Monday, July 25, 2011

Mission Trip to Philadelphia

Our mission trip to Philadelphia was a huge success! It was neat to watch God working through the lives of our teens. Many prayers were answered and hopefully lives were changed.

The second day we were there we worshiped with the Folsom Church of Christ. Our teens led most of the service. They were nervous about leading the prayers and songs and serving communion, but they sure did a terrific job. We were so proud!

Staring contest with Robert.

Singing a song they sang in Bible class for the whole congregation.

While we were there we helped with 3 organizations, a pregnancy crisis center, Folsom Church of Christ and CEF. The girls and I worked with an organization called CEF, which stands for Child Evangelism Fellowship. CEF sends groups out into parks and neighborhoods to hold day camps for kids. The camps are like an outdoor VBS with singing, games, puppets, crafts, and bible stories. We did two camps each day while we were there, one in the morning and one in afternoon, in two separate locations. The place we went to in the afternoon had the highest crime rate per capita, we were told. We saw a swat team one day close to our location. We really did feel safe the whole time we were there.

On the first two days the CEF people led the camps and taught the Bible lesson. We helped set up, told the neighborhood kids about the camp and helped keep the kids in line. We also helped with the songs and some of us were able to perform in the puppet skits. A couple of our teens learned how to teach the kids their memory verses and were able to teach that portion of the lesson. Then, on the third day, we got to lead the camp. We led singing, taught the memory verse and did a skit. I was very proud of our teens. They were awesome with all the little friends we met. It was neat to see all the kids come back each day bringing other friends with them. They would report to us that they listened to their songs on the CD we had given them and were even able to tell us the memory verse from the day before. I wish we had a program like this in Denison. Then our teens could develop some deeper relationships with the kids.

Listening to the lesson at CEF.

Avery helping Kaila as she teaches the kids the memory verse for the day.

We learned lots of new songs with cool actions.

Avery holding up the memory verse for Kaila again.

"Who's the King of the Jungle? Who? Who?"

Kaila and Zack's break out group.

This picture makes me laugh. It looks like I laid an egg. No worries, it is just my purse.

All the teen leaders, the girls and I before CEF started one day.

Abby holding the memory verse for Zach.

All of the leaders. It was neat to see them all in action. We learned so much from them.

The group that worked with the Folsom church helped them get ready for a VBS, by preparing props, materials, and by canvasing the neighborhoods to spread the word. They also helped organize and clean up areas of the church.

The group that went to the Amnion Pregnancy Crisis Center helped by transforming their previously flooded basement into a mini store where new moms could get items for their babies for a very cheap price. They painted walls, sorted through clothes that were moldy and categorized everything in a professional way. The finished product was impressive.

The last day we were there we went to down town Philly to see the sights. We saw the Liberty Bell, Town Hall, Christ Church, Love Park, and the steps to the Art Museum (where Rocky ran). I was most fascinated by Christ Church where several of the founding fathers worshiped.

Visiting the Liberty Bell.

Our girls are so strong, they can lift the bell.

City Hall - Where the Declaration was signed.

Sitting in the pews at Christ Church.

We stopped to see "The Thinker" on the way to climb the steps of the Art Museum.

Abby ran to this spot and said, "Look, I am a statue!" Ha!

Uncle Ron got to meet us for lunch and our afternoon sight seeing. Sure was good to see him.

On a side note, Uncle Ron hooked us up with staying at his old college dorms which worked out much better than hotel rooms would have. It saved us a lot of money. It was also nice to be able to meet in the lobbies together and enjoy the beautiful campus. Thanks again for making that happen, Ron. We had a great time visiting with you, too!

Our whole group at LOVE Park.

I always love going on mission trips with our teens. Watching them let God use them brings a lot of joy to my heart.

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