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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Life & Times of Louis & Amber - "What does this guy do?"

You would think that after 2 years of working specifically with children and young people in South Africa that we would have learned a thing or two.  Like not opening it up for questions or inviting feedback.

Yesterday we were in Guthrie Center, IA speaking to a group of about 25 kids in the Swordbearers program.  We have learned with children that it is good to start with some type of activity that gets their attention, because if you don't get it right away you'll never have it.  Typically we start off our slideshow with a dozen or so pictures of African Animals.  You know, the quintessential African Animals that we discussed at length last June when I so soundly defeated my brother Sam in our animal-spotting safari.

As we show the pictures we ask the children to participate by raising their hands, at which time I will call on them and they get to say what the animal is.  On the really easy ones we don't ask for the animal's name, rather we ask "What does this animal do?" or "What sound does this animal make?"  So yesterday we arrived at the last animal pictured.  It is the photo you see here of the African Gorilla.  On this, instead of asking for the animal's name I asked what the animal does, anticipating a child screaming and beating their chest Tarzan-style.

Since it was the last question I made sure to call on a little boy that hadn't yet answered (the one in the orange shirt with his hand in the air) and therefore hadn't received the tootsie roll reward.  This guy was probably 8 years old.  When I said "What does this animal do?" his hand shot straight up.  I pointed to him and he responds "Well, if that's a chimpanzee then he throws poop."

Now how is a missionary supposed to respond to that?

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