Thanks for praying for us as we began our mission trip in Philly this week! We traveled over 450 miles on Sunday and finally made it to Urban Hope! After doing some training and orientation Sunday evening, things really got started Monday as the Day Camp (Kingdom Kids) we are helping lead began.
If you have served with VBS at Grace, trust me when I say that we are having a slightly different experience. Urban Hope is in a largely Hispanic community with around 800-1000 people per block and over 390 kids attended their last kids camp 2 weeks ago. We knew that we would be challenged in a unique way here. Our students volunteered for various jobs throughout the day camp, and everyone got to work preparing the church for the day (including cleaning the bathrooms!) The next step once we were prepared was to go pick up kids!
In groups with leaders, we split up in the community to round up the kids who attend Kingdom Kids, as well as invite new kids to attend. All in all, we had almost 150 kids on the first day (we’re praying for 400 students this week!). We played crazy games, had a skit team led all by our students, and taught Bible verses in many creative ways. One of my favorite aspects is a rap/rhyme that Urban Hope uses to teach the Gospel to kids. I’ve already heard our team repeating it as they walk around. It goes like this:
God loves me / I have sinned / Jesus died for me / I need to decide to live for God
Man, it would be so cool for us to see kids make that decision this week. Pray for us as we continue to serve at Urban Hope this week. I’m sure our team will be exhausted, so pray for strength – and pray for courage and boldness that each student would share the Gospel this week. You’ll hear more from us each night as our leaders blog right here! Also check out what we’re posting on Facebook – we’ve got some great videos and pictures there!