Well, we're at our last ministry site of project (not at the moment). After a wild, five-week ride, we're doing ministry at Tabernacle Covenant Baptist Church, Hopewell's sister church (you can see Hopewell from in front of it; it's easy to see why they're sister churches). It's not exactly a VBS, which is a reliefafter all that we've done in the way of VBSes; we're basically just singing some songs with the kids and hanging out with them. The woman running the program, Marcelene, had been attempting to run things herself, and our goal is largely just to give the kids one-on-one attention.
The church is pretty cool; it's in a cool semi-old building, with a big open sanctuary and library above and a fellowship hall connected with a gym in the basement where we spend our time. Mostly we read with them, play basketball, or play various board/card games, along with some songs and getting to know each other, which is as close to a VBS as it gets (they are running an evening VBS later this summer, so I don't feel too bad about leaving it out).
There are fewer kids this week than at New Beginnings or Hopewell; apparently some of the kids went to Hopewell's program, but I don't remember any names or faces. There is a 7-year-old named Ronald, which is really weird for me after New Beginnings. For reading time today, a boy named Dallas took a KJV Bible and began reading Isaiah, which I thought was awesome. (Apparently he didn't get too far after it talked about donkeys in verse 1:3) I've been playing Mancala, Connect 4, card games, and Monopoly with the kids, which is tons of fun as well. I'm certainly enjoying my time at Tabernacle, but be praying that I wouldn't get too comfortable and would really be driven to engage with the kids and have quality time with them as a light for Christ.
Besides Tabernacle, which is just in the mornings, today I went to the condo of some of our staff, which they are hoping to sell. We're helping out by giving it a new paint job and flooring. I applied two coats of eggshell paint to the bedroom by roller, which was tons of fun and very relaxing (especially with music blasting from the kitchen). Luckily I wore a white shirt today, so it's pretty much fine. Afterward, we just hung out a bit and played card games before returning. I prayed that God would restore my joy in obeying Him and fill me back up after feeling somewhat dry the past few weeks, and this week is definitely turning out to be an answer to prayer. Tomorrow we get going on the floor!
We went deeper on Philippians last night in action group, focusing on 2:1-11 and 3:12-4:1. I love Bible discussions! We also did some serious debating on the key verse of the book, which I maintain is 3:8; the "surpassing greatness" of knowing Christ makes sense of (and possible) everything else in the book! After action group some kind of grandfatherly teaching by Tim led to us constructing a family tree for project, as my floor did last year. Tim is two generations over everyone else (except me and his 'daughter', Amberham, the female version of Abraham), Bryan and Cheryl had staffer Mark Rygh as a kid like in the poverty simulation, and I adopted/begat myself. We then unveiled it to the ladies, which was...entertaining.
Somewhat spontaneously, we then got into a conversation on Spiritual gifts and our experience with them. We started on speaking on tongues, kind of the big one due to the charismatic movements of last century, but also got into other ones. I love deep theological conversations like that, and I wish we had more nights like last night. Hope Community Church, my college church, did a sermon on Spiritual gifts last year, which helped me participate. I think I have the Spiritual gift of knowledge, and I tried to put it to use by compiling a list of the gifts mentioned in scripture from Hope CC's sermon, which I then printed and gave to everyone. Note: I would love to have conversations with you, my faithful readers on this subject as well. E-mail me or comment on this post on your thoughts on or experiences with Spiritual gifts!
Tonight we had a teaching session on Spiritual multiplication and discipleship. I've been discipled the past two years of Cru and this summer, but I'm not sure how they'll handle it next year now that my old Bible study is no more and my friends are small group leaders. I think I feel called to disciple someone myself; be praying that if it's God's will, that He would send someone my way!
Now I'm sitting on the floor of the chapel making slides for the worship team. Project has never been better, but it's starting to hit me that I'm going home in less than two weeks. I'm starting to think about ways I can apply everything God is teaching me to continue His kingdom work back at home and on campus this fall.
Composed ~8:30 PM, Tuesday, July 27th
The Wicked Problems of Jails and Prisons
6 hours ago