MainKids Camp Out 2016: Part 2

June 23, 2016

By Dolores Rader, Minister to Children

Camp Out is coming to a close and we are filled with sadness to leave our
friends and this beautiful, beautiful place! It has been such an amazing
camp filled with God’s presence at every turn. Here are a few highlights
from me and then highlights from the boys!

Since worship is our central theme to Camp Out, we have one worship
service each day we are here. On Tuesday, Rachel Moore was our preacher
for our midday service and the girls lead in every aspect of the service
from tolling the hour to singing “Little Lamb” as the offertory anthem to
praying, reading scripture, and ushering. On Wednesday, Suzann Herrmann
and the boys led the evening service at the water. Suzann preached on
looking up and finding God wherever we are. The boys sang Amazing Grace
and ended the service with a joyful “I’ll Fly Away”. As is our tradition,
on the morning we leave, we will have our final Camp Out worship service
outside at the giant cross here at Artesian Lakes. Anna Rader is our
preacher and the camp counselors lead in worship. All of our worship was
based in Psalm 92 this year.

MKCampout2016FWe played at the playground, played capture the flag, hiked, swam, flew
down the slides into the lake, and shopped at the gift shop for candy and
souvenirs. In between all of the fun, we talked about and practiced
different disciplines for personal worship. Amanda Villasenor talked to
us about what the Bible says about personal time with the Lord and how
she practices journaling. We made our own journals and journaled
throughout camp. Emily Westerburg talked to us about the importance of
devotion time and how she and Mr. Trey do this together and separately.
We also talked about ways to ask for prayer from our friends and ways we
can pray when we can’t find the words and when we only want to share our
thoughts with God. We made teeny, tiny prayer boxes, lit candles, and
prayed for each other.


And now highlights from the boys:

I loved everything about this camp. My favorite parts though were playing
with my friends, swimming, free time, and seeing wildlife. –TrevorMcLaughlin

I love camp because we can have fun. My favorite part in camp is the
slides and seeing wildlife. -Ulysses Paredes

I liked naming the wildlife. That is my favorite thing. -Cody Sawyer

I love swimming with my friends and spending time with my friends. For
swimming, I love the slide! -William Fowler

My favorite thing here to do is Circle Time and free time. -Timothy Kutz

Quiet time is my favorite time at camp. -Marco Campos

My favorite part about MainKids Camp Out is hanging out with my church
friends. I love playing tag, swim, and do a bunch of other stuff. -Lee


MainKids Camp Out 2016

June 23, 2016

MKCampout2016DBy Dolores Rader, Minister to Children

Our fourth and fifth graders are at a point in their lives when they are ready to exercise their gifts of leadership and to dig deeper into the practices of corporate and personal worship. Camp Out at Artesian Lakes is the perfect place to safely and boldly lean into these two ideas. Below is a sentence or two from each of the 9 4th and 5th grade girls on what their favorite aspect of Camp Out is, but before you read on to their favorites, let me briefly share some of my favorites.

I love that we bring high school youth to serve as the perfect role models to the children in how we lead with a servant’s heart. They work REALLY hard and at the same time swim and play games establishing relationships to ease the transition to the Youth Group, sing songs around a campfire introducing them to Youth music and traditions, and sit side by side in worship praising and praying together.

One of my other favorite elements of Camp Out is our tradition of “Circle Time”. Every child, youth and adult gets the opportunity to sit in the middle of a big circle surrounded by all the rest of us, where we each, one by one, sisters and brothers, boys and girls, best friends and new friends, offer a sincere blessing which begins “What I like about you is…”. It is a beautiful gift of affirmation to receive and a empowering gift to give. This tradition is life giving and life transforming.

I could on and on about all of my other aspects of Camp Out, but for now hear straight from the kids and counselors themselves…


My fav part of camp is riding the horses. It’s fun. #horses

Gillian Tinsley

I love to ride things mainly horses, and Lily G. Hot coco in my mouth is the best! J Playing games in circle time is great!

Isabella Campos


During camp, everyone has a secret helper. Their secret helper is extra nice to them and pushes them in the right direction.

Elaina Mays

The absolute best thing about camp out is the opportunity to watch each and every child be authentically and completely themselves! We have the BEST kids!!

Amanda Villasenor

I love the outside space at Artesian Lakes. Our house is huge, and I love how big our living room is. #lake

Lily Gribble


I loved the pool another favorite is the slide and finally the store the best of all the three!

Kiran Harper

One thing that I love about Camp Out is swimming. I also love the Gratitude Cafe. I also love circle time.

Lily Durden

The absolute best part of camp is quiet time when all my friends come in my room and we have a snack party and talk. It is nice being new to the church and getting to know everybody. I love circle time a lot. I also enjoy swimming.

