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.

MKCampout2016E

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
Fowler


Peru Mission Trip Summer 2016 Day 5

June 16, 2016

By Brian Chambers

On our first mission trip to Peru our group was able to visit La Plaza de Armas, the beautiful area within Lima containing the Presidential Palace, Congress, and the Cathedral of Lima. Though we could walk around the cathedral’s impressive exterior, we were previously unable to enter.

PeruDay5.JPGHowever, this time around our small group was fortunate enough to be allowed to enter into this awe-inspiring building. Enormous sculptures of meticulously crafted wood and stone adorned several inlets within the main chamber of the cathedral, great care taken to perfect even the smallest aspects of the artwork. Our tour guide, Marta, took us into the crypt below the altar. Once in the crypt our music minister, Carey Cannon, lined up the youth choir and we proceeded to sing “Esto Les Digo”. The sound of the music echoed through the catacombs, enhancing our voices. Other visitors to the cathedral came down the narrow stairs leading to the crypt, some with cameras in hand, to listen. The entire experience was extremely moving and unforgettable!

Brian Chambers is beginning his Freshman Year at Texas A&M this Fall. He was active in band, but this week is helping in the Discovery (science, art, gardening) and Recreation Classes at OSA. He is the son of Mark and Jeannie, and the brother of Suzanne.


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.


Advent is here!

December 7, 2010

By Steve Wells, South Main Baptist Church Pastor

My son Joshua is our Christmas child; his birthday is December 27th. From March until December of 1997, our lives in the Mississippi Delta were focused around his coming into the world. His timing was perfect: Missy’s brother Wes was working at Ole Miss and was leaving for their bowl game in Phoenix (where Missy’s parents live) on the 28th. Wes was able to see his most recent nephew and deliver pictures to proud grandparents the day after his birth. Hardly impressive in the age of Facebook, but quite an accomplishment in the olden days of the late 20th century.

There is something about good news that we just want to share. And there is no better news than in the perfect timing of God, “the fullness of time” as the Scripture calls it, Jesus came into the world. Advent is an opportunity to Share the Miracle. Advent is a call to let our lives focus around the coming of Jesus into the world as we anticipate His birth. Advent is an opportunity for all of us to remember the Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace that our faith offers us. Just like Missy and I prepared our hearts and home for the coming of Joshua, we should prepare our hearts and homes for the coming of Jesus. So we will decorate the sanctuary and dedicate our time to hearing the story, cherishing the traditions, worshipping the Christ child, and following Him as He grows up to become the king.

I hope our Advent book becomes a significant devotional partner for you this season. More than that, I hope Advent gets deep inside you and you experience the wonder of the season afresh. If you do, why not Share the Miracle and invite someone you know to faith in Jesus this year at His birth…

grace and peace,

Steve

innerloopchurch.com

 


Give Grace…by Hart Brupbacher

November 2, 2010

By Hart Brupbacher, South Main Member

On Sunday mornings I am a part of South Main extending God’s grace to the homeless community through the Manna Ministry. We provide a warm welcome, a friendly and caring ear to prayerfully listen, a little food and coffee, a bag of essentials (like soap, razors, sewing kits and other miscellaneous essential items), and a brief devotional that includes reading a Bible passage and providing a brief commentary on the passage. Every week we touch the lives of between 20 and 50 homeless people.

We give the gift of true caring and in return we often receive a gift grace. An example: a conversation that has become permanently engraved in my memory. One of the men told me that at one time he had a much better life than he has now. Things turned bad, and he found himself homeless and on the street. Then he shared this insight: “Everything that has happened to me is a result of my own choices. I know that I’ve done wrong, and I know what I need to do to change. I pray to God for the strength to make the change”. His honesty, insight and faith seemed to provide a lesson many of us need to hear: a wonderful perspective and a gift of grace to me.

Our pastor, Steve Wells, sometimes says that “the ground is level at the base of the cross”. My experiences in the Manna ministry are proving that to be true – as we share grace (each of us both giving and receiving grace).

Give Grace.

 


Overwhelmed

August 30, 2010

Guinness World Record for the Longest Chain of Shoes

By Jennifer Gribble, South Main Member & Marketing Coordinator on August 21, 2010 after the Sole Chain event.

Well, it’s 6:37 p.m. and I have been struggling for a few hours to find the words to describe my experience today at the Sole Chain – Shoes for Orphan Souls event.

For those of you who don’t know, South Main Baptist Church broke the Guinness World Record today for the Longest Chain of Shoes.  20,110 were laid out in the church parking lot in Houston.  Over 100 volunteers worked from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. to lay out the shoes, tie them together, pack the shoes, and then load them up on a truck that is going to Buckner International’s warehouse in Dallas.  Buckner uses these new shoes as a part of the Shoes for Orphan Souls project.

I found myself driving home from the event this afternoon in complete silence (not the usual for me as I like to “rock out” when I drive) and the tears just started falling down my cheeks.  I didn’t know why but I was just crying.  I kept trying to figure out what was causing the tears and I realized that I am just overwhelmed.

