Hanna Firstenberger, Back2Back staff, held a bucket of water in one hand and a tangerine in the other. She smiled at the faces gathered around her on the floor as she dropped the tangerine into the water. They watched together as it floated to the surface.
“Why did it float?” she asked her class, and gave them time to consider their answers.
She removed it from the water and peeled the tangerine. She held it up as she asked, “Will it float without its peel?” And again, gave the children time to consider their answers.
Plop. She dropped the tangerine in the water, and this time it sank to the bottom.
“When we wear God’s armor, like this peel, our hearts, this tangerine, are protected from the bad things of this world,” Hanna explained. “We float when we wear God’s armor, but what happens when we take His armor off?” she asked.
“We siiiiink!” they cried in unison.
For several weeks, Hanna has been using what she’s learning in her time with God and teaching it to her class at Back2Back Cincinnati. Recently, she felt pulled to teach on spiritual warfare, but wanted to do it in an age appropriate way that wouldn’t strike fear in her students. This is where the tangerine and bucket of water came in. She often has children who opt out of making crafts, but for this particular lesson, everyone wanted to take part.
They circled around the projector as Hanna shared about each part of God’s armor. She gave them time to ask questions and share stories for each piece and then they each made that piece of the armor, writing what they learned on it. They made belts and wrote He speaks truth across them, attaching pieces to their belts with truths God says about them such as I am important, I belong, and I am loved.
The last slide of armor was their sword. Squeals of excitement filled the air as they realized they got to make their own swords, but Hanna held her Bible up and said, “This is the only weapon I need!” The children looked confused until she opened it up, showing them watercolors she’d done that correlated with their own classroom Bible lessons.
“This whole year, you’ve been learning about the Bible,” explained Hanna. She showed them the different lessons they’d learned, and the correlating projects they’d completed. “You have been putting on your armor, taking up your sword, and you didn’t even know it yet!”
Hanna has diligently and gently taught each child in her class the word of God through games and crafts, seeing each of them empowered by His word as a result. “We didn’t give the students a ton of examples of what to write on their armor,” shared Hanna. “They were sharing and writing heartfelt things all on their own. It was a calm and safe place to share hard battles fought and won.”
Please join Back2Back in prayer that every child who enters a classroom around the world would come to know the power of God is within them, and we only need call on Him, and He will be there.