Saturday, July 6, 2013

Week 5-Union Grove Baptist, New Blackwell Baptist, Mt. Zion, Bethany Baptist, West Hartselle Baptist, & Boanerges Baptist

This week was the beginning of the end for Street Reach summer 2013 at Bible club Rosamond. (Sad Day!!!!). But this week was by no means a sad week! The love shared by Union Grove to the kids was nothing short of God’s first love for us. From the Bible stories shared daily, to the colorful new toys brought by the team, to the extra snacks at crafts, every part of the day made me rejoice. It was awesome to see, on Friday, every child taking home a framed picture of themselves and missionaries from this week. It was also nice to see so many colors on the Bible club site this week; it just makes it LOOK fun at a glance. Thanks to Union Grove for donating the flags and balls; the kids love them so much. The week hit its peak with 53 kids two days in a row and even the day after the fourth of July 50 of the kids were ready for some more bible club! Truly, God’s name was made great this week. I hope you all had a great fourth of July; I know Rosamond did. God bless, and peace out!
Week Five of Bible Club at Leahy's Trailer Park was an astounding success. This week I worked with New Blackwell Baptist Church from Rutledge, Tennessee. They brought a team of 9 members. It consisted of one youth member, two college-aged members, and six adults. It was definitely a different experience working with a team of mostly adults. I enjoyed it very much. This week, not only were the kids ministered to, but the adults that would pass by were ministered to as well. A crazy but God-inspired story took place this week. On Monday, crafts used a box of Bibles. The trailer park has dogs that just roam around & they were near the craft station. The dogs ended up opening the box, got a Bible out, and started running. By the time we had caught the dog, it was near a group of adults. We ended up giving every adult in that group a Bible and they all opened it and started reading it together. God can use anybody, or anything, to get the Word out. Please be praying for the kids next week.

Week 5 at Pope was rocked by Mt. Zion! They brought so much love and passion to Bible Club and it was seen through the smiles of the kids. Relationships were built that will surely last for years. Pope was pushed to the max July 3rd with 59 kids being loved on and receiving the Word of the Lord. I had so much fun at club with their fabulous crafts and unique games. It was an amazing time shared by all. The week even continued to be great through the 4th of July with homemade peanut butter and jelly sandwiches given to the children at Pope so they wouldn’t go hungry. Mt. Zion truly loves their kids at Pope. The team left their hearts on the club site Friday when it was time to say goodbye because they had so much passion for those kids. This week was a really great week with a really great team! Please pray for Pope as it will not be running next week but it will again before the summer closes. The kids will continue to be loved on and ministered to before the end but please pray that the Lord would continue to work through the teams that come in and love on them. He knows the plans for each and every heart at Pope!

