A couple of years ago, I helped with faith promise planning. Our speakers were missionaries Doug and Jenn Mann, then serving in Peru. We wanted to do something special to involve kids in faith promise.
I knew the emphasis would be on Peru; and as I was brainstorming, I thought about a Work & Witness trip I had made to Peru and how the team saw alpaca throughout the country. That’s when I remembered that some of my coworkers own alpaca.
I came up with the idea to have an alpaca “petting zoo” for the kids on faith promse Sunday. Since alpaca are native to Peru, we tied that into talking about Doug and Jenn Mann and Peru. Then we had all the children attend the faith promise service on Sunday morning. In advance, we promoted that the special kids’ activity for faith promise Sunday would be alpaca petting.
Between the two morning services and througout the children’s Sunday School hour, we had three alpaca at church. We had all the kids go outside to pet the alpaca. We brought the children out in small groups. With 150+ kids, it took more than two hours to cycle all the kids (3 years old through sixth grade) through. By the time we were done, the alpaca were stuffed full of pellets from all of the kids feeding them.
Needless to say, the alpaca were a huge hit! The children (and adults) absolutely loved them. The church was buzzing, and I’m sure the kids will never forget about Peru because of the alpaca.
We also announced in advance that on faith promise Sunday, anyone who had been on a mission trip should wear clothing from the country they visited. My husband and I wore our alpaca sweaters we bought in Peru. So I ran the alpaca petting zoo wearing an alpaca sweater. People loved that. The alpaca owners loved it too, because they take their alpaca for sheering and sell the fur once a year.
Melinda Wolf Miller