Christine June
U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern

***image2***Close to 200 children competed in the Euro-wide Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed Games Saturday at the fitness center on Vogelweh.

“It’s more than just fun and games like recess; its fun with a purpose,” said Sandra Edwards, Darmstadt AWANA Club commander.

The purpose is ministering through Bible memorization, games and story-telling, said Eddie Hester, AWANA’s regional director who attended the games to help officiate.

The name AWANA is taken from 2 Timothy 2:15 in the Bible. It is a nonprofit, international, nondenominational, Christian youth ministry for children in pre-school to high school.

These games could easily be called the club’s Olympics, said Maj. Steve Cox, who coached the Ramstein club’s Truth and Training team. The Ramstein club is the military-sponsored one for children in the KMC.

Competing were clubbers in the program’s Sparks, for kindergarteners to second grade, T&T, for third to sixth graders, and Trek, for sixth to eighth graders. They represented clubs in Darmstadt, Wiesbaden, Spangdahlem, Baumholder and Kaiserslautern military communities, as well as English-speaking programs from the Faith Baptist Church also in Kaiserslautern and Black Forest Academy in Bavaria.

Teams consisted of seven members, with some clubs having has many has two teams represented in each game. Due to the number of teams, the games were conducted in two circles with four teams competing. Some programs, such as T&T, competed in as many as 10 games, ranging from Bean Bag Relay to Tug-of-War.

These games are a part of the regular, weekly AWANA curriculum, along with counseling and handbook times. Council time is when a leader reads a Bible story to the clubbers, and handbook time is when the clubbers recite their verses to their leaders.

***image3***“The games offer a way for the kids to invite others (to AWANA clubs) who may not know about Christ,” said Cox.

The Ramstein’s Sparks had two teams, finishing in first and third places. Its Trek club took first place, and after a tie-breaker game to determine second and third places in Circle 2, its T&T club finished third.

The Faith Baptist Church is another AWANA club in the KMC. It had two Sparks and T&T teams at the games. Both Sparks’ teams received second place, and the T&T teams took home second and third place titles.

To find out more about AWANA Clubs International, visit the official Web site at www.awana.org/.  For local club information, call Ramstein North Chapel at 480-6148 and for the Faith Baptist Church, call Captain David Vanderburg at 06301710735 or e-mail davidamyv@hotmail.com.