What another great week at Kendrick! Returning team Bethany Baptist Church from Alabama was in the house and shaking things up at the Kendrick site! It was great to see some familiar faces from last year, as well as meet new people that came this year. The team was well prepared and was ready to jump in and love on the kids as soon as they got off the bus! Monday they hit the ground running and had a blast with the kids. Bethany kept the energy up from there even when 46 kids showed up on Wednesday, which was the high of the week! Thursday was July 4th, so the teams got the opportunity to make all the sack-lunches for the kids, which they loved! Even though we had fewer kids on Thursday because of the 4th, the team took that opportunity to really love on the ones that were there. Songs station had a powerful story of how they opened God’s Word and read to the older kids about dancing and singing loudly for the Lord which the kids had not heard before! It is awesome testimony of the power of God’s word! Bethany summed up all the love and energy they had left on Friday and poured every last bit of it out on the kids before they had to leave. Thank you so much Bethany Baptist for such a great week!
I am asking the Spirit more than ever to guide me as I write this because it was one “special” week. National was covered in Jesus, flooded in the light of Christ, and God was glorified above all with the 76 kids that he handpicked to be at National, which is a record so far this summer. West Hartselle Baptist Church from Hartselle, Alabama came back for round two of serving at National and were filled with twice as much fun, energy, Jesus, love, and hugs. West Hartselle’s hearts were captured by these kids, but even more than that, the kids hearts were captured by West Hartselle because of Jesus that was shining so boldly through them. Bible story was a beautiful picture of Jesus on display. The older group (11+) weren’t just listening to the story this week, but they were teaching the Bible story to the other peers in their group and then back to the team members. Each time I would walk over to Bible story, or ask a child a question later about the story they would be able to give me an answer right back or at some points proceed to tell me the whole story of Paul, which was their focus this past week. The Word of God was alive at National this week! West Hartselle was constantly laying down their lives and this was present in the selfless ways I saw them serve. They sought nothing for their own glory, but all for the glory of God, they did not seek attention for their own, but attention pointed to the only one that saves. A little boy who had the longest route to National had holes in the bottom of his shoes, so the team bought him shoes. Three brothers (two 10 & one 12) who touched the hearts of the team members who picked them up each day bought a basketball and gave it to them to play together. The smiles they had shone for miles when I asked them about it. West Hartselle was constantly focused on playing the background and letting God take the front. National was covered in Jesus and Jesus was present in the park each and every moment that Bible club was happening. On Friday after all the kids had been taken home and the park was empty, we circled up one final time, hands raised together and prayed, prayed for the kids and the missionaries that were taking their place at National to love on their kids and show them Jesus and cheered for “Club National” one last time. West Hartselle began “Club National” and left it for other National teams to join. West Hartselle began their week filed with love and left every last drop of love they had on Friday. Another beautiful, Christ centered week at National was witnessed and to God be all the glory forever and ever! 
We had such a sweet week at Jackson! The staff and MITs ran club and we all absolutely fell in love with the Jackson kiddos.  We kicked off the week with 48 kids!  One of the sweetest moments was when I sat with the 3 and 4 year olds at lunch on Friday--we talked about what they had been learning in the Bible story station and they told me, "Prayer is talking to God! You can talk to God anytime, anywhere, and about anything!"  Sometimes it's easy to think that the little one's aren't listening. We watch as they stare off at a bird in a tree, or just up and run off from their stations.  But what we don't always realize is that they are soaking up every word!  And what a comfort to know that we plant and we water but GOD makes the seeds grow! Please pray for the Jackson site. Next week we will be unable to run it. Pray that God would send more workers into the Harvest. Pray for faithful workers to come and finish what has been started in the hearts of these children and pray trusting that God will do it!  Thank you so much for your continued prayers over these precious children! Much grace and love and peace!
Boanerges showed an incredible amount of passion for Christ and the kids out at Johnson this week! We were blessed again with the greatest amount of kids coming out to Bible club this summer for Johnson with 75 on our highest day. It was so exciting to see the team go out and love on the kids from the time they picked them up of their doorstep to the time they dropped them off. The kids learned this week about how important the Word of God is. They learned the God wrote the entire Bible, and it is in fact His Word. Then the team taught them about how they should read the Word, and draw closer to God. The kids had great questions for the team, and I know they are listening even when it seems like they are not. By the end of the week the kids that started with a hard shell slowly began to soften up, and become open to the love the team was showing them. It is always a sad time when the team leaves after the kids have experienced the love of Christ, but a new team will be in next week. One of the walking groups showed a great amount of passion to get kids to Bible club who had never come before. They persistently knocked on doors, and show love to the families until they were willing to let their children go. This was encouraging to see, and know that the children were truly being loved this week. As always, the musical instruments were a hit with the kids. They played on the buckets and shakers while singing songs, and had a great time laughing and having fun with the team. I am so glad Boanerges decided to be here this summer, and God really used them this week! 
The Fourth of July week was popping this year with Boanerges Baptist Church hanging out on G-street! This team is a returning team, but they were unable to come last summer, so their presence at Street Reach this year was definitely felt and appreciated! It was so amazing to watch this group connect with and love on the kids even though it was a completely different site from what they were used to. Their passion was evident in the way they talked to and about the kids. Beautiful relationships were made as Boanerges displayed what the church and family are supposed to look like biblically out in the streets of Memphis. This week, the kids definitely learned more about Jesus and what it means when a person follows him. The older boys and girls were completely engaged in Bible story and in one-on-one conversations, asking questions and sharing pieces of their lives with the team. Many of them, such as Jehison and Gabe, have shown that they are starving for discipleship, which will begin next week. And God was completely faithful in sending kids out whom He wanted to be ministered to; over 60 kids came out on the 4th, even though the neighborhood had tons of fun parties and cook-outs and a big picnic and waterslide were going on right next door to Bible Club. We were also blessed to see Terry, Alfreddie's older brother, for the first time this summer. So in the craziness and loudness of this holiday week, God painted a beautiful picture at Guernsey Bible Club. The kids loved Boanerges and were so thankful that we came out when so many were taking the day off, because God didn't take the day off; He was loving and teaching these children all week, as He has been all summer. Thank you so much for another great week, Boanerges!

It was another great week at Whittier! This week, Bethany Baptist Church brought a strong desire to see kids experience the love of Christ. We had tons of new kids show up, as well a bunch of "regular" kids who were excited to see the returning team after a year of being apart. The team this week was obviously passionate about what they were doing, and brought a good time and a high level of energy to the kids each day. It was apparent that the kids had made strong connections with Bethany Baptist. On the last day, a number of kids were crying. At first I thought they were sick and I figured they should go home, but when asked why he didn't want to participate, one kid answered, "It's Friday. We have to say goodbye on Friday." I don't think I've seen that many hugs given before the walk home before. The coolest thing was that the team never missed an opportunity to pour the love of Christ on the kids. No matter what was happening, the team found ways to turn the situation into a sermon, showing the kids practical ways to live like Christ.  If this team left one message with the kids this week, it was that God's mercy is new every morning, and that no matter the circumstance, they are all "winners" in Christ. I'm confident the kids will remember the love shown this week for years to come. 

There was a sweet spirit within all of the teams this week, serving with selflessness and having willing hearts to do whatever the Lord was asking of them. Street Reach has been blessed, the kids that were ministered to were blessed, and the entire community has been blessed by the work the Lord accomplished through the teams being Jesus' hands and feet this week. This week was full of thankfulness and praise to our God. Psalm 100 is a psalm of praise and an encouragement that all the love these teams poured out this week will continue by the teams coming in next week as the Lord fills them up with himself and that his love will continue on and on and on...  

Psalm 100

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. 
Worship the Lord with gladness; 
come before him with joyful songs. 
Know that the Lord is God. 
It is he who made us, and we are 
we are his people, the sheep of his 
Enter his gates with thanksgiving 
and his courts with praise; 
give thanks to him and praise his 
For the Lord is good and his love
endures forever; 
his faithfulness continues through
all generations. 

Next week, Street Reach will be beginning Discipleship Club. Discipleship Club will be going out into the community and discipling kids that have accepted Christ this summer or are interested and asking questions about the Gospel. Be praying as we begin this for Street Reach to be equipped by the Spirit to lead these kids and be in prayer for the kids that will be discipled, that they would learn what it is to be a disciple and then go and make disciples, that make disciples, that make disciples...

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