Pretty sure I have said this every day, but today was awesome! Our park program tonight was uplifting, and we had some fun tonight.
But it all started again with Rachel leading team time. To start off, Rachel had Abby Massary share her story, and it was a great one. I really think what she had to say made a difference for these students, and it is always great to hear people open their heart and share their life with others.
Then Rachel talked about how humility, when founded in faith, is key to living a life on mission. Once we become second, and God becomes first, that is when we can truly bless those around us, whether in Philadelphia or back home. Our team time was followed by the testimonies of two Urban Hope volunteers that broke our hearts. To see what these two people have gone through and to see that they still live their lives on mission for Christ is so encouraging. “You are going to go through some trials,” one of them told us, “But you have to keep on following Christ!” It was a great challenge to our team.
After that, Kingdom Kids camp happened. We had even more kids attend today, and our students did a great job leading. Kids came to Christ and others seemed to have gone from trouble-maker to peace-maker overnight. One story that was great was one of the groups had a team that was rowdy the first two days. They even started today off on a sour note that included a food fight, with chocolate milk being splashed all over the wall! But after lunch, that group of rowdy kids calmed down to the point of being respectful, but still having a load of fun. Because of that, our students could spend some time with their kids and one of the kids prayed to accept Christ! What started out as a food fight turned into a spiritual war, which Jesus won! Amen to that!
But right after the camp, the students practiced for the park program later that night, and then ate dinner. They went straight from camp to the park program, with only enough time to practice and eat in between. Talk about tiring! Yet, our students showed the most energy they have all week. Students were stepping up, leading kids in the program (think a VBS-type event that takes place in a public park), dancing and just making fools of themselves for the amusement of children. Kids heard a valuable lesson, with skits, music and a Bible story, that God is the only god, and there are no others like Him. The workers at Urban Hope thanked us, as our students were the fastest to set up and the whole program from start to finish ran smoothly. For a group that was tired and worn out, this was just plain awesome!
Then we took some time to have a bit of fun, and what could be better than a team-wide trip to Target. Some students bought some gifts for their secret encouragement partners, and others just got a small, tiny, minuscule amount of caffeinated beverages. But the trip was a blast and between that and our individual times in our van, we just had fun! And after hoping for unity, I think the park program and the trip to target were the pieces that put us over the top. I think we are one cohesive unit now, and that is just fantastic to see.
Thank you so much for your prayers. Thursday will be tough again, as we are doing the camp and then another park program in the evening. So it will be a long 7:30AM-8:00PM, but the students have shown time and time again that they can do it. So many stories of how God is using and working in and through your students, I wish weeks to just write it all down. But I am sure you would love to hear it from them personally too! Only two more full days left, pray that we are able to make the absolute most of our time here! With God on our side, how can we fail?