We came to our current church over 10 years ago. Andrew was 3 years old, and Anna had just turned a year old. At the time, there was no program after the church nursery for the children age 4 and older on Wednesday evenings (during our mid-week service), so they had to sit in the church service, which wasn’t really a problem, BUT I was used to having some kind of children’s program (like AWANAs or such) during that time. The only reason our church didn’t have such a thing was there was no one to coordinate it.
Well, we had just left a church where we helped a program called “Patch the Pirate” Club, and so – probably mostly motivated by having something available for OUR son – we asked our pastor if we could start the program at our church. And he said yes … and ten years later, we are STILL involved in Patch the Pirate Club.
(One of our helpers made Dan his very own eye PATCH to wear while he led the opening exercises the other night)
The REAL Patch the Pirate is actually a man named Ron Hamilton, who lost his own eye due to cancer … He used his loss and his musical ability (and his entire talented family) to create the Patch the Pirate character and the songs and stories that Patch shares. These stories have been around since my “little” brother was a boy – so probably since the mid-1980s? My family grew up with them.
Today is Wednesday – and tonight we’ll have Patch Club at our church. Both of our kids have now come through the program and have moved on to Youth Group, but we still LOVE working with the kids who are now ages 4 through 5th grade. Its been so neat to get to work with 10 years of children who have grown up in our church – who have come and gone with the military – and some who are still here – and some who have moved on to graduate and go to college and such.
Today I am thankful for being able to have been a part of this children’s ministry in our church for so long. We’ve had so many people who help us, of course, and I’m thankful for them too. And I’m thankful for the testimony of Ron Hamilton and the wonderful, God-honoring music he (and others) put out through Majesty Music.