Welcome to FROG day camp! How many of you like frogs? How many of you think they're yucky and slimy? Well, we're not really here to learn about frogs but what the letters in the word 'frog' stand for.
The first letters of the words Fully Rely On God spell frog. So hopefully the next time you hear the word frog or see a frog you'll remember all about what you'll learn this week about Fully Relying on God.
I want to tell you a story about normal kids just like you that need some help and hopefully by the end of the week you'll know how to finish the story.
There once was a girl named Elsa. She just turned 6 and loved going to school, she liked playing with all the kids and learning new things. However, she noticed one boy in her class that didn't have a lot of friends. Sometimes the other kids in her class made fun of him and talked about him but she didn't like that.
Elsa always thought that she should treat others the way she would want to be treated so she didn't make fun of him. If she didn't like getting picked on, why would she pick on someone else? So she decided to do something.
That day at recess Elsa went to play him.
"Is your name Spencer?" Elsa asked.
"Yes." Spencer said quietly.
"My name is Elsa, can I play with you?"
"Sure." Spencer said with a little smile on his face.
So the two of them took turns on the slide and went swinging. They didn't say much to each other but they played together anyway, and Spencer looked happy.
After that Spencer and Elsa became very close friends. Spencer liked going to school before, but he really liked it now and the kids were bugging him less too. Elsa had lots of friends but she enjoyed hanging out with Spencer because he never said anything bad about anyone else.
Things were going really good until one day a couple of older kids came up to Elsa on the playground.
"Hey Elsa, is that your boyfriend?" They said, talking about Spencer.
"No, he's my friend." Elsa said with her hands on her hips.
"That means he's your boy-friend" laughed the older kids.
Suddenly the bell rang to go back to class and the older kids ran back in. Samuel turned to Elsa and said, "Don't worry about those guys they probably won't bother us again."
Elsa sure hoped they wouldn't. She never had kids pick on her before and it made her a bit scared.
The next couple days Elsa played with some of her other friends and avoided Spencer. She could tell that Spencer wanted to play with her, he kept looking at her with a sad look on his face but Elsa didn't want to get picked on again.
A few days later Spencer and Elsa got paired up to go on a treasure hunt. They had to find things outside like bugs, rocks, leaves, and flowers for class. As they began reading their list of things to find Elsa stopped Spencer and said, "I'm sorry for not playing with you but I was worried about the older kids."
"Whatever." Samuel said looking at his feet. "But, there's always going to be kids that are mean, sometimes we just have to trust God and not worry. As long as we're not being mean back, that's the main thing."
"I guess." Elsa said. "I guess I just.... Oh, wow look at that, it looks like a cocoon!" And with that, the two of them took their treasure into the teacher to show the class.
Elsa started to play with Spencer again during recesses. They were becoming good friends and Spencer wasn't even so shy anymore. Everything was going well until one day those older kids walked over to their side of the playground.
"Hey, how do you like playing with a dummy?" they said to Elsa.
"Leave us alone you guys, I'm not going to listen to you anyway!" Elsa said proudly.
The older kids persisted, "if you want to be dumb like your friend keep playing with him."
"I don't know what you're talking about, leave us alone!" Elsa yelled. Then she grabbed Spencer's hand and started walking towards the school.
The older kids yelled as they walked away, "if you keep hanging out with him you'll fail a grade too!"
Elsa tried to ignore the older kids but she couldn't help wonder what the kids meant. Spencer didn't say much after that and seemed to be back to his quiet old self.
When Elsa got home she told her mom about the older kids and what they said. Elsa's mom explained that Spencer has a learning disability that makes him learn slower than other kids. Also, the kids he used to be in class with were very mean to him and that was also part of the reason he was in Elsa's class.
Elsa and her mom also talked about all kids being different and special in their own way, and that just because Spencer learned slower didn't make him dumb. Sometimes a disease or illness makes it harder for people to learn and that Spencer was working even harder than most kids to keep up.
Even though Elsa knew this and liked Spencer, she still didn't want to be picked on and was scared. So she decided to talk to Spencer about it the next day at school.
The only problem was, that even before she got to school the older kids were standing outside waiting for her. They started to tease her and push her around. She didn't know what to do so she sat down and started to cry until some older girls came and told the kids to leave her alone.
As soon as Elsa got into the school she found her teacher and told her what happened, she also found Spencer and told him too. The teacher decided to tell the class what happened so they could talk about it and see what they could do to make things better.
As the teacher explained what happened to the class Elsa whispered to Spencer, "I don't think I can be your friend anymore, I'm just too afraid of what might happen."
"Does anyone have anything to share to help this problem?" The teacher asked the class.
"I do." answered Spencer. "Those kids always picked on me last year, that's partly why I'm in this class this year. I guess, what's helped me the most is by fully relying on God. I was worried that kids would tease me this year too but I prayed about it and I met the greatest friend I've ever had, Elsa." Elsa smiled shyly.
Spencer kept talking, "I've also read a lot of stories in the Bible about how people a long time ago relied on God in situations way worse than mine which I'd like to share with you."
As Spencer started to tell his class the stories, the kids really listened. Over the next few days of day camp we're going to tell you those same stories that Spencer told his class. Then on the last day you'll here the end of the story.