Post began July 5, while in Alaska.
My the days have gone by quickly...especially considering how long they are each and every day. It has been another week to watch and see God at work as you are busy working the details out around you as you go. I love how God orchestrates each team...each member having a role in fulfilling His plan.
Chester Park had a team in from California. I knew a family on the team from last summer and so enjoyed catching up with them again! This week again it was so awesome to hear how God brought about just the people who had the open hearts and minds for the people in this neighborhood. They met with a lady who was sitting on her porch during Monday's prayer walk. She had a baby with her. God laid in on the hearts of this team to go above and beyond their call of duty for this family throughout the week. They provided gas cards, baby necessities, and fixed broken bicycles for her children. Because of the physical needs being met, she came out to the park and they were able to sit and talk with her while her children played. An overwhelmed mother was given support and help that was desparately needed. Our God provides!
Government Hill had a team in from Pampa, TX. While the men were out doing service projects on Thursday morning, a lady ran out into the road in front of them and said she needed to go to the hospital. They figured out which one and was able to transport her there. They prayed with her and for her. It was a blessing that they were the ones who had come by, saw her, and took her where she needed to be in order to get the help she needed.
Penland Park had a team who admittedly came in with a plan for the week. After about 5 minutes they had to abandon that plan and readjust to their kids...their needs, their ways of doing things. The kids in Penland have a great need for 1:1 attention. They are starving for loving arms around them, and a safe place in which they can abide. One day there was a child who clung to the van when they were leaving...they had to throw candy from the van window in order to get him away from the vehicle so they could depart. That park can break your heart in a heartbeat! But, nevertheless, God is good!
Fairview Park had a team in from Duluth, GA. This team met and witnessed to over a few days to a couple that had come with their children to play at the park together. The father accepted Jesus and brought his wife to meet the team. She, too, accepted Christ. God's timing over it all is simply amazing! They are just shy of moving to a different state and moving in with the lady's grandmother in NC. The grandmother is saved and has been praying for this couple a long time for them to know and trust in Jesus as Savior.
Willawaw Park had Grace Baptist from GA in all week. Friends of mine. Found encouragement that God had come before them and as they pass on the baton to the next team, that God was preceeding them as well. They saw the older teens in the park caring for the younger ones...faith growing during Bible studies taking place even now before the end of the summer...and knew God had placed them there at this time to see how He was moving in the hearts of the Alaska people.
Standish Park was a brand new location this week. It took a few hours to get things going, but ended up being a wonderful park in which Jesus could move mightily! The kids do not know about God, the Bible, or "churchy" things. They are hungry...physically and spiritually. Thankfully, God is providing more teams to keep on reaching these children for a few more weeks this summer!
And, our 7th park, Lyons Park had a team in helping a Samoan Church for the week with VBS and such. The testimony of this team grabbed me like no other yet this summer. At their park party another church was having a church meal there, too, celebrating their anniversary or something. Apparently sometime during the meal, two men, if not homeless only one step away from being homeless, approached the church meal and was told that they couldn't eat with them but could go and find food with the GraceWorks & Samoan Chruch park party. They were turned away by a church! It tore me up inside...and still does when I think about it again now. What would my church do? What would your church do? Would we be so cold and closed minded to turn away men who needed food to eat and food to think on from God's Word? They were welcomed by the Samoan church and park team...given food and encouragement along their way.
That changed me forever right there. My "Aha!" moment of the summer. May I never forget.