Let the games begin
We’ve reached a new level of exhaustion - and contentment. Our days are packed but taking time to kick things off with praise and worship has been amazing. Our Heavenly Father is the reason we are here and each component of the trip is directed by Him. This is anything but a vacation but our hearts are so full!
We are also so thankful for every one of our team members and the hard work they have put into this trip at the Lord’s leading. The team that has planned our worship sessions have ushered us into the Lord’s presence day after day. And for that we are so thankful! We have truly been sustained by His grace and strength during these very busy days.
After worship and breakfast, we had time to grab some final supplies for our events and participate in the OneEgg Lessons at the local school.
As the day progressed, you could feel the anticipation of the team growing for the events planned for the day. Somewhat concerned about space constraints, we moved the VBS program to the location our team is staying.
It was our first day of VBS today and for over an hour buses, cars and trucks brought kids by the loads and many walked to the VBS location. This year we tried to offer two teen nights in hopes of encouraging the teenagers to attend those events and not VBS. Our oldest group was intended for ages 9-11 but it turned out to be more like 9-21. This first day was over 400 kids participating in VBS.
Our VBS format is similar to what you may have experienced at Wellspring - except for the language translation part of things. It starts with a special greeting from our team and then music & motions. We provide three different 20 minute stations; lesson/story, craft and games. We end with a large group time then get them loaded up to head home.
Today, Emily Bolduc taught the creation story and shared how God has created each kid for a special purpose that is only theirs. It was a beautiful reminder to each of these kids that they are a unique and special kid made in the image of a loving, caring Father. Many of the kids connected to this ministry and from this area come from hard backgrounds.
Oscar is a young man who has become a sort of honorary team member - riding with us, canvassing with us, working alongside us. He comes from a broken family with very little means yet possesses one of the biggest and brightest smiles you have ever seen. David who manages CAFFIN told us he is always helping and working around the school and building just trying to help out where he can. He is also one of the recipients of a tuition scholarship from a generous Wellspring donor. When Oscar received the news that his school was paid for he was so grateful and filled with joy - and reportedly he wants to do good in school to make that person proud of him. Doug Kerkstra is a new team member this year and has started to build a special bond with Oscar. They were spending time together after teen night using google translate to talk to each other.
Being our first day, and in a new location, we had some hiccups and delays in the start but we were pleased and look forward to watching God work tomorrow!
Between VBS and teen night there was a little time to clean up and run an errand. We had trouble finding hot dog buns in the morning run so a small team went out to find 200 buns to cover our first and second night. We found a local bread maker that also has a few coffee shop style stores in town. Our interrupter helped us to secure the buns at the local store and we drove to the warehouse location to pick them up. This is the story of hot dog buns lost in translation! As they began bringing out our order someone said, “I think they ordered us 200 packages, not 200 buns”, sure enough we were the proud new owners of 1,200 hot dog buns. We wish we could tell you this is a story of Jesus turning 1 hot dog bun into 1,200 but it was not. But we shall see what the Lord directs us to do with these buns!
Teen Night Number One
Teen night kicked off with food and fellowship and many of the kids and our team members playing soccer. Even when a downpour ensued soaking them all, the intensity and fun continued. After hot dogs and chips we moved inside CAFFIN for a lesson prepared by team members Doug and Matt. The lesson focused on Mark 2 where the four friends helped their paralytic friend through the roof. The lesson provided a great description of how hard it was to get their friend in front of Jesus and how important it is for us to try. They reminded the group why Jesus was “famous” at the time and they shared a perspective from two different groups of people. One being the people like the four friends that were in awe of the miracles that he was doing and wanted to pursue him. The other being the Pharisee types that wanted to question him and pick him apart. The men then challenged the kids to think about what group they want to be in, the one that questions Jesus as being the son of God, or the group that does whatever it takes to get their friends in front of him.
We ended the night with a wordless book bracelet craft, allowing the team to share the meaning at each table as they made them.
The team devotional focus for Day 4 comes from Romans 12:3-5, “Not thinking of yourself more highly than you ought” (vs. 3b). In one sense, you are a child of the King, yet at the same time you are asked to live a life that puts others first. As we proceed through the day, consider what living a life that reflects “not thinking of yourself more highly than you ought” looks like. Challenging ourselves to look for ways to demonstrate this concept in thought and deed - not only to those we are here to serve but also in regards to those individuals with whom we are serving.