Last Friday night, my children had their Awanas award ceremony. They are on target, having finished each book for each year. DS has completed four handbooks, so he got the Timothy Award. He'll advance into the junior high group in the autumn.
DD has completed 6 handbooks, so she got the Meritorious Award.
Of course, the most wonderful award of all, is hiding God's Word in one's heart. This they have done. Numerous times I have looked for a verse and they know it by heart or they know the reference. There are numerous verses in each book. Awanas usually brags about how quickly most children are able to memorize. That may be true for most, but not my children. For them it has been a struggle. It has taken my children hours of study to learn each one. Of course, there has been much fruit from the labor. "The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold." Psalm 119:72
Next year dd starts the high school program where she will not only learn verses, but will also read the Bible all the way through and write summaries for each book of the Bible. She will also start the LIT (Leader in Training) program. She'll help with one of the younger clubs and then attend her own club for high school on a different night. This will require more sacrifice on our part to drive far to church two nights a week. However, the fruit will be wonderful. I am extremely excited about her being an LIT!
The time commitment does not go unnoticed by colleges and universities. Many recognize and reward such diligence with scholarships. I was aware of this, but was not aware that dd has already met the requirements for the base Awana scholarship! That was a huge surprise to me the other night! The university that she is interested in would award her an $8000 scholarship for earning the Meritorious Award, which she got the other night. If she perseveres for four more years and earns the Citation Award, that scholarship becomes $12,000! (I've since learned that varies by college.)
For dd, who has had her share of developmental delays, this has been a significant boost in her thinking that God can use even her! Praise the Lord!