The surprises have been never-ending this summer as week 8 was full of excitement and energy. West Hartselle Baptist Church from Alabama was in town this week and came ready to rock Rosamond! Games had the kids running relays and then playing charades with their favorite movies. The kids had a blast! Toward the end of the week, Bible story was teaching the memory verse with some hip beats, songs had the kids compete in a dance-off, and crafts was always a hit as the kids were reluctant to leave the station each day. The big surprise came on Wednesday when we had 101 kids at Bible Club! Though it was a rather crazy day, it was a joy to see that many kids at club having fun and hearing the Word. Even more exciting, four kids made a profession of faith this week! Praise God for what He is doing at Rosamond in these kids’ hearts and for the faithfulness of His people to harvest the seeds that have been planted throughout the summer. Please pray for Christopher, Shaylon, Camael, and Yulie as we follow up on their commitments and as they continue to grow in their walk with the Lord. Thank you West Hartselle for your willingness to serve this week. Your servant hearts allowed me to watch y'all grow as a team and as individuals this week. Thank you for being bold with the Gospel and for investing in these kids. Your eyes were fixed on Christ and He was greatly glorified.
National“Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and forevermore! From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the LORD is to be praised!” (Psalm 113:2-3). Throughout the entire week there was countless ways the Lord was moving at National, leading me to say there is truly no one like our God. It began with West Hartselle Baptist Church from Hartselle, Alabama giving their week to be the hands and feet of Jesus. West Hartselle has come to Street Reach since 2012 and each time it has been an honor to serve alongside of them. One thing special about West Hartselle that I specifically noticed this week was their humble attitudes. West Hartselle exemplified the example Paul gives in Philippians about Christ’s humility on the cross. The team was willing and ready to learn. They came simply to offer themselves to serve with the same attitude that Jesus Christ would have. You could definitely tell the kids were enjoying themselves because on Thursday we had 72 kids come to National! In songs, they played musical plates which is exactly the same as musical chairs. The kids loved it. In crafts, they always had a special treat for the kids to snack on while they did their craft, and at games on Friday they all sat in a circle throwing a ball around telling one thing they learned about Jesus this past week at Bible Club. Jesus has come alive in the park this summer! During Bible story all week the kids learned about how Jesus came and lived on this earth such as Jesus feeding 5000 and stilling a storm, and on Friday they shared the importance of telling the world about Jesus. They made megaphones in crafts and had a battle with songs at the end of the station seeing who could scream louder, “We love Jesus!” Words cannot describe hearing 65 kids in the middle of the park raising their voices in worship to our Lord and Savior. Not only in the park is the name of the Lord being praised but within the families of the kids that come to Bible Club. On Friday, a mom brought us chocolate covered strawberries and a cake with “thank you” written on it because of the work she sees Jesus doing. The Bible Club we have for kids is reaching not only kids, but families too, with Jesus Christ. We have one more week at National and then Bible Club will be finished for the summer. I have been thankful to have National open every week of the summer and for kids to come learn about Jesus and then enter into a relationship with him. This has been a summer filled with an abundant amount of fruit. We will never be the same! Be praying for this upcoming, last and final, week at National. Be praying ears would be opened to listen, eyes would be opened to see Jesus, and hearts would be opened to receive the good news of Jesus Christ. Praise God and blessed be his name!
