Monday, August 14, 2006

 

Day of the child

The youth of the church that my family and I attend have lots to offer, but have not been challenged to go beyond their walls to share their faith. About a month ago, two of the youth leaders approached me to say that they were ready to be involved in missions. We planned an event for this morning. We were to go to a local park and provide live entertainment, games, junk-food, juice and hard candy with children who would be playing there with the hopes that we could build bridges with adults, and maybe start a church. For the youth, this was to be a low-risk type ministry, and we have lived with anticipation since it was planned last month.
This morning we arose to a very cloudy sky. 60% chance of thunderstorms this morning tapering off as the evening went on.

Here, when it rains, there are no underground pipes that carry the water to the river. The streets become the rivers! Generally when it rains, no one here goes anywhere unless it is absolutely necessary. I expected that the event would be canceled. However, when I send the youth that organized everything a text message asking if she thought there would be anyone at the park, she responded that the group was ready for two hundred people, and it wasn't raining yet so we were going.

We went, and everyone seemed to have a blast! The youth sang songs, played some games, just as planned. They acted out a skit found in Luke 10:25 and following. The children sat and watched with enthusiasm as robbers attack the lone traveler. They identified with the victim as others passed by and did not offer help, and were silent when someone offered help.

An adult leader asked the group questions about the story, such as what was the greatest commandment. After they answered, he asked "and the second". He then asked the group how Jesus answered the question about who was a neighbor. We had a great time there.

While they were working, I began to talk with the adults in the group, and introduce myself, and tell them who I am and why I was there. I invited them to organize a group who would be interested in studying God's Word together. I had no takers. I have learned that one offer is not sufficient. It takes a relationship. However, I introduced myself. When they see me, they know who I am, and that I belong to a group. They know that I have a family, because my family went with us today.

It is now almost 4PM, and still has not rained. God answered my prayers that He would keep us dry today for our event.

Next month, the youth group has been invited to go to a camp that will teach them how to organize themselves into cells, and grow.

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