Wednesday, July 17, 2013

AK 2013: How can it be Thursday already???

This is what God the Lord says-
the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out,
who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it,
who gives breath to its people,
and life to those who walk on it:
“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,
to open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison
and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
Isaiah 42:5-7
The week has gone by so quickly!  It has been so good so far...God has blessed us with an amazing group of kids to work with and two blessings in our park hosts!
This morning, we had our community service project.  Our project came about because of some of the adults who have been coming to our park's community park parties every Wednesday.  They live in low income housing not too far from our park.  These people have become dear friends with our park hosts, and they wanted to bless them in some fashion.  We used GraceBags funds to purchase toiletry items for 20 people.  It was only a drop in a bucket, but it was something.
We set up an assembly area and dropped the items inside of bags.  We added tracts, a GraceWorks flyer, and gave them some Bibles and kids' activity books and coloring crayons as well for their common area.
Loaded up in the van with directions in hand, we set off to deliver 10 bags to both of their locations.  We met the nicest lady who works as their manager.  We chatted with her for about 15 or so minutes about their organization and how it functions.  I asked her if we could pray with her before we left.  She said she didn't mind, but she would have to decline due to stipulations placed by other people.  We understood...so, we prayed in our van for her and the organization before we left our parking spot.
We were greeted by another wonderfully nice lady at the second location, the one by our park.  We dropped off our items and chatted with her for awhile before heading back to the church.
It was a great start to our day!
This afternoon in the park, we had a smaller crowd.  It sometimes happens this way when your park party is the evening prior.  I was exhausted...mentally and physically.  I spent the beginning of our park time on a bench chatting with my little friend D.  He is such a ray of sunshine.  My heart has been stolen by his sweet spirit and bright blue eyes.  He is the park's resident policeman.  He "arrests" you on a regular basis for standing or sitting or smiling or whatever it is that you are doing when he finds you.  The jail is a post of his choosing across the park.  He moves you at a moment's notice.  He was always nice enough to me to put me  in jail on a post that was in the sunshine.  This particular day, D was eating a bbq sandwich (looked alot like a McRib).  He and I chatted away about a lot of things while he sat and ate his "sammich".  His smile and laugh makes my heart sing and made me feel so much better on the inside.  Every once in awhile it is good to just sit back and enjoy the company of another person.
As I sat there with D, I was also able to watch more of what all was going on in the park.  Our team amazes me.  Their energy, their spirit, their level of commitment...it blesses me to no end!  When I was struggling, they stood in the gap...they allowed me to rest in the moment on that bench with D.  One of our hosts asked me later if I was okay.  I said I was exhausted and a little sad that the week was coming to an end.  I would and will be okay...eventually.
P1180130Today the treat for listening to the Bible lesson was cookies.  Once again at Bible time, everyone in the park come over to the tarp.  Most were even more quiet today.  Of course, there were less of them today, so maybe it just seemed that way.  :)  My heart was blessed to see the "teacher" for the day working with our young people on the team put on a skit about Joseph and his brothers.  The kids seemed to really enjoy the performance.  Better yet, the message of forgiveness and mercy is one that each and every one of us needs to hear over and over and over again.  There is so much pain in these children's lives...so much they will one day have to forgive someone for as they grow in their relationship with God.  It was a fitting message for our week.
P1180143As for other things that went on, lots of teeter-tottering, Dead Fish on the slide, eating, drawing, beading...and a big hit craft of decorating flip flops.  Someone had donated a box of flip flops to our craft room.  I found a container of material already in strips, so we made flops of many colors instead of coats of many colors to go along with our Bible story time.  We had everyone choosing new flops and most of the girls were tying the strips of material onto theirs.  Loads of joy all around.  I am so thankful God opened the door for us to provide something new for these kids!
We were free after dinner, so we chose to go up to FlatTop again as a group to take the paved pathway.  It was a beautiful evening...and the mosquitoes were even that bad.  Only a few thousand for each of us instead of a million per person.  :)  It was an enjoyable time as a team to be up above the city in which we were serving, enjoying the sunset over the water beyond the city limits.
We ran by a JoAnn's for more parachute cord for the craft tomorrow and looked around for some moose as we made our way back to the church.  We never saw a moose when we were out looking for one, but they came to us at the church which is just as much fun.
I am blessed and feeling refreshed after an evening spent out and about with my team.
God provides what we need exactly when we need it...
God is God and He is good!

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