Sunday, June 29, 2014

Week 4-Broad River Association, FBC Troy Acteens, Blue Ridge Community College, FBC Gleason, Collierville FBC

Week 4 at Rosamond was nothing short of spectacular. Broad River Association was in town from South Carolina and though the team came from different churches, they lived out Paul’s words in Philippians when he calls the church to “stand firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel.” By Tuesday, the kids were showing up to Bible club by 9:30, an hour and a half before club starts, purely because they just couldn’t wait to get there. Our kids are normally reluctant to learn new songs, especially ones that aren’t repeat-after-me songs, but the song Broad River taught on Monday about a little white box was such a hit that the kids wanted to sing it every day! Each station was exceptional this week and as a result, we had very few runners. Games had a big parachute, Connect Four, and frisbee relays; crafts had Bible verse centered crafts; and Bible story kept the kids engaged as each story was related back to the kids’ lives. The team spanked water day on Thursday as the kids had the most fun they’ve had all summer as they rotated with their small group though eight different water games, and Broad River even brought towels for all the kids to walk home with afterwards. As a staffer, I am overjoyed thinking back on the week and how much love was poured out onto the kids this week. Each team member continually poured out every ounce of energy and love they had in them and it was evident in the kids’ energy and excitement about Bible Club throughout the week. Thank you, Broad River Association, for your continual work at Rosamond and your willingness to serve this week. You have exemplified what it looks like to be filled up and sent out each and every day. Rosamond couldn’t have been blessed with a better group of servant hearts and I’m excited to see how the seeds that were planted grow in the upcoming weeks. All praise and glory to Him.
First Baptist Chesnee from Chesnee, South Carolina was ready to get back to National for the second year in a row. From the beginning on Sunday night during orientation the team was already asking about kids they fell in love with last summer and were able to minister to making sure they would be able to continue to pour into them this week. Their passion to be back was evident. They loved the returning and new kids with an abundant love that comes from the Father. On Wednesday, we had 56 kids come to National, making it our record for the week! The team was prepared for songs which you could hear from all over the park. Their energy never faded throughout the week. First Baptist Chesnee brought a tug of war rope and the kids got really into that having team names such as Team Jesus, The Bible is Awesome, Team Bible, etc. Every team name was centered around Jesus and even more special was the kids came up with the team names themselves. The Word of God is truly coming alive in the park every morning. Here are some glimpses into the Word of God coming alive: a new family began coming to Bible Club one day and all the teams had been dismissed from the park to walk home, so Ariel (National’s Missionary-in-Training) and I were waiting with them for their mom and cleaning up the park. When their mom showed up Ariel led them to their mom’s car and the little boy repeated over and over again, “I had a lot of fun, I had so much fun, I had a lot of fun…”. Another boy who has been a consistent face at Bible club all summer long was able to be poured into abundantly. The team who was on his route would give him their camera every day at Bible Club and he would take pictures upon pictures at each of his stations. Normally we will always have to talk about his behavior at Bible Club, but having that camera to keep his attention fully and the team members pouring into him changed his behavior completely. The love of Christ from these couple of team members changed his whole attitude. I am thankful for team members who have the eyes of Christ to notice the kids who need that little bit of extra love and then put in the effort to love deeper. At the craft station this week, one our girls was doing her craft and gave her favorite baby doll, Dorothy, to two of the team members as she told them, "I want you to have this so you can remember me." In Bible story with the 6-8 year olds, they mentioned the name Jesus and immediately the kids just began talking all about what Jesus has done. They just let them talk and even though there may have not been a Bible story told the kids were sharing what they have learned about who Jesus is. The kids coming to Bible Club are finding something attractive in every single team member, and it is Jesus Christ. I am thankful that every day, National kids are seeing Jesus and the transforming power of the gospel. We are excited to enter into the second half of the summer at National and continue to be expectant for what the Lord is going to do. God is preparing a harvest. Be in prayer for National, for all of our kids, for the rest of the teams and for kids to continue to be poured into with the steadfast and abundant love of Christ. Pray that every conversation would be seasoned with salt, full of grace, and gospel centered.

