Summer 2016 recap!
This summer LAMB Youth was extremely busy! These young people have been on fire to tell Muslim children about Jesus. They volunteered to give up their whole summer to serve the Lord. We were blessed with having four different groups join us this summer to conduct our different Parties in the Parks. We had groups come from Camp Lutherhaven, Southwest Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, and Uncharted International and Crossroads from Evansville.
We also brought children to Camp Lutherhaven where the All Nations Outreach Servant Event led a Day Camp with us. The last thing we did before the summer ended was to take our youth on a three-day tent camping trip at Pokagon The older youth stayed for the night while the younger ones were brought up and taken back each day.
Because we were working with these children every day this summer, we made unbreakable bonds with them. We had lots of good witnessing opportunities. We are hoping to still stay in contact with all these children so we can continue to tell them about Jesus.
Thank you to EVERY ONE who supported us this summer. We greatly appreciated all the donations and prayers. Our summer was a success because of you!
Please continue to pray for us as we bring this summer to an end. Pray that what these Muslim children learned this summer, they will take it to heart and want to learn more. Please pray that the interns will have wisdom about what they should do once school starts, how they can continue to work with these children even with their hectic school schedules. Pray that our young people continue to witness to all their friends as they start school. Most importantly, pray that our faith remains strong, and that all our young people will come back next summer healthy and strong.
Youth Camping Trip
We were able to finish this summer off with a camping trip to Pokagon State Park. We wanted to thank and honor all of our wonderful youth who gave up six weeks of their summer to serve the Lord through our Parties in the Parks outreach to Muslim children. Through donations to the LAMB Youth Fund, we were able to spend three days at Pokagon State Park. During our time there the youth got to experience sleeping in tents, cooking outdoors and “fetching” water from a spring. The youth said that these experiences were a lot like when they lived in the refugee camps.
They also participated in Bible studies that talked about how important it is to study the Bible, how to be a witness even in school, how to experience the power of prayer, and how to persevere. Additionally, the youth got to go swimming every day
and have volleyball and badminton competitions.
We just want to thank everyone who made this camping trip possible. Our youth had a fantastic time! Please pray for our youth as they will be starting school again. Pray that they will have a good school year and that they will continue being on fire for Jesus!
International Day Camp
As the summer comes to a close, the children we have worked with all summer had the opportunity to head up to Camp Lutherhaven for International Day Camp, July 25-28. Since the start of our Parties in the Parks, the children kept asking our LAMB Youth about camp. So it’s safe to say they were ecstatic when it was the week of camp.
Early in the morning, our interns headed out to the apartment complexes to wake up the children, remind them to head to the playground and wait for the bus and also give permission slips out to children who were interested in going that were not already signed up. Our interns made sure that the campers that got on the bus were the ones that were signed up. On the first day, we rounded up 36. The second day we got 28. Then the third day 24 came, and on the last day we only got 18 to show up. The reason for the decline in the number of children that showed up for camp was because most of them had to go to Muslim school while some could not make it because of doctor appointments.
The one-hour bus ride to Camp Lutherhaven was anything but quiet. When the bus arrived at camp, 25 teens and adults from the All Nations Servant Event greeted the day campers.
Once out of the bus, the children got buddies and played basketball, jump rope, chalk, and soccer. All of this was taking place at the same time on the basketball court.
After having fun outside, the children were taken back inside to play with toys.
On the last day the children were able to go boating, one of their favorite camp activities.
Before eating, one of the camp leaders led the prayer.
At the end of lunch, they went swimming.
After swimming, the children were then seated to listen and participate in a Bible lesson led by Rev. James Keller. He incorporated the children into the dramatization of different events from the Book of Acts.
After this, the children ate snacks, and then their buddies brought them back to the bus.
When these children were asked about their experience at camp, one child said he had so much fun he wanted to live at camp. When asked what was the best part about camp, another one answered that playing with the toys was the best part. One girl answered she liked the Bible stories the best.
Although summer has come to an end, that does not mean our ministry to these children is finished. We have plans to still be in touch with these children in the fall so that it is not just a summer event to them.
Party in the Park Week 4!
After having a two-week break of Parties in the Parks, we met again! We were blessed with a group from Crossroads Christian Church, Newburgh, Indiana. They brought 25 youth, mostly middle schoolers, and 10 adults who were parents to some of the youth. This group really focused on witnessing as a family.
At one of our Parties in the Parks site, the Muslim leaders again suspended the spreading of the Gospel. They decided that they needed to hold Muslim school for all the children from 10-12, the exact time that we were out there. Because of this, we did not have as many children at this site. We did have a lot of younger children, those who were too young to be in Muslim school. We were able to tell these kids about Jesus. However, at the other location, we had the highest attendance of the summer. We had a lot of mothers join us this week. They loved to help with all the crafts.
MaryJane, one of our youth, said, “Today I saw God when a couple of the mothers were helping with the craft and were talking to the adults that came from Crossroads. It is really good that we are making connections with the parents of these children also.”
One day we made story bracelets for the craft.
