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    What is Awana?

    What is Awana?

    Photo By Jacqueline Haderlein | ANSBACH, Germany (December 21, 2023) - U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach Religious Support...... read more read more



    Story by Jacqueline Haderlein 

    U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach

    ANSBACH, Germany (December 21, 2023) – The U.S. Army Garrison (USAG) Ansbach Religious Support Office kicked off the Awana program after more than a five-year pause for the garrison earlier this year on Katterbach Kaserne.

    Awana is a worldwide, non-profit program that involves children and accompanying them on their path to faith. This program goes hand-in-hand with teaching children wisdom and spiritual lessons in a playful way.

    At the time of publication, approximately 73 garrison children are enrolled in the program and new requests to join are coming in every week. Awana is open to anyone; it is irrelevant which religion you belong to, everybody is welcome to participate.

    To ensure that Awana reaches every child in an age-appropriate way, there are different groups and curriculums within the program. The garrison chapel offers the Puggles, Cubbies, Sparks and Truth & Training (T&T) groups for children ages 3 to 11 to experience Awana's mission through gospel and other spiritually activities.

    This program mainly relies on volunteers, which is crucial for its success. Currently, the garrison chapel has over 20 volunteers as well as the Awana Commander, Chaplain Hollis Young and Co-Commander April Acevedo, who are passionate about teaching the Awana principles to the children.

    “I expressed interest in bringing Awana to USAG Ansbach in the early summer this year. By the grace of God, support from Steve Davids (the Awana missionary for Germany) and CH (Lt. Col.) Ivan Arreguin, USAG Ansbach Chaplain, and approval from the Garrison Commander, Col. Aaron Dixon, Awana came to life on September 27, 2023,” said Young.

    When working with children, learning needs to be active and exciting. Therefore, there are different segments within the program to make this possible. The usual process for the children is to initiate the opening ceremony by saying what they are thankful for. This leads right into the Large Group Time with gospels and prayers.

    Shortly after, they divide into their individual groups, also known as the Small Group Time, where the volunteers lead the children in age-appropriate activities. Depending on which group you belong to, your evening might start with a fun game, such as one-legged soccer. Other groups, especially those with younger children, begin their program with a puppet show, snacks and crafts. The older kids, which are in the T&T group, will work on their workbooks or the Bible as well as discussing the topic of the day and conclude their evening with fun activities.

    Last but not least, there is the closing ceremony, at which the children can recite the Bible verses they have learned by heart and studied diligently that evening in front of their parents and teachers on a small podium, which is also a great highlight for young and old alike.

    “The vision and prayer of Awana is that all children and youth throughout the world will come to know, love, and serve the Lord Jesus Christ. That is, therefore, our vision for all children and youth across this garrison. As Awana leaders, our conviction is that the Bible is the Word of God, and we heavily emphasize scripture memorization as part of the Awana program. To see children across this garrison studying and memorizing the word of God, and then coming in excited to share those memorized Bible verses is, for me, the most gratifying part of Awana,” stated Young.

    Tracing its roots back, Awana was founded in 1941 as a children’s program at the North Side Gospel Center in Chicago, Illinois, in cooperation with the church’s youth director. This partnership made it possible to create new ways and opportunities to bring children and young people closer to religion. Overall, Awana follows the 3B discipleship philosophy in their program – Belong, Believe and Become.

    “During my time at the chapel, I have ministered to the families by teaching children church. Awana is another way to demonstrate to children the Love that God has for them. They learn scriptures through memorization, as they study and meditate on the scriptures, the Love for God grows in them. I thank God for the garrison allowing Awana to be a part of our community,” added Acevedo.

    The U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach military community is located in the Franconian region of Bavaria and is spread across six sites and nine kasernes dispersed around the city of Ansbach and the village of Illesheim. Today, Ansbach is home to the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, the community's largest tenant unit, as well as the 7th Engineer Brigade, 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, and 1st Battalion, 57th Air Defense Artillery Regiment. The garrison takes pride in supporting more than 10,000 Soldiers, civilians, family members, and retirees working and living in the Ansbach area.

    For more news from U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach, visit: or



    Date Taken: 12.20.2023
    Date Posted: 12.21.2023 09:13
    Story ID: 460411
    Location: ANSBACH, BY, DE

    Web Views: 90
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