Saturday, August 29, 2015

Bay St. Louis Day 2 {Thursday, 08.27.15}

Good Morning CCFRED Family and Friends!

We are on the second full day of our mission’s trip in Bay St. Louis Mississippi and have much to tell you. We have been amazed by God’s faithfulness and His provision and empowerment by His Spirit to reach those He has put in our path thus far.

Wednesday night we had a late night. Our craft for Thursday’s outreach to the Boys and Girls Club was for the children to have hand-made pillows to stuff with stuffing. We had about forty pillows already made and ready to be stuffed, but we needed to have around one hundred and twenty total for the number of children we would be reaching.

Wednesday night we all pitched in and the Lord gave us the strength to stay up until all but six of the pillows were ready for the children; the next morning Olgi also pitched in to help us complete the final six pillows.

This morning, we woke up bright and early. This was the day that half of the team planned to help out with Kings Kitchen: a local Christian outreach that provides a hot meal Monday-Friday for the needy in the Bay St Louis community.  We arrived at Kings Kitchen at around 10:30am and as we pulled up to the front door we were greeted with a friendly smile from Sean, one of the regular volunteers at the kitchen. We were made to feel very welcome at the kitchen, especially by Joyce who cheerfully explained to us how we could be of the most help to them while we were there. We all piled into one big room to pray and receive our marching orders. The majority of us were sent into the kitchen to help serve meals, pour drinks, and welcome the people coming in. The children under 12 years of age were not allowed to help out in the kitchen, so one of the adults and three children went to help out next door at the clothing ministry. This ministry seeks to provide the person in need with the ability to come in and pick out which ever clothes they need from donations with no charge or fee. The team members who were given the opportunity to serve at the clothing ministry were welcomed by Sarah and Pastor Mark from Central Bible Church.

Our time at both Kings Kitchen and the clothing ministry was full of opportunities to share the love that Christ has for the people. As lunch time rolled around, we served approximately 30 to 40 people at Kings Kitchen. A common theme amongst many of the people the Lord had in our path was that they were very surprised that we traveled all the way from Virginia to minister to them. God really poured out His Spirit while we were there. Many of the people we met were walking through a very difficult season in their life and some of them were people who were still experiencing the effects of hurricane Katrina.

The Lord also wanted to stretch a number of the members. In the midst of loving and showing God’s compassion towards those in need His Spirit led many of the team members to pray with these people, to share their faith in Christ, as well as to boldly proclaim the good news of the gospel message. Hearts were stirred and seeds were planted. So many of our team felt heart-pressed to leave, the Lord really put His love in our hearts for those at Kings Kitchen.

While many were serving at King’s Kitchen, a smaller team was engaged in making much needed repair and upkeep to the Firehouse, the youth center at Calvary Chapel Bay Saint Louis.  The principle goal was to prepare and paint the floor in the large fellowship area.  The floor needed serious cleaning and preparation but the team was able to clean and prime it by the end of the day.

As the Kings Kitchen team returned to grab lunch, we sent the first half of the VBS crew to the boy’s and girl’s club. VBS was a total team outreach and another major victory for the Lord yesterday. The pillows that we had finished the night before complemented our theme that “God has the power to comfort; 2 Corinthians 2:3-4”. The children learned that no matter whether a person is hurting on the outside from a physical wound or whether they are experiencing an internal hurting, God is able to comfort them. This lesson opened the doors for a lot of conversation with the children about who God is, who is Jesus, and how they can have the assurance of their salvation.

Whether it was the children, the staff members or even the parents of the children from Boys and Girls club God was showing up mightily.  God used the faithful obedience of those who were willing to speak the truth, trust in His Spirit, and pray fervently, to open doors, make divine appointments and bless those at the Boys and Girls club as well as those who are on the team.

