We spent the last week at First Alliance Church/International Christian Center on Bardstown Road in Louisville, KY, running a VBS for neighborhood kids. Here is an abbreviated recap of the week’s events:
- Our first night and the next day were dedicated entirely to decorating. Our theme for the week was To the Edge: Encounter the God of the Universe, so we decked out the basement of the church in space-themed decor. When you walked in the door, you were in outer space. Brandon had the brilliant idea to cover the walls in black trash bags to give it a night sky effect, and we hung stars and styrofoam “planets” from the ceilings throughout the hallway. We worked without pause from breakfast Monday morning at 9am to 6pm when the kids arrived that evening putting up stars and planets and glow sticks and everything we could think of to make that basement feel like outer space.
- The kids were mostly from Nepal, with some from various countries in Africa, some from Latin America, and one or two white kids — needless to say, we were the minority! We had about 25-40 kids each night and split them into 3 groups by age: Conner took the littles (4-6), Micah took the middles (7-9), and Brandon took the bigs (10-12). The groups started in a bigger room where Micah led music and Ariane led memory verses, and then we split up and rotated through our stations. Christa was in charge of teaching the story, which was taken from a different Bible passage each night. Ariane led the kids in games, which usually wore the leaders out more than the kids. Kat came up with a different craft each night and led the groups through each one. At the end of each night we met again for music and memory verses and then sent the kids home.
- Most of these kids are bi- and trilingual, and English is their second language. When there were kids who did’t know English very well, the others were always very eager to help out. By the end of the week, we were all really attached to our kids, and we finally knew their names, no matter how unpronounceable they were to us.
- One of the guys who helped out with the VBS was Austin, who was about our age and had an amazing testimony. He really clicked with our team and stuck around for dinner and showings of Veggie Tales on VHS each night.
- We slept in classrooms in the church, so we were in that basement pretty much all the time. The funny thing about basements is that you lose all sense of space and time; we woke up at 11am feeling like it was 4 in the morning, we didn’t eat lunch until 2:30 or 3, and dinner didn’t even hit the stove until the kids left around 8:30 each night. Our internal clocks are completely messed up.
- The guys worked on some odd jobs around the church like trimming trees and fixing cabinets throughout the days while the girls prepared the curriculum/games/crafts for the evening and set out food for meals — and may I just say that we are very proud of our guys for their successful use of a chainsaw!
- Since our boys were in dire need of haircuts, we dedicated all of Tuesday afternoon to clippers and sheers; our men are now neatly trimmed and presentable.
- We cooked all of our meals this week, which was a bonding experience in and of itself. Here’s our week’s dinner menu; parents, be proud.
- Monday: Spaghetti with meat sauce
- Tuesday: Chicken and rice with mushroom sauce and green beans
- Wednesday: Taco Salad
- Thursday: Chicken and Shrimp Fettuccine in Alfredo Sauce
- Friday: Chicken Parmesan (breaded and fried chicken breast over spaghetti noodles with marinara sauce and mozzarella and parmesan cheeses) and Broccoli
- We detoured through Lexington today to go to a wedding and got to catch up with some friends in the process. Be sure to check out the Circle of Hope Facebook page for updates on Cliff and his team in Malawi. They’re doing awesome ministry there, and we’re super excited for what Jesus is doing in and through them.
Prayer for the Upcoming Week
We’re headed to Steubenville, OH, now to lead worship at a total of 6 services in the next 4 days for a youth revival. We are very excited, but also very nervous! Here’s how you can pray for our team and our ministry in the upcoming week:
- Since we were leading a VBS all week, most of us haven’t even touched our instruments since our training week back on campus… and we’re leading 3 worship services tomorrow! Pray that we would quickly and easily get back into the groove of being a worship band.
- Continue to pray for Cliff and his team for their last few days in Malawi. The team comes home Tuesday and Cliff rejoins our team Friday. Pray for a smooth transition for everyone.
- Pray that we would reach people well for Christ this week, and that our team would be as effective as we possibly can in love and unity.
As always, thanks so much for your prayers and support!
Picture: The gang poses for a group photo on the last day of VBS.