Can I just say, We serve the most amazing, awe inspiring God! We ask for opportunities and He gives them in abundance.
Yesterday, we continued with our work at Grace and E-Free, plus sent a group to Coney Island for the day to do surveys. At Grace, much work has been done to get ready for the day camp which starts here next week when school finally lets out. The kids are working hard and having fun doing it. The staff here at Grace is grateful for all the help.
At E-Free, a team finished up plastering the places on the walls and ceilings that were in need of repair and the painting the iron fence out front. When they were finished they had some time getting to know the grounds keeper and his 2 young girls before dinner. They were able to share with him and his girls, pray for him and his difficult situation, and shower his little girls with some "girly" attention. They braided the girls hair and put make-up on them. This pleased their daddy very much and the girls were thrilled to look so pretty. Please keep this gentleman and his girls in your prayers as life is very hard for them right now.
At E-Free there were also stories of people stopping to thank the kids for working on the church to fix it up. There were two young girls who were also inspired to also volunteer to help, to which they quickly found something for them to do. The team is making quite a stir in the neighborhood.
The Coney Island group had a challenging, but fruitful time. Everyone was instructed on how to do the surveys by Pastor Slava. He explained the "do's and don'ts" and informed them of the kind of people they would meet. He's very gifted in this form of cold evangelism. I don't think many of them were comfortable with this approach, but to everyone's credit, they all tried. They were faithful to try. :) There was a lot of rejection, but eventually several of them had a good experience.
They reported to have talked to about 14 people yesterday. One leader had the opportunity to share the gospel 5 times and said, "It never felt so right to share the gospel!" They were all impressed with Pastor Slava and how persisitant and happy he was to engage each person. Overall, even with the tough approach, all grew in some way as they stepped out into new territory and were stretched as they trusted God.
In the evening, half the group went over to Grace and ran their JR High Youth Group. They all had a great time serving the kids. When they got back, we had a wonderful time of worship where the spirit of God really moved. Everyone was praying for people they had met and talked to so far during the trip, which then moved into praying for each other and more worship.
Debriefing was full of wonderful stories of how God moved during the day. It's just so wonderful and amazing to hear all the kids share what they experienced, saw, said, did and what God did through them. Every debriefing just gives us more fuel for the next day to go out there and do it again, try something new and press on.
We are so grateful for all of your prayers. We feel them and know you are praying. Please keep remembering to pray. Tonight the group has free time and will be going to Broadway and a Mets game. It'll be good for them to take a small break and come back tomorrow strong. Pray for safety, protection, continued opportunities (even when we are not technically "ministering"), good sleep, that God would continue to move in our hearts and move through us, and growth would be evident. Keep the leaders in prayer as they have the hard job of keeping everyone accounted for and safe. We need wisdom and discernment.