This week at Guernsey we were blessed to serve alongside one of our local teams, Collierville First Baptist Church! The week started off rainy, but that didn't stop the G-Street kids from coming to Bible Club thanks to this willing team. Whether it was chasing dogs that wanted to run around club or explaining to sweet Travis that just because his favorite color is blue that does NOT mean he walks on the blue route, this team was fluid. On one of our rainy days, the radio for songs decided to not work, but the team knew exactly what to do! They continued to lead the kids and sang a capella about how God had molded every mountain and poured out every sea. They went on to explain that He created the world and He was still with each of us right then! Many of the kids came up to me with numerous questions about these fun songs and it was such a blessing to see them memorize them and sing them throughout the week. Each day the team (and several kids from Bible Club) acted out Bible stories such as Jesus calming the storm, Joseph and his coat of many colors, and Jonah and the whale. They were so amazed with the power of Jesus and it was humbling and an example to see them in awe of it. Throughout on-going soccer games that had ended in a tie the day before, planting flowers in crafts, or even blowing bubbles and playing play dough with the sweet pre-k kids, Jesus' love was definitely poured out onto each child this week. Many seeds were planted and I'm excited to see how they continue to grow throughout the summer. Thank you, Collierville FBC, for allowing Jesus to work through you and for oozing His love onto the kids at Guernsey this week! 
Our third week at Johnson was one to remember. We had 31 people from Broad River Baptist Association running the site and they did a great job with it. We were able to add new routes and minister to a bunch of new kids. We had 80 or more kids on the last two days of the week and the kids seemed to be having a great time. Every member on our team was new so it was great to be able to share their first experience of Street Reach with them. Broad River was truly the hands of Jesus this week and it was great seeing the kids receive so much love.

This week, Whittier kids were lavished in God’s love by the members of Midway Baptist Church and Crestview Baptist Church, both members of the Broad River Association. Longtime members of the Street Reach family and longtime returners to Whittier, this team was full of passion for the children of Whittier, and consistently increased with energy and enthusiasm as the week continued. Thick humidity and drizzly downpours could not bring kids or team members down, as the team members of Broad River submitted themselves as human jungle gyms, with kids clinging to every neck and back available to them each day. Numbers remained consistent with the previous three weeks, and our kids loved being spoiled with goodies such as fruit roll-ups and Capri Suns each day after club. Activities in all stations were unique, as team members brought new games, craft projects, and Bible story visual aids to the site in order to further relationships with these kids and point them to the gospel. Whittier kids could easily recite the stories and verses that they had been taught each day, and proudly displayed their related craft that they had meticulously put together. However, the greatest joy came on Friday when the Holy Spirit greatly moved during Bible story, and Bible story leader Ms. Luann had a chance to speak to sweet Destiny about inviting Jesus into her heart and beginning a lifelong relationship with Him. After praying together, both Destiny and Ms. Luann were filled with joy, as the angels threw a party in Heaven and the Kingdom was added to! Destiny will now be a part of the discipleship program at Street Reach so as to solidify her understanding of her decision. Praise the Lord for such a beautiful divine appointment and for the boldness of Ms. Luann to lead children to the One who repairs our brokenness and comforts us with His mighty hands. We are excited for more decisions to be made this summer, and are expecting the Holy Spirit to continue to move in huge ways as the Lord reclaims and repairs this community for the sake of His great name! Thank you, Broad River, for answering the call and impacting the Whittier site this week!
This week at Pope we were so grateful to serve with the Acteens of Troy Missouri. We had a team of 8 who got to experience the infamous Candy Lady on Thursday, and more importantly, got to experience Street Reach for the first time. The kids had so much fun this week, especially in crafts with pigs, bracelets, and so much more! Our team poured Christ’s love out incredibly well. We had many new kids who came to Bible Club this week as well as many who have been coming all summer. Although Pope is receiving a break from Bible Club this next week, I know FBC Troy left Memphis praying for every single child to come back! I can’t wait for the rest of the summer! “Let your spirit lead me on level ground!” Psalm 143

