A summary of our first two weeks this spring: don’t forget to follow us at http://www.twitter.com/CampusSERVE for immediate updates during CampusSERVE…
Respond | Sam | 1/23
Man, today was a good day! The Lord really showed up today and answered our prayers. There were some relationships that had to end early because people had left, but it was very easy to pick back up where everyone was before the break. There were a couple opportunities to share the Gospel with individuals, and also an opportunity to help someone move some beds in.
The people there seemed to really want to open up to us, and it was really good to have two new solid volunteers come and help with Respond… The Lord was really amazing in how He answered our prayers that He would come before us and clear a way for us to make an impact. Praise God!
Greenfield | Elisa | 1/23
Today turned out to be what I consider a success. We only had thirty-some kids come out which is below average for Greenfield, but it made for an excellent student-child ratio considering there were about twenty Liberty students. All of the volunteers seemed to be eager and very sacrificial when it came to giving shoulder rides. I saw huge improvements in two of our most difficult children today, all because of the worth they felt when given extra responsibility.
One nine-year old girl who tends to bully boys and girls alike was put in charge of handing out the cookies to the children who could recall what they learned from the story. Her assertive personality was very beneficial because she could control the crowd, but even as a nine-year old she had enough discernment to require less or more information on the lesson based on the child’s age.
Another child, Nassir, assisted me in picking up all of the trash and he even shared some food with me! Disregarding the fact that these instances were spattered between verbal threats, dramatic behavior, and curse words, I still feel as if he’s making progress!
While drawing with sidewalk chalk a Greenfield resident whom I had never met or seen before declared how thankful he is for CampusSERVE and our impact on his community!
Brookside | Jaci | 1/23
…The first door I went to was Steve’s and he was already getting the kids dressed. …I asked him to tell me how things were going and he told me about his daughters stitches, Christmas, Tony’s love for basketball… finally he stopped what he was doing, stood up and looked at me and said, but the greatest thing is that I got a job. I told him how awesome that was and how I was praying and was so thankful God provided that for him. Steve is now working in demolition and the job gives him good hours, but Jessica can also keep her job.
For some reason this meant a lot to me…Steve and Jessica’s daughter Sophia is very quiet and shy so it usually takes her a while to warm up. Although this weekend she was so different. When she came running out the door she walked right up to me and held her hand out for me to hold. Then a few minutes later she ran up to another student named Laura and started playing with her. This seemed to be how it was with all of the kids that came out. I wan’t expecting it to be a challenge to reconnect, but I also wasn’t expecting it to be so easy.
Myself and another student also had the opportunity to talk to an older lady who attends Tree of Life. She is a very kind Christian lady who is worried, stressed, but in prayer daily for her grown kids who are not saved. She has five kids and thirteen grandchildren that she takes care of often. Her oldest daughter Dianna was a close friend of a family of three that were all shot and killed in the shooting this week. She said her daughter is very emotional and will need a lot of prayer. We were able to pray with her for her daughter and other needs she mention to us while talking. It was great to have the opportunity to encourage a sister in Christ who’s heart breaks to see salvation among her family and community.
The final great story from today happened to two very consistent students name Liz and Brooke. While knocking on doors they met Kay, a young single mom. Kay is about 26 years old and her daughter is 6. Her daughter was visiting other family members for the weekend so Kay was home alone. Kay told the girl that she had a really bad sinus infection and has had it for a while. The girls asked if they could help in anyway so she invited them in. While in her house Brooke and Liz made soup for her and then sat and talked with her for about forty-five minutes while she ate. Kay told them that last month she was going to lose her apartment because she was unemployed and couldn’t pay rent, but Jess (Steve’s wife) paid her rent. Awesome! Kay told the girls how lonely she was all the time and how badly she wants a job for the money, but also to have something to do. We are excited for the future opportunities to minister to Kay and build a relationship with her.
I really felt God working in Brookside today and Rich and I are so excited for the potential this semester holds!
