Saturday, July 20, 2013

Week 7-The Gathering Place, Boones Chapel, FBC Prattville, FBC McMinnville, Lamar Baptist, Parkway Baptist, Blue Ridge Christian Fellowship, FBC Jenny Lind, FBC Mumford, Grace Baptist, & Eurika Baptist

The Acteens of FBC Prattville brought so much love to Tutwiler this week and the kids definitely felt it! The girls came in with a passion to share the Gospel and a passion to give some hugs! I got excited at the very beginning of the week when I saw storage tubs full of popcorn, at least 30 hoola hoops, and so many fun crafts to make just during free play! We hadn’t even started club yet! It was amazing to get to love on some kids who had still yet to attend club before. It was an amazing site to see 27 kids smiling and having a great time learning the 10 commandments and making necklaces in relation to the Bible story. It could not have been a better week to spend with the Tutwiler kids for the last week of it’s running during the 2013 Summer! It was a sad Friday, but tears of joy ran down those girls faces as they drove away from the club site knowing that God really touched those kids’ hearts! Please pray for those kids as they will not be attending club for the rest of the summer. Pray that God has His hand on those kids as they begin school and shine as a light in their community! It’s been an amazing summer! God truly blessed me with such an opportunity to open Tutwiler! 
Week 7 here at Street Reach was incredible, and it was good to be back at Kippley one last time. We hit our high point on Friday with a total of 36 kids. But aside from the numbers, this week was still amazing. I personally enjoyed having my home church from FBC Jenny Lind be able to work with the kids I’ve come to know over these three summers. One thing I have never seen before at Bible club was all the koolaid! The kids loved it! But what they loved even more, was the attention they received from the team this week. It wasn’t just sad for all of us, but they were sad to see us go. God’s love was truly displayed for the kids. My personal favorite moment of the week was taking a kid home named Jermaine. He was going home and he was sad. He kept telling me that he wasn’t special and he didn’t have any friends. When interrogated on his depression the true problem was revealed. He was upset that he didn’t get an extra cup of koolaid. So we sat down not far from his house. And I told him just why no one is special, because we all deserve the same punishment from God. I told him about a God who created everything and has the power to do incredible things. I asked him if he wanted to go on home or hear more of the story. He wanted the story. I told him how we aren’t incredible like God. God is perfect and we mess up. He is going home because he messed up and that’s called punishment, and we deserve God’s punishment. This went on for a while. I’d tell him more and ask him if he wanted to go home, but he always wanted more. Finally he went inside much happier in heart and I Pray that that time we spent together will forever be with him, a seed that will one day bloom.  Be praying for these kids, because Kippley will not be open until next summer. This has been the last voyage of the BBC Kippley 2013. May God be with these kids of whom God has made some his own. Praise be to God forever and ever Amen.

It has been another great week at Kendrick! Returning team from Blue Ridge Community College was back this week and hanging out over at the Kendrick site for the first time. Even though the team had never been to this site before they still did an awesome job of getting to know the kids and really loving on them. Monday and Tuesday we had 36 kids come out which was the high for the week. The kids had tons of fun this week especially during the Bible stories where they participated in acting out the stories of David and Goliath, and Joseph’s Coat of Many Colors. Songs had a blast too as I heard the kids singing “This little Light of Mine!” all the way across the club site! The kids had a ton of fun this week, so I know these guys from Blue Ridge did too! Thank you Blue Ridge Community College for all the hard work and sore necks this week as you poured out yourselves to these kids, and also for preparing the way for next week!

The seventh week of Bible club was another astounding success at Leahy's Trailer Park. The team was from Boones Chapel in Prattville, Alabama. There were two teams from Prattville in this week. The week at club went well. A few of the kids are at school already and some were out of town for the week. The kids came out each and every day as the number was consistent for the whole week. The team poured tons of love and passion into the kids. They were filled with energy and this week was the week that I saw the kids have the most fun. Week eight is the last week of Bible Club for the summer. Please be praying that God has been stirring in the hearts of the children & that they would come to know Christ as their personal Savior & Lord. Also pray that the teams this week will pour as much love out as possible.

