As promised, here are photos from Wednesday's club... Enjoy!
Singing songs and praising God.
A view of the drama.
Bible story quiz and memory verse time.
Evening boat trip with the teens.
Well, Wednesday has come and gone, and thus, so has day three of holiday club here in Lochcarron. While many of us may have been a bit sluggish today, it still went off wonderfully well.
The morning again started with a time of devotion, fellowship, prayer, and last minute preparations for the team. This is such a precious time and provides us as leaders with the opportunity to focus our hearts and minds on the day and the task at hand. It's a great time that allows us to fellowship with one another, sharing encouraging words and praying specifically for the day and it's activities and for all of those involved. Practically speaking, it allows us to work through the day so that everyone knows what's going on and when, and it goes a long way to helping the day run smoothly.
Kids started arriving not too long after our team meeting broke up. There were several activities for them to work on until the morning kicked off. Then, as usual, John and Amy got the kids fired up for Jungle Jamboree, and then we went straight into singing. The kids seem to be loving the music (despite a few miscues by the music leaders... oops!). The Father Loves Me has been a real hit this year. And the kids sing Who is the the King of the Jungle pretty much year round. We've also introduced this week I Just Want to Be a Sheep, which is such a catchy tune that EVERYONE seems to be singing it all day, every day! Here are a few photos of the opening time and singing.
Mairi then shared the parable of the Prodigal Son with the group, spending time emphasizing that we are all prodigals, yet our Father welcomes us home, embracing us, and rejoicing when we return to him. She had a few actors that aided, acting out the story as she told it and the kids were really engaged. We then broke into our small groups and took time reinforcing the parable with the kids, both with the retelling of the story and various activities and worksheets. I actually had my group retell the story to me, rather than me to them (they're the oldest group) ... and I was pleasantly surprised at how well they did with the entire story. Later in the morning, after a break for snacks, crafts, and games, we come back together as a group and have a quiz time, which is a great time to reinforce the story with the kids and see just how much they have heard and retained. The kids did a great job today with the quiz time. The quiz time was followed by the memory verse, which again went so well and the kids are doing a great job remembering it. The day concluded with a few songs, and then it was off in separate directions for everyone.
This afternoon, the teens gathered in the hall for a few minutes and I spoke to them on the parable of the Good Samaritan. As seems to be usual when I give talks, I never really seem to remember what I actually said, but I hope that I successfully made it clear that like the good samaritan, Jesus has compassion on us and comes alongside us when we're down and out and He heals our wounds and bandages us up, picking us up and setting us on our way again. This is the message I hope I conveyed to the kids, especially the non-Christians in the room (of which I assume there are many). For those in the room who were Christians, I hope I took it a step farther and challenged them on how they live their lives each day in regards to loving one another and loving others with whom they come in contact. My goal was to challenge them to consider whether or not they were willing to be interrupted, to have their plans interrupted, in order to help or serve another person in need, just as the Good Samaritan did. I also happened to have a rather providential story to tell after the incident with the car an the tire over the weekend... hopefully that helped to provide an objective lesson that they could understand.
After the devotional, we loaded up in the mini-bus and several cars and headed over the Shieldaig for a boat trip. Two different groups went out in the boat and while one was out the others were at the village hall learning how to play four-square... which they really seemed to enjoy. This was a great opportunity to get to know some of these kids better and spend some time with them as individuals, even within the group. The kids really just seemed to enjoying being there and being together, which is really a refreshing scene.
In closing, I would ask that you continue to pray...
We do earnestly covet your prayers and greatly appreciate each and every one of them.
In Christ -
PS... There was a problem uploading many of the photos... more will be posted later.
Singing songs... The Father Loves Me is a real hit here.
Learning the memory verse...
Meet David ... Hopefully I'll get a photo of Mairi and the girls on here soon, perhaps even a family photo!
I didn't have too many photos from these days, but there are more from today, which should be up soon.
We had our second day of holiday club today and it went great. The morning again started at 9 with a team meeting, devotional and time of prayer. It's a great time for all of us to come together and review the previous day's events and prepare and pray for the day ahead of us.