College Hill | Grace | 1/23
College Hill went great this morning. We have started to split up to go pick up the kids and talk to families in teams. A team containing a few people who want to do sports activities, play with younger kids, and then the rest were designated to simply walk and talk among the community. This way we can be intentional about those we invite to be a part of what we do on Saturday mornings. And we were really able to see a difference in this approach. We had the most random and eclectic age group that I have ever seen, from 4yrs old to 17 years. We were able to find out more needs in the community, and were able to begin passing the word about Help-Portrait.
Birchwood | Kailey | 1/23
This week at Birchwood was petty ‘Business-as-usual’. We had a very interactive lesson about the plagues and the parting of the Red Sea (Thank you, Jacob!) and the kids loved it! The biggest difference was that our normal attendance of 35-ish kids became 50 today!! Praise God!
The real news for this week was our following meeting, where about 12 of us went to a restaurant for a vision/planning meeting. We are going to start some pretty big projects this semester! -Please be praying as we address the beginning of tutoring and supervising programs, and possibly starting a “house church” in the community. I am SO blessed to have such a willing, passionate, Christ-loving team! I can’t help but feel like this is what Christ envisioned of His bride: serving, praying, and eating together. May we always be nothing short of that calling!
Yoder | Alyssa | 1/23
After praying, we split up into groups… And most of the groups went out to collect the kids. Two groups (one with Shannon and Joey and the other with Kyle and me) went door to door telling the community that we are back and asking if they wanted us to pray with them. Shannon and Joey were able to talk to 5-6 different people and prayed with one. Kyle and I went to 5 doors and no one answered. I knew that God was sovereign in the moment and that if no one answered, there was a reason.
At the next door, a middle-aged woman answered and asked us to come in because the owner of the house had back problems. I was SO excited to be invited in because I knew there was a greater chance of a deep conversation. We began to talk to the lady and through conversation we found out that she was a Christian. She has many health issues, lost her daughter last May, and has a granddaughter that is possibly being abused by her mom who is addicted to crack and alcohol. Kyle and I prayed with her towards the end and then continued in conversation. As we were preparing to leave, she asked us if we’d like coffee, but we told her that we’d love to have some coffee when we visit her next Saturday 🙂 It was awesome because there is exchange in that!
The Meadows | Amanda | 1/23
Saturday went really well. It was nice to be able to reconnect with the families in The Meadows. We had several LU volunteers who had never been out to CampusSERVE before and 3 of them went with me to visit Ms. Toni. We had a good conversation with her and we all had an opportunity to pray together before we left.
We decided to try something a little bit different with the lesson. We’re keeping the group lesson pretty short and then asking the LU volunteers to pray individually or in small groups with the kids. Since we have such a huge age range this gives the LU students a chance to sort of reiterate or expand on the group lesson at a level better suited to the individual kids. It seemed to work well this Saturday so we plan to keep it up.
I know Matt brought some of the older guys to Word of Life and Emily and I brought 2 of the older girls to TRBC this morning. It was great to be able to connect with them a little more outside of Saturday morning. One of the girls had some questions about some of the things that Pastor Falwell said and we were able to have a good discussion about it all.
Dearington | Brandon | 1/23
Saturday was an awesome day out in the community of Dearington even with the colder weather… While Sarah and I were waiting to pick up one of the boys at his door his mother (Rosaline) asked us to pray for her and her family. I’m glad that this seems to be happening a lot more lately :-). When we got back to the park we found some of the children painting the girls nails, and a few coloring and hanging out under the pavilion.
Our day went well as kids ran around and students chased them around. I also noticed some of the students talking about the Bible with some of them and even some praying with a group, before we even had given out the lesson to do in small groups. I thought that was just AWESOME!! I am getting excited for this semester because it seems now we are starting to connect better with this community.
Today’s lesson was about God’s love. First we wanted to know what they viewed love as and then explain to them what God’s love was. How pure it is, and how it is never failing, no matter what! The verse of the day was Jer. 31:3b “I have loved you with an everlasting love” to help explain from scripture His love. Today instead of telling them a story from the Bible we urged our students to share from their testimony a time they felt God’s love, and how it effected them in some way. We even had some of the children writing memory verses on construction paper. We even heard them quoting other verses, attributes of God, and even lessons from previous times we have visited. :-)!!