Sunday, August 30, 2009
A Summary Of Wales From Misha Townsend
Forwarding this along from Misha Townsend who was on the team to Swansea Wales..... Hi Everyone! So since we only got 2 minutes to share at church this morning (impossible!), I wanted to share some of what God did through our trip to Wales. Our main purpose was to support Calvary Chapel Swansea, through various events and outreaches for the community. We did three days of VBS for the kids, a movie night, women's luncheon, youth club, family festival, international food festival, talent nightl, and helped with Sunday service and Sunday school. It was a very busy several days! But it was so awesome how God gave us strength and pulled everything together even when things got hectic. One of the biggest blessings was teaching and loving on the kids. So many of them were needy for attention, acting out, or trying to be tough, but God truly did a work in their hearts through His love. All of us on the team could tell so many stories about each one of the kids...the ones who felt safe to open up to us, whose behavior changed because of loving discipline, who received the gospel with an open heart, the ones who simply were able to come to church and hear about God's love for the first time. It was eye-opening and sobering for me to see how little these kids knew about God. Many of them have such a skeptical attitude, they've been raised not to believe in God. But at the same time they are hungry for Him, even if they don't know what it is they hunger for. All we could do was seek them out, bring them to the Father, and show them His love. For me one of the biggest challenges, and greatest blessings, was the worship. I was really nervous to be leading worship and leading the music for VBS. But God kept my fingers from hurting (yay!) and totally blessed it. Especially the music with the kids--I felt like I was just standing there singing and doing some weird silly movements, and God just filled the room with His presence. I hadn't expected the music to make such an impact on the kids, but it did. And to see those kids singing about Jesus, about God's love for them, even if they didn't fully understand it yet, was so awesome. It provided so many opportunities to reach out to the kids personally, too; one little boy was fascinated by the guitar and kept asking me to teach him. It was an opportunity to show him love, attention, security. We got to sing worship songs with some of the teen girls, who were otherwise pretty closed-off to hearing about God. It provided an opportunity to build relationships. We also held a luncheon for the women--Pastor Dave and Pastor Clint prepared all the food, it was awesome! ;) It was such a blessing to fellowship with and minister to the ladies there. We also had a "toddler time" on Saturday, an opportunity for moms to come and hang out while we played with their kids. Joy, Sharon, and I did a puppet show (and then our stage fell over lol). We really wanted to just reach out to the community and make them feel welcome and comfortable in the church. One boy who had recently been placed in a foster home came to help us out, and ended up coming every single day during our stay. He had never really been to church before, but he totally dived in to serve in any way needed. He would come in the morning for our team devotions, and stayed most days all day to help out with all our events. His heart is definitely open to the Lord--keep him in prayer that he will receive salvation and grow in his faith. There's so much more I could say...so many small miracles, small blessings. But nothing is small in God's eyes. It was awesome to see how each person on our team contributed their part and filled a special need. Sharon helped to keep us organized and really reached out to the women and parents, You-K provided discipline and love to the kids, Pastor Dave taught the word faithfully and was willing to dress up like a crazy professor (lol!), Aydde was faithful to organize and prepare snacks every day for VBS, and served us with her awesome cooking, Lisa taught the kids with love and was always available to talk to them individually, Sylvia reached out to the parents in an awesome way, Joy was always ready with fun games and to teach the youth. And then there was Pastor Clint and Sol, who were amazing hosts and helped us out in so many ways. And then the wonderful people who opened their homes for us to stay with them (Becca, Dan & Sam, Sol, thank you so much!!), and those from the church there who came to help out as well. God worked through so many different peoples' lives. Ok well I've written a lot, but I just wanted to give you guys an idea of what happened on our trip--especially those of you who were praying for us! We definitely needed the prayers, and God definitely answered. Please keep praying for CC Swansea; pray for Pastor Clint and Sol as they now follow up with discipling and teaching the kids and their families, pray that God would grow and strengthen the church there, pray that the kids would keep coming to church and that the seeds planted would grow into genuine faith. And pray about going yourself, next year! :) Thank you for reading. :) God bless!