I don't even know if I can talk about all that happened last week, but one thing I can say is that God is good. And what a privilege to get to go and love on kids in the sweet name of Jesus! I have tons of pictures, so this will be heavy in pictures and few in words. Bear with me.
This was taken at church before we left last Sunday. We met in the fellowship hall for some last minute instructions and to pray.
This was our home for the week! Last year the boys stayed here and the girls stayed across the street in the gated area. I might have freaked out a tiny bit at first because last year this door never locked. And the neighborhood is pretty sketchy. I am happy to say that the door and the lock were fixed, so we were good.
The first night we had dinner and a site meeting. Every night after church, our group would meet and pray and worship and talk about the day.
That meeting time with just the teenagers and leaders from our church was my most favorite time of all. Have I mentioned how much I love our teenagers in our youth?! I do. Prepare yourself~I might repeat that quite often in this post.
Emma, Rebecca and Amelia~just three sweeties I made pose for my camera. :)
These pictures above were from our first day. Each morning we would eat breakfast, have a site meeting to talk about the rundown of how our day would go with a staff member at Brinkley Heights, we would have a time of devotion, then we would end with a send off. There are 21 sites they hold each week for Street Reach. Depending on how many churches they host depends on how many of those 21 sites they would open for the week. Our church had two sites~one on Guernsey and one on Treadwell. Treadwell is one that doesn't happen each week.
Once we would reach our site, the teenagers would be separated into walking groups and they would go walk and find kids to bring to Bible club. There are stations the kids would rotate to~craft, Bible reinforcement and recreation. We had a worship team and a Bible story team that would travel back and forth between the two sites each day, and that was where I came in as the bus driver. While we had the kids, Shelby County Schools comes around in a refrigerated truck and delivers lunch to these precious kids...and I know for a fact that for some of these babies, this would be the one healthy meal they would get each day. After Bible club was over for the day, around twelve thirty, our walking groups would walk them back home.
Just one precious baby that Drew held this week.
This was in our site meeting room and the room we would meet as a church each night. Just a silly moment I captured with my camera.
My friend Lori, her sweet girl and my adopted daughter Nancy, and me at Guernsey.
I took this picture of my coffee cup because this was our nightly tradition. The first night that we were there, after dinner, Lori and I could smell coffee. We never found it, though and determined that somebody from another church brought their own coffee pot. So we went to the McDonald's across the street and bought some. On this particular night, we skipped church and just rested in our meeting room. All the feet you see are the feet of us tired Mom's who were there.
Just a few more lovies from our church~Kaylee, Nicole, Drew, Kathryn, Maia, Abigail, Nancy, Katie and Connor. Each afternoon we would come back and eat lunch at one, then at two we would go do a service project somewhere in the area. A couple days we played in a gym with some kids from the neighborhood, one day we visited a nursing home, another time we went and helped at Urban Farms Memphis. In the picture above, on Wednesday, we had the afternoon and evening off. We left Brinkley at three and went to see How To Train Your Dragon 2, ate dinner at Stevie B's in Bartlett, then went to a park.
It was a great night off.
Most of the kids had fun...poor Griffin with his head down just wanted to sleep.
Drew is so tired of people telling him he doesn't have any eyebrows that he drew some. ;) Abigail makes him look a lot better, though.
I am so proud of all these teenagers. Each morning they chose to get up extra early and have quiet time. That forced them to get up and moving between six and six thirty each morning. We have some very devoted teenagers in our youth...I took this picture on Thursday morning.
This was at lunch one day...I was capturing Drew's blue lips and teeth. For lunch everyday, different churches would feed us. Our church fed us Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. For dinner each night, Brinkley tries to get donations from places around the area we were in. I think that for this week, all of our dinner came from The Piccadilly. It was really good each night.
I have never been so proud of my kids...not just mine, but all of them! Graham was saying goodbye to the director on Friday afternoon and he asked Graham when he would be finished with his junior year. Graham told him he had two more years, and Jason invited him to be an intern at Brinkley for that whole summer. I am pretty sure that if God opens those doors for Graham, that he will do that.
Coming home from Street Reach is really odd~part of me is so glad to be home, but the other part of me longs to be back there with these precious kids. They are precious and long to be loved and nurtured. I think that's why in almost every picture, you see kids hanging all over our youth. It's attention that they get that they usually don't receive. For the weeks of Bible club, they feel loved and cared for. And even more important than the affection they receive, they hear and learn all about Jesus and that He loves them even more than we do. My prayer all week was that they would tangibly feel the love of Jesus through all of us, and I believe He answered my prayers. I know a lot of you prayed as well, so thank you!
I am so thankful that when we left, Bible clubs don't end. Each week more teenagers come from different churches and this will go on until school starts back. I know I will continue to pray for them and I know we will be back soon. Our church is wanting to be more involved with this ministry and will go back on certain days throughout the year to hold Bible club. And each time, I will be going with them.
Well, I know this was long, but I wanted to share just a small glimpse of what our week was like. Thanks for all the prayers and thanks for taking the time to read. Love to all.