Glory, another one of our youth, told us how she got to use it so start a conversation with her buddy about Jesus. She said, “I told her how Jesus died on the cross to take our sins away. I used the story bracelet to tell her. The last bead was yellow. It stands for that if you believe in Jesus, you will get to go to the golden city (Heaven). I told her that if you believe in Jesus, we are princesses because God our Father is a king. She believed me, and was so excited to hear this! I gave her my bracelet, and then she wanted to make one more. She even told her friends about what I had told her.”
Please pray for us as we begin Day Camp at Camp Lutherhaven this week. This year we are doing something different. We are only going to take up non-believers. We are blessed with a bus that we plan to fill up with 50 Muslim children. Pray that we will have safe travels to and from camp, that the children’s hearts will be open, and for the servant event team that will be working with the children.
In addition, the Crossroads group built cabinets, fixed a roof, refinished a wood floor, and helped Lutheran South Unity School prepare for the new school year. During three evenings, they led a VBS at Bethlehem Lutheran Church for Bethlehem members, neighbors, and Burmese children.
Suburban Bethlehem VBS
For the week of July 11th to the 14th from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., 30 children (including a baby) and six helpers were blessed to attend Vacation Bible School at Suburban Bethlehem Lutheran Church. Suburban Bethlehem provided two drivers each day, and two vans full of Burmese Buddhist kids along with some of the younger LAMB Youth participated. The LAMB Youth went along to help make the Burmese kids feel comfortable. On arrival everyone was given name tags and grouped into their grades. The VBS started with an enthusiastic sing along and dancing. It got kids moving and involved. After the sing along, the kids then moved to different stations of the VBS with their groups. While one group learned the dances and lyrics from the sing along, another did crafts, played games, listened to Bible story or ate snacks. It was a great opportunity to share Jesus with unbelievers, and a Christian boy, new to Fort Wayne, was invited to attend by his friends. His family has started attending church at New Life Lutheran’s Burmese service.
Party in the Park Week 3!
We had another amazing and successful week of Parties in the Parks. The group that helped us during this week was called Uncharted International, Inc. They traveled all the way from Evansville to help us do this mission work. They had about 40 people with them, and most of them are in high school. In the morning, they would divide and go to two apartment complexes. These two complexes have a large number of Buddhist and Muslim children.
From 10 a.m. until noon, our youth, and the Uncharted group would play and teach the kids about Jesus Christ. At first, they tried to get to know the kids better by doing different activities with them. Then once they felt like they knew the kids a little, they would gather all the kids together and do a skit for them. Since the Muslim and Buddhist kids are not Christian, the skits are simple and are meant to show them that they need Jesus Christ. After the skit, there would be a craft activity to follow up with the skit, and then snacks were passed out to the kids.
We knew that God answered prayers because many of the children that got yelled at and told to go home last week were allowed to come back this week.
Parker: “I got to tell a kid about sin and how we need to be saved and only Jesus can do that.”
Glory: “I told one of my Muslim friends that if we believe in Jesus we are a princess because he is our father and he is also a King.”
Thursday: “I taught the kids not to hurt others when playing games but to do teamwork.”
At noon, the Uncharted group met up together at Lutheran South Unity School where they enjoyed lunch provided by the Bible Women of New Life Lutheran Church. After lunch, they participated in work projects. For this week, they helped Lutheran South Unity School get ready for next school year. In the evening, the Uncharted group ran a VBS program on their own held at Bethlehem Lutheran Church.
Thank you again for your prayers for good weather and good contacts with the children, their parents, and the mission team!
Party in the Park Week #2!
We had another amazing week of Parties in the Parks! This week was a little different from last. This week we were blessed with two different groups joining us. We had a group from Southwest Lutheran Church and Burmese Mission Outreach from Camp Lutherhaven. The group of 12 youth and three adults from Southwest Lutheran church went out to one Burmese Muslim apartment complex each day. The group that came from Camp Lutherhaven had seven youth and five adults. They kicked off our second site at another Burmese Muslim apartment complex.
After the Parties in the Parks, the two groups met together for a delicious lunch which was provided by the Bible Women of New Life Lutheran Church. They then set to work doing different jobs. On Monday they spent the afternoon helping the residents in the New Life neighborhood. They did yard work, cleaned out a garage, and helped with whatever they could. The rest of the week they spent helping Lutheran South Unity School get ready for the upcoming school year.
This week we were faced with opposition from some of the Muslim leaders at one of the apartments. The Muslim leaders forced some of the children to go home. We started the week with 40 children, but by the end of the week we only had 15. We ask that you will pray for us to have wisdom at how best to deal with this, that the children will be allowed to come back, and that the Muslim leaders will have a change of heart. Even with this opposition the youth were still able to tell the kids that were allowed to come to the park about Jesus.
Moe said, “Today I talked to my friend I met at Autumn Woods about God. We talked about how Jesus died for us on the cross and how He took away our sins.”
At the other apartment complex the opposite happened. The week started with about 10 children, and by the end we had 25. The parents were all very welcoming to the group that came out. They allowed the children to shout Jesus songs at the top of their lungs.
