Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Adult VBS

I'm immensely enjoying my week as we're involved in our third annual Adult VBS. We have chosen to do this somewhat on the order of the January Bible Study, but have opted for June the last 3 years as the weather is more predictable. We break our time frame up into 2 blocks. In the first 40 minutes or so, we have a special feature followed by refreshments and then the Bible study. I'm leading a study of the book of Colossians this year, having studied Ephesians last year and Romans the first year that we did this. On Monday evening we viewed a DVD that was produced by the cousin of one of the members of FBC Bay St. Louis, MS where our church has sent 3 construction teams to assist in rebuilding efforts. The footage showed the magnitude of the destruction as well as some stark contrasting before and after photos. Last night (Tuesday) 7 different trip participants shared their experiences and it was a powerful, moving time as they struggled to express the deep emotions they felt on having a hand in helping people put the pieces of their lives back together again. Tonight, we'll have a very talented singer who is a member of our church give us a concert, and tomorrow we'll wrap up with a study conducted by a chaplain and her husband on dealing with fear and loneliness. If your church hasn't experimented with an Adult VBS format, I'd encourage you to consider doing so. It has been a blessing for us the past 3 years. We've averaged about 90-100 each evening, a pretty good crowd for a mid-summer weeknight activity.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Gulf Coast mission trips

While I haven't had an opportunity to visit extensively with the adults who participated in the most recent construction trip to Bay St. Louis, MS (they just returned last night), our church did have the blessing of hearing from our youth group this evening about their trip to Biloxi. They did an awesome job of sharing God's love and encouragement with those who need hope in a number of different venues. They worked in backyard Bible clubs where at least one youngster made a profession of faith and several others asked probing questions about salvation. They also sang in a detention center, at a soup kitchen, at a number of churches, and even made a surprise visit to put on a program for the volunteers at Bay St. Louis. I wish you could have seen and heard their excitement tonight. Seeing the photos of our predominantly white youth loving on and hugging African-American children in the FEMA trailer communities of Biloxi brought tears to my eyes as I reflected on the fact that the gospel really is color-blind. Great job, youth! Thanks for being the hands and feet of Jesus this week in Mississippi.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Gulf Coast Update

I had to pinch hit as preacher this past Sunday in both morning services and again on Sunday night as more than 80 of our congregation are gone this week to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Our pastor is leading the third adult construction mission team to Bay St. Louis. 26 of our adults gave up vacation time to help the folks in Bay St. Louis and Waveland get back into their homes. They have been doing painting, electrical work, sheetrocking, and removing fallen trees.

At the same time, 43 of our youth and 14 adult sponsors have been working in Biloxi, conducting backyard Bible clubs in FEMA trailer communities as well as doing a large number of concerts. They are singing in area churches, in a county youth detention facility, and in a soup kitchen in Memphis on their way home. They also traveled over to Bay St. Louis one evening to do an impromptu concert for the 250+ volunteers who are serving there this week. We received word this morning of one decision to trust Christ in one of the backyard Bible clubs and at least 4 other boys who had serious questions and sat and dialogued with youth and adult leaders about their spiritual condition.

My prayers go with those of you traveling to Greensboro for the SBC annual meeting this next week. I'd love to be able to sit and visit with many fellow bloggers and trust that the fellowship will be sweet, the gathering not too politically charged, and that some positive changes will be forthcoming. Blessings on you!