Thursday, July 14, 2011

Simple Joy

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14

I cried this week. I couldn't help it--what I had witnessed ripped my heart out and messed with me in the best of ways. I cried from a grateful heart, having witnessed one of the most beautifully vivid expressions of the Kingdom of God I have ever seen at PCC.

This past Monday after our PCC Staff Chapel, we ventured into the Worship Center where our Swim & Gym ministry gathers for 35 minutes every day this summer with 120 of the most beautiful children you have ever laid eyes on! For most of these kids, this is as close of contact as they will have with church of any kind. (Some 94% of these kids come from un-churched families.)

This summer, their theme is "The Amazing Race" and they are focusing each week on a different part of the world where PCC has missionaries located. When I walked into the Worship Center, music was blaring, (the worship song was "Happy Day" by Tim Hughes)and kids and counselors were in the pews and in the aisles shouting with the song and dancing! There was such life!

After the songs, the theme video, "Amazing Race," started playing to more screaming and cheering. A short message contextualized to these kids based on Hebrews 12:1-3 followed and then the kids finished with one more rousing worship song.

I was struck by the energy, joy, and pure fun that came from these kids. Often as we speak of the mission of Jesus, we encourage you to consider going to our local and global communities, but let's not forget that every day this summer, through our Community Center and Swim & Gym programs, literally hundreds of people are coming to us to be ministered to.

Before leaving the Worship Center, the kids wrote out prayers to God. Below are a few to give you a glimpse of the simple trust these kids place in God. Join me in praying for these precious children, that God would raise up a whole new generation of passionate Jesus followers from them. Join me in thanking God and praying for our Swim & Gym staff. And if you are ever free Monday-Wednesday or Friday (Thursday is Field Trip Day!) at 11:00am, and you need a glimpse of Heaven on Earth, come and see for yourself what God is doing!

Swim & Gym Prayer Requests:

-Dear God, I hope everything is going well, love A
-Dear God, please protect all my family members and my friends and my pets. P.S. I love you.
-Dear God, I hope you protect my aunties baby. Love N
-Dear Lord, I hope we do not lose our house and that my dad does not go to jail again. W
-Thank you, God, for liking us and we like praying to you. From M.
-Dear God, I hope my grandma doesn't need to go to the hospital anymore. She had surgery and I think that's enough. Amen.
-Dear Lord, Thank you for everything you give us. Please help us give to Ghana. -C.

I love being your pastor!