wooden spinning tops, the jewelry shop, the bakery where you could always find fresh bread and dips along with fruits of all kinds, and the farmers market where nuts and "wine" was given out. Down an alley you would find a candy shop filled with all sorts of goodies, and across from them was the herb and spice shop where two ladies showed the kids real herbs and spices. This was the busiest place to be!
The whole week was a lot of fun! I was so glad I helped out and can't wait to help out again next year!
::Here we are doing our serious pose. We don't know if they would have smiled in pictures or not because we don't have any to look at!::