What a great week so far! Sorry the blog hasn’t been updated in a couple of days. We’ve been busy! I’ll recap what we’ve been up to:
Each morning, after breakfast and devos, we gather together to hear the story of a person from the community. On Tuesday, we heard from Bev, the children’s ministry director at Bridge of Hope, and how God led her to Bridge of Hope. Afterwards, we gathered around her prayed for her.
Our daily routine continues with a training piece from the Apex Missions director, David Boerema. He has been giving us some prayer, encouragement and listening tools to use with our friends back home – especially those who do not know Jesus. From my perspective as a youth pastor, this is a big deal. I’ve been impressed by the amount of focus, intentionality and time our Apex team has spent preparing our students for what happens AFTER the trip. I look forward to working with our team to integrate these tools into our ministry.
I want to mention this: David has a vlog (video blog, that is) that he uses to provide updates to his supporters. He’s been shooting some video of our time together. You can watch it here.
Day two of VBS began, and our team fell into a great rhythm. It’s fun seeing our students step up and take the lead. Our adult volunteers began to take a hands-off approach to the game, craft and small group stations, and we’ve seen our students naturally step in! It’s been fun to watch. A little rain made for some “on the fly” adjustments, but our group handled it well.
A quick side-note. I was invited to lunch by Pastor Luther, the lead pastor of Bridge of Hope. He took me on an “urban safari” (his words, not mine!). We drove to a local chicken and pizza place, and he shared with me his perspective on the neighborhood, his heart for the people and his vision for the church. Our time together was rich, and the chicken was delicious!
After VBS, our girls met up with my wife (Lindsey) at a retail store called The Red Thread. Owned by Lindsey’s Aunt Susie, the store buys merchandise from overseas mission organizations, and sells them to support those missionaries. Our students helped with cleaning, window washing, and even sewed some pillows to be sold in the store. They also heard Susie’s story of her own experiences as a missionary and her vision for the store.
We spent our evening swimming and hanging out at Aunt Susie’s pool! Even though there’s been rain off and on, it’s been hot here, so a dip in a pool was well received!
I’m excited to share with you more of our experiences, but it will have to wait until tomorrow, as it’s getting late, we have another full day planned ahead of us.