Thursday, September 13, 2012

Expedition in the Desert: Joseph

Die Wüste. Obwohl sie gefährlich ist, sind trotzdem viele wichtige und wunderschöne Dinge dort geschehen. In der Bibel (und in der Godly Play Pädagogik) ist die Wüste nicht nur ein geographischer Ort, sondern ein existentieller Ort. Ein Ort, in den wir nicht unbedingt freiwillig hingehen, sondern einer, wo wir an unsere Grenzen kommen. Ein Ort, in dem Gott uns mit seiner Gnade begegnet.  The desert. A dangerous, but fascinating place. In the Bible (and in the Godly Play concept), it is not just a physical place, but an existential one. A place where we come to the end of our own strength and resources. A place that we don't go willingly. But a place where God meets us and gives us a new perspective. 

Materials for the Joseph story.
Click here for more about the dream boards.

Joseph is reunited with his brothers.
In der AG, "Expedition in die Wüste!" entdecken wir die Wüste und was Gott da mit seinen Kindern macht. Wir fingen mit der alt-testmentlichen Geschichte von Josef an. Was für eine Geschichte! Man hat Geschwisterkonflikte, Eifersucht, Räche, unverdiente Strafe und veil mehr in dieser Geschichte. Aber Josef stellt etwas Wichtiges fest: er ist nie allein gewesen und Gott kann immer etwas Gutes aus einer traurigen Situation machen. As you may have already guessed, in our latest after school club, called "Expedition in the Desert!", we explore the desert and how God interacts with his children in it. We began with the story of Joseph. What a story! There is something for everything to identify with here: sibling rivalry, jealousy, revenge, unjust accusations, imprisonment. But Joseph finds out something very important, namely that he is never alone and that God can make something beautiful out of the worst situations.

Die meisten Kinder sind schon lange in diesen AGs zusammen gewesen, deswegen gibt es ein gewisses Vertrauen unter ihnen. Man hat das im Ergründungsgespräch gemerkt, da sie viel verbal geäußert haben. Als ich gefragt habe, welcher Teil der wichtigste sei, haben einige die Stelle gennant, wo Josef seinen Brüdern hilft ohne sich zu rächen. Die Kinder haben wahrgenommen, wieviel es Josef gekostet hat um die richtige Entscheidung zu treffen. Noch eine Frage war, ob die Kinder selber erlebt haben, wo Gott eine entäuschende Situation zum Guten verwandelte. Dann haben wir uns daran errinert, wann vor einem Jahr unsere AdventsAG im letzen Moment aus Mangel an Räumlichkeiten ausfallen musste. Dadurch fanden wir ein zu Hause bei der evangelischen Gemeinde in der Nähe von der Schule und haben die Pfarrerin, Christina-Maria, kennengelernt. Jetzt haben wir einen schönen, ruhigen Ort, wo wir Gott entdecken können. Eine Lampe ging da bei den Kindern auf. Most of the children present have been in every after-school club that we have offered. Because they know each other and some trust has been established, the kids were verbal from the get-go during the Wondering. For many, the favorite and most important part of the story was that Joseph blessed his brothers in the end instead of trying to get back at them. One of the questions I asked was about whether or not the children had experienced a situation where God had turned something bad into something good. Together, we remembered how last year at Advent, our club had been cancelled at the last minute for different reasons. But as a result, we got to know Christina, the pastor of the church on the same street as our school, who now co-leads the club with me and Melinda. And then, we were able to use the beautiful rooms in this church that are quieter and more comfortable than the ones at our school. A light seemed to come on in the kids' heads at that point.

Während der Kreativzeit dürfen die Kinder entweder mit dem Geschichtematerial spielen oder sich hit dem Kunstmaterial beschäftigen. Es hat much gefreut, dass einige Kinder auch mit dem Material von den Geschichtentisch spielen wollten. During our creative phase, the children can either play with the story materials or work with the art materials. I was delighted that several children wanted to explore the materials.

Wie wäre eine Wüste-AG ohne Sand? Neben Farbe und Buntstiften bieten wir Projekten mit Sand an. Diese Woche haben wir Sandbilder gemacht. Melinda und ich haben vorher den Sand gefärbt. Dann "zeichneten" die Kinder Skizzen mit Bastelkleber und streuten den Sand darauf. Schöne Bilder sind entstanden und es war ein taktiles Vergnügen für die Kinder.  In addition to paint and colored pencils, we will be offering art materials that use sand in order to explore the desert a little more. This week, we made sand pictures. Melinda and I dyed the sand beforehand. The children then "drew" pictures with glue and sprinkled sand over the glue to create some unique artwork.

Mehr Aktion von der Wüste kommt in den nächsten Tagen! Stay tuned for more action in the desert! 

(One important point for my readers who are particularly interested in Godly Play: though I borrow heavily from Godly Play and use its principles and structure in the club, this particular story of Joseph is not actually a Godly Play story, but rather a story that has been written for our German-speaking context. If you are planning to share this post or pin it on Pinterest, please honor Jerome Berryman, the creator of Godly Play, by not labeling it as Godly Play. Thank you!) 

To see our other desert adventures:

Expedition in the Desert: Moses
Expedition in the Desert: Abraham & Sarah
Expedition in the Desert: The 10 Best Ways to Live

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  1. We just had the story of Joseph here. I love the sand pictures! Would you consider linking up at Waldorf Wednesday?

    1. Thanks, Annette, for the invite! I'd be delighted to join up.

  2. 1. I'm impressed and interested by your disclaimer at the end of the post.

    2. I'm so glad you are using sand as an art material! At the very first Godly Play session I ever went to, we heard a desert story and when it was time for the Response I tentatively asked if I could use just a little sand from the desert box in my art. The answer was a hesitant yyeess and then pointing out that they had sandpaper amongst the collage materials. So I used the sandpaper, which was ok but didn't feel as meaningful as I think the actual sand would have.

    1. Hi Storyteller,

      About the disclaimer, I did that, because I would recommend that anyone in English actually use Jerome Berryman's material. We just don't have those stories in German yet. And I would not dare try to translate a GP story on my own, because of the linguistic complexities and nuances. (Translating YCW stuff is a different matter, because there aren't as many philosophical levels in the stories.)

      Glad you like the sand! I have had as much fun as the kids with it.: )

  3. Godly Play is so amazing. It's wonderful to hear how you are using it. And the sand art material is a brilliant idea! :)

  4. Hi Sheila! I'm pinning for a Bible curriculum company now, and I just pinned this. Hope it brings you some traffic. I'm sure I'll be back to pin some of your other great content as well.