Langview | Tim
We had some fun today in the snow. A lot of kids were out despite the cold (mostly boys). We had a bunch of new volunteers that fit in well. Me and 2 other guys will be taking some kids to the basketball game on Tuesday.
My heart is hurting for the family that was broken in Langview a couple of weeks ago. The six year-old girl seemed really upset for much of the morning. The ten year old girl mentioned that she didn’t get a chance to say goodbye.
Greenfield | Elisa
I am so thankful to have a weekend without a blizzard! Even though the ratio of Liberty students to kids was about two to one, we filled our time with plenty of snowball-making and the like. Eli headed up the lesson today with a focus on God as the creator of fun, and once again we put Kimayha in charge of passing out the cookies. I appreciate her willingness to do it… I did get to have an interesting conversation with Jaylin about Satan’s origin and was very surprised to find out how much he already knew! And of course I was ecstatic to hear little Darius chime in, “The Devil’s bad; I don’t like him.”
The Meadows | Matt
Today went really well overall. Kids were able to come out by the mobs once again, and we had a pretty solid crew of volunteers including six or seven first-timers. Things went smoothly, though we decided for Amanda to not give the lesson early as planned due to the kids being far too excited about us being there and snow. It worked out pretty well, as we had time to repeatedly physically punish kids in football and snow-ballin’, re-establish relationships, and fill 4 ginormous bags with trash.
The lesson was on Valentine’s Day and God’s love and was not given till the very end. It didn’t go as well as I’d hoped and really brought to light our need for a focused, contextualized lesson plan for the semester, as compared with bouncing around and switching gears from one week to the next. We closed by having small group prayer time, which God continued to use to build deeper relationships between our volunteers and the kids.
…I’m especially excited to see God move in ways beyond our imaginations and hopes this semester!
Respond | Krystal
Today was so AWESOME!!! All of Respond seemed very excited to see the families in Greenfield again. Sam and I spoke with the team before we assigned cars about how we want to REALLY get to know them as well as the Greenfield community. Sam and I organized and presented an excel spreadsheet with categories (Name of Person, Bldg & Apt #, Goals God has laid on your heart for this person, Focus Scripture for the week, Salvation status, Physical Needs, Prayer Requests, and Your Prayer Requests/Concerns).
With that mindset, we split into groups and went out to old and new relationships. The volunteers returned a few minutes earlier, so we could get back to the Rot to DEBRIEF. The Debriefing was awesome! One of the volunteers met the same guy he had witnessed to in the mall the previous week. Also, another group of volunteers was able to buy groceries for a Christian lady in the community who needed encouragement. Likewise, another lady in the community expressed her concern with the violence, prostitution, rebellion, and desperation all around her. We were able to pray with her and encourage her to join the Bible studies.
The Bible studies are still fluctuating, but they are making and will continue to make an impact, preparing the men and women of Greenfield to be LIGHTS in their own neighborhood. We still have not found a central place to meet up, so at times we don’t get to see all of the families that we’ve connected with, but we still have HOPE for greater things. God is really moving, and the volunteers are so COMMITTED and DEDICATED.
We’re really going DEEP and WIDE this semester; we are setting deeper relationships based on the Gospel, and we’re reaching a lot more families with the limited time we have. Overall, it was so wonderful to see God moving in Greenfield, even in the midst of despair. I’m truly excited for RESPOND!
Brookside | Jaci
Another fun and interesting day at Brookside. We had a big football game with about 20 students and older boys going on in the street and then everyone else building a pretty sweet two room snow fort. The numbers were large with both volunteers and kids. There were also about three or four parents outside too. It was funny watching the guys play football and great to see the students connecting with and having fun with the boys.
…Gabby had the opportunity to talk to the same mom after prayer and she shared a lot with her about the community. She told Gabby that some of the families leave there kids locked out after school and she takes them in and feeds them…
I was told all of this in the car, so I need to call Rich and talk to him about it. I know that the best thing I can do right now is to be diligently praying for him and his family.
College Hill | Grace
College Hill was rough starting up logistically today. As we went to go pick up the kids we were able to talk to this young man, and he saw that we had basketballs with us and said if it was not so (insert-expletive) cold outside he would come play! That was really exciting and a further confirmation that when we go out, we need to actually have in our hands what we are going to do and invite people specifically to do A, B, or C especially with older kids, teenagers and adults.
And my volunteers really showed up and talked to the man for a while, asking him questions about teams, how long he had been playing etc…It was just so great, to be back in the College Hill and see kids that I have not seen in two plus weeks. Another young man Bradley, that Scott and I talked to last Thursday, was there on Saturday am and God just really has laid him on my heart. In a world where truth is relative, how do people wade through lies and get to the truth? That thought really brought brokenness to my heart and desperation for God to do a work in my life so I can be demonstrating the gospel to him consistently.
Yoder | Alyssa
We had about eight of us who went out to Yoder and prayed together and then split up into groups to go out and get the kids while I went to a house with another girl (Dawn) to visit a lady we met a few weeks ago. The lady wasn’t home so my friend Dawn and I headed back to the site to get some paper so that we could write her a note. The other groups came back and there was no one with them. No kids were able to come out – they said that either they had moved, weren’t home, or their parents wouldn’t let them come out.
It was slightly discouraging at first. But we all sat/stood around in a circle and I got a piece of paper out and I had them all give me their advice and suggestions for the site. We worked through what we could do better and how we could delegate out jobs and how we could reach the community. We talked about having a plan B each week to go out and be HELPS if no kids were able to come out and we talked about what we could do with the kids. It was a productive time together and I am thankful to the Lord that we had that opportunity Saturday. We each prayed for different aspects of the community and ministry…
Dearington | Brandon
Saturday was a good day for us even with all the snow/ice covering our field. This time I had a chance to go in to the houses and talk with families and what-not. It was a good time and I met a few more people today whom I haven’t seen there before in the neighborhood. As we made it back to the field I was a little unsure of how all the activities would play out because of all the snow. But it didn’t seem to put a damper on anything. The children decided to play games of tag and try to climb the snow mounds, others even played a little basketball and threw the footballs around, while the rest stayed under the canopy and did some arts and crafts or talked. Like I said it was much better than I expected.
I even heard a story about one of the little girls who decided she wanted to collect ice-sickels and eat them. Kristin told her that they had dirt in them and probably were not a good idea to eat because they were dirty. The girl responded “God made dirt, dirt don’t hurt. Pick it up and make it work!” I thought that was pretty funny. Today we also decided to hand out CampusSERVE hearts for Valentine’s day that had our logo on the outside along with “Know that you’re always loved” on it. Inside we put the verse 1 John 4:10 (MSG). We were able to get one to every door!