Today, we focused on how God seeks us out and finds us, meeting us wherever we are in life. Once again, Amy and John got the morning started off well and got the kids well energized. Once the kids were up and ready to go, we sang a few songs, which they seem to be loving. And then I taught the on the parable of the lost sheep. It was a great opportunity to tell the kids about how Jesus seeks each of us out and finds us, wherever we are hiding in our sin, and he puts us on his shoulders and brings us home, and he rejoices over each sinner who is found. We then took the time in our groups to reiterate these points. We made jungle drums for our crafts and played some fun "jungle" games as well. The morning wrapped up with the kids learning the next part of the memory verse, which they seemed to get pretty quickly. We also had a quiz time to review what we learned about the Lost Sheep, followed by a few final songs before departing for the day.
There are pictures from the day... but again, they have yet to be uploaded. They will be soon... I promise.
Please be in prayer for the work that is being done here in Lochcarron. Please be in prayer for the hearts of the kids we have met here this week. Pray that their eyes would be open to see and their ears open to hear the Gospel, such that their hearts would be changed. Please pray specifically for David and Mairi and their ministry here, especially as their work continues after this week is over. We do covet your prayers this week as we love and serve these kids in this community. Pray that we would do this well and that we would be able to speak and communicate the Gospel clearly to these kids.
Until next time... which may not be until Thursday due to a busy day scheduled for tomorrow...
Hello friends -
It's been a few days since you've heard from us as we've been busy here with Sunday services and the first day of Jungle Jamboree holiday club here in Lochcarron.
We arrived on Saturday evening, just before bedtime for the MacLeod girls. We're staying with the minister and his family here in Lochcarron, Mairi and David MacLeod and their three precious daughters, Anna (5 years), Grace (2.5 years), and Lois (6 months). Also in the house are other friends of theirs who, like us, have come here this week specifically to assist with the holiday club. Ewan MacGilvery arrived Saturday night and Amy MacDonald arrived on Sunday evening. It's full house here in Lochcarron and it's been great.
On Sunday morning, we woke and readied ourselves for worship which began at 10:30. While there, David called us up to the front to introduce us to the crowd of 30 or so people and 10-15 children that were in attendance. He then gave a brief children's talk about how we as Christians are called to be the light of the world and to mirror Jesus Christ in our lives. His point being that when we as Christians shine as lights and we reflect Jesus in our lives, the the light spreads everywhere around us. After a bit more singing, David preached a great message, driving home the message of the Gospel.
On Sunday afternoon, we went through to the local nursing home to participate in a weekly praise and worship service. While there, we sang many songs, Psalms and hymns, and Phil, an elder in the church, gave a message that reminded all of us that God calls us each by name and seeks us each by name. Following the service of worship, we were invited over to Jean's house, an older lady from the church, for tea and biscuits.
Monday morning came early and we were off to the Lochcarron Village Hall at 8:30 for holiday club. We tidied up a few things and had a meeting at 9 followed by a time of prayer with the team. And we were all ready for the kids to arrive at 10 and the morning went off without a hitch. Our new friends Amy and John got the day started and the kids fired up and excited and we went straight into songs and drama. The kids really seem to be loving the Jungle Jamboree theme and the songs and things that come along with it.
On the Monday afternoon, there was an event for teens at the hall as well. There was a bouncy castle, bungie run, and sumo suits. The kids really seemed to enjoy it, especially when David also put on a sumo suit... they all tried to take him down. We also took a bit of time to play some American games. We played an indoor game of ultimate frisbee in the hall, playing the disc off the wall and any other obstacles as they also were. After several smaller games of frisbee, we followed it up with a game of SPUD, which the kids seemed to also enjoy. They really seemed to love ultimate. Following the games, John gave a devotional sharing the parable of the great feast. He did a great job making it clear that we are all extended an invitation to know the Lord.
We'll have pictures to follow... just haven't been able to upload them just yet.
Update on Tuesday (today) to follow.
We're now in Atlanta, waiting on our flight to London, then on to Inverness in the morning!!
So far, everything has been great. We left Memphis about an hour late. Amanda and Elizabeth had some great banter with one another on the flight while my mission trip started right then with a great conversation with the lady in seat 10E!
We'll land in London around 7am local time, 1am CST. Then we'll be off to Inverness, set to arrive around 11.
Please be in prayer for safe travel as we'll be trying to beat the weather out of Atlanta. Please also be in prayer for the holiday club and for the friendships and relationships that will be made in Lochcarron.