I am overwhelmed…

by the generosity of South Main Baptist Church’s members.

by the Houston community who showed up to bring a pair of shoes and lend a hand in placing and packing the shoes.

the willingness of people to give up their Saturday to sweat in 110 degree heat index temperatures on a concrete parking lot.

that 10,055 orphans that will be blessed by these donations.

by the homeless man that came by to ask what was going on and then donated $5 to the cause.

by the commraderie shown by all the volunteers today.

by the people stay until ALL the work is done…the truck is packed, the trash is picked up, everything is loaded up.

most of all, by the emotion that changing the lives of so many orphans brings to me.

I have been a small part of the shoe drive since we joined South Main in 2001.  This year, as the Marketing Coordinator at South Main, Sole Chain has been my focus at work over the past few months.  I have spent hours and hours getting ready for the event, calling media, getting “coverage” for our event.  All important tasks, but when it comes down to it, the real work is done by our volunteers who slaved away in the hot sun today.

Sole Chain is so much more than a publicity stunt.  This is about the kids.  I had to look through my 20+ pairs of shoes this morning to decide which pair of shoes that I would wear today.  The children that receive these shoes don’t have any.  This one pair of shoes will change their lives. It is as simple as that.  Simple, but oh so deep.

My experience today has changed me.  Softened my heart, opened my eyes, touched my soul.  I just don’t know if I can find the words to describe it all.  I would love for you to share your words from the event if you were there today with us all.

It was an amazing day.

Send shoes.  See smiles.  Save souls.

www.solechain.org


Sharing Our Stories…Kaci Coble

May 2, 2010

By Kaci Coble, South Main Member

Kaci Coble is a new member to South Main Baptist Church.  She is actively involved in the Young Adult Community and periodically writes for The Main Blog.

Finding South Main Baptist Church was like searching for and finally finding my soul mate. Finding a church home was something I’d been meaning to do for some time, but just hadn’t gotten around to. I began “church shopping” – often feeling disappointed or uninspired, but the day I walked into South Main, I knew I was home. I didn’t want to visit another church – I had found my heart right there on that Midtown corner.

South Main is truly a church I didn’t think existed anymore. It’s a genuine, pure, kind-hearted place of love and acceptance. The church family is warm and welcoming without being overbearing; motivational yet non-judgmental. The passion, resources, and opportunities run deep. The pastor, Steve Wells, is nothing shy of amazing. Week in and week out he moves and touches my soul in a way I couldn’t imagine making it through my week without. The message is always an eloquent balance between pick me up and keep me grounded. Never fluffy, not dated, just right. This is truly a place where you can feel God’s grace and peace throughout the buildings and the people alike.

Despite the fabulously ornate sanctuary or the magnificent campus, should all the walls come crumbling down, the group of people left standing would have enough faith and love to move mountains. Becoming a member of this church family was like committing to a lifelong journey together with my soul mate, one I am certain will carry me through all of my sad days as well as my glad days, making life just that much sweeter.

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


Share

March 12, 2010

Over the next few weeks, you may start to hear bits and pieces of the “Share Campaign.” As you know, this is a very exciting and important time in the life of South Main. We are improving our physical spaces, implementing an aggressive marketing plan to make sure that people know about South Main, and growing participation in meaningful missions and service. You can see it in the crowds of smiling youth in their new building. You can see it in the new innerloopchurch billboards around town. You can see it in the faces of the members and homeless at both the “Feed the Homeless” dinner and “Chili Bowl” events. You can feel it in Worship.

We are preparing our church for growth. The Share Campaign is going to be a focused effort to engage our entire church family in reaching out and sharing. It will be the catalyst to ignite the growth of our South Main family… spiritually and numerically. Please start praying now for this campaign and for God to use it for His purposes. God is working at South Main! You can feel it… you can see it…. get ready for everything to come together because it is going to be an incredible time in the life of our church.

www.smbc.org


HOPE for Haiti

January 19, 2010

From our Pastor, Dr. Steve Wells:

“I believe the hope of the world is the local church. As you consider how you will respond to the tragedy in Haiti, I encourage you to send monies that will partner with Haitian churches. Long after other relief agencies are gone, congregations will still be there making a difference one life at a time. SMBC will give through Baptist World Aid and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.”

You can give at our church’s giving link: http://www.smbc.org/giving.html.

There is HOPE for Haiti.


The difference, it seems, is infinite.

November 23, 2009

 

Kevin Sinclair, Minister to Youth

Back in the comfort of my apartment nestled nicely between the Medical Center and the Third Ward, I am trying to allow my memory to drift back over the course of this week, so that I might recall the soft spaces in my soul in need of kneading and coaxing so that yet even more understanding might surface. Today, a ragged band of weary missionaries, healers, builders, strugglers, saints, sinners, believers, doubters, and spiritual-paupers poured off Continental flight 590 from Peru. In the haze of this cool, sacred Houston morning, we were met by the smiling faces of friends, family, and mystical mixture of the two. Overjoyed to be greeted by one of my youth, Johnny, Susan, and I piled into the Moore’s van with Bill and Rachel. As we shared stories, I could see our breath dancing in the soft blow of the air conditioning, like the wisps and whispers of the memory and remembrances we were attempting to convey. We carried on the only kind of conversation humans are capable of after a red-eye flight and a week of immersion into another world.

