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Archive for the ‘volunteers’ Category

Today we held a Thanksgiving “Turkey Gobble” in our ministry apartment. Our final count was 61 kids and about 15 volunteers in a two bedroom apartment. And we only own 45 chairs…you can imagine what eating a Thanksgiving meal in that crowd was like! Anyway, we had a great day. Besides many of our regular awesome volunteers, my wonderful family volunteered and really helped make the day happen. Of course, Nora and Lydia were there too- which added to the fun and the work!

As the kids arrived, Miss Brandy provided them with a couple of Thanksgiving coloring sheets and a Thanksgiving BINGO card.

They colored for a few minutes and then we started serving the food which Darrell and his sister, Paula had cooked for us: turkey, jello with whipped cream, a roll. Added to the plate was some yummy corn, “cooked” by Lydia.

 

I told you she was a chef!

In addition, we had a delicious green bean casserole which Kristen had made for us (I wanted some of that so bad!) For beverages, we had ice water (my contribution, being the cook that I am!) and lemonade made by my niece Staci and Nora.

After we ate for a few minutes, Miss Brandy led us in a couple of fun rounds of Thanksgiving BINGO, assisted by Miss Julie. We were so crowded, they had to lead the game from the hallway and winners had to meet Miss Brandy in the bathroom to receive their prizes!

Next we sang this unit’s theme song (having nothing to do with Thanksgiving- but the kids love it)- “Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho.”

Finally, I led the kids in a Scripture verse for the day, which Amanda had printed off for us and put at each child’s plate:

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. Psalm 118:1

First, of course, we had to sing our MOST FAVORITE song- “This is My Bible.” It’s not quite the same without Mr. Jason’s electric guitar accompaniment- but the kids sang at the top of their lungs anyway.

After a short closing prayer, the kids were out the door to be handed a Thanksgiving cupcake and we quickly shut and locked it so we could clean up.

What fun we had!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Over 6,ooo volunteers from area churches are serving throughout Atlanta in their local communities this weekend. The end result will be cleaned up yards of senior citizens, food pantries and clothes closets organized and stocked, public school teachers blessed with thank-you gifts, visits made to nursing homes and donated furniture will be delivered to families in need.

In our case, folks from Roswell United Methodist Church and Perimeter Church made sure that the love of God was demonstrated face-to-face and hands-on during a fun Community Block Party we hosted in our ministry complex. Here are a few pictures of all the fun:

 

 

Click on this link Unite to see a video highlighting service opportunities through the ministry of Unite.

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Check out our latest newsletter here.

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Here’s what I’m working on right now:

Concepts 21 Kids Club (see Square Peg Ministries tab above)- this is the last week of Superbook Olympics. We’ve been studying the book of Mark. We’re only going to finish through Chapter 5. However, we did learn a lot of Bible stories and where to find them. Most importantly, we learned how kids can tap into the same Jesus of the Bible stories to help in their own everyday lives. Tomorrow, we’re going to end this season with ice cream sundaes. Yum!

Royal Family Kids Camp– the three of us who are starting the Cherokee County camp next summer are e-mailing back and forth with follow-up details from our meeting last week. We’re working towards an Open House/Informational Reception next month for folks we hope will be interested in joining this ministry next year.

M&M Puppeteers’ 20th Anniversary Reunion/Performance: It’s hard to believe we’ve been in ministry for 20 years- but we’ve got the videos and the hairstyles to prove it! We’re planning to do an anniversary performance at the Atlanta Puppet Festival next month. Sooo, we’ve been meeting and planning for two weeks already. Working practices begin next Tuesday. Seven more weeks to go!! We’ve identified approximately 75+ people who have served on the puppet team through the years!

N. GA Church of God Children’s Leaders’ Committee: Since I fulfilled my 12 years of service on the national team, the local group asked me to join them to help put on the annual North Georgia conference. I am helping find and contact exhibitors for the conference. We’re beginning to get some response. However, the event is only 5 weeks away- so we’re hoping and praying for the best.

