I am venturing into the world of blogging here, and I am looking forward to updating ya’ll on what is going on in my life and what I am involved in.
Today was the start of the 3rd week of HYPE – a summer neighborhood ministry for incoming 3rd – 7th graders that is held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3pm-5pm at Christ Memorial Church. There are many joys of my job at Christ Memorial Church and starting this new summer program has brought forth many reasons to be joyful. One of them is that I have the opportunity to walk alongside and work with 12 amazing high school students who are interns this summer. They are awesome! They come in on Monday mornings so we can plan and prepare for the upcoming week together, which includes developing the theme for the week as well as activities, games, sports, interest groups, crafts, our Bible passage from Philippians 3 and the teaching for the day. Tuesday the high school interns come in at noon and we eat lunch together, discuss a chapter of a book we are reading all together (The Student Leadership Challenge), prepare for the day and then the 3rd – 7th graders come at 3pm! They come full of energy, which we try our best to match for the whole time! Thursdays are very similar to Tuesdays with more preparation and time spent growing together.
This week’s theme is “Teamwork,” so we are focusing on working together as not only individuals, but as teammates. We had some friendly large group competition through a Hula Hoop relay and a teambuilding exercise called “Switch, Change, Rotate”. The students had free time at the beginning and at the end of the day to play 9-square in the air, basketball, throw the football, make friendship bracelets, or play Uno and Jenga. A majority of the high school students worked together and wrote a skit about teamwork and performed it for the students at HYPE today. It was about a football team that wasn’t working together at the beginning, but finally figured it out and bonded together in time to score a touchdown, but they excessively celebrated…(wait for a follow-up continuation skit about humility and sportsmanship on Thursday) We were also able to have some small group time, where the HYPE students were broken down into 3rd and 4th graders, 5th graders, 6th graders, and 7th graders. They first discussed with their high school leaders about the importance of teamwork, working together, and what it means to be a team player in life. Then, each small group was charged with the task of making and decorating a team flag for their group for the summer with their assigned colors. The team with the most color variety earned some extra HYPE bucks (kids can turn them in for prizes at the end of the day) – Congratulations 5th graders/Team Zimbabwe!
Today was a most fulfilling day as I am able to watch 3rd – 7th graders run around Christ Memorial’s youth room full of energy, smiling faces, laughing, yelling, dancing to music, playing 9-square, engaged in activities, watching skits, listening to teachings and simply having fun! Additionally, I have the privilege of teaching the high school students during the week and then watching them put into practice the art of greeting others, interacting with younger students, teaching them how to make friendship bracelets, playing board games with them, running and chasing them around, building relationships with and loving on the 3rd – 7th graders that come to HYPE. It is such a joy to see friendships and relationships form in this “mentoring model” of high school students and younger 3rd – 7th grade students.
I hope and pray that these 12 high school student interns will feel so blessed by God that they may be a blessing to the 3rd – 7th graders at HYPE, and then, in turn, the 3rd – 7th graders would be so inspired by this outpouring of God’s love through the interns that they themselves would be a blessing to their parents, grandparents, siblings and friends.
We are…Blessed to be a Blessing.
9 Square in the Air
3rd/4th Grade: Team Greece
5th Grade: Team Zimbabwe
6th Grade: Team Brazil
7th Grade: Team Japan