First of all, give me a moment to shriek and kick my feet and stomp and whine over the fact that I just typed "Week 7" into the title line above.
Ok, now that I got that out of my system...
This past week has been very long, but very good. The kids and I spent the week working with our church's youth group on an in-town mission trip. In our area, the city offers free day care and lunches in some of the inner city parks. Kids come from all around town and are dropped off for the day. Day cares also come and bring their kids to join in the fun. And of course there are always neighborhood kids who walk over to play. It's a crazy busy park full of kids most days with only a handful of workers who are paid to be there to supervise all the kids.
Local to us, there is a chapter of Child Evangelism Fellowship, an organization entirely devoted to reaching kids for Christ. This page tells a little about the organization & what they do. http://www.cefonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&id=8&Itemid=100032
One of the things CEF does is called a "5 day club". It's basically a Vacation Bible School sort of program. They put on these 'clubs' in parks, community centers, the backyards of families who offer to host them...basically anywhere they can find to do one. And for the past couple of summers, our youth group has worked with CEF to put on a club at one of the city parks where all the kids come for the summer.
Each day, our family ministries pastor and all the kids arrived at 9:30 to set up sound equipment & get out supplies and pray for the day ahead. At 10:30, the club began. Kids swarmed the club area to learn songs, listen to Bible stories, learn a memory verse and hear a story about a missionary named John Paton. Afterward, our group stayed to eat lunch with all the kids and played on the playground with them. Lots of pushing swings, carrying kids around on piggyback, climbing up & down ladders to the slides, playing tag, kicking a ball back & forth. Ya know, in 110% humidity and 90+ degree weather. (It was actually a little cooler this morning!)
It was a great week! Lots of little children heard the gospel presented this week and were loved on by our sweet youth group. I'm proud of the hours they spent preparing, teaching and serving selflessly.
Early on, I told the youth pastor I would be joining the kids on my days off this week. It was such a neat honor to be there and see how it went. I sweated alongside all the kids, sang lots of funny songs with silly hand motions and really enjoyed myself! Youth ministry is certainly not my calling, but it was fun to experience it for the week.
Here are a few pictures of the week.
Sarah (right) helping at the art table
Samuel praying with some boys
One of our little park friends & her suncatchers.
Heavy-duty swing pushing action!
The kids and I
Savannah, teaching the missionary story
Crowd of kids (plus our youth) on day 1
Me and my buddy (name withheld to protect him)
Sam, playing pokemon with some of the boys
Savannah and her little friend who fixed her hair
4 years ago