Jessie Horton

One thing I like so far in camp is hanging with my friends. Another thing I like about camp so far is Gratitude Café. The last thing I like so far in camp is the swimming and the alligators.

Kayden Nickel


One of the many things I love about Main Kids Camp Out is Gratitude Café. First thing in the morning, everybody in the house gathers to make crazy drinks – topped with sprinkles and whipped cream, and talk about the many blessings for which we are grateful. Gratitude Café allows us to really reflect on the joys in our life, from tangible objects to our friendships and opportunities. This daily morning ritual fills our hearts with thanksgiving and prepares us for the day.

Anna Rader


My favorite things about Camp Out are:

-Swimming in the lake

-Circle time outside

-Free time

Rachel Kee

My favorite thing about Camp Out every summer is watching the development of every child’s leadership skills! I have especially loved so far this week seeing both the fourth and fifth graders be and grow into incredibly mature and thoughtful members of our church family, and I am so excited for the future of the youth group and the church in the hands of such open-minded and knowledgeable Christians. The respect and care for which each and every child treats their peers and counselors and their unrelenting curiosity and joy has made Camp Out this summer an unparalleled experience!

Elysa Tulek

Peru Mission Trip Summer 2016 Day 3

June 14, 2016

By Isabella Baar-Hill

As a member of the music and dance team on the mission trip to Peru, I teach the kids songs and dances to perform for their parents and friends at the end of the week. Breaking through the language barrier, we learned specific Spanish words that are often used in teaching music and dance. During our second full day in Peru at OSA, we presented the children with the theme of Cultural Exchange; we worked from American & Texan perspectives so the kids got a taste of our culture. During dance, we played many rounds of musical chairs (a game I’ve quickly learned they LOVE). We only played English music because that’s what we know and brought with us. While others led the game, I played and stopped the music, watching the kids from the side lines. I began to notice that the kids were quietly singing and humming along to our English songs, words they couldn’t have known. I realized these kids were subconsciously, and joyfully learning our culture in ways we had not planned.PeruSummerBlogDay3During the music classes, Carey took time to teach and translate words we could use in common enabling us to bond with them in a unique way. I was reminded of how excited the kids were two years ago when I came when they would ask how to say things in English and I’d attempt to teach them. This was a new and eye opening experience because I was accustomed to being their student, struggling to learn Spanish. Their willingness to overcome our foreign language and pronunciations with attitudes of joy is a gift I will carry home with me. Their openness to a new culture despite the struggle is inspiring. Every moment I spend with these kids who show such eagerness to learn despite failure, makes me strive more and more to be like them.

Isabella Baar-Hill completed her Junior Year at Houston Christian High School. She is the daughter of J Hill and Hillevi Baar.

Chef Elisabet

June 15, 2010

Elizabeth Edwards with her students in Collique, Peru

Buenos dias! I can’t believe I’ve been here for over a month! A LOT went on this week, so I’ll highlight the most important things:

Last Tuesday I went out with Gloria, the OB nurse, again to make more house visits and distribute more prenatal vitamins. We took a combie higher up the mountain to the 8th zone of Collique. I live in the 4th zone, and this was my first time to go this far up. I knew that Collique was a big town, but this was my first time to realize just HOW big it is. About 1/4 million people live here! We made about 20 visits and stopped when we ran out of vitamins. I was really excited because one of the girls we visited was the girl who came last week with her mother to our prenatal class. It was great running in to someone I knew this far away from OSA, because it made me feel more a part of the community! Please continue to pray that all the women will understand how important it is to take the vitamins we gave them.

This week I also had to opportunity to teach two cooking classes to the OSA mothers! Charo, the OSA social worker, does a lot of work with the OSA families and all the mothers come once a week to a class with her. They do different activities each week and learn about things such as health, personal hygine, birth control, how to help their children with their homework, how to organize their houses, etc. Charo asked me if I would do a cooking class with them this week. So on Wednesday and Thursday (the mothers are divided up in to two groups), I taught the senoras how to make pancakes and a chocolate cake from scratch! It was a great learning experience for everyone, including myself! I had to learn to make substitutions for some of the ingredients that aren’t available to the women in Collique or that they can’t afford. For example, we used evaporated milk instead of regular milk, and we had to beat everything by hand – no such thing as electric mixers in Collique! The senoras were so fun and SO patient with me as I learned more cooking vocabulary during the process! And they each had a blast making their own pancake in the skillet. Everything turned out great…except for the cake we made in the first class that burned to a crisp… I was impressed by the senora’s determination to salvage the edible parts of it. Luckily, I had practiced making the cake the night before, so we ate that one instead 🙂 I am so grateful for this opportunity I had to spend time getting to know these women. I learned so much from them. Since I already know each of their children really well, it was fun seeing where the kids get their personalities. All of the mothers work so hard and have amazing attitudes in spite of the hard lives they lead. I was blessed by their dispositions and eagerness to learn.

