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


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

MKCampout2016A

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

MKCampout2016B

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

MKCampout2016C

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 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.


How Can I Find God…Reflections by Greg Funderburk

June 20, 2014

One of my favorite things to do on summer vacation used to be hitting an amusement park. I loved the roller coasters that looped and corkscrewed and turned me upside down. The forces and the the velocity-charged changes in perspective was the attraction. However, my age and the accompanying fact that the function of my inner ear balance mechanism is apparently fossilizing keeps me from riding these coasters 5 or 6 times in a row like I used to growing up.

Nevertheless, I do still enjoy being turned upside down by a writer, theologian, dramatist, or artist who dramatically changes my perspective. As together we read through our summer congregational book, How Can I Find God, I wanted to point out the perspective-changing offering of Stanley Hauerwas which appears roughly half way through the book, on page 75 and 76. Hauerwas, is a Christian ethicist, author, and professor at the Divinity School of Duke University where our own Amy Grizzle-Kane studied with him. He turns the book’s central question around writing that “God is not easily found because we cannot ‘find’ that which is so near to us as our next breath…”

He asks if perhaps the better question therefore is, “What do I do now that God has found me?”

He goes on to teach that one can fully discover that God has already found them by seeking out a person who is an adept follower of Christ, writing that such apprenticeships are readily available by simply going and getting involved at a local church. So, even as you are away this summer, stay close to your church home and your co-followers of Christ. And if you are nearby this summer,  come to church, where you will discover how near God already is as you worship each Sunday. As Professor Hauerwas puts it, “…nothing can be more important than simply turning up and placing one’s self amidst people who are praying to and praising the One know as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”

Stay Close.


Meet Nely

August 16, 2012

ImageNely has a son, Ribaldo, in the Operacion San Andres’ secondary program. For work, Nely owns a little store inside of her house in Collique, where she sells all sorts of goodies including food, drinks, necessities, and office supplies. She has owned the store for about five years, but has just recently taken out a loan from her brother in order to grow her store. Just in the past couple of months she has been able to fill up her store with all that is shown in the picture. Nely got involved with OSA through a friend and is grateful for all that OSA has done for her son.

What does she need?
Since the growth of her business, Nely has lost control with the administration and organization of her inventory. She wants to learn how to administer her business so that she can see the profit she is making in order to care for her expenses, including paying back her loan to her brother and providing necessities for her family. Nely is a very hard worker and believes if she can do the basic organizing needed for her business, growth will occur. OSA is working to help her organize her store by showing her how to write down her inventory, find her profit, and invest back into her store so that it may grow.

How can we help?
Although Nely does not currently need any loans, encouragement for the hard work she is putting into her store is essential. Pray that she has the integrity and perseverance to continue to write down her inventory, find her revenues and expenses, and with discipline, find her profit. Nely is the only employee of her store, but to know that people around the world care for her and are working with her through prayer to grow her business could be one of the best ways to help grow her store. If you would like to send a letter through email to encourage Nely and remind her that she is not alone in working in her business, please send it to kabbring@operacionsanandres.orgOSA believes that this is the best way to maximize Nely’s talents and skills as a store owner. By encouraging her with prayer, you will be investing in the economic improvement of her family’s life.


Grace Remembered…by Amy Grizzle Kane

October 20, 2010

By Amy Grizzle Kane, Minister to Adults

Will Kona remember us? I was worried our own dog wouldn’t remember us after we sent her to four weeks of obedience camp in Brenham. We’d owned her only a month before we knew we needed help training her and found puppy camp heaven.  She loves playing with other dogs, gets to chase chickens every now and then, and is learning so fast she’s at the head of her class. That’s our girl.  So on our way to visit Kona we discussed, not our worry at how she is, but our worry that she had forgotten us.

We arrived and watched with beaming doggie parent pride as they showed us everything Kona learned.  After she had done everything they asked of her, they let her free to come see us.  We were standing with a few other doggie parents and she approached slowly and with caution.  She sniffed the couple next to us with a bit of disinterest, keeping her distance.  Next, she moved towards us.

