Saturday, July 19, 2014

Week 7-The Gathering Place Church, FBC McMinnville, FBC Jenny Lind, FBC Lawrenceburg, FBC Liberty, Eureka Baptist Church, Lakewood Baptist Church, & Boones Chapel

Marcus, Olivia, and I were blessed to serve alongside FBC Lawrenceburg this week. Though I knew from Sunday night orientation that this week was going to be special, I was not expecting what all unfolded throughout the week. Each station was full of energy and the kids had an absolute blast. Bible story taught the kids different ways to serve each day. It was a joy to hear the kids tell me how they planned to serve their family, friends, and Jesus that afternoon. Games station was full of relays, parachutes, and pure fun. Zach even hula hooped around his neck screaming “Rosamond’s got soul” to get the kids pumped up. Songs continued to improve every day this week as they taught some new songs but also learned some of the kids’ favorites. Crafts was a success as the kids made bracelets, flowers, and even got a book our very own Mrs. Cindy wrote. FBC Lawrenceburg was full of willing spirits who loved all week, especially the kids on their walking routes. I would continually hear stories about their kids they walked and I could hear they joy in their voice as they told about the cool conversations they had with the kids. Not only did FBC Lawrenceburg come prepared with activities and supplies, they came prepared with Gospel-focused attitudes and patience that can only come from Christ. Thank you FBC Lawrenceburg for all of your hard work, your love, and you passion. You all were truly a blessing to these kids, this community, and myself. I can’t wait to see y’all the same time next year!
Lets go be fishers and bring in a full string of em!was the encouragement a team member brought early on in the week and from that moment forward the team genuinely invested in the goodness of every one of the kids at National. First Baptist McMinnville from McMinnville, Tennessee joined in the work that has begun at National not only this summer, but the work that has been going on since their first time to Street Reach and National in 2011. They get what Street Reach is all about and are quick to give what is necessary for the kids to have fun and a structured environment to learn about Jesus. Bible story started off with a hard act to follow the rest of the week when they set up an ark for the kids to play in and a ton of cut out animals to tell the story of Noah, but each day got better and better because of a puppet, Mr. Pickles. Kids were running out of their group and when I reminded them a rule at Bible Club was to stay in their group they would respond they just wanted to see Mr. Pickles. The gospel was shared every day in Bible story this week. Just as popular as Bible story was, games, crafts, and songs! These stations were a hit with structure, fun, and energy. With all the structure and fun the kids were having this gave some of the team members opportunities to have one on one conversations with children. These conversations led to three kids entering into the kingdom of Christ this week. One of the boys learned the gospel through the evangecube and after accepting Christ he began telling the other kids the gospel through the evangecube. These kids are the ones reclaiming their own neighborhood for Jesus Christ and there is no sweeter gift to watch than a 9-year-old boy sharing the gospel with his friends. He is a disciple maker. I repeat the same words Paul speaks to the church in Thessalonica about McMinnville giving their week to serve. Paul says, So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us,and continues on, For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God, as we pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith?(1 Thessalonians 2:8, 3:9-10). McMinnville came to serve these kids with the deepest desire to win souls for Jesus Christ, and it doesnt end there, as they will continue to pray for these kids. On Friday at crafts they had all the kids make a name plate and then took their picture to bring back to their home church. Each person will take one of those pictures and put it in their Bible, car, journal, wherever they will see it each day and take time to pray for these kids. I am thankful and humbled to have had the opportunity to serve alongside McMinnville and am hopeful for what God has in store these last two weeks at National.
What a joy it was to have FBC Liberty back in the house this week! Though they switched from their usual week of the summer, they still made the long journey from Texas to come do a great Bible Club and love on some kids. Everyone, old and new, was excited and ready to get on the mission field. From day 1, Guernsey Bible Club rocked out! There were over 60 kids every day except for the 40 Friday, and that was only because of the rain! Each and every station was special, fun for the kids, and, most importantly, gospel-centered. The boys at games came up with a variety of fun and exciting games that were perfect for the different age groups. Songs did the same thing--they never sang the same song once in a day! Some groups cranked it like a chainsaw while others sang along to Frozen (I couldn't tell you how many times I heard "Let It Go" this week!), some groups had sing-offs and dance-offs, and still some groups sang good old classic Bible Club songs such as Bazooka Bubble Gum. The crafts were all a hit this week! Every day pretty much ALL the kids would run up to me to proudly show off their new craft. And, of course, we had wonderful Bible stories. The kids would act them out, review what they learned from previous days, and interact with visuals and other things (such as candy) to truly understand the stories. I never talked to a kid who couldn't recount to me what they had learned! Liberty was so faithful every day to pick up kids, pour out all they had at Bible Club, and share Christ's love in all they did every single day. Their energy never died, so neither did the kids! They were sad to know that FBC Liberty was going back to Texas, but the team only encouraged them more to keep coming to Bible Club in the coming weeks. Thank you so much, FBC Liberty! Your love, loyalty, service, and passion is felt so deeply by us all. Can't wait to see you next year!
