Busy with a purpose!

This past week has been jam-packed… but in a very good way! Here’s what’s been goin’ on up here:

  • Upstairs in the duplex, Brian ripped out all the old (and very nasty… because it was VERY old) carpet and put down sub-flooring in order to help with the noise downstairs. Some pros came in and laid down brand new carpet and just yesterday, all the furniture got put back in place. Now, I just have to get into that house this month and CLEAN so it’s ready for the family who will be living there for an entire year.
  • Last Friday, I went to Hawthorne, NJ (about 2hrs from home), to participate in a ministries convention. This was a large convention that reached a variety of ministry workers – pastors, youth pastors, children’s pastors, etc. Myself and a guy from BCM’s Camp Streamside were just two of many booths there. I taught three sessions from BCM’s In Step with the Master Teacher course. Each session I taught had a progressively larger attendance until the last one where I had over 30 participate.

I just have to interject real quick with a couple of stories from the weekend. It was really cool to be able to be a resource at this event. I had one church, in particular, who were so excited that I was there. The children’s ministry director is brand new. They want to overhaul their ministry and need resources. The sessions I did gave them the jump-start they needed for their church. Another church from the Bronx is excited about the possibility of having us come in to do more training because they saw how much they did not know and how much they could improve their outreach. One gentleman from that church left feeling more empowered, excited, and ready to go back and teach his students more effectively. After the Discipline training, I had one young lady tell me that just on Friday afternoon, she had prayed and told God, “I don’t know what to do with my class. I need something new for discipline or I quit.” She told me Saturday that the In Step class on Discipline was the “something new” she needed to inspire her to give it another shot. After the class I taught on “Teaching for a Response”, during which I teach an actual Bible lesson, I got quizzed on the specifics of teaching and had many tell me, “I feel so inspired to do missions now! I had never heard that story taught like that before! Do you think I can teach like that?” It wasn’t the point of the session, but at least they got something out of it!

  • Wednesday evening, we had our “Fall Party” for the children’s ministry at our church. woa. That was the biggest event I have ever planned and directed. Ever. And it really wasn’t even that big in comparison to events I helped with in Peru! It was just the first one I personally have ever been in charge of. I am so incredibly grateful for all of my experiences in Peru for without them, I wouldn’t have had a clue how to pull this off. And big kudos to my large team because they did an awesome job and the event went off very well with a good attendance of children and families. Check out some pictures:
The kids had an area where they could decorate mini pumpkins. The winner won a big pumpkin to take home.

The kids had an area where they could decorate mini pumpkins. The winner won a big pumpkin to take home.

Face Painting was a big hit (that's our "Little Red Riding Hood" who, 3 days later, still has the remnants of those flowers on her face)

Face Painting was a big hit (that’s our “Little Red Riding Hood” who, 3 days later, still has the remnants of those flowers on her face)

The toddlers had an obstacle course, which was a HUGE hit and they did it over and over and over. After awhile, Elena did it just for fun and couldn't care less about the candy she got at the end!

The toddlers had an obstacle course, which was a HUGE hit and they did it over and over and over. After awhile, Elena did it just for fun and couldn’t care less about the candy she got at the end!

One of my volunteers made the bean bag toss. Our kids who play baseball thought this was great and thankfully, no windows were broken in the playing of this game.

One of my volunteers made the bean bag toss. Our kids who play baseball thought this was great and thankfully, no windows were broken in the playing of this game.

The 2nd game was the ring toss, complete with those glow stick necklaces as "rings."

The 2nd game was the ring toss, complete with those glow stick necklaces as “rings.”

This was the biggest hit, the Treasure Hunt. We filled a box with packing peanuts, threw in some "gold coins" and timed the kids as they jumped in to search for them. The trick? The more they moved, the fewer they found!

This was the biggest hit, the Treasure Hunt. We filled a box with packing peanuts, threw in some “gold coins” and timed the kids as they jumped in to search for them. The trick? The more they moved, the fewer they found!

There was the option of a "photo op" that was beautifully decorated. I don't have our family picture that was taken there, but hopefully soon!

There was the option of a “photo op” that was beautifully decorated. I don’t have our family picture that was taken there, but hopefully soon!

Our one team game was a 3-legged race. It appeared that almost everyone participated and they had a lot of fun! That's Brian on the left, joining up with one of the boys who didn't have a partner.

Our one team game was a 3-legged race. It appeared that almost everyone participated and they had a lot of fun! That’s Brian on the left, joining up with one of the boys who didn’t have a partner.

The pinnacle was a puppet show, put on by a small group of Latino puppeteers from Stroudsburg and led by our former Director's wife from Peru, Marion Odicio.

The pinnacle was a puppet show, put on by a small group of Latino puppeteers from Stroudsburg and led by our former Director’s wife from Peru, Marion Odicio.

Marion then proceeded to share the Gospel with the children and the adults who had stayed in the room.

Marion then proceeded to share the Gospel with the children and the adults who had stayed in the room.

No party is complete without food! I didn't get a shot of everyone eating their rice krispy treats and salty snacks, but I did get a shot of my little booger trying to steal marshmallows off the indoor s'mores I made for the event.

No party is complete without food! I didn’t get a shot of everyone eating their rice krispy treats and salty snacks, but I did get a shot of my little booger trying to steal marshmallows off the indoor s’mores I made for the event.

We had a costume contest ~ the hot dog won 1st for "funniest."

We had a costume contest ~ the hot dog won 1st for “funniest.”

And, of course, our kids were the cutest ones there. :)

And, of course, our kids were the cutest ones there. 🙂

And there ya have it! I believe it was a success, though not without tweaks we need to make for next year. Next event: Store Night on Wednesday for our Pioneers.

 

The month of November picks up more work at MRF including a bunch of families coming in for short stays and a few arriving for longer stays. Brian will begin this week replacing all of the block underneath one of the trailers and then fixing the outside wall of the same house. This will also be the month that the kids will finally see doctors for check-ups!! Joseph hasn’t seen a doctor since he was a month old; Elena since she was a year old. We are so grateful to have health insurance!

Thanks for reading this extra-long update! Have a wonderful weekend!

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