John in the Jungle

Early in our stay on Saipan, we were involved in a Friday evening/Saturday teen retreat where we were introduced to a hide-and-seek game known as Sardines in the Jungle. The game is played after dark which basically means anytime after 7:00 p.m. here. One player is sent out to hide in the jungle and a few minutes later the rest of the players begin to search for him or her. When someone finds the person who is hiding, they join them. Over time, the group grows as more and more players find and join the ones who are hiding. Crowding closely together to avoid detection, they become sardines in the jungle! Such fun! Sneaking around in the dark, listening for unfamiliar sounds then crowding together and trying to remain silent.

As Richard and I planned the activities for today’s Family Fun Day at the church, we wondered if Sardines in the Jungle would work during the day. Probably not but the jungle all around us just begged to be used for some sort of hide-and-seek game. Rather than playing the traditional game where all but one person hides and waits to be found, we wanted something that would more actively involve everyone who wanted to play. What if we hid something in advance and everyone had to search for it? The initial idea began to grow and this is what we came up with:

I started with a couple of plastic grocery bags

and cut them into strips. The kids have been learning John 3:16 so I wrote one or two words of the verse on each strip, 20 in all. Then, yesterday, we hid them in the jungle.

  

That was fun. I hadn’t really explored our jungle during daylight before and was intrigued by some of what I saw.

  

Can you see the plastic strip hidden in the second photo? Or what about the one below? Maybe that one’s a little easier. Did you know that that’s how a coconut tree begins to grow?

After we enjoyed today’s delicious potluck lunch, it was time to begin the search. The skies opened and one of Saipan’s short lived but drenching rains began to fall but that didn’t dampen the children’s spirits any. We’d told them in advance to be prepared to get wet. We hadn’t expected that to happen until we brought out the water balloons later in the afternoon but they thought it was hilarious that God added water to this game too.

  

Jeran in the Jungle!

When all the strips were found (well, almost all, “perish” is still out there somewhere!) it was time to put the puzzle together and recite the verse. It was great to watch them all working together!

By the time that was done, the sun was out again and it was time for water balloons and the much anticipated slip and slide!

 

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