The team made it through a day packed with activities admirably. We were happy to have another full house at the morning's Holiday Bible Club, with around 50 children again. Andrea led the talk, today "gathering evidence" about sin from Bible verses. We tweaked the groups for this part to keep the kids with others of the same age, and it seemed to help their ability to keep up. The spy kids enjoyed making espionage-related crafts, maneuvering through a course of laser-like yarn, and watching Ieuan and John, our special agent guests, compete to determine the best spy.
Next we had to quickly prepare for the Pensioners Tea Party, which featured a wide range of acts this year, including Lauren and Abigail Forgrave singing, Jess performing a jig on fiddle, and Ieuan serenading the audience of about 40 on guitar. As a grand finale, the entire team performed "Bridge Over Troubled Water," led by Heather Loughridge. Peter Dundee gave a short message afterwards and we served our guests afternoon tea. Joel reported that the event was a success, as some good conversations took place and quite a few CDs and Bibles were lifted as the guests left.
We enjoyed a barbecue hosted by the Forgrave family at their house in Ballymoney, then returned to the church for Youth Club. We had a slightly larger group this time for games, crafts, and baking. Elia gave the talk on the next part of the story of Esther. Afterwards we reflected on the day and prepared for Thursday. Prayers were answered today -- we had beautiful weather all day long!
With the busiest day over with, we returned to the somewhat more relaxed schedule that we had on Tuesday. Linda spoke on Jesus and the way His coming solves the problem of sin, which the kids heard about Wednesday. For the final regular day of Holiday Bible Club, we saw the number of children sustained, with 48 today. We hope to see most of them with their families at our Fun Day on Friday morning! We were thankful to have a mostly uneventful week of club in terms of injuries and behavior issues.
During the afternoon, after some naps, we met with Joel Loughridge and Peter Dundee, diving into theological questions about God's grace and having a time of prayer. Two things Joel has emphasized this week have been the theme of grace and peace presented in Sunday's sermon and the importance of public worship in the Christian life.
Youth Club had a more casual activity of personal pizza-making, with the puddings from Wednesday for dessert. John gave a riveting telling of the final segment of the book of Esther. Like Holiday Bible Club, this was our last day of the normally structured Youth Club, but we will see some of them tomorrow when we travel to Ballycastle for a celebratory outing.
The evening finished off with exciting preparations for the Fun Day on Friday morning. After that we will have a similar time of study in the afternoon before the Youth Club outing. It's hard to believe we only have one full day left!
Thank you for your prayers! Here are some updates:
· Pray that the weather will cooperate for all our activities throughout Friday.
· Pray that the many children who memorized John 3:16 at Holiday Bible Club will store it away in their hearts.
· Pray that the "evidence folders" of Bible verses and worksheets that went home with the children will have an effect in their families and the community of Cloughmills. Ask the same thing in regard to the Bibles and CDs at the Tea Party.
· Pray that the team will continue to experience the grace and peace of God as we work in harmony but on little sleep.
· Pray that the Fun Day will be well-attended and well-executed.
· Pray that we will have good conversations with the youth on our evening outing.
· Pray for travel mercies for the team as they travel home on Saturday.