I Am Third by Karla Dennis

This past week we had our 4th Annual Tiqvah Olympics!  Tiqvah Olympics are high energy and tons of fun. The kids are mixed up randomly into two teams; The Rebels, who are led by this verse in Matthew (7:13) “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it” and The Transformers follow Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will”.

Tiqvah Olympics is a week of friendly competitions, all for His glory.  Our underlying theme or rule is simple: “I’m third.”  (God is first, others second and I’m third.)  Teaching the children to compete with an “I’m third” attitude, then watching them model it successfully is quite spectacular. We witnessed kids rooting on friends on the opposite team.  We saw a team that lost a competition, praise and clap for the winning team. We saw teams lose with grace and teams win with grace.  

When a leader witnessed an “I’m third” attitude, a ticket corresponding to the team’s color went into the bin. A ticket also went into the bin for the winning team of each competition…..and there were loads of competitions! As I write this, I do not yet know which is the winning team.  We will dump out the bin and count up the tickets on Tuesday and announce the winners before our surprise dance party! 😉

At the end of our Tiqvah day Thursday, the children were excused to go outside without their book bags….. they were confused as this is not how we dismiss! The surprise and reward for such a great week waiting for them was an ice cream truck!! The squeals and excitement could be heard the whole city block! 

The Tiqvah Olympics, the ice cream truck, and frankly, our whole year of programming could not have been possible without all the awesome, loving and selfless volunteers! Though the children enjoyed the ice cream truck immensely, it was hired to come as a treat to our volunteers as well. Before it arrived we shared a dinner with them and several students recited a lovely poem thanking them for all they do.  We are so blessed to have each of you on our team! Thank you for practicing the "I am third" attitude as a volunteer at Tiqvah.