Parkway Baptist Church was back at Street Reach for another fun summer at G-street! Each day got more and more fun at Bible Club with this fun-loving and passionate team. Seeing all the special relationships build throughout the week was so humbling and an awesome testimony to God's relationship with us and with His son. The team really stretched themselves to do things they were uncomfortable with and to love on each and every kid at Bible Club. Our kids will DEFINITELY have fun memories from this week! We had a bunch of crazy crafts like birdhouses and "chompers," a few fabulous renditions of "Boom Chicka Boom," some great games of kickball, and most importantly, great Bible stories that taught the kids some of the 10 commandments. I got so excited when talking to the kids because I could see that the commandments were really sinking in to the kids. They realize that both Bible Club and the summer are quickly coming to a close and that they need to make decisions and changes in their lives; some of them are truly beginning to realize what God's direction and purpose for their lives are. This was especially evident in discipleship club on Thursday with Alex, Kenna, Kaijha, Nestor, and Wilmer, and our highest number of kids on the week being on Friday, after a crazy storm on Thursday! God is moving in this neighborhood despite the drugs, violence, and hate that surrounds so much of it. Parkway definitely did their part in spreading God's light and encouragement. Thank you so much for giving up a week of your summer to serve God's children for the advancement of His kingdom. It definitely pumped us all up for one more amazing week at Guernsey!        
FBC McMinnville was back in Memphis this week and back at National to serve. They have been coming and serving at National the past few summers and have been able to see the testimony of National come to be and see how it has grown from such a small Bible club site into a larger Bible club site. National has been rooted in prayer and because of that, the Bible club has been bearing so much fruit and this week was a testimony of that picture taking place. Galatians 5:22-23 says “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Love was constantly being poured out as team members gave lots of piggy back rides or simply just held hands with the kids as they walked to and from Bible club. This filled the kids with so much joy just because the attention was focused on them and a lot of times they lack the appropriate attention and love that they deserve. Bible story was led with such a gentle spirit and it was evident because the older kids were more tuned in this week than they have been all summer. Their gentleness was also evident in the conversations they were able to have when two kids this week accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Be praying for discipleship in these two boys lives. All praise to our God for the work He is still continuing to complete at National every single day and every single week. It is beautiful seeing how God is constantly and continually reclaiming this community for Christ one heart at a time. National is extremely thankful to have served alongside FBC McMinnville this week. As we approach our last week this upcoming week, pray that conversations would be full of grace and seasoned with salt; being filled with nothing but Jesus. Be praying for the kids that they would know how much we love them, but that the love of Christ extends so much higher, wider, and deeper than any love we could ever offer them. 

This week was a great week for Vernon to end on. The team in from FBC Mumford did a wonderful job of just loving on the kids at Bible club. They poured everything they had into the kids, and were striving to reach out to the community. God was definitely present at Bible club this week. You could see him working through the team, and in the faces of the kids that came out to club. The oldest group was making tons of questions and really listening to the Bible story. God did great things at Vernon!

It was a great week at Whittier! Grace Baptist Church came with an unstoppable passion to see these kids change. Several times in the week, team members expressed their desire to keep going despite the opposition, and they followed through perfectly. It's almost as if the spiritual attacks were heightened this week against Whittier, which only encouraged the team more. Knowing they were being opposed because something great was happening at Bible club, the team gave every part of themselves and poured love on the kids in an amazing way. And this love was evident to the kids. They retained the Bible stories and were able to tell me the moral of the lesson each day, and each kid loved this week's crafts, which enforced the Bible stories further. The kids kept coming back each day despite the increasing heat, proving that the team had something they liked.This week, a lot of kids seemed to be broken hearted over the fact that summer is nearing its end, and many of them begged Grace Baptist to stay until the end. This week in itself was a testimony to what God can do when we keep going and keep trusting Him, and because of this, kids were able to be reached for Christ in a unique way, and a couple kids even ended up getting into one-on-one conversations with the team about who Jesus is and how to know Him.

When Jackson closed a couple weeks ago, I was sure it would be the last time we'd see those precious children this summer!  But when Parkway Baptist came in this week, we were able to open up the site one last time and what a joy that was! From precious kisses from the itty bitties, to being a human jungle gym for the kids, it was so beautiful to see Jesus love on Jackson through our team.  It was so sweet to sit with the kids and listen as they shared what they had been learning about God this week. With the lovely weather and the chance to come have fun at Bible club one last time, we ended the week with 44 kids!  I'm SO thankful for Parkway and having the opportunity to go and love on these kids again! Pray for the children of Jackson--that God would continue to grow the Gospel seeds in their hearts even while we're gone! And pray that He would send more missionaries so that we can love on these kids even more next summer!

