Saturday, July 27, 2013

Week 8-Calvary Church, FBC London, The Element Church, & Welcome Wesleyan Church

The eighth and final week of Bible Club at Leahy's Trailer Park was  extremely fun. Monday & Tuesday were quite different as it rained in the morning. Because of that, we switched the schedule with afternoon projects in the morning and club in the afternoon. Even with the chaos, the team came out with tons of energy and loved on the kids. Wednesday and Thursday were great days. The best day came on the last day of club when 46 kids came out. That's the most we've had in two weeks due to school starting early. The team loved on the kids and I got to go to stations with the children. It was the perfect day to end on, even with the sadness that followed. Please pray that the kids hearts will be constantly stirred for The Lord as the school year begins and that they live in a way pleasing to The Lord. Thank you for a great summer.

The last week at Guernsey was bittersweet. It was bitter because it was the last week of Bible Club and these kids' hearts are breaking over no longer having that constant love. But it was so sweet having a team who was totally passionate about the community and getting them out to Club! The team had over 60 kids every day despite the rain and flip-flopped schedule on Monday and Tuesday, and they even broke a record with 85 kids on the very last day. FBC London was so willing to do shorter, afternoon Bible Clubs for the first few days and then go back to normal morning Bible Clubs for the last three. They brought back so many kids, including brand new ones, even to the last day. You could really see the fruits of the spirit developing in the children's lives because of the Bible Story and interactive crafts. The kids got a bag of candy and were told to share it with people to show kindness, and so many kids came up to the team members, other kids, and site missionaries to give them their suckers. It was so hard to look at these kids' beautiful faces as the days of Bible Club dwindled down, but FBC London took it better than anyone could have. They continued to pour the love of Christ into each and every kid. God has been working in this neighborhood since before we were here, throughout this summer, and will continue working after we're gone. Please pray for the kids, their families, and all the missionaries involved in their lives. Thank you SO MUCH, FBC London, for being a flexible, willing, and loving team to close us out. Guernsey had an AMAZING summer. We can't wait to see how Christ continues to work at Guernsey Bible Club!

So the very last week at Kendrick was a great way to end out this summer. Calvary Church was back in town and part of them was hanging out at Kendrick. This was no ordinary week though for sure. We had our first rain days of the summer, so Monday and Tuesday we were on a flipped schedule where we had projects in the morning time and Bible club in the afternoon. Afternoons are a different scene at Kendrick with fewer kids, but also kids that usually do not come in the mornings so it was really neat to get to spend time with them. Wednesday we were back to normal schedule and the kids were excited to be back. Calvary did a great job of spending a lot of time with the kids, pouring out love to them, and sharing the Gospel with them. As the last few minutes of Bible club came to a close, it was great to see the team scooping up kids for a hug, reminding them that they love them, and that Jesus loves them as well. It was a beautiful scene to see. Thank you Calvary Church for coming this week and helping us close out the summer at Kendrick with lots of love and passion for these kids!

Week eight at Bible Club Rosamond was a sad and joyous occasion, with a hint “what just happened?”.  Even the heavens cried for the last week of bible club on Monday and Tuesday. We had to completely flip flop our schedule. We had mass amounts of community center missionaries loving on the kids over there in the mornings, while simultaneously flooding the nursing home with young life and love. But with the afternoon came the sun, as well as BIBLE CLUB! We met a new family of seven who had yet to come because they just weren’t up early enough in the mornings. But when the sun prevailed Wednesday through Friday, they continued to come. It is good to know that God is sovereign even in our moments of frustration. We ended strong on Friday with our week’s high of 59 kids. The team from Welcome Wesley was really prepared with innovative games and crafts as well as visual aids for bible story. The ever growing number of kids at club was evidence of the effort to connect with the kids each team member put forth, as each child came back the following day. Thank you for a great last week and thanks to all for a great summer. Be praying for these kids to be ministered to throughout the school year and that some of them can make it into Brinkley Heights Urban Academy. Let us all keep in mind that God is unchanging. He will be here through the year just as he is in the summer. Let us keep the same hope for this community because Christ IS the only hope they have… that ANYONE has. “For by works of the law NO human being will be justified in His sight, since from the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law – although the law and the prophets bear witness to it – the righteousness of God through faith in Christ Jesus for all who believe. For there is no distinction. For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and are justified by his grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.”Let us be fully convinced that God is able… and that he will.                                                   -Kaden

