Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Beautiful Day in the Ozarks

Heavy rains and lightning storms don't make for comfortable camping and canoeing, but they sure do provide the context for God to build character and a sense of community for those along for the ride. Last weekend seven volunteers, 10 kids, and three Latino parents braved the elements and participated in the first annual float trip for our Leaders-in-Training program. Most of the kids and adults who were on the trip had never been camping before, not to mention canoeing.

Our group went to the Northfork River in southern Missouri for the Friday through Sunday event. The parents who attended with their children found the experience not only personally exhilarating, but also a unique opportunity to invest and bond with their children. The numbers worked out so that each kid was paired with an adult for the canoeing, which lasted all day Saturday. Conversations about life, Jesus and anything fun abounded in the canoes, the campsites, and the cars. Relationships went deeper than before between kids and adults.

With novice canoe-ers, there were plenty of tips and splashes and near disasters (in the best sense of the word). The challenges we faced together as a group in this unfamiliar territory made for a fitting end to our pilot year of Leaders-In-Training, a program where character development is emphasized as critical to becoming an effective leader. On Sunday morning at about 2:30 a.m. the storm hit and didn't let up until about 6:30. Our beleaguered group finally came alive about 7:30 and reluctantly emerged from their tents to the tackle the inevitable and unenviable task of tearing down a wet campsite in the rain; all part of God's character-building plan for our group. It was a beautiful day in the Ozarks!

In other news:
  • We're excited to announce that Megan McDermott has joined our staff as the full-time director of Kids Adelante!  A generous donor is matching a portion of contributions made to support her ministry through the first 12 months at a ratio of 3:2. 
  • Two individuals attended the Worship Celebration for the first time on Sunday evening. Also, six discipleship participants received certificates for completing the 13-study discipleship course about the basics of the Christian Faith.
  • A group of 12 young adults from Shoal Creek Community Church are spending three days with us this week. They're doing work projects around our facility during the mornings and hosting a VBS for neighborhood kids in a local park in the evenings. About 40 kids went last evening and enjoyed the activities including songs, a skit, and a story.
  • Buy Royal’s tickets to the June 30th game and support Mission Adelante! When you purchase through the "buy tickets" link below, a portion of the proceeds will go to help support Megan McDermott's staff role as our Kids Adelante Director!

Prayer needs:

  • Pray for evening VBS being held this week and next to attract new kids from the neighborhood and to reinforce our relationships with kids that already come to Thursday evening outreach Bible studies.
  • Staff members and volunteers have engaged in spiritual conversations with numerous adult English students already during the first two weeks of the summer trimester! We praise God for the students' openness because our purpose is not only to teach English, but also to share our faith. Please pray that any past negative experiences that these individuals may have had with churches won't hinder their exploration of the claims of Christ.
  • Please pray for a family in our faith community in which the husband and wife are experiencing marital difficulties and the son is displaying threatening behavior.

Current needs:

  • Three LCD (flat screen) computer monitors
  • Diapers sizes 4, 5, and 6 to stock the Resource Center

Important upcoming dates:

  • June 29: Spanish class cancelled.
  • July 1-4: Midterm break. The Mission Adelante office will be closed and there will be no activities on Thursday. **Monday morning English class will continue uninterrupted.**

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