My heart sank as it was obvious she didn’t recognize us immediately.  I knelt down so she could smell my hand… a quick sniff and instantly the world changed. Her ears and tail perked up and happy wagging, excited jumping, and joyful licking pursued.  She’s not lapdog size, but she bounced between my lap and Sean’s, covering us with happy doggie kisses.  Even after weeks of separation, she remembers us!  A week later, I’m still happy and smiling like a goof, telling everyone who will listen that my dog remembered me.  I know it’s silly and I know she’s “just” a dog; yet, when my dog remembering me brings a smile to my face weeks later…it makes me realize how much that joy multiplies when humans remember each other…and when we are reminded that God remembers us.

There is powerful grace in remembering and being remembered. I wonder who in our lives needs to experience the grace of being remembered?  A loved one who feels taken for granted, a church member in a care facility, an employee who feels unnoticed, a newcomer who feels out of place?  Some of us may think grace is always as big as the story of the Prodigal Son.  Grace, even when it seems “little,” is just as powerful.  Whether someone remembers your birthday or that it was a year ago today you lost a loved one.  Whether a friend remembers and shows up with your favorite ice cream flavor after a bad day or a “stranger” remembers your name.  Take note of when you feel the grace and joy of being remembered and find ways to share it with others.  The hearts and lives we touch, and even God, may still be smiling weeks later.

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


Each pair of shoes represents a child in need

August 20, 2010

By Chelsea Wade, Buckner Ministries Coordinator for South Main

The “Shoes for Orphan Souls” shoe drive has taken on a new meaning for me since my trip to Peru last December. Before the trip I was familiar with flyers, pamphlets, articles, DVDs, and the stories that others told me. I became acquainted with the process of preparing shoes and packing them with the rest of the congregation each year. I knew that there were children in other countries who received the shoes after we lovingly packed them. I also knew that I would learn more than I could imagine by placing shoes on their feet.

During my trip to Peru last year I learned the process of picking out a pair of shoes for a child. I experienced the importance of placing them on a child’s feet. I was inspired by the joy that came from watching a child marvel at them. I was humbled by the result of each interaction.

In these moments I understood the impact of shoe drives firsthand. As our shoe drive continues I want each of us to remember our purpose. I want each of us to remember that each pair symbolically represents a child in need.

Thank you for your continued support of Shoes for Orphan Souls, a program of Buckner International Ministries.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday at Sole Chain, our World Record Breaking Event at South Main Baptist Church.  The excitement starts at 9:00 a.m. Join us as we have some fun shattering the world record for the Longest Chain of Shoes.  But most importantly, we will be making a difference in the life of over 10,000 orphans.


A Good Catch

July 22, 2010

By Chelsea Wade, South Main Member & Buckner Ministries Coordinator

Quite frankly I didn’t need any convincing to attend Faith Singles Night at the Astros. All you can eat extreme hot dogs were more than enough incentive to prompt ticket purchase. Bottomless peanuts, popcorn, and access to the Champions Pavilion were also worthy additions.

I was also motivated by the possibility. This event was another opportunity to laugh, chat, and cheer on the home team. I don’t consider my relationship status as a determining factor of my identity but I do acknowledge it. I even persuaded a good friend to go with me. Of course I provided a disclaimer during the invitation: “Ok, I don’t know who will be there…BUT I have faith that they will all be single!” You have to appreciate events where the guest list is that straightforward!

When we arrived at the social we stopped and stood before two black doors. My friend likened her emotions to jitters on the first day of school. I opened the door on the right and we walked in…Michael Bourn approached me and said that he’d been waiting for me…pigs began to fly…

So FYI, that last part didn’t happen. I got to mingle with attendees from other churches! I added neon relish to my hot dog! I sat with fellow Young Adult Community members! I had a great experience that I got to share with friends.

I’m not counting down the days hoping that my life as a “single” will end. I’m thankful for the journey and I’m grateful for South Main as a home base.

innerloopchurch.com