Monday, July 25, 2011

I'm having a hallelujah moment over here....

Eric and I have decided that last week was the longest week of our marriage thus far. We were constantly in and out, barely seeing each other, and both crazy busy. I don't know if either of us got more than a few hours of real sleep each night. We may or may not have been all out avoiding each other by the end of it for fear that we'd verbally snap each other's heads off for the littlest things.

But sitting in church yesterday was a HUGE reward for a week of sacrifice. :)

The purpose of ministries like Vacation Bible School are to reach out to our community and work in the lives of families we might not otherwise get to meet. It shouldn't matter how many kids show up, because if we can minister to just one family then it's completely worth it. But I have a confession: When Ellen and I began work on VBS this year, there was an unspoken understanding that this could be a make it or break it year for us. We've seen our attendance dwindle slowly down each summer for the past several years, and it was HARD finding people to fill positions this year. So we prayed. We prayed that we wouldn't get caught up in numbers and that God would send the children and families our way whom He wanted us to serve. 

We started the week last week having no clue what VBS would look like this year. For all of our work and hours put in, we might have 5 kids show up. We were experimenting in a new building - in uncharted territories - and we were relying on God to use us to do His will. 

I'm learning that when your heart is in the right place, and you're really honest with the Lord, that he will bless your efforts in bigger ways than you can even imagine. After spending the week with dozens of kids I had NEVER seen in my life (even in this small town, haha) we had the opportunity to spend time with their families on Friday evening.

We played games with them and watched their kids get their faces painted and blow bubbles. 

We cooled off together with lemonade and snow cones, and we had super yummy hotdogs and popcorn. 

We dunked people, which is always a good thing for Baptists to do. (Ba-dunk ching!) Haha.

And we had a really great time.

But our church service on Sunday was where it was AT this week. Because after getting to spend time with these precious kids and their moms and dads, I nearly lost it in my pew when I started seeing families roll into the sanctuary to worship with us. First, it was a girl from my class with her mom...I was ECSTATIC to see one of the kiddos I had the opportunity to love on last week that I thought I might never see again. And then another little girl from my class came in and sat next to them. And then a dad and his son that I recognized from our preschool class came in and sat right in front me. And when I looked up I saw ANOTHER girl and her mom sitting in the front. I'm seriously about to have a hallelujah moment right here right now, so watch out! Haha.

All I can say is praise God! We promised that we'd give HIM the glory, and so it's His alone. I can't wait to get to know these families better, to work with their kids in Christmas programs and have fish fries and family meals together. I feel like we've added to our family, and everyone is welcome to be a part of that. My heart is swollen to four times it's normal size. :)

But do you want to know the KICKER? Guess who literally rolled into church on a walker and sat right behind me?


ACK! Praise the Lord again! I hear he's five months ahead of where he's supposed to be. Our church loves Tyler so much, and we had been praying for him like crazy since his accident. Needless to say, when he showed up it was kind of a big deal. :)

God is working in the lives of families in our community. I've seen it with my own eyes this week. He's answering prayers, and he's healing the sick. God is softening hearts that have become calloused with time. My own little brother who is too cool for school worked with kids in recreation at VBS, and guess what his facebook status was by the end of the week? "I love Jesus!" One of the things Ellen and I prayed about this week was for specific people working with us to come back into the fold and rekindle their own relationship with God. I'm sitting here bawling my eyes out at this huge answer to prayer.

So was one week of craziness totally worth it? Absolutely! I feel so blessed to be a part of God's plan. I'm so thankful for new friends, great memories, and for advancing the kingdom of God.

I'm also thankful for yummy snow cones. :)


The Pettijohn's said...

Thats awesome! Hard work pays off.

Katie said...

That's so amazing! It's such a blessing to see God working in others and answering prayers :)

Cassie said...

i'm throwing out some major PTLs there girl. god is good!!


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