Two years ago my daughter earned the Awana Citation Award. This year my son earned it!
This has been many years of hard work from grade 3 to grade 12. In each of those years he completed a Bible study book (a total of 10), he read through the entire Bible (1/4 in each of his 4 years of high school) and summarized each of the books for the leader, he memorized over 800 verses, performed service projects (mainly as a Leader in Training, helping the younger kids in the club), and attending Christian seminars. (Did I forget anything?)
My son will have a scholarship at the college he will attend in the fall, because of the Citation Award. Also he was hired for a job today and was given a pay raise (on top of minimum wage) for the Citation Award (and for being homeschooled)!
My son is the first to have received this award in our church, which started using the Awana program two years ago. My son was excited about transferring his Awana work to our church and help them get established. The leadership was so excited about his having the first Citation Award, that there were two presentations. The first was Friday night during the Awana Awards night, when his director presented the award. (first two photos) The second was at our church service (last photo), because our campus pastor also wanted to present the award at both services!
Initially the director told my son to have a story ready, which the pastor heard, who had my son tell the story during each of the church services. W-a-y back in the beginning, when my son first started Awanas in the Sparky club as a kindergartener, he brought home his first handbook to memorize. Even though I was helping him with the memory work, my son was exceedingly discouraged so when my back was turned he started scheming how he could put an end to this trauma. He decided to rip up his handbook and throw it in the garbage...where I found it, taped it back together and told him he *would* do this and I *would* help him. I told him I understood he wasn't thankful for it today, but someday he would. I told him someday he'd get the Citation Award because I was going to make sure he worked hard and stayed on track each year. I don't think he believed me or cared at the time, but now he laughs about it and thanks me! lol
Someone at church who heard this story couldn't believe he ever had a meltdown. I don't talk of such things on my blog, I try to respect my kids, but since he came out with the story, yes, he had major meltdowns when he was little. However he has learned quite a bit about character since then, and is now Mr. Calm, Cool, and Collected. ;)
I also told my kids over the years that Awana is not about the awards, but about hiding God's Word in their heart, so they have strength to draw on when they need it. Also Awanas has been a *Trek, and a *Journey, as they learn to study God's Word, memorize God's Word and draw strength from God. I tell them each year when they graduate that these Awana years were merely stepping stones as they enter the real world, where they will need God's Word more than ever. Also because of the Word they have stored in their hearts, they can draw on it when asked about their faith. "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." I Peter 3:15
*Trek and Journey are levels from Awana which I borrowed for the word picture.