We had a great week out at Jackson Park with FBC Gleason! Bible story was headed by some of the adult leaders that really had the kids engaged from start to finish. Crafts were a big hit with their necklaces, picture frames, and bracelets that the kids adored! Games got very competitive with some intense relay races and duck-duck-goose for the little tykes. Songs jammed to some Street Reach traditions: Little Red Wagon and Bazooka Bubble gum! We even got to do some “Singing in the rain”…literally! Tuesday brought a flood, but the group stayed strong and the kids loved it. Battling the weather, we topped out at 38 kids with some new faces in the mix. Praise The Lord for another great week full of laughter, smiles, and Jesus!
-Alice, Brett, & Noah 

It is a special summer of “throwbacks” for me...I’ve gotten to spend time at Kendrick and now Treadwell again!   What a blessing it was to be back in the Treadwell area and I’m so thankful for FBC Collierville’s willingness to serve in a new area so that the kids could have Bible Club this week. Let me tell you, the kids had a blast!  Despite the dreary weather we had at the beginning of the week, club continued to grow and new kids were enrolled each day! Our music and Bible stories were wonderful and then the children were able to rotate through stations that reiterated the lessons they’d heard. We started out in the Old Testament with stories of Joseph, Moses, and Jonah, and then traveled to the New Testament to learn about Jesus and His disciples. The kids were able to see Christ in each story and we ended with a clear presentation of the gospel--Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. We had several families stop by to ask what we were doing and then bring their children to their first ever Bible Club. We were especially excited about a new child from Guatemala that had just moved into our neighborhood. No one in her home speaks English, but some of the team was able to translate and she had a great time at her first Bible Club! We also had another family of four come for the first time and their aunt was so excited to see how they were pulled right in and it seemed like the team had known them forever. We are all so blessed to be part of God’s work in Memphis. I can’t believe He has chosen us to be His hands and feet, but I am so thankful that He did. Thanks CFBC for a great week, we can’t wait to see what else God does in the Treadwell neighborhood this summer!

This week at Bible Club Kippley sure has been interesting, but good none the less. A group from Blue Ridge Community College came to love on these kids. In just one week, our cumulative enrollment of children who have attended our bible club have increased by 50%! Listening to children answer questions about the previous day’s Bible story warmed my heart. I even got to have a good and long conversation with Terrell, Jaylen, and Cameron about sin and God's war with it. I asked them what they thought was wrong. Their answers included: murder, raping little kids, stealing, and muggings. We talked about how each of these things is a result of sin and not as God designed life to be. We talked about the war God is waging to bring the world back to perfection where there is no wrong. We talked about how our bodies will not get old or sick or die, and how Jesus will even raise up the dead. We also talked about what God will do with sin and evil and Satan. Terrell asked, “if God is gonna punish everyone who has done wrong, then only those who are good get to be in that perfect place?” So I explained how NO ONE is good. Only Jesus has ever been. So we then talked about how Jesus took the punishment in our place. I wish everyone could have seen the look on their faces as we engaged in conversation. The curiosity, the intrigue, the enjoyment, and the understanding that seeped onto their facial expressions were clear as day. All in all, a week of seeing water turn to wine, tearing down a cardboard wall of Jericho, making crafts of all shapes and sizes, and playing some crazy games including the very first Bible Club swing, was satisfying to the children’s desire for safety and fun. Continue to pray for these kids, as we will not have Bible Club at Kippley next week. Pray that God will continue to work despite our absence, and that His harvest would yield plentiful.

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