Over the past couple of weeks some of our Treadwell kids have been attending Rosamond and National, but the families around Treadwell were so excited to see their very own Bible Club back this week. One community member even stopped by and wanted to make a donation for all we are doing for the kids in the area. Lamar Baptist Church from Texas was in town and did a great job of letting the community know we were back. They started the week with over 30 kids and quickly progressed to 74 on Thursday breaking our Treadwell record for the summer. We also were able to see lots of new faces at club this week. Two of my walking routes brought a ton of kids who had not been able to participate in club this summer. I was so proud of all of the hard work that they put into getting kids to club.  One new family had an older brother come along to help with the younger siblings and he was a great help to us at club. He would stay with the youngest group, help with rotations, and translate when needed. We were so thankful for his willingness to serve along side us this week. Lamar is a larger team and the kids loved getting so much attention from all of the youth and leaders. After learning about the Ten Commandments all week the kids were eager to listen as the gospel was shared on Friday. Many of the kids expressed interest in knowing more about how to have a relationship with Christ and our discipleship club is going to follow up with those kids. Mr. Jeremy and his team did an awesome job in Bible Story by making everything relevant to both the culture and the age group he was teaching. The Bible Story team rewrote the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” to go along with the lessons and I loved hearing my three and four year olds singing their new favorite song around Bible Club. Over all we had a great week at club, and Friday was bittersweet as we ended club for the last time this summer. The kids were awesome, despite the high temperatures and humidity. Many of them walked a long way to be at club, and that’s how we know that they love it so much. Please continue to pray for the Treadwell kids as they get ready to start back to school. Many seeds were planted, others were watered, and we even saw some harvest. Pray that the kids who made professions of faith would grow and become a light for the Lord in their schools. Thanks for the prayers this summer as we ministered to these sweet kiddos.  

We had so much fun this week with The Gathering Place at Johnson! This church came to pour out everything for these kids, and was one of the most selfless groups I have seen. They fell in love with the kids at Johnson, and show them how much they cared about them. Their planning for Bible club was so extensive, and they were prepared for almost anything. Each station seemed alive this week with all the fun activities they engaged the kids with. Games was filled with lots of new games many of the kids had not played this summer, and almost everyone was ready to participate after the first couple of days! The Bible story taught the kids about God’s law, The Ten Commandments, and how we are in need of Christ’s redemption to pay for the laws we have broken. Songs had music playing for the kids as they learned the lyrics and were taught what they mean in living a godly life. The team was even singing the Bible club songs together as they walked the kids down the road! Crafts were amazing as well this week. The team spent so much time preparing the crafts for the kids, and they all enjoyed making them. They even spent one night very late signing around 80 crafts for the kids who would be coming out the next day! This group was all about having fun, but never slacking in their service. While some groups are usually playing, The Gathering Place tirelessly worked to make Bible club better, while finding joy in serving rather than being served. They even wanted to put out encouraging notes for all the teams that were here with them! One morning at breakfast they put out cards on all the tables that had Scripture written on them to encourage all the groups we had in this week. They helped to make this a great week, and I am so grateful for the privilege of working with them at Johnson. 

With two weeks of club left in the summer, Parkway Baptist Church from St. Louis, Missouri came into town and rocked Rosamond. Despite the humidity, we had a week high of 42 kids show up on Thursday and Friday. Club was lots of fun as the team dressed in character for Bible Story and brought lots of energy to all four stations. On Friday morning, we had 10 kids show up early enough to participate in send off! It just goes to show how hungry these kids are for the Word that they would walk to club at nine in the morning on their own. It also is a testament to what a spectacular club the teams that come in are hosting as we also have a hard time getting the kids to go home. One day this week, Justine was about to rotate stations and went over to Bible Story to make sure everything was wrapped up. When the group noticed she was about to blow the whistle to rotate, they all pleaded with her not to. “Please, just two more minutes!” “Don’t blow the whistle!” It was such an encouragement to have eight and nine year olds plead to stay at Bible Story. Then again on Saturday morning, we had a boy walk up from Farmville wondering if “Bible Study” was happening today. How beautiful it is to see our kids desire to be taught about their Father. Please keep our kids in your prayers as we approach the last week of club this summer. Thanks again Parkway Baptist for a great week of Bible club!

Being a new team always stirs up anxious feelings and uncertainties among team members, but this week Eureka Baptist proved that they were ready to stand on the front lines for the kids at Pope. On Monday, the team was prepared to show our kids how to "Face fear and trust God," the motto for the week. Bible lessons about Paul, paired with fun songs, crafts, and games, showed the kids that they can be equipped to face any roller coaster, as long as they remember to put every circumstance in His hands. With an increasing number of kids each day, Eureka grew as a team, applying to each day the knowledge that they had learned from the previous day. The kids were very attentive to what the team members had to say, which struck up great gospel conversations and formed deep connections between the kids and team members. With nearly forty kids in attendance on Friday, Eureka Baptist created a wonderful last week for Pope, declaring the Lord's name proudly in this city. We look forward to seeing them next year!

This week we had 556 kids come to Bible club on our highest day with 13 Bible club sites running. This upcoming week is our last week of the summer as Street Reach will close with seven sites being open. Be in prayer for the missionaries coming in this final week, for the staff as they say goodbye to the kids that they have been able to pour Jesus into all summer and build relationships with, and be in prayer for the kids that they would be able to understand the purpose Street Reach is here for which is to show them the love of Christ and teach them how to walk in His ways alone! 

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