We had a great last week of Street Reach 2013 with Calvary Jr. High from St. Louis. Even though we had a flipped schedule due to the rain on Monday and Tuesday, kids still showed up in the afternoons when we came out. The team poured out all they could knowing this was the last time the kids will be at bible club for awhile. The bible story this week was talking about kindness one day and the team member leading it challenged the kids to remember the verse for a surprise. They came up with hand motions to remember it easier and the kids were so excited to yell out Colossians 3:15 – “Let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts!” One of the leaders from Calvary said walking the kids back home one day there were two girls who were starting to check each other. It was really cool because another girl kept saying stuff like “we just talked about kindness, you two need to be nice to each other” and “did you learn anything from bible club?” It’s awesome to see one child living it out, and I know it could go as far as sparking the rest of the neighborhood to be kind and living for Him. The entire summer at Johnson was incredible. Beautiful weather, tons of kids, and plenty of changed hearts. It's so sad knowing this past week was our last, but it was awesome getting to love on so many kids. Many thanks to Calvary for being the hands and feet of Jesus and being willing to take a week out of their summer to serve Him and be the disciples we are called to be. 

The Element Church from Woodruff, South Carolina came in to close National out this summer. National has been able to have Bible club open every single week this summer and with this one final week there were countless blessings that came from it, from the team and from the kids. It began with walking routes to get kids to come to Bible club, relationships were built with the kids that extended out into the community as they walked on their routes. Almost each day I would hear a new story about a missionary being able to pray over someone in the community that lived on the streets that they were walking on and Elijah, a boy that has been coming to Bible club this summer when he was getting dropped off after Bible club one day, his grandma said that she could hear how much fun Bible club was all the way at her house which is a few streets away from National’s location. We have Bible club outside as a way to be seen in the community, but who knew that we would be heard within the community as well, even being streets away. Jesus is flooding Memphis! At Bible club this week, National set a record on the very last day with 81  kids coming out to be loved. Each day National had more and more kids come, kids were literally coming from everywhere because of the teams energy and their love for our kids. The kids response to the Bible story was phenomenal! As I would sit and be a lap during Bible story time the kids were not only engaged, but everything being spoken was directly from the Word of God. No attention was focused on any of them as missionaries, but all on Jesus’ light radiantly shining through them. The Word of God was proclaimed in Bible story and in every single other station as well. In games the kids had fun stuffing XXXL shirts with balloons, racing, then showing off their strength found in only Jesus, when they learned about Jesus praying to be glorified and over his disciples, they played four corners and while in the different corners would take time to pray, and on the last day the focus was from Matthew and the hidden treasure where they had a kiddie pool filled with ice and had to search for candy with their feet which was the “hidden treasure”. The kids loved every single aspect of Bible club this week! National was blessed to have so many kids come to be ministered to and so blessed to have the team give all of themselves to the cause of Christ and close out this summer at National. At the very end of club on Friday once all the kids were back home, all the team members were back at the park, and the park was cleaned we all stood in a circle and prayed, prayed over the kids and that the park would be used to glorify God throughout the year! It was sweet ending our time at National in prayer because everything about Bible club at National has been rooted back in prayer. Glory to God for a beautiful summer at National, for God transforming lives, for all the smiles from the kids, for all the sounds that echoed Jesus, and for every missionary that left a little piece of their heart at National.

It was a great last week at Whittier! I couldn't have asked for a better team to leave the final impression of the summer. The middle school group of Calvary ran Whittier well this week, especially considering many team members have never been a part of Street Reach before. Although our first two days were flipped because of the weather, club ran very well and kids were ministered to. The final days flew by as the kids learned about Jesus in fun, engaging ways that applied Bible stories to the kids' lives. The kids were constantly engaged and always building relationships with team members. The kids, on our last day of Bible club, begged for us to extend club for another week, and for the team to continue pouring into their lives. It was difficult watching the kids leave Bible club for the summer, but I praise God that this team had the opportunity to close our summer out. I believe the kids will remember this team's enthusiasm all throughout the school year.

Street Reach summer 2013 has concluded. We finished the week out strong with 450 kids coming to Bible Club on the last day! 

Thank you to every individual that committed a week to serve on these streets in Memphis. You were specifically sent to be Jesus' hands and feet and Memphis was flooded in the light and love of Jesus this summer. You planted seeds and you harvested those seeds that were planted in kids hearts. Jesus was alive and his name was proclaimed!

Thank you to every individual who joined with Street Reach in prayer this summer. Every voice lifted high to Heaven because God did mighty things in the lives of those serving and in the lives of the kids. He transformed hearts, he humbled us, he gave new life, and to him be all the glory for all the things he did that are inexpressible to put into words. 

As Street Reach summer 2013 closes down, Memphis doesn't close down. The kids are still here, they are still desperate to be loved with the love of Christ. Continue to partner in prayer with Street Reach, pray for children by name, pray for streets that you walked on by name, pray for your Bible club site by name. Pray and then pray some more. The only thing that remains as Street Reach concludes is for the city of Memphis to be covered in prayer as none of us can physically be here. 

To Christ alone be all the glory, honor, and power, now and forevermore. Amen. 

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