Last week was our churches annual 'Set Sail' which is like Vacation Bible School. Our church does more of a community outreach for the children in a local neighborhood, than more of a program for our regular church attendee kiddos. It takes place in the neighborhoods local community center and is very accessable for all the children who wish to come, its actually within walking distance for most of them which really helps the turn out. We feed the kids dinner when they arrive and then spend the rest of the night ministering to them by playing games, doing crafts and singing some SUPER fun songs.
For the past few years I have taken Macie just as a participant, dropped her off and went on my merry way, never thinking twice about staying to help out. This year was different, since Gerrad and I have become a LOT more active in the church I really felt lead to help out. We started the week of 'Set Sail' by walking the neighborhood Sunday evening and handing out popsicles and fliers to the all the kids we saw that were out riding their bikes, playing outside with their friends, bbq'ing with their families, etc... That night was a GREAT opportunity to give all the kids a last minute reminder that 'Set Sail' started the next day, so it was fresh in their minds to remind their parents as well. We had a few families that were less than enthused with us handing out popsicles to their kids, but we didn't let that bother us and kept on truckin'. Monday afternoon there was a HUGE thunderstorm on the Southeast part of town, mostly affecting the neighborhood where vbs was taking place, go figure! The power was out for the first hour at the community center and we were doing everything by lantern, let me tell you how stressful it is checking in 70+ kids in the dark-PHEW!! The funniest thing happened that night... we were all gathered around getting ready to pray for dinner and Ashley, one of the helpers, prayed for our meal and at the end said 'And God, we would REALLY appreciate it if the power came back on SOON' and within a matter of SECONDS the lights were back on. Tell me that isn't an answered prayer!
The rest of the week went off without a hitch. Let me be the first to say that participating in this and working so close with all those kids was the most wonderful feeling in the world. Helping kids become closer to Christ was a very touching thing. The sad part is some of those kids' parents only send them there to get a break from them, not because they care about their children furthering their relationship with God... but that doesn't stop the kids from wanting to learn more, and accept Him as their Savior!! I feel truly blessed to have been able to be with over 100+ magnificent children that week. I now know, not that I didn't before, that my family has it SO unbelievably well and I should appreciate everything that we do have! I wanted to take some of those kids home with me and just love them, but unfortunately that can't happen. I can however show them the love of Christ when they come to church Wednesday nights and I help out with our children's program. And if that's all that I am able to do, so be it, but at least I am doing something to make a difference.
We did fun little activities and games all week; we also gave away a Wii at the end of the week to one lucky kiddo. The youth leader Louie and his son Bronze also shaved their heads at the end of the week because they made a deal with all the kids that if there were over 100 kids on the last night, they would do that. Louie decided since he was shaving his head at the end of the week any how, that he would dye his hair a different color every day, it was pretty entertaining needless to say!
Enough of the talking, here are a few pictures from the week and also a youtube.com video that Louie made from numerous footage and pictures. Great job Louie!!
*Don't forget to MUTE the music at the bottom of my blog if you'd like to hear the songs on this video*