Saturday, July 14, 2012

NBC in the Park: Day 1

"It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory;
it was Your right hand, Your arm, and the light of Your face,
for You loved them."   Psalm 44:3

July 2, 2012
Park day!  The day we've been waiting for since October of last year when we from Northside Baptist Church (NBC) committed to coming to Alaska.  I spend some time at our park during the past two weeks so that I could know some names and have an idea of what worked and didn't work so well before leading my team into their newest adventure.  It was time well spent and I was excited, yet a little nervous at the same time.
Going into the park as a team leader brought an entire new dimension to our time there for me.  It's been two years since I've been on a team and things have changed since then.  For the better, the ministry has not only grown, but has evolved as we have discovered what works, what thrives, and what needed to be readjusted along the way.  Alaska people tend to be night owls in the summer, which leads to late sleepers.  We have adjusted our schedule accordingly and have found more opportunities in the evenings to meet and greet people than in the mornings.  God is leading, His people are listening, and the blessings are overflowing!
As for our first day in the park, we had a couple of kids in the park when we arrived.  After arriving, we prayed together before unloading our gear for the afternoon.  It was a wonderful way to begin our ministry there, inviting the Holy Spirit to guide and lead us as we were there to serve in God's name and for His glory.
After unloading and going over some little last minute details, the team split into groups of two and went walking the streets of the neighborhood to invite children to the park and to be a visual reminder to those who came before that we were back again for a week of fun with them.
It worked!  I found myself and one other team member in the park with those couple of kids and then the masses came.  From every direction they came.  It was awesome to stand there and watch!  Familiar faces and new faces were all coming to hear about Jesus!  Of course, they might not have known that in the beginning, but they knew there was lunch and people here to play with for a few hours...that was enough to draw them in and once here, Jesus was shared.
Overall, we had 33 children in the park on our first afternoon.  Add to that, 4 adult divine appointments that ended up being awesome in and of themselves.  A child's mom was met for the first time because of the relationship developed over time with the child in the park every afternoon.  An elderly lady was given the message of the Gospel all because she chose to walk through the park today.  A man was offered hope through Jesus.  And, another mom was encouraged by our team host.
I had the blessing of being one of two ladies from our team to go and meet and pray with the child's mom mentioned above.  When our team host and one of our men had walked to a house to check on a service project for later on in the week, he heard a tapping noise coming from a house they were walking by at the moment.  He recognized the girl from the park and smiled and waved.  He told me later that something just made him stop after a step or two and go back to see if Mom was home.  She was and they began talking.  She quickly broke down into tears and agreed that it would be okay for a couple of ladies to come back and continue talking with her.  Our host came to me and asked if I and another lady would go and spend some time with her.  We walked down and found a 20 something woman with a 3 month old in addition to her daughter we had met in the park.  She welcomed us right in to sit in some chairs she had in her small front yard area.  We introduced ourselves and asked her a few ice breaker type questions.  She opened up freely and we chatted for about an hour.  It was only minutes into the conversation when she broke down into tears and told us that just that morning she had prayed to God for good people to come into her life.  A few hours later, she had us sitting with her, talking with her, encouraging her, and praying for her, with a promise to keep on checking in with her throughout the week.  It was such a blessing to be used by God to answer someone's prayer!
Not too shabby of a start for our first day!  God blessed them and us with a great day, indeed!
We went back into the park that evening after dinner for a prayer walk through the neighborhood.  Some members of our team had a chance to speak truth and encouragement into some teenagers lives as we blew up and gave out animal balloons.  God divine appointments that only He could have orchestrated were again in store for us as the evening unfolded.
He is so good!

No comments:

Post a Comment