Week 7 at Johnson was great! The weather was beautiful almost every single day, and our team had tons of energy. The Gathering Place Church from Alabama blessed us all week long by loving on the kids with every ounce of energy they had. We got to minister to many kids who have been coming all summer long and we will only get to see these kids one week longer. They had so much fun and loved the crafts they got--there was even an epic glitter fight at the crafts station on Friday! The week high was 85 kids on Wednesday and on Thursday we got to be a part of Street Reach history with 600 kids in one day from all the Bible Club sites. It was a record-breaking week and it was lots of fun. The Binghamton neighborhood got to witness the vans bumping to "Cray Button," and they are probably scarred for life. The kids went home not only with the glitter that represented Jesus on them, but also with the love the The Gathering Place Church had showed them all week.
This week at Whittier required much dedication and courage from returning Texas team, FBC Liberty. This team showed great commitment to the Lord’s work, as outside circumstances in the neighborhood attempted to scare us away; however, the Liberty team did not budge, but decided to cling to the Lord and push through their fears in order to be His hands and feet. The Lord proved faithful to us, and held Whittier team members and children right in the palm of His hand for the entire week, not allowing anything to come between Him and His plans for children to hear the gospel and experience His great love. Our kids were taught about Creation, spouting off each item that God created and which day it was created. They then learned how sin entered the world, and thus, how we need a Savior because of our sin. The older kids at Whittier enjoyed getting to act out the Bible stories and read the verses straight from Scripture. The accompanying crafts each day further illustrated the Bible stories, as our kids created sand art to illustrate God’s creation of the earth on the third day and put together snow globe-like bottles full of water and sequin stars to illustrate the creation of the sun, moon, and stars on the fourth day of Creation. Kids and team members were instantly connected, as all missionaries gave of themselves fully each day, being laps, backs, and necks for Jesus. Even with continuous rain on our final day of club, there were still 23 kids who came out to experience God’s love through Liberty and receive final goodbyes and hugs. All in all, this week proved that NOTHING can stop the Lord’s plans from occurring. If we are willing and bold in His Name, He will empty us out for His glory and bless us abundantly for our commitment to Him. Thank you, FBC Liberty, for being courageous for the Lord this week!
This week the Kendrick kiddos had the pleasure of hanging out with the youth and adults from The Gathering Place in Alabama! We had such a good time at Bible Club and one of the favorite parts of club was the song station where Mr. Keith had the place rockin’.  The kids loved the “Superhero” song and learned all the motions that the team made up. We’d hear the kids singing “I’ve got a super hero, He don’t wear no shoes, He don’t wear no cape, but He died for you...” as they rotated stations and even as they were walking to and from club. The 8 and 9-year-old boys especially loved the song and did some of their famous break dance moves during it. It's cool to see that something as simple as the concept of a super hero was used to share the gospel with the kids this week. We had a lot of really great opportunities to share about Jesus. It's funny how this summer, in the midst of Bible Club chaos, the Lord has allowed us to share Him with the kids. Even in times of discipline, we have seen gospel conversations happen this summer. As we’ve shared why we have rules and why we need to follow them, the kids have learned how much we love them and want to keep them safe. I’m thankful for the grace that God has shown to us and that is the same grace that flows out from us to the kids. We are so thankful for The Gathering Place and all the hard work they did in preparing to come minister to our community this week. 
-Kacie and Aariuna
It was so great to be back at Pope this week! I had a team who brought so much energy and structure to Bible Club for the entire week. After two weeks of Pope not being open, the kids came in full force Monday and increased throughout the week. Every single time I looked around Bible Club, Eureka Baptist was completely engaged with the children. I think their favorite part this week was JMoney singing “Hey Burrito” at the top of his lungs during the most inconvenient (but completely convenient) times. Personally, my favorite part of week 7 was the fact that my team brought Hot Cheetos and Takis as rewards for the kids each day. A day never ended without red stained fingers and genuine smiles. I challenged the team at the beginning of the week to show the kids why we are here on this earth. To live life, giving all glory to the Lord and ridding ourselves of things that remove our focus from Christ. That’s all that matters really…that’s why we do Street Reach, and that’s why Bible Club happens.
