Yesterday, a small group worked at Grace doing some more cleaning, and community outreach. Some of the members had much success giving away smoke detectors to the community and even got to share a little (really helps if you speak Spanish or Chinese around here!). The church is almost ready for day camp next week when over 100 kids will be invading the church. :)
More than half of the team went to Coney Island on a sunny, hot Thursday. They started with a briefing by David and Pastor Slava highlighting approaches to evangelism and some helpful resources (e.g., a survey designed to target the substantial Russian population on Coney Island). After dividing into small teams, they set out for several hours of engaging leisure-seekers along the beach and boardwalk.
The kids reported how truly helpful and enlightening this experience was for them, as they returned EXHAUSTED from an afternoon of engaging a huge variety of folks from numerous religions, ages, ethnic groups, and birthplaces to proclaim the Gospel. Everyone took turns "doing the talking" while the others silently prayed, helped to engage the individuals, and/or jotted survey responses. Sometimes they even asked the individuals if they could pray for them.Of course, we all enjoyed some refreshments along the boardwalk (and some enjoyed an occasional amusement or tossed a frisbee on the beach). Boy, were they TIRED when they returned!
After dinner we all got on the subway and headed for Manhattan. Half the group went into Time Square, observed, and came up with ideas to serve and minister people around them. The idea here was to get us to open our eyes to the idea the ministry just doesn't happen on a mission trip, but it happens all around us where ever we go. There are always ways we can serve, minister and share God's love with those around us.
Today we will finish up some work here at Grace and do a couple more community outreaches. There is also a team finishing up some work at E-Free down the road.
Tonight the team will be serving at Grace's SR High Youth Group and then we are hoping to have a great time of worship and debriefing as a team. Please pray for these last few hours as we serve and minister. We need the strength that only the Lord provides.
Early tomorrow morning we will clean the church and pack up to get on the bus. Thanks for all the prayers, blog comments and love.