Hull Youth For Christ
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Godly Play

Godly Play is a very spiritual experience, even for the storyteller. Children are invited into a well ordered and calm space, with calm voices, and a slowed–down pace. As the children enter they are asked “Are you ready?”.

At Boulevard, the children come straight from school and they explode into the building. Outside the room it sounds as if twenty or so wild ponies have entered the building. There are strange loud bangs and clatters. There are shouts and screams.

Fifteen minutes later, the door opens and each child enters in their own way, some quietly, some not, putting down their shoes and shuffling up close to me. The next stage is to “Build the circle”. However, sometimes the children have brought so much pain and hurt with them into the room it is hard for them to care about anyone else. They shout across one another, all eager for any kind of attention. They find it almost impossible to pay any attention to one another. When they are ready, I tell the story.

When we did the story about the ark, the children were very inspired by the story. They remembered that Noah and the animals gave thanks to God when the Flood was over with a prayer. They like praying and many of the sessions end with the children offering to say their own prayers. When given the opportunity, one girl said, “Dear God, I am sorry about today. Thanks for the biscuit and a drink. Amen”. She didn’t need to tell us what she was sorry about. She knew God knew and was listening.

This has not been the easiest Godly Play group I have worked with, but it is not the hardest. As these children walk into the room, Jesus walks in with them, and I feel blessed to be there. As time goes on, and the children hear more stories I hope that they will see why these stories were written down in the first place and why they are relevant to their own lives right now. I pray that they will see the common threads running through all of the stories, the character of God and of Jesus, and that they will be able to come closer to Him as a result of being present in these sacred moments. I know I will.

Suzzie Steel (Volunteer)