With Covid season in full swing, we had to close our boys basketball group, but we were able to focus on what we could still do.
Monday nights continued with an online Bible study with the Congolese teens who chose to join. We studied the first seven chapters of the book of Daniel and were able to focus more deeply on the text. We also took time to pray together and follow-up on personal needs.
We tried to help teens with their online school work. Many of kids lacked motivation or computers to login, but some of the teens worked hard to learn even without the accountability of their teachers. I tried to pair homework helpers with each teen who needed help, but this venture did not pan out very consistently and fizzled out before the school year ended. A ministry called Global FC did a great job in the education space back in the spring.
In April and May we were able to serve the ministry of Agape Pamoja in fixing houses for refugees. Each Saturday a small group of volunteers did small projects like demolition, yard work, and trash pickup. Many of the neighborhood teens worked alongside us in serving. It was a lot of fun!
We also had time to gather online for a few different prayer sessions weekly with other ministries like Freedom Hoops. This was a very healthy use of the time. Four interns from Refuge KC partnered with us through the Summer. We also had a chance to follow up with different people we know during Covid isolation. The believers living in our house spent a lot of time with our neighbor from Iraq who was here alone while his family was stranded in Iraq. God uses each of our situations for His Glory.
In June, things started to open up and we had an eventful Summer. We had a kids club at Hilltop apartment complex where older teens that we have been discipling got to lead younger kids in songs, Bible stories, and games each week. We spent time with the older kids on a different night playing soccer and studying the life of David. The Summer culminated in an in-house camp for about 23 of the teen boys where we studied questions that they will face from other religions. One highlight was seeing Samuel realize for the first time that Jesus is God in the flesh! Pray for 4 of these teens starting college this semester and for new teen leaders to emerge from the group this year. Pray for the younger kids as they struggle with alcoholic fathers, the difficulties of online school, the inability to gather as a church, and the vision to make grow into disciple-makers.
Heidi enjoyed time each week with the teen girls. Extra volunteers allowed them to divide into two groups as they went swimming or hung out and kept discussing Bible stories about Jesus. Thanks for your prayers for this group. Unfortunately, at the end of the Summer the girls said that they were not allowed to return to the group because their families disliked the Christian evangelistic emphasis. Seeing the girls blocked from the group is discouraging, but I’m thankful for the Christian women who sacrificed over a two year period to provide a loving and Christ-centered place for these gals and got to share stories from the Bible that covered Creation to the Cross.
Fall has continued with a new set of volunteers helping with soccer and Bible study with the Congolese teens each Thursday. We are looking to broaden our online ministry to reach the lost through their phones. Thanks for your support and prayers. Most missionaries are having a hard time with the uncertainties of life, difficulties in planning, and difficulties in coming into contact with the lost in appropriate ways for ministry. But God always has a path forward in His Calling for each of our lives, and opportunities have come here and there.