It was such a joy to welcome FBC Greenwood back to Memphis! This team hadn't been to Street Reach since 2011, and they were so excited to return! At the very beginning of the week, I read to the team from Mark 9: "'If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.' And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 'Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.'" Their attitudes reflected Jesus' command to make ourselves last and put others first in every way. The kids loved Bible Club this week, and we consistently had 60 or more kids out. Though there were some really hot days, the team pushed through to make every day special and better than the last. Because of their dedication to seeing the gospel presented in the lives of our kids, two kids prayed to receive Christ Wednesday! First 8-year-old Tanoah excitedly prayed to be saved while learning the ABCs of salvation in crafts. God then worked in a cool way to draw another one to Himself. 9-year-old Isabel heard us rejoicing over Noah and was interested in what had happened to him. She had a conversation with another girl on our team that ended in a prayer of salvation. We are so thankful to witness God moving in our Bible Club site! Greenwood allowed themselves to be vessels outside of Bible Club as well. Every day, the team would meet up at Mr. Willie's house. Mr. Willie is a disabled man in a wheelchair who lives down the street on Guernsey. He sits on his front porch every day, and Greenwood took the time to get to know him and his story. It was so beautiful to see both the eagerness of the team to spend time with him every day and of Mr. Willie to have some sweet company. Thank you, Greenwood, for allowing God to use you in so many ways! We are incredibly thankful for how you blessed Guernsey this week. Everyone, join us in praying for Guernsey as we go into one final week of the summer.
This week at Johnson Bible Club was a perfect week to end on. We had New Shores Baptist Church from Sweeny, Texas. This team was awesome! They canvassed very well which led to some great numbers at club. Our highest number of kids for the week came on our very last day of Bible Club at Johnson. The team brought back 91 kids to pour out love to one final time. The kids got to have water day at games to end the summer on a good and fun note--they loved and enjoyed every second of it! The team was full of energy, passion, and love all week long. They poured love, energy, and wisdom into the kids as best as they could, and it showed. We thank you all for your prayers throughout the summer and appreciate everybody who has helped us out along the way. Though we are sad to see Johnson close for the summer, we can only rejoice at what God has done these past few weeks at club and what He will continue to do in the future!
As this Street Reach summer is quickly coming to a close, it is incredible to see teams pour out everything for the sake of the gospel and to see more and more kids come to Bible Club. This week, the Lord chose to use first-time team Central Baptist Church Crandall from Texas to make His Name known to over 60 kids! This team arrived with tons of energy and ready to take on the streets of Memphis from day one, and they were eager to pick up kids and begin building relationships immediately. Our kids enjoyed learning about the story of Moses and how his decision to follow hard after the Lord was so important. A great harvest was reaped on Wednesday when the team reviewed the ABCs of becoming a Christian with our oldest age group of 10-12-year-olds during the Bible story station. One of the team leaders, Mrs. Cheryl, noted that two of our boys were asking many questions about the Bible story after they left that station and moved to the craft station. With no hesitation, she pulled them aside and began answering their questions and pointing them to verses in Scripture that would further explain their desperate need for a Savior. After a few minutes of talking and praying, the two boys walked away, wide-eyed with excitement, telling every team member that they could see about the decision that they had just made to follow Christ. Both being the oldest siblings in their families, our hopes are that the gospel spreads like wildfire, and that their younger siblings will come to know Christ as a result of their decision. We are continually in awe of the Lord, and how He sets up divine appointments such as this, bringing His children to Him in His perfect time. As next week closes out the summer for Whittier, we are expecting the Lord to continue the work that He has been doing with all of our teams this summer, and for more seeds to be planted, watered, and harvested on Whittier Road. Thank you, CBC Crandall, for being submissive to the Holy Spirit, and allowing the Lord to use you in the lives of His children this week!
It was bittersweet over at Kendrick Bible Club this week as we closed club for the summer. The mission team from Barfield Baptist Church was a wonderful group to have end the summer. The kids loved the crafts station that looked as if a glitter/sticker box exploded! One of their favorites were the picture frames that they made on Thursday--especially since the team printed pictures of everyone that had been there at the beginning of the week. Songs was once again a hit as the “Ninja Crew” continued the tradition of break dancing and Jay made a special ballet/musical appearance singing “Let It Go” and “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” The older kids even warmed up this week and challenged the team members in a competitive relay that had everybody cheering. This week the kids were loved on by the team members and staff, got to have lunch, and, most importantly, the gospel was shared! Throughout the summer, many of our kids have asked questions and it seems that some of them are beginning to understand what Christ did for them. On the way back to Brinkley after club on Friday the team leader told me that one of his boys had led a child to Christ. I was excited to hear that Jesse had made a profession of faith at club, and I can’t wait to go back and talk with him. Please keep praying for him and his family as we minister to them. This summer has been amazing to be back with the Kendrick kids. Though I had not forgotten them, this summer allowed me to remember how much I loved these kids during my first year here. The kids and families were sad to see Bible Club end for the summer, but all know that you guys who have come through this year are in constant prayer for them. The kiddos had a great time at Bible Club this week and we are hoping to see many of them begin to become involved with the church in their neighborhood. Thanks for covering us in prayer this summer, and please continue to pray for the Kendrick kids and community during the year.