Last Thursday morning, I taught my first infant stimulation class! I am teaching this class for the 3 Thursdays in June that I am here. This is a very important class and something that the OSA team really wanted me to teach Collique mothers. Many of the women here, unfortunately, do not show much affection to their babies. As we know, this affection is so important for babies’ growth and development. Because a lot of the women are single mothers, they just have to throw the babies on their back while they work long days. And others just don’t know how important it is to give their babies attention to stimulate their minds so they can develop motor skills and improve their neurological functioning. At the beginning of the week, Chris and I walked around the 4th zone of Collique to hang fliers about my class. The idea is that mothers with babies between the ages of 0-12 months will bring their babies to the class and I will show them activities that they can do with them to stimulate their muscles and minds.

On Thursday morning, I had no idea who would show up, but all I could do was pray that I would have someone to teach! Luckily four women and their beautiful babies came! Two of the women came an hour late (I’m now getting used to Latin America’s sense of time) so I ended up teaching two classes. The youngest baby was 1 month old and the oldest was a little over 1 year. They were precious! During this week’s class, I taught the mothers how to give their babies a massage and exercise their muscles. It was such a rewarding feeling when the babies would smile or show their mothers that they liked the activity, and this made the mothers happy as well. It was also really interesting for me to watch the mothers interact with their babies. It was really obvious which mothers were used to showing affection to their babies and which were not. I realized that all of the babies may not have been wanted in the first place. This broke my heart, but it was also a great feeling to teach the mothers ways to interact with their babies so they could form a bond and relationship with them. The last activity we did in the class was a mother and baby exercise, so I made the mothers work a little too! This was a lot of fun, and although the mothers were laughing, I don’t know how they felt about me making them do crunches and bench presses with their babies… 🙂

Please pray that more mothers will come to the next two classes. If you have any ideas for activities the mothers could learn to do with their babies, let me know!

Luis and Ruth Campos arrived in Collique yesterday afternoon -it was a lot of fun having them here at OSA! They’ll also be at church tomorrow so I’ll get to see them again! Many of the OSA team members (including myself) have been sick this past week, so please pray that we’ll all be back to 100% soon!

God bless!


Sharing Our Stories…. Bobbye Lott

April 22, 2010

By Bobbye Lott, South Main Member

Bobbye Lott is a member of the South Main Outreach Committee and Guest Outreach Team.  She also teaches Sunday School in the Senior Adults department.

I married into the South Main Family–a boy who grew up at South Main. We had been married four years when we moved to Houston, bringing our first child in tow. I grew up in a small town, almost living at the church in my teen years. Then off to Baylor, marriage, teaching, child bearing. My thoughts about South Main were–this big beautiful church with all these smart people, there won’t be a place for me to serve. Wrong!!

My first “ministry” was in Vacation Bible School, as a helper with the three year olds, serving snacks, bathing rubber dolls, and taking kids to potty. Before I could turn around, I found myself teaching fourth grade girls in Sunday School–then time out to have a baby.

A dynamic young woman came on staff as our Children’s Director. (Women were not called ministers then.) She invited my husband and me to teach kindergarten. She saw potential and urged me into leadership positions I had no idea how to do. Most of the time, my answer was, “I don’t know how to do that.”

Throughout almost fifty years as a South Mainer, I’ve been blessed with opportunities to serve in ways I could never have imagined, and always, there was someone to encourage and guide me. Only last year, I learned that my mother-in-law was the one who suggested that I be asked to teach. We just never know the impact our words may have on someone’s life.

We are never more like Jesus than when we SHARE…. As we learn to share our stories, we learn to share our faith…

Share Campaign 2010

All Church Mission Trip Day 1

March 18, 2010

By Dolores Rader, Minister to Children

I woke up this morning bubbly with anticipation (honestly, I was groggy from lack of sleep too).  The All Church Mission Trip began today, and I was eager to return to Eagle Pass, spend time with my family serving as Christ’s hands, and spend time with my church family deepening relationships with those I already knew well and building relationships with those whom I might only know by name or face.

Back to this morning…Google Maps says it takes five hours and 20 minutes to get to Eagle Pass from Houston, but caravanning with three vans and three cars filled with forty-three people stretches the trip into a seven hour and 37 minute adventure, but it is SO worth it!  After checking-in, stretching, and enjoying pizza, all fifty-six South Mainers ranging in age from five to something slightly more than five gathered together in worship.  As we heard God’s Word and sang joyful hymns of praise, the feeling of love was palpable.  Specific memories from last June came rushing back as I looked around the room:

Our youth are simply amazing and serve as ideal role models for the children this week.  Rebecca Moore pulls Macy Smith, our youngest missionary, onto her lap effortlessly and envelops her in a literal hug of love throughout the service.  They all sit together and sing together with smiles and joy that you know comes from experiencing the love of our Lord and Savior….Read more here.


