Our Bethel Center youth were not lying around the house all week during their spring break gathering dust. They came together to provide community service to our neighbors and friends. On Tuesday, March 19th, a good sized group of our “ Bethel Beacons” (5th–8th graders) came to the center to work on a number of projects. They were divided up into 3 groups and worked in a variety of places around the greater Kansas City metro area.
One group went to help our Bethel seniors as it is time for “Spring cleaning” in their yards. Our students, led by our handyman, Kyle Nelson, worked in a variety of ways to clean up the yards of our seniors. They cut up a tree and gathered up the wood, raked, picked up trash and basically helped beautify those yards for our neighbors. There is good camaraderie between our seniors and our students as we are all a part of the “Bethel family.”
Another group stayed at the center and helped clean up the building by sweeping, mopping, scrubbing and working on other important areas.
A third group led by Rakmi and me went across the river to the Kansas City Rescue Mission in downtown Kansas City, MO. A staff person welcomed us there and gave us a tour of the facility. We saw their large food pantry, dining room, chapel, laundry, dormitory,computer room, exercise room and lounge.
Our students were very interested in seeing this place of ministry and they asked good question about the good work they do there. We were originally supposed to serve lunch, but that plan changed. Instead they gave our students a chance to express themselves and make some art on posters. Our Bethel students are very creative and they loved drawing and creating beautiful posters to be hung on the wall. Our group leader, Kyle, came and spoke with us more about the many men that they serve there. He put us to work in the building. Part of our students went out into the hallways and cleaned the walls and woodwork. The other group cleaned in the chapel. They stacked up all of the chairs and then some of them took turns vacuuming while the others wiped down the wood work and cleaned the walls too. Then all of the chairs and furniture was rearranged and put back in their proper place. Kyle spoke to me and said that our kids were awesome and that they were very fine workers and he was glad that we came to help out! That makes us very proud of our students and the way represent Bethel in the greater community!
After our work day, all three groups converged back at Bethel and had a wonderful lunch that Rakmi and some of our volunteers & students had prepared. Our students really took to heart our mission statement, and in the work they did, they “offered a renewed sense of hope” to our neighbors and friends on both sides of the state line!
Because of their great community service work, our students earned the opportunity to come to a “lock-in” the next night at our center, which took place from 7 PM on Wednesday and ended on Thursday morning at 6:30 AM.
The evening began with a marvelous meal that was provided by our friends from Grandview Baptist Church in KC, KS. They served us tacos, chips, salad, fruit and cookies. They worked very hard to serve our students and we enjoyed having table fellowship with them. We want to thank them for their Christian love and generosity in preparing such a wonderful meal for us!
There were many exciting events throughout the night which included games, free time, watching movies, free time, hanging out, eating pizza and did I mention games and free time? Yes.
We had a “Survivor” style competition led by Kyle Nelson, which include a wide variety of events. First the students were divided up into 3 teams, and they brainstormed to come up with their team name and then create a team flag or banner. Then there were 3 basic competitions. Since we had 15 students, they were teams of 3 each.
walk as one “caterpillar” or unit and they had to walk on carpet squares. They had to go from one carpet square to the next as a group, and not touch the floor or they would lose points. They had 5 squares that they had to get through, and when they completed that, they had to maneuver around and go back through those squares to the beginning to complete the game. Needless to say, it was great fun with everyone trying to work together and walk together, and a lot of good laughs ensued during this game. The first was “Duct Tape Caterpillar.” In this game, the shoes of the team members were duct taped together, so they had to
The second competition was probably more like a “Fear Factor” game as it was an eating competition, where at least one student on the team had to eat the following: one sardine, one clam, some green baby food and a vienna sausage that was dipped in pudding. This brought lots of craziness and silliness as a few of the kids tried to eat these foods. It wasn’t a timed game, so it didn’t matter how fast it was done, as long as each team tried to eat each of the four foods. Believe me, our nurse, Melinda, wouldn’t say that these were the best food groups for us to eat, but it was both hilarious and gut-wrenching to watch!
The third competition continued on the theme of team building, only it was about using your brain instead of your brawn. The teams were each given a 100 piece puzzle and they had to work together to get the puzzle completed as fast as they could. They worked together very well–some slow and methodical and others quicker, but one team came out as the winner.
The competition was very fierce and fun, but the winning team won out in the end by less than five points. Still, the students had a ton of fun taking part in the games.
As I mentioned before, we watched a couple of movies like “The Princess Bride” and “Here comes the Boom.” Around midnight, we all enjoyed pizza and soda while watching the movies and there was plenty of time for playing computer games and other games like air hockey, carpet ball, four square and Foosball There was also plenty of time to hang out and talk and just get to know each other and spend good time together. During almost 12 hours of activities, I think only one person slept and in the end, we all had a wonderful time together. We were certainly worn out after that, but it was a night of great friends, food and lots of fun!!!
Thanks for your continued prayer and financial support of Bethel Neighborhood Center! We can’t do these things without you and we appreciate you so very much!