Jackson Bible Club was BUMPIN’ this week! We maintained our high numbers from last week, and we were even a part of Street Reach history with a record-breaking 615 kids on Thursday. Our group in this week was from The Gathering Place in Moody, Alabama, and they rocked it from day 1! Their energy was absolutely incredible, and just what we needed so late in the summer! Always putting the kids before themselves, GP…PLUS Y rocked it on all cylinders. Games was highlighted by dizzy baseball, and our craft station busted out WWE belts (it was awesome!) Bible story was so intentional and was full of wisdom that the kids needed to hear, and Deidra (age 7) accepted Christ this week from God's grace and through steadfast discipleship and love from Clint. Songs station had Jackson Park CRUNK! With the help of the kids they made a music video which brought energy to a whole new level! We couldn’t be more thankful for such high energy, willing spirits, and loving hearts to spend this week with. Thank y’all so much for pouring all you had into the kids for Christ this week.
-Brett, Jessica, & Noah
Passion is the word that comes to mind when I think about this previous week at Leahy’s. From the first site meeting on Sunday night, you could see the passion in Boone's Chapel’s eyes and in their body language. Their enthusiasm became even more evident on Monday morning as they sought to canvass their routes well, which they did an incredible job of, bringing back 48 children! This is an almost unheard number for Leahy’s, especially on a Monday! We could not have asked for a better way to start the week. They immediately fell in love with these kiddos and the kiddos almost immediately fell in love with this team; they always wanted to be near them. They constantly wanted to be on their backs, on their necks, in their laps, and holding their hands. It was sweet to watch. Another sweet sight this week was witnessing Jesus continue to soften the hearts of His children to receive Him, specifically in the 10-13-year-olds group. There are a couple of kids that throughout the last couple of weeks thought they were “too cool for school” and getting them to participate was like trying to pull teeth. This was not the case this week. There was one point when I walked over to the craft station to find all of them fully engaged, painting; another time I walked over to Bible story to find one of them praying for their group. Jesus is doing a work over at the trailer park and I thank you, Boone’s Chapel, for allowing Jesus to have continued that work through y'all this week. Thank you for being His hands, feet, necks, backs, and laps. Thank you for YOUR passion; it will be remembered. 
This past week at Treadwell with Lakeside Baptist Church was great! God’s power and strength was with us throughout the entire week. On Monday, we started out with only 13 kids, but the next day we almost tripled with 38! The language barrier with the little ones did not matter as the team members let them chase them around the field and bounce balls on their heads; the kids would not stop smiling. In Bible story, some of the older kids asked questions about the afterlife and seeds were planted. The willingness of this team to help in any way they could at club made for a fantastic week. Thank you, Lakewood Baptist, for coming to serve. I am thankful that these kids have come to be in more people’s hearts, minds, and prayers this summer.
Week 7 at Bible Club Kippley reminded me of the Garden of Eden, filled with good things. Since its first summer it has never been open more than three weeks, but God blessed Kippley with a fourth week this year–and it was good. I got to work with my home church, First Baptist Jenny Lind–and it was good. We got to have lots of personal, gospel-centered conversations with kids–and it was good. The kids, despite one incident on Tuesday, were very well behaved–and it was good. The weather was perfect at Bible Club; it was hard to break a sweat–and it was good. We continued to find new kids, more kids, and old kids that have not been in a while to come to Bible Club–and it was good. I think my favorite day of the week was actually on Friday, despite the rain. The kids came and had lots of fun with NO real behavior problems and the team got to just relax with the kids in their laps and love them like Jesus. One particular moment I will never forget happened while I was sitting down on Thursday with a Bible Club kid for a second time and just having a fifteen minute conversation about God. We talked about justice and mercy and grace. And then on Friday, the team was able to continue the conversation with him. Continue to pray for the kids, that God–who is working in their lives–continues to draw them close to Him, and pray for opportunities this next week to be given for repentance and salvation. Have a great week everybody, and don’t forget to drink your Ovaltine. :)

"For the LORD hears the needy and does not despise his own people who are prisoners. Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and everything that moves in them. For God will save Zion and build up the cities of Judah, and people shall dwell there and possess it; the offspring of his servants shall inherit it, and those who love his name shall dwell in it."
Psalm 69:33-36

This is the promise we have in the Lord. So let us be faithful in prayer, service, and love. There are two weeks of our summer program left, so let us lift up this community to God, asking Him to make disciples and use us as instruments of His glory.

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