Atlanta Puppet Festival: I mentioned the M&M Puppeteers performance- but on top of that, there’s an entire festival to put together! We’re expecting 700 people. This year we’re hosting it at Crabapple First Baptist Church. The festival is an exciting ministry training event- but it’s a lot of work. However, the benefits of rubbing shoulders with like-minded people and the resources we receive make it worth the effort.

Square Peg Ministries: putting together an effective board to help govern the direction of the ministry. ‘Nuf said on that one. Getting out our newsletter with details about fall: school-year Kids Club format begins, middle school Bible Study and activities, we’re starting a new Hispanic puppet team, Homework Help/Tutoring begins after Labor Day, Open House/Sign Ups for our ministry programs. Getting our Compassion In Action project together. It’s a bunch of stuff to think about and do!

Summerfest/Mobile, AL: I’ll be teaching at this one day ministry training event. However, I’m driving to it- so it becomes at least a two day event. And I’ve got to prepare my workshops pretty soon. It’s next week!

Camp Rocks (see tab above): I know it’s done, but I’ve still got thank yous to get out. No small task!

Trying to keep up a blog: mixed results! Yikes!!!

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Today we kicked off our summer program, Superbook Olympics, at the apartment complex where we hold our weekly outreach ministries. We had approximately 35 elementary kids, 3 middle school assistants and 5 adults. It was really, really fun; even though we were outside and the weather got a little threatening! The kids were excited by the new summer format: snacks when they arrive, fun team time to review the questions and answers that are part of the upcoming competition; Bible trivia questions, funny physical challenges and prizes. Today, though, the highlight was the balloon launch. Each child received a balloon with a card attached on which they wrote their names. It looked like this: 

                             balloon-tag.jpg

Well, lo and behold, I have already gotten an e-mail from someone who found a balloon today at her home approximately 25 miles away! Our little girl, Danelli, who launched the balloon, will receive 100 points for her Superbook team next week. Will she be excited! Here’s a glimpse of all the excitement!

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Yikes, these last couple of days have been crazy. Step into the whirlwind:

Sunday 

Monday: can’t remember it….Oh yeah, it was Memorial Day.

Tuesday morning: worked like crazy on PreCamp Staff Training stuff (see
Camp Rocks tab, above.) There is a lot of detail in a week long camp and the staff training is a big indicator of our success in organization and creativity for the week. In this year, particularly, I am walking by faith, not by sight!

afternoon: Square Peg meeting (see Square Peg Ministries tab, above); for a little-bitty organization, we sure do have lots to decide on, figure out and talk through. Jason was not feeling well during the meeting.

evening: fun celebration dinner for our Upward Basketball and Cheerleading commissioners. I know the season has been done for 13 weeks- but it was the best we could do! Thanks to our anonymous donor who made our get-together possible! We ate at California Pizza Kitchen- loved it!

Wednesday morning: worked like crazy again on PreCamp Staff Training stuff

lunch: great lunch meeting at Roswell United Methodist Church and with Unite! folks. Great panel discussion about the ministry, outreach possibilities and responsibilities regarding immigrants. I personally was very blessed by rubbing shoulders with people doing similar work as Square Peg is doing. More about this in a future blog.

afternoon: I was in the Twilight Zone. More about this in a future blog.

evening: last (678) middle school outing for me at Restoration Church of God. I was late (see Twilight Zone, above). We ate at Cici’s Pizza for supper. Went to Startime Entertainment and actually had a very fun time. We had been assigned an event host who led us in team competition in mini-golf, Daytona 500, skeeball contest, basketball shoot-out and then we all got to ride the go-karts- twice. Plus we had lots of points left on our game cards and the kids got to pick out a bunch of little plastic toys at the prize counter. For a kind of run-down event facility that is pretty uneven in its service and facility upkeep- we actually had a really good time. Way to go Startime!

