The past few days we have been learning about fearing the Lord so today we took the time to talk about what to do with that fear. When you are in awe and are longing for the Lord, you tend to search for ways to please Him and praise Him. The devotion by Lauren Wright says, "All of these examples are like trying to get a tree to bear good fruit without first having good roots in place. It is a completely worthless pursuit." This means that we can't grow in our Godliness and grow to be more like Him without first having a healthy and strong relationship with Him.
Today was another amazing day with the kids! We played so many games and made not one but TWO crafts with them. Water day was a huge success even though we had to delay it a few minutes due to some rain. Although it rained, we used it to our advantage and made it tie into our theme of the week, Noah's Ark. The kids had a blast at water day and the dunk tank was a huge success (we all got soaked and we need a dunk tank at Millington). We saw how the kids changed throughout the week and we saw the Lord step in and take control over them. The kids (and the leaders) were all sad to leave and really hope we can come back one day and even more then that, we made a difference in the kids and parents lives. Excited to return to NJ tomorrow!
TR & KG - 8/1/19
The kids camp was a lot better today and it was so much fun for all the kids and all the leaders. Throughout the last few days we have seen how the Lord has helped these kids to change in an amazing way.
On Monday, as we started the kids camp we saw a challenge before us, as the kids behaviors were particularly difficult to manage. One certain kid was more of a test for us all and to get him to sit down and do a craft was almost impossible, but as the week went on he became more and more helpful to the leaders. He was offering to help us set up for the cookout and didn't want anything in return. There were also a lot of other kids who would take things out of peoples hands and carry them to the table without being asked or expecting anything in return. Some kids who would throw their thrash on the floor at the beginning of the week are now throwing it in the trash and telling all the other kids to do the same. During the stations the kids are paying more attention and are being more engaged in conversations.
All of the leaders are making connections with the kids and their parents. We give the kids an environment that they feel safe in that they might not have been given. The kids feel safe enough to tell us personal and emotions thoughts that they might not be able to tell someone else. In those conversations we are able to talk to the kids about the love of God and show them that they are not as alone as some of them feel. The kids behavior has drastically changed and you can see a change not just in the kids but also in the environment. The kids would run around the area and pick up all the trash off the ground and throw it away which is making their area look a lot cleaner and a lot safer for them.
Overall, the camp has been an amazing experience for both the kids and the leaders and it is really starting to make a difference in the community. Sending our love from Baltimore! See you soon!
KG - July 31st, 2019
Fearing the unknown is undoubtedly the most common yet lethal fear. The unknown is something so far out of our control yet so easy to cogitate upon. Bad experiences in the past often also dictate our futures, causing us to fear the same thing happening again.
In the Bible, God emphasizes the fact that we do not have the power to control the unknowns. We see this in the many many bible stories that articulate the downfalls of people and even nations who try to tackle the unknown by themselves. God is in control of our lives, and he knows everything that will happen to us from life to death, so it is very important to keep this in mind and cast our problems and fears unto God.
This fear of the unknown applies this week especially as this is many people's first mission trip. However, and as they have been demonstrating the past couple of days, lack of experience and confidence in certain situations is negligible in the path that God has for them!
After a very interesting first day of service, everyone came back to Lakeside with a totally different attitude and work ethic. The night before, we all had a two hour debrief, where we discussed the positives and negatives of everything that went on, especially in the day camp. We changed a few things up, and we many people stepped up and moved to different positions to help better the overall experience and flow of the camp.
The groups who had problems yesterday immensely improved. Games were a big problem yesterday, but that station undoubtedly was the greatest improvement with the addition of a tent a water jug. Many of the kids were also very engaged in the worship, which is a very great sign that God is streaming into their hearts and through their veins every day. It is such a great sight to see!
Tomorrow will most definitely be the best day yet, but based on what we learned today, tomorrow is not to be pondered upon because God already knows what is going to happen. Regardless, the same energy we had at camp and even more additions to the itinerary will translate into success and the instillation of God not only into these kids, but into ourselves as well!
MM July 30th, 2019
"It is far better that God approve, than that man applaud" - Thomas Watson
Sometimes the feaR of what other people mAy think of us affeCts or prevents us from doing God's will. Learning to ignore otHer's opinions and only focusing on the task God has set before us was what many of us had to preparE for today.
Seeking for God's approvaL InStead of worrying About what the person next to us thinks helps to Make connections with the children And forces us to step out of our own comfort Zone.
Today was our fIrst day out to serve the commuNity. We started off by rakinG and weeding areas around the homes of the people we were about to serve through our kids camp. A little later we had the privilege to show the children Jesus through telling them the story of Noah, playing games, making crafts, and singing. Although it was challenging and tiring, it was amazing seeing the joy in these kids faces. Roughly forty kids, ranging from grades K-7, came out to participate today!
Many of us were blessed with seeing God work through us to inspire and spark an interest in knowing the Lord. We are excited to see what God has in store for the rest of this week after seeing what he's already done. We hope that all or even more kids show up tomorrow and watch them grow in their faith.
RW & LO - July 29, 2019
Sometimes fear can control us in ways we don't know. The importance in "knowing fear" is one of the most valuable pieces of information one can take in on a mission trip. God uses us in ways we haven't imagined- and sometimes, we can deny his call for us out of what? Fear.
On a mission trip, fear comes into a big play. We, at any age, no matter how experienced, can always learn more about fear and how to conquer it.
Of course- One can never completely conquer fear- but with the help and power of God, we can at least try.
Today we spent time transitioning into the mission trip. We discussed our plans for the kids camp we will be running and handed out flyers in a community. The kids were very excited to go to camp- I believe that is pure God.
We don't know how many kids will come. We don't know if it's one kid or 80. All we know is that God had called us here for a reason- a reason worth fulfilling. We will strive our best to accomplish why we're here. Not for ourselves - but for God and God alone. Through that we will Know Fear.
FH - July 28, 2019