February 3, 2010

Dolores Rader, Minister to Children

At South Main Baptist Church we have really amazing teachers leading great opportunities on Wednesday nights for children that they just won’t get anywhere else (at least not with the heart and at the price we offer).


From ages three and up, we have some of the finest musical teachers anywhere for choir, handbells (4th and 5th grade), and handchimes (1st – 3rd grade).

My oldest, Anna, started in band this year (sixth grade – ackk) playing oboe. She is required to take private lessons to supplement what she receives in school and after a few weeks, Mrs. Tice (her private teacher) emailed me to say “Somebody has already given her a really good start with music in general. Makes my job easy!” Well, that somebody was Susan Moore, Anthony Holder, Melissa Scott, Brenda Coker and a host of others here at South Main.


From age three through Kindergarten we have meaningful missions activities where our littlest ones learn how they and our church help others here in Houston and around the world. Tonight at the conference I am attending, the question was asked of the close to 1000 children’s ministers and volunteers – does your church do anything for missions and if so, what? Every answer I heard was that their kids gave money to a very worthy cause. This is great, but in most cases, it isn’t the children’s money, it’s their parents money and are they really too young to give of their time and talents and forming a servants heart? I believe the answer to that question is “no”, and I see your children embracing that ideal every Wednesday night. Wonder of Worship – in order to enhance our K-5th graders corporate worship experience on Sunday mornings, we spend 30 minutes on Wednesday night getting acquainted with hymns we will be singing, exploring an element of worship (what is an invocation prayer and why do we have one?), and sneaking a peek at the scripture that Pastor Steve will preach on (usually in the form of a skit) all with the purpose of establishing a few hooks for them to grab on to on Sunday morning and help make worship more meaningful for them. PLEASE don’t be overwhelmed by feeling that if you can’t get your child/ren to church every Wednesday night that they can’t participate. Of course, we would love them to be there every Wednesday, but understand that is not realistic for all of us. Make a good faith effort and get them here as often as you can and among many blessings you will see them lead us in worship on April 25 (a very special experience for them and our entire church family).

Reflections on Peru

January 5, 2010

By Chelsea Wade, Buckner Ministries Coordinator at South Main Baptist Church.  Chelsea visited Peru from December 4-13, 2009.

During the first orphanage visit a fellow participant asked me who my favorite was. I said that I wanted to spend time with as many children as possible and that I didn’t have one. After listening to my response he reiterated: “You always have a favorite”. There were certainly children that took my hand for reasons that I can’t explain. At times they smiled at me with so much joy that I became overwhelmed. I have no doubt that I was placed there for divine reasons. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say “You’ll always become a favorite”.

Chronicling my experiences was a bit difficult for this trip. I usually enjoy writing journal entries but this method seemed futile for this experience. I found myself summarizing the itinerary instead of taking an introspective approach. I opted to e-mail friends and family tidbits about emotions and observations. After re-reading these conversations I’ve decided that they give an accurate representation of my personal growth.

Here at South Main the concept of community is emphasized in activities. I’ve become much more aware of what we can accomplish together and learn from each other in community settings.  My awareness of community was certainly increased during this trip. I had the opportunity to function as an extension of South Main and as a Buckner employee. In addition I got to work alongside others to accomplish a common goal: showing God’s love.

When the trip was coming to a close, we discussed the challenge of describing our experience. How could we effectively communicate the happiness that the children felt? How could we explain the changes in our hearts? How could we show that we have been humbled? I suggested that those around us will learn about experience from our actions. I added that I couldn’t wait to step off the plane and be a different person that I was before leaving…thank God.

The Most Important Hour of Your Child’s Week?

September 2, 2009

Sunday sBy Dolores Rader, Minister to Children

Studies show that adults who regularly attended church as children are much more likely to be churchgoers than their counterparts who weren’t regular attendees as children.

That seems like a “duh”, but upon a minute of reflection it caused me to pause and think. It is SO easy to get caught up in the here and now urgency of raising children that sometimes as parents we lose sight of the big picture – what kind of adults are we raising our children to be? I am not sure why, but it really struck me when I realized that my children will receive over 2000 hours of math instruction by the time they are eighteen years old, and if I am not really serious about it, they will receive only 300 hours of Sunday School learning in the same timeframe. Wow.

Now, no one loves good math instruction more than I do, but when the girls are grown and on their own, will I be convicted in knowing I was as intentional in cultivating in my children a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, a solid understanding of the bible, and a deep and unwavering knowledge that church is family and loves them like family, as I was in making sure they went to great schools, weren’t tardy, and did their homework on time?