Later: back to church for a short time of praise and worship, discussion and prayer in our (678) room for the last time ever. It was kind of sad. I have had the best (678) leaders for the past 5 years. Many thanks and lots of heartfelt love to Jen and Ed and Miss Staci. I love you.

Even later: one last moment of doodoodoodoo (that’s supposed to indicate the final credits of my Twilight Zone experience that day.)

Thursday (today): this is why I felt like I’ve been run through a wringer. Morning: shopping for Kids Club supplies. On the phone (like crazy); trying to touch base with folks I am expecting and hoping will be at the PreCamp Staff Training this weekend. Lots of long but good conversations. Noon: finally get to our ministry apartment noon to meet Kristen. She and I spend the next two and a half hours setting up, cleaning and running around (like crazy)- getting ready for our Kids Club (elementary ministry) and Mealtime  (middle school ministry.)

3:30-7:30 PM Kids Club (about 30 kids & 6 leaders jammed into one and a half  small rooms with no A/C in one of the rooms) Take elementary kids home (Jason and Kristen), pick up middle school kids (all of us.) Take middle schoolers to Cici’s Pizza- wasn’t I just here yesterday with another group of middle schoolers? Yes, and this is not even the Twilight Zone anymore! Eat supper and then have a “planning meeting” with our kids about upcoming summer events. Yikes! Can I tell you that Hispanic apartment boys have an EXTREMELY difficult time focusing on anything, much less a meeting on the sidewalk outside Cici’s Pizza??  Finally get the middle schoolers home. I get home at last.

Later: work on PreCamp Staff training stuff like crazy. I am excited about this year’s vision and opportunity for camp. It will be a life-changing week- guaranteed. God has given me a full heart about this year’s ministry. It’s just hard to get busy adults on board. However, God has never let me down- not one time- about staff or finances regarding camp. A lot of times, it is right to the last minute before I see the provision. But guess what, that’s when I needed it anyway- so I just thank Him for already having a full supply available for us at Camp Rocks this summer.

Midnite: Realized I have got to write in my blog. So I did!

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A couple of weeks ago in this blog, I said I would write some details about Square Peg Ministries (see tab above.) Well, this is the last week of Homework Help for this school year- so let me talk about that for a bit.

Our team works in an apartment complex 99% comprised of Mexican immigrants and their children. Because of the language barrier, parents; good ones, concerned ones, I-really-love-my-kids ones; cannot help even their first grade children with their homework. So, on Tuesday afternoons, every week that school is in, our little band of “tutors” sits down with approximately 20 grades K-5th kids and help them achieve a little more success in school than they probably could have on their own.

It’s amazing the amount of work these kids have in their homework packets! Kindergartners, with approximately a dozen pages per week. Even in that grade, they are writing simple stories, subtracting with two digit numbers, learning about vowels and blends. Much more advanced than the work I did in kindergarten. Back in the dark ages when my kindergarten teacher puts stars on our classroom chart for knowing how to tie our shoes, recite our phone numbers and knowing our addresses. Fast forward to my own kids- and I clearly remember kindergarten work to be one alphabet letter per week.

But these kids have to really work. Accomplishing assignments that I consider to be one or two grade levels above where it seems their brains can connect- and then for most of them, doing their work through two languages- first Spanish and then English.

Anyway, we can tell, even with the language barrier that parents are very appreciative and kids are getting more work completed than their parents could have helped them with.

We thank God for again showing Himself faithful in the details of this part of our ministry: We have an apartment right in the midst of the need- kids just walk over! Adults giving an hour and a half on this day, plus the drive through traffic, to work with kids who have already been in school all day! But most of all, that God has given us this little “fishing pond” called Homework Help in which we can make relationships with kids. Out of those relationships, we pray for the ability to connect them with Jesus through our other programs, ministry opportunities and ultimately the trust we build between us through just helping them get that homework done!

Here are a few pictures of some of our leaders and kids. See you next school year!

hugojackelynjosekarenjulian051507.jpg          esperanzajosejuliantorikarensergiorosa051507.jpg        rosa051507.jpg 

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