Firm in the Faith

One of my myriad jobs for Vacation Bible School this year has been taking staged pictures of our kids and plugging them into a slideshow that Group Publishing provides with their VBS curriculum. The slideshows are usually pretty silly, as are the simple poses the kids do for it, but they like seeing themselves projected big up onto the wall, so it’s a good thing.

This year’s VBS program is markedly different from previous years – we’ve had several recent refugees, generally with minimal English skills, who have started coming. Plus, a number of these kids new to the country are Muslim or Buddhist. It’s made for some interesting dynamics, but these families have been the best at inviting their friends, even though we make sure their parents know that we’re a Christian church. Until today, though, I wasn’t too sure how well our non-English speakers recognized the difference between our faith and theirs.

One of the shots for the slideshow involved a group of kids on their knees, hands together, as if they were praying. I had a few kids get together and drop to their knees, but when I showed them how to fold their hands, one of our Muslim Burmese kids wouldn’t do it. Not knowing how to tell me “no”, she just gave a shy little shake of her head. I wasn’t sure if she understood what I meant, so I showed her again and gestured for her to do it. This time she shook her head very adamantly. She knew.

I kept her in the picture, with everyone else around her seemingly in prayer. Afterwards, I put her in another significantly less religious shot by herself, to make sure she knew I still liked her and wanted her photo.

I’m sad that she had to make that stand against that kind of Christian symbolism, but it makes me glad that she realizes the importance of staying true to her faith. I can only hope when I have kids, that when they’re 10 they’ll be able to set clear boundaries, even when surrounded by a bunch of people who’s language they can’t even speak.

I was very proud of my friend today.

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~ by Peter on July 8, 2008.

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