Belmont to Indicoso

We are heading from flatland to flatland, leaving Ohio and entering Indiana to go to Camp Indicoso in Springville. To fill you in, here’s a quick recap of our last week.

Recap

When we arrived Sunday, we ate dinner with the pastor and met with various church staff and leaders to talk about the week’s plans. After dinner we all went to our respective host homes to get settled in. Ariane and Christa stayed with Jen, who is basically the queen of hospitality and invited the whole team over for snacks and Bop It every night. Micah and Cliff stayed with Johnnie and Barb, a couple whose newly-renovated attic is perfect for housing two college-age boys for a decade, let alone a week. Brandon and Conner stayed with Pastor Randy in the parsonage, about 6 steps from the church building. Kat stayed with Stephanie in the house she is still moving into — literally unpacking boxes as we speak. Overall we were very well taken care of in our host homes, and we are incredibly grateful to our wonderful hosts.

Hometown Nazareth

We helped out at BUM (Belmont United Methodist) church this week with their VBS, Hometown Nazareth: Where Jesus was a Kid. We had about 50 kids each night, split into 8 crews. We were in charge of leading stations for the kids, and volunteers from the church congregation led their crews, divided by age group, from station to station.

Cliff led “Hometown Huddle,” a station where the kids practiced their memory verses, talked about the bible stories they were learning in other stations, and worked hard to convince Clifford the Bug Purple Dog to let them play Duck Duck Goose.

Christa and Kat led the station “Mary’s House,” where the kids came to hear about Jesus’ life as a kid in Nazareth. Christa played the role of Mary the mother of Jesus who told stories about Jesus as a child to the guests in her home. Mary’s neighbor, Eunice (no, she’s not in the Bible), stopped by every day to cause trouble and doubt Mary’s stories, which caused much discontent with the kids, who truly believed that Kat actually didn’t believe in Jesus. One of the girls came up to Kat (dressed as Eunice) the last day and, wide eyed and heartbroken, asked, “Eunice, why don’t you believe in Jesus?” We all then proceeded to cry and assure her that the stories Mary had been telling about miracles and wonders were starting to persuade Eunice that Jesus was more than the boy next door.

Ariane and Brandon led the fun and games station, where they led the kids in games that sometimes related well to the Hometown Nazareth theme and that sometimes were just for the sake of getting the kids to run around and hopefully get tired. They also worked hard to help the kids memorize the Bible verses with motions and all. A few games to highlight: Gorilla, Man, Gun; what the kids called “the sheep game,” and duck duck goose. Never have we seen kids love duck duck goose quite this much.

Micah and Brandon led music for the opening and closing celebrations each night, and may I just say that we are still amazed at just how well our boys lead children’s songs. Seriously.

Speaking of music, I have great news: we have all successfully secured a spot in our heads for at least 2 full VBS soundtracks to be perpetually stuck. Cheesy kids songs are currently playing on repeat in our minds and I’m pretty positive they will never end.

Conner and Micah each led a craft one night; Micah played the role of Gabriel the Carpenter and Conner was Samuel the Shepherd. When they weren’t leading crafts, they went around from station to station and helped out where needed. Conner also wandered around with a camera taking pictures of the kids, who proceeded to ask him if he was a stalker.

We really enjoyed getting to be with the kids (and volunteers)! As usual, we fell in love with the kids and found it really hard to say goodbye on Friday when the VBS came to a close.

The Weekend

Saturday was our Sabbath, the blessed day off so graciously planned into our schedule by the lovely people of Belmont. Cliff, Christa, and Kat detoured to the National Air Force Museum for the morning, then met up with the rest of the team for lunch at Taco Bell and a few hours of much-needed band practice.

We split up after practice for alone time/adventure time (Micah, Brandon, and Kat found a disc golf store and an army surplus worth exploring) and then met up for dinner with Johnnie and Barb at a killer Chinese buffet, complete with crab legs, sushi, and fantastic conversation. Dinner was followed by the tossing of frisbee and the playing of Heads Up at Jen’s — an overall relaxing Sabbath, if I do say so myself.

This morning we led worship for Belmont’s combined service, including 2 songs from VBS complete with motions (and the kids’ help singing and dancing). We had lunch with Pastor Randy at the church (the people of Belmont sure can cook!), then packed up and headed out.

Next Up

Like I mentioned above, we are on our way to Camp Indicoso, where we will be the worship leaders for the week. Here are ways you can pray for us this week:

  • Thank God that we had a restful and low-key week at Belmont, and that we had some time each afternoon to recharge.
  • Pray that we would have a supernatural grace for each other in every situation.
  • Pray that we would influence the kids at Camp Indicoso for Christ.
  • Pray that our team would have enough team time. We are still a little fuzzy about just how involved our roles will be this week, but we are ultimately up for anything — we just pray that God would protect our hearts throughout the busyness and that he would keep us safe from stress.
  • Pray for our sound system… Last time we used our system we had some technical difficulties, e.g. we’re pretty sure the devil himself decided to reside in our sound board and cause everything that could possibly fail to fail. If this could never happen again, that would be awesome.

Thank you so much to everyone for your prayers and support! Knowing that we have people back home and on the road praying for us and our mission is so incredibly encouraging. As you pray for us this week, please take a moment to read Acts 20:22-25 (verse 24 is our team verse) — this passage is what our team is all about! Thanks again!

Acts 20:22-27 (NIV)

22 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

25 “Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again. 26 Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of any of you. 27 For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.

Picture: Brandon and kids play Red Rover