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Staff’s Perspective

Missions! Music! and Alligators?     

Debbie Steen

Germany 2018 – What a privilege to minister to our IMB missionaries serving in Europe. Our childcare team of twelve teachers, arrived in Frankfort pulling not only our suitcases, but seven trunks filled with VBS teaching materials and the children’s favorite American snacks.

Seventeen families arrived at the retreat center ready to be refreshed and encouraged. These are young families, with three or four children, living in Russia, Italy, Sweden, Germany, Scotland and Denmark. They have only been on the mission field for 12 to 18 months and are still learning the language and culture.

Each day our team would love and teach the children for seven hours. Parents took part in sessions with IMB leaders. Class time was filled with Bible lessons, crafts, games, music, inside recreation, plus bundling up and going for walks in the snowy woods. We enjoyed eating our meals with the families. This gave us the opportunity to get to know them and hear their stories. Words cannot truly express the connections of love and appreciation that formed so quickly.

On Thursday, the children participated in a program. The older children wrote and performed a play about the birth of Jesus. They sang several songs. The preschoolers sang their memory verse, “Jesus was with God in the beginning. God made everything in heaven and on Earth” (Colossians 1: 15-16). Amen! They ended with their favorite song, “Alligator Goodbye.”

Goodbye, we’ll see you later, (Wave hand)
Let me see your alligator. (Make alligator with arms in front of body)
SNAP! (Hands clap together)
Don’t forget to pray to God.
Don’t forget to love each other.
Don’t forget that God loves you.
Don’t forget that we love you too.
(Repeat from the beginning)

May we all remember to pray to God, love each other, know that God loves us and that we want to share His love with others. These children and their parents have been engraved on my heart. Join me in praying for our IMB families and being faithful to give our tithes and offerings for their support.

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