After VBS was finished we packed up and just about the time we were almost ready to leave three of our team members met a man who was standing outside of the building we were in. He was an older man who was deaf. None of the people who originally came to talk to him from our team knew sign language but from a distance Katie saw him motioning with his hands and the look of confusion on the faces of those trying to reach out to him. Katie, who had taken a few semesters of sign language, came over to see if she could be of some help. Gods Spirit empowered Katie to be able to sign and communicate with the man and we found that he was disappointed that he was unable to go to church because he lacked transportation and because he didn’t know of a church within the area that offered ministry to the deaf. We prayed with him, was able to give him a Bible, and also directed him towards King’s Kitchen.

We were amazed at all of the ways that God showed up today. He has such a love for the world and He was reminding us that He is able to reach those in St. Louis as well as those back home when we return to Virginia. We came back to the missionary housing, had a delicious meal made by Carey and Sean, then proceeded down to the beach for a time of worship, fellowship, reflection, prayer and s’mores.

We reflected on how God’s love has no bounds. How as we remember those God brings into our lives we also know that God thoughts of each person are more numerable than the sands on the beach. It is only because of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that we are able to be vessels it, for His glory and praise. We are humbled by His greatness. We love you all and will have more updates in the next few days.

Bay St. Louis Mission Team 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Bay St. Louis Day 1 {Wednesday, 08.26.15}


We are on our first full day here in Bay St. Louis Mississippi and we are happy to say that we have already had many wonderful experiences and opportunities to minister and show Christ’s love to those in the Bay! We have been beyond blessed by the Lord’s provision and goodness towards us. We arrived Tuesday afternoon to the Bay St. Louis area. The effects of the devastation of that took place during hurricane Katrina is still rippling through this community. This is evident as we look out across the miles of land that clearly remain vacated. Miles along the beach are places that were once probably thriving with life, history, and character that still sit mostly uninhabited. As we pulled into the housing we were warmly greeted by Tom and Olgi Price. As we were all gathered around Tom exclaimed, “You brought the cooler weather with you!”  It has apparently been one of the hottest summers in quite some time up until that day --which is just a reminder of how the Lord is so faithful to show up in the details.

Today was the first day of VBS at the Boys and Girls Club! We prepared games and crafts for the children, and also planned to help them with whatever homework they needed to get done for school. Almost every team was full time in this outreach. The children have been very receptive to having us here and we are so thrilled to be able to be sent by our Lord to represent His heart for them. 

Our focus today during the craft was to point out that God is our healer, the One who is able to heal us when we are hurting physically or even emotionally.

We received news by the end of the day that a few of the children had asked their parents if they could stay even longer past when they were ready to be picked up. We want these children to know of the abundant love that God has for them in Christ Jesus. We may not be allowed to have a written curriculum but we are able to be His hands and His feet. We are praying that these children, their families, and even the staff at the Boys and Girls Club will accept our invitations to both the outreach at the beach on Friday and to come Calvary Chapel Bay St. Louis this coming Sunday. 

In addition to the VBS, we ministered to Calvary Chapel Bay St Louis by delivering A LOT of sound equipment we had outgrown at CCFred. Winston and his facility team also prepared to paint the Youth center floor, which will happen tomorrow. 

We are all very excited to see what else God has in store for us here in Bay St. Louis. We hope you will keep us in your prayers. Specific prayer requests from the team include:

That the people remember the love that they receive and know Gods love for them and the truth.
That there would be open doors with the teenagers.
Boy named Christian and his grandma, help with regards to needing to sell grandma’s house.
VBS Crafts that we would remain focused on the Lord’s purposes and plans.

The group would allow the Lord to stretch members of the team (possibly in areas that He wants to grow them in.)
Boldness amongst the group
Compassion for the lost
Colossians 4:2-3
Open doors
Energy, awareness, strength
That Jenny would be able to connect with her sister Rebecca while she is only an hour away from her.
For the uniting of Carey and his brother that he hasn’t been able to see in many years for that reuniting which will happen on Thursday.
For Scott’s son Corey who is moving to his third school in the Navy

**Theater Drama Production on the Beach**

**Upcoming Homeless Ministry Outreach**

Thank you for all your love and support, we will continue to keep you updated on our time spent in Bay St. Louis!