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Morning Sun
  • PATRICK'S PEOPLE: Victory Life Church dedicates 'The Jungle'

  • Youngsters at Victory Life Church will be hanging out with friendly rhinos, alligators, giraffes and other animals in “The Jungle,” a newly decorated room that was dedicated on Sunday.

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    Youngsters at Victory Life Church will be hanging out with friendly rhinos, alligators, giraffes and other animals in “The Jungle,” a newly decorated room that was dedicated on Sunday.

    “We’ll be using this for children’s church and activities for our children aged 3 through third grade,” said Pastor Donnie talent. “We pray the kids will make their way through here and be ministered to at their level while their parents are ministered to downstairs.”

    He said that preparations for  “The Jungle” started in May of 2012.

    “This was originally two rooms, and we took down the wall and opened everything up,” Pastor Talent said.

    He also came up with the jungle theme.

    “I kind of had this vision of the finished product,” said church member Duwana Hines.

    The jungle animals are hand-painted on the walls, and Hines said that the children themselves chose the animals they wanted.

    “We kind of visioned from that,” she said. “They know I don’t like snakes, but they asked for snakes, so I put two snakes in here.”

    Hines said many church members helped in the project.

    “They would put undercoats of  paint and outlines on the walls, and I’d put on the finishing touches,” she said. “We worked a  year on this, mostly Friday nights, and  I’d come in on Saturdays when nobody else was here and do the highlights.”

    Hines is especially pleased that the children were involved in the project, with some helping with the painting and also taking out trash. 

    “It’s OK to have a vision, but when it’s just your vision, there can be a problem,” she said. “The kids can look around and say, ‘I suggested that  animal’.”

    Marvin Robarts oversaw construction, and Richard Craze transported the wood for the ceiling an Amish community in the Lamar, Mo., area.

    “There was a lot of work involved in doing it, and everybody helped in putting it up,” Robarts said. “It turned out real nice, and the kids will probably love it, hopefully.”

    Page 2 of 2 - One piece of wood, naturally heart-shaped, was placed on a wall instead of the ceiling. The pastor said that it was found at the bottom of the pile of wood brought from Missouri. Stenciled on the wall around it are the words “God Loves Me No Matter What.”

    “Those are words that kids need to hear,” Pastor Talent said.

    “The Jungle” is nearly finished now. A separate air conditioning unit will be installed soon, and a door, similar to a garden gate, will be added at “The Jungle” entrance.

    “Even the bathroom up here is all jungled up,” the pastor said. “A lot of people have given a lot of time and work to this. It’s just a place where kids can walk in and say, ‘Wow, this is where I need to be,’ just a one-of-a-kind room.”

    The upstairs portion of Victory Life Church also has “The Attic,” for older youth. “Under the Sea” is the theme of the toddler/nursery area on the ground floor, and it also features cute sea creatures on the walls.

    “We’re building a great facility here,” Pastor Talent said.

    But, he stressed, the important thing is not the facility, but the people themselves and sharing God’s love and the message of the Gospels.

    “It’s just a room,” Pastor Talent said. “When we all leave and turn out the lights, it’s just a room.”
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