MaryJane commented, “I was able to discuss heaven and hell with a little boy named Aung. Aung knew about Jesus, but he doesn’t believe that he is God. I was able to tell Aung about Jesus’ death and resurrection and God’s grace.”
Please pray that this will continue. Another amazing thing that happened this week was that we had a wedding take place at one of the apartment complex playgrounds! A couple came to Pastor Keller and asked him to do the ceremony right there with all the children gathered around.
We are also asking for prayers for our time with the group from Uncharted International, Inc. joining us June 25-30.
LAMB Youth have really learned a lot this past week. They have all worked so hard. Last week the interns gave them some things that we wanted them to work on, and they did such a great job!
Pway reported, “A lot more kids were playing with me compared to last week. The kids weren’t scared of me anymore. This makes me really happy.”
Charry added, “This week I have improved from last week. I didn’t really talk to a lot of kids last week, but this week I have talked to a lot of kids.”
Glory said, “A lot of the kids remembered us from last year. One kid got to go to camp last year and talked about how much fun he had.”
Party in the park: Week 1
LAMB Youth led the summer’s first Party in the Park, June 13-17, 10 a.m.-noon. The first day was an introduction day. We talked about how God made everything that we see. For the craft, we had the kids write what God made. All of the kids participated in the crafts, even the boys who tend to shy away from doing crafts. We decided to do the skits twice, once in the beginning and another time towards the end so that the kids could remember the stories better. After each skit, we gave out snacks and took the time to sing and dance with the kids. As we played, more kids got interested and involved with us.
After the Party in the Park, the youth met back at the church for a short debriefing time. There the youth wrote in the notepads that were given to them during leadership training. They wrote about with whom they had bonded, if they had an opportunity to tell someone about Jesus, where they saw God, and things like that.
The second day Felicia’s group led the skit. Her group taught the kids about Saul. She explained that Saul went from persecuting Christians to becoming one himself. He became a new creation in Christ and changed his name to Paul.
Unfortunately due to weather, we had to cancel Party in the Park on Wednesday. On Thursday, we presented two skits which were led by August’s and Moe’s group. August’s group taught the kids about the walls of Jericho. Moe’s group taught about the widow’s son. The kids made bracelets and did crafts that went along with the skits. On the last day, Josephana’s group told the kids about the story of Lazarus. They taught the game “Into the Tomb and Out of the Tomb.” For craft they painted butterflies which symbolize the new life people have in Christ.
Towards the end, the kids were then asked about the skits that were presented to them throughout the week. They were given a prize when they answered the questions correctly. It was wonderful to hear the kids retell the stories we taught them. It showed that they listened and that they are now familiar with Bible stories.
To wrap this week up, we discussed what we could do differently to make the Party in the Park better and what things we have been doing that work well. The youth were asked to ponder what they thought they did well and what they think they should work on. Adriana wrote,
“This week I think I did well with getting kids into activities. There are things I need to work on like staying busy, making new friends, and talking about God more.”
On Monday the LAMB Youth were asked who they bonded with, and Christina wrote,
“I bonded with a 3-year-old named Soba Ha and his sister. We played with the bubbles and played “Duck, Duck, Goose.”
On Tuesday the youth were asked where they saw God. Victory wrote that she saw God when Charlie threw something at her and later on apologized. She also saw God when one of the kids helped clean up trash. Eh Doh wrote,
” I saw God at work when the kid threw sand in another kid’s eyes, but stopped after we told him to stop.”
The LAMB youth did a better job at utilizing the notepads this week. It was a good idea to have them write down the events of the day so that they can reflect and improve how they’re carrying out the mission for Christ.
Our summer programs have begun! We kicked off this summer with a week of training. Each day we had about 40 kids join us at the church. They ranged in age from 6 to 17. (One day we even had an 82 year old join us!) We started each day with a devotion that went along with our summer theme: “New Creation in Jesus.”
LAMB Youth prayed together at the end of each devotion time.
We also learned three different evangelism tools. The first, which was taught by August Say, one of our summer interns, was the bridge. It demonstrated to us that we have been separated from God and that only way back to Him is through the cross. The second, taught by Josephana Ma, another summer intern, showed us how all the other religions require “do, do, do,” but with Jesus, it has all already been done.
The last one, taught by Felicia Keller, displayed the morality ladder. This last one showed how the only way to heaven is by God’s grace.
During the week the youth were busy learning new games, songs, and making skits to lead at the Parties in the Parks. Mu La Htoo said; “We have fun and read the Bible and play games. We learned about God, and how to teach Him to others.”
During our morning devotions we learned about being a New Creation, The Power to Change, How to Be a New Person, and What Happens When a New Creation Messes up.
Ester said, “The Holy Spirit will help us and lead us and help us tell people about Jesus.”
Su said, “We learned about how important it is to forgive others. Like it says in the Lord’s Prayer, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. If we want to be forgiven, we have to forgive others.”
- Strength and wisdom for LAMB Youth
- The children’s hearts to be open to the Gospel
- Good weather