 

What stories can we tell? What words can exhaust the experiences we share on this (or any) mission trip, journey, adventure, battle, struggle, retreat, etc etc etc…?

The difference, it seems, is infinite.

Experience is a powerful tool, and at times it makes all the difference between clarity and confusion. How many times have you heard someone finish a story with, once the story is met with faint chuckles, “Oh, well, I guess you had to be there…”? Yet, are those not the stories that bind groups of people together who, in fact, were there? Our experiences draw us together in a way that is very much human AND divine. I love the story of the Incarnation and how this idea becomes the fusion of flesh and Word, blood and spirit. God weaves us together into a patchwork of journeys–some victorious, some devastating–that allow us to make sense of our experiences together as friends and fellow-pilgrims on this road we call life. Such a journey was shared this week.

The heavenly sound of children playing, the crow of the roosters, busy echoes of the OSA House, the piercingly loud door-bell, the putter and cough of the exhaust pipes as our bus climbs the hills of Collique, and laughter and conversations shared by the team over Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches prepared by the loving hands of Charis Smith and company…these are the fragments of experience I brought back to Houston with me.

Nonetheless, these experiences are not enough. We must return not as weekend warriors who have done our good deed for the year, but as the Prophets and Preachers who proclaim into the darkness, “Behold, God is making all things new…” while still clutching onto the words of Saint Andrew at the feeding of the hungry multitudes, “…but, what is this among so many?” Marco told us today that we saw over 1,500 people in the clinic, and after the first day I spoke with Vince in the optometry office about how things were progressing, and he informed me that we had passed out 78 pairs of glasses. With a mixture of sincerity and levity, I said, “Wow, that is 78 people who before coming here could not see…Jesus didn’t even heal that many blind people in the Gospels!” After my somewhat flippant response I was immediately reminded of a verse that has plagued me for years:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do…” (John 14:12)

For the longest time, I thought this verse meant greater in quality (Resurrection, Miraculous Healings, etc), and as one who does not have much of a taste for the pageantry of Benny Hinn, I put these red letters aside for another day. Now, here I stand, a stranger in a strange land, nose itchy and throat hoarse from the dust of the waterless earth of Collique, this text emerged in my soul once again. When Christ left, he did not leave us to do what we could with what we have–Christ gives us himself. He gives us himself in the form of the Holy Spirit…he gives us himself in the form of Community…he gives us himself in the creativity of the God-searchers and Christ-followers who first established hospitals, orphanages, monasteries, social programs, homeless shelters, and so many more things We do when We are at Our best…he gives us himself the skillfulness and discipline of doctors and carpenters and the giftedness and compassion of teachers…he gives us everything we need to be all he calls us to be. Every eye exam Susan Young gave, and every pair of glasses Vince and Anna Beth meticulously organized before the whole team arrived, was one person…a whole, entire human being…given the gift of sight so that they like the blind man might declare, “All I know is I was blind…but now…I see.” Every pill passed out by Patti is a stepping stone on the journey to wellness for a people who otherwise have nothing. Every nail driven deep into softened lumber by Johnny is a building block of not just a home, but space for a family to discover dignity. Every craft Melissa helped the children make becomes a gift joyfully given to a friend, parent, or one of us by the children…for “it is in giving that we truly receive,” and these children–these dear, sweet, wounded, yet vibrant and bubbly children–who have quite literally nothing are the ones who had to teach us who have so much wealth, power, influence, treasure, and stuff.

So, here I sit in my comfortable apartment nestled in my soft chairs, watch my television, and wrap myself in comfort…and I can’t help but realize that “they” are where Christ is and are who Christ is in our world. But, “they” are not just in Collique. They live in Eagle Pass, Guatemala, China, Mexico, and Houston. They are sleeping on the steps of South Main. They are huddled in shelters trying to make their way home. They walk the halls of our offices and schools, devoid of love and human contact. They are in every city, every town, every village, every hamlet, in every valley, and every mountain on this big, blue planet of ours. So, even with all the good we do as the Church, there is so much left to do. Maybe we pray the words of our Lord, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few! Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into the fields.” (Luke 10:2)

I leave you with the words of Dr. Luis Campos, one of the many people throughout history who have turned a listening ear to God and a discerning heart to the winds of the Spirit:

“…Give them Hope! Hope in Him who is the Maker of the Universe but, ‘…had no place in this World to lay His Head.’ He knows all about poverty…[for] ‘Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal.'”

In the name of the God who Dreams the Dreams we are called to live out loud, Amen.

Grace & Peace,

Kevin