Jasmine: As part of our Marriage Preparation journey, we had to serve 10 weeks at our church nursery. 10 weeks may seem long, but we’ve served for 4 weeks and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!
Andrew: I think I can proudly say that our church has one of the best Marriage Preparation courses out there. It’s rigorous, but it really helps to prepare the couple for the marriage, and not just the wedding.
Jasmine: I could not agree more. I strongly recommend MPC for any couple seriously considering marriage. It is one of the best investments you can make in your relationship, as you grow so much and learn so much about your partner and yourself during the process. That is alot more valuable over the long-haul than snapping up a flat or securing a popular hotel as your banquet venue.
Andrew: Nursery duty has indeed been thoroughly enjoyable so far! Serving young kids is so refreshing and rewarding 🙂
Jasmine: Here’s a pic with one of my favourite little girls, 4-year-old Karen:
Every Sunday, we get to dance with the little children, pray for them and work on crafts! Below, Karen is showing off her craft for the week, on Jonah on his way to Nineveh (yes, it looks more like Noah’s Ark but never mind that).
Andrew: Karen really loves Dearie! She keeps running to Dearie every time she arrives and is so ‘clingy’ to her. It’s really sweet seeing them playing together!
Jasmine: Speaking of playing, I love seeing the ‘big kid’ play with the little ones. Sometimes they don’t seem that far apart in age at all. Haha.
Jasmine: Andrew is especially talented with the toy construction set, with miniature drills and all. He is great at coming up with games to entertain the little boys! Believe it, y’all!
Andrew: Yes, I do enjoy playing ‘construction worker’ with the boys and also playing with little toy cars. Of course, boys being boys, they derive a lot of joy from ‘deconstructing’ and destroying cars too. Just today, another one of the construction toys was destroyed by an over-zealous boy.
Andrew: This is one of my favourite boys – Matthias! He’s very quiet, but has little bursts of joy occasionally throughout the service. He really enjoys ‘hi-fiving’ and gets very enthusiastic when I lay my hands out before him. He always claps (and slaps) them non-stop. Heh.
Of course, nursery duty is not just about playing with kids. We also learn how to engage kids through music/worship, to pray for kids and minister to them, how to discipline them and even how to help them in the toilet. Trust me – there is a lot to learn there. Just two weeks ago, I had to learn how to console a boy who had accidentally wet his pants. It was not easy.
Jasmine: Thankfully, the girls are alot easier to manage. My first week serving, I lined all seven little girls up on a ledge in the toilet and made them hold hands after I had helped them wash their hands. I was rather impressed with myself, if I do say so. (Disclaimer: Hannah and Weilin were doing the difficult stuff, like actually helping the girls in the bathroom.)
Andrew: Nursery is structured around key Bible stories. We are currently in the Jonah season and it’s been very fun! We really try to bring the story alive for the kids with a huge cloth ‘whale’ that ‘eats’ up the kids (Jasmine: I drew the whale and gave him a heart tattoo on his tail!). We create a make-believe storm by turning off and on the light (to simulate lighting) and making thunder noises! As props, we also have ikan billis, fish and soap to simulate the smelliness and sliminess of being in a whale! Really engaging all 5 senses 🙂 In addition to the story-telling, the kids get to do Jonah-related crafts each week.
Jasmine: Yes, today, all the kids got to make fish hats for themselves! Or rather, the leaders made them and the kids wore them. Here are a couple of fishy ‘styles’:
Andrew: Another one of my favourite kids – Matthew! He even knows my name and kept calling me Uncle Andrew throughout. Yes, I do not really like being called Uncle, but I forgive the kids because they are so cute! 🙂
Jasmine: Today, I hung out mostly with Karen and Charlotte (below).
Jasmine: Nursery is tiring, especially when one has to wake up at 7am on a Sunday morning, but it’s a great deal of fun. The kids have begun to recognise us and it’s nice to have little ones run over and hold our hands. And of course, I love serving with my girls, Hannah and Weilin, and my beloved husband, who faithfully reads all the instructional emails and tells me what I’m supposed to do each week. Oops!
Andrew: Nursery has been a really meaningful journey for Dearie and I so far. It just fills me with so much joy to see all these kids and see Dearie play with little girls. It’s really great just playing with these kids without having to handle all the other more stressful and tiring portions of parenthood. Nonetheless, I am looking forward to us having our own.
(Jasmine: Not so soooon… Andrew: We’ll see! *cheekily*)