Well, I've just finished our last day of ministry at New Beginnings Are Possible. I'm sad to be leaving all my friends there behind, but excited for what the rest of project holds!
I started the week off by staying home with a cold for two days. This was better than it sounds, as the long weekend gave me time to recharge and prepare for the other three days. I felt bad about leaving my team, especially as we would be working with the kids all day today. But the service at Broken Chain actually addressed this, talking about how God has a purpose for us wherever He's put us in life. It was humbling to see that I wasn't needed for our ministry, but that God has been using me anyway. In the meantime, I found other ways to contribute. Most of Monday was spent getting to a clinic to verify that I didn't have strep throat; on Tuesday I spent a lot of time in prayer for everyone on project and cleaned our floor and the social lounge. By Tuesday night, I felt like the last two days had been well-spent and eager to return to ministry, whereas on Sunday night I had been apprehensive about the week at New Beginnings.
We'd prepared a new schedule for the week; most of the mornings were taken up by group time, where we split the kids up by age and gender and had them spend half an hour at stations: music, reading (the Chronicles of Narnia), board games, and math. I, of course, got to do the math station. (It somehow got done the days I was at home) This mostly consisted of either having them perform math using the numbers on cards I dealt them to make certain numbers, or playing "Around the World"--kids would answer basic math questions to make their way around a circle of chairs. This one was pretty intense and it was nice to see them get into it--especially when staffers decided to compete against the kids, and often lost. (Even I lost once to a kid who knew 7 x 5 before I could even start processing it)
The rest of the day was taken up by the Bible lesson, Jeopardy, and just playing with the kids. I led the older boys' Bible lesson like at Hopewell in much the same discussion-based format. Once again, some of them were more into the gospel than others, but I think I delivered it pretty well (the last three days are the most important) and I'll be praying that God would grow the seeds I planted. Due to my cold combined with allergies I mostly stayed inside, playing lots of cards and air hockey during free time.
The ending of today was a bit different. After lunch an impromptu talent show happened--and "happened" is the best description of how spontaneously it seemed to come together. The younger girls had apparently been practicing a sond and dance routine, after which they started chanted staff and volunteers' names to make them get up on the stage and do something. (Luckily they never chanted for me) It was entertaining, and all their excitement was contagious. At the end of the day it was really hard to say goodbye; we all got mobbed and hugged repeatedly. We hope to see the kids again sometime before heaven!
Besides New Beginnings, things have been pretty good this week. After a power outage kept us from having our weekly meeting at Genesis Church last week, we returned there this week. Technically, things went much better; my computer can't connect to their projectors, but I used it along with the media computer to keep track of slides so I knew what I was doing. I also finally gave my testimony at the meeting, which I'm told went quite well! (I didn't trust my judgment on that)
Last night we finally played Telephone Pictionary again, for the first time in weeks. It was tons of fun as usual and it was great to just hang out with everyone, which our ministry schedule made it hard to do. I'm feeling pretty much recovered from the cold today, in time for either roller skating or laser tag tonight (our overly secretive social team hasn't revealed it yet). Tomorrow we're helping with a barbecue outreach COAH is doing, and next week we're finally going to God's Kidz in the Hood to help with a Bible study and mentoring! Be praying that this weekend would be restful for our team, and that God would give us strength and courage for our last two weeks of ministry.
Composed ~4:45 PM, Friday, July 16th