We stepped out of the cool, air conditioned car, into the heat of the day. As we grabbed our backpacks out of the trunk, I fought the urge to be nervous. This is going to be a hectic 2 weeks, I thought reluctantly. How am I going to find the time for all my schoolwork? I tried not to get overwhelmed as I thought of everything I needed to do. After all, this was where God had us. Somehow, He would give us the strength we needed to serve well for His glory.
We walked into the Community Center. Sunlight streamed in through one window. Quickly, we turned on the high ceiling fans to get the air flowing. Then, we began setting up everything for the kid’s club.
I looked at my watch. About 15 minutes till 1:00PM.
“So, I set everything up with the apartment complex.” Pastor Mark’s voice interrupted my thoughts. “They were excited about the 5-day clubs. They made these flyers to advertise it, and they said they sent out a group email as well. Hopefully kids will show up—but just in case, we should probably walk around and see if we can hand out any more flyers.”
Following his advice, we split into groups of two and walked around the complex. Besides an occasional car driving by, everything was oddly silent. Everyone’s probably staying inside on such a hot day like this, I thought.
We met back a little before 1:00. Time ticked on…no kids.
Once again, I fought the urge to question God’s plan. Why would you bring us here, God, only to waste our time? We don’t have any time to waste! As time went on, the reality that we had no club finally set in. It was time to experiment. Apparently God had other plans for us.
Looking around, there was only one thing to do. Outside the Community center, there was a pool. Despite the hot day, there were just a few kids outside playing. However, in our minds, a few was better than none! At that moment, all our presuppositions and expectations for the clubs went out the window as we embraced God’s alternative path for what it was. We grabbed popsicles out of the freezer, opened the door, and went outside.
“Hi, would it be okay if we gave your kids some popsicles?” Josie called out across the pool. With that question, we launched into our week long, unplanned, spontaneous, SPIRIT-LED 5-day club. It would be unexpected and new every single day. It would be unconventional. I mean, who’s ever done a 5-day club in the pool? And yet, despite all this, it would be rewarding. Little did we know the opportunities God would give and the seeds we would be able to plant.
– AGY Entry #2 –
Well…now that I’ve set the scene for you a bit, let me share more about what’s been going on in the Growth Year!! (If you want to read all the DETAILS about this program, click HERE to read my intro post!) Want to hear all my updates? Sign up for my email list below:
So, our first official day was July 15. After just a week of settling into seminars with the local pastors, Bible college, and more, our team of 12 was launched into 2 hectic weeks of 5-day clubs! Overall, we ran 12 clubs during that 2 weeks (we were split into smaller teams). It was super crazy, but also super rewarding!
Just a little bit more about our “Pool” 5-day club…
As I said, it was very unconventional. Every day there were brand new kids playing in the pool, and every day we would go out, offer them popsicles, and ask to tell them a story. The answer was always yes, and we were able to share the Wordless Book (a method of sharing the Gospel) each time! A lot of the kids had never gone to church, or at least weren’t familiar with the Gospel message. It was such a blessing to just hang out with the kids each day even though our time was so short. A lot of them asked REALLY good questions—things like “Who made God?” and “Why is there racism in the world?” Tough questions to answer. Yet God gave us the words we needed in every moment.
Though this club was not anything like what I was expecting, God intended it to be this way, and it was good. I believe that God sometimes changes our plans just to see how much we’re willing to rely on Him and trust Him. That’s not to say it wasn’t a struggle at times. Each day, I would hope that the kids from the previous day would come back. It was a struggle to trust that we weren’t just wasting our time. Yet, I realize now that those doubts that came into my head were a lie. Looking back, I know God used us to plant seeds in these kid’s lives. He also taught us so many things through this experience. It is definitely something I will never forget!
Now, the 5-day clubs have been over for a few weeks, and we’ve been focusing solely on our studies of God’s word. This has been intense in a totally different way. It’s almost like now, I have to fight to not let everything become a “to-do list.” Do you know what I mean? I start to get in school mode—doing things just to check it off my list. But when I have that mindset, I’m forgetting why I am doing this whole program in the first place! Which is totally STUPID! It is a privilege to be able to learn the things I’m learning. And I AM learning a lot. So, please pray about for me and the other students, that we would have grateful attitudes, and that we wouldn’t waste this precious time that we have.
That’s it for today…if you’ve made it this far, thanks for listening! Don’t forget to sign up for my email list to receive updates right to your inbox!