This week at Jackson Park was one for the books! Our mission team came right down the road from Cordova with hearts ready to serve these kids. Crafts and Bible story worked together to pour Christ's love into our kids through the stories of Moses! Games got brave and played tug-o-war which was extremely successful! Songs busted out "The Cup Song" and the kids loved trying to keep their rhythm! Overall, we had a great final week at Jackson Park. We topped out with our summer high of 81 on Friday! We have enjoyed getting to serve alongside our teams all summer, and we honestly cannot thank you enough. I truly believe we left Jackson Park better than the way we found it--not only from picking up trash, but from pouring into the souls and hearts of children and their families, and that was ALL through God's merciful hands. I pray our hearts and minds will continue to be passionate about serving others, but always remembering those faces from Bible Club as we pray daily. On behalf of Brett, Jessica, Alice, and Noah, we say thank you for an incredible summer, and God bless you all. Philipians 2:1-11.
All the way from Maryland came a team of 5 unsure of what to expect, but ready for whatever the Lord had planned. Part of this plan entailed switching Bible Club sites last minute. This didn’t phase this group of missionaries one bit because their mission was for wherever they were at any given moment. Whether they were at a different site, at the nursing home or another afternoon project, or back at Brinkley, it didn’t matter to them. They just came to serve in whatever way was needed, wherever it was needed. I didn’t think of this until typing this right now, but on Wednesday morning the team invited me to pray with them in the garden. Part of that time one of them had prayed that Jesus would send more children to be loved with the love of Christ. Then on Thursday, Jesus brought out 55 of His children to be ministered to, a summer record for this particular site! The interesting thing about this day was that numbers was not something that was in the forefront of anyone’s minds. It was just about loving the--making sure they knew that we loved them and, more importantly, that Jesus loved them. Truth be told, there was only five children that we picked up that day – the rest were already at club or walked up to club. The week was a reminder that it’s not about us; it’s always about Him. His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. We can make many plans but the Lord’s plan will prevail!
TreadwellTreadwell Bible Club was fantastic this week! I cannot imagine a better way to close Treadwell for the summer than with the help of Union Valley Baptist Church. It was a hot week, but that did not deter the team in their intentionality and willingness to go far in deed for the kids! Tuesday the kids were given free ice cream, and Wednesday they were given free silly bands and spinning tops from a supporter of Street Reach. On Thursday, the team rented out a bounce house for the day, giving them extra time with the kids as they went back later that day for an activity club. Friday they had piñatas for each song station and water relays in games. All of these fun things helped the kids to come out to Bible Club and Treadwell to break its own summer 2014 record for kids in a day twice, with 44 kids on Thursday and 48 kids on Friday! Through the heat, fun, and high numbers, the team still managed to do a great job of building relationships with the kids and evangelizing in a way that kept the children asking to hear more about Christ! The seeds had been planted throughout the summer and were ready to be harvested by willing servants of God. As it is written in Mathew 9:37-38: “Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest." Thank you, Union Valley Baptist Church, and all of the past teams serving this summer at Treadwell that helped to bring 7 kids to Christ in one week! I know that the lives of Angel, Luis, DD, Karisha, Derrick, Jacqueline, and Cameron will be forever changed. Please keep the children in your prayers as the Treadwell Bible Club has ended for the summer.