One of our foundational family scriptures since before we were married has been:
As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.Joshua 24:15
As we live out what the Lord has shown us this scripture means, we are blessed to see how He fully takes charge of our calendar. We believe in God’s promises, so we step through each door He opens, no matter where on the island. In so doing, we have been able to see how beautifully the Lord works even times of rest into our very busy schedule.
God rested on the 7th day of the creation, and He has been faithful in giving us a ‘7th day’ each week to refresh, recharge and regroup. Several times in scripture, we read about the importance of rest, and we continue to trust in the Lord to determine when that time is for us, as He (and not we) is the God of our days. Between traveling to and from different sites around the island, filming and editing for YouTube, taking care of all the administrative, logistical and coordinating duties of the ministry and homeschooling, we still make time come together as a family daily in prayer of thanks and praise to the One whom we serve, and whose rest is perfect. He knows we need rest before we realize it. And He is faithful to give it, as He is in all things.
SCATTERING THE SEED
As summer heated up on the island of Puerto Rico, so did our summer schedule. As I mentioned in my previous post, this was the most fruitful summer of the ministry’s history. We are grateful to God for using the children, youth, and adults we meet to share the information of our minsitry with others. They do this by way of social media, and by passing on the postcard they received from us to day camp directors, church leaders and group activities coordinators. We make sure to update our social pages regularly so that those who are interested in bringing our presentation have plenty of information and clarity about what we offer.
In July, we visited the municipalities where you see a red star below. Many were visited more than once as we ministered in 7 day camps, 10 churches and 2 community centers across the island throughout the month.
TIMES HAVE CHANGED
When I was a kid, summer was about playing with the neighborhood kids (or alone) in the backyard, kickball games that lasted till dusk, sweating drops of hope that someone with a pool would invite you over, getting creative with the backyard hose when they didn’t, and finding things to do on rainy days. It was glorious.
We now live in times where children are not always safe outside on their own. This and other changes in the family structure have led parents to seek out programs, camps and sports to keep their kids entertained and active during the ‘school’s out’ season. Churches on the island, as well as communities and private schools offer many options in the area of summer programming.
We are happy to go to day camps where children and youth are gathered to bring them worship, the Word and some laughter. Below, some photos of our family doing just that during the month of July…
In churches, the camps mentioned above often end in a ‘culminating’ service where the families join the children.
We love to be able to minister to a congregation where several generations are present, as the message we share is edifying for children, youth, parents and grandparents alike. We let the churches know beforehand that though the photos online may make the ministry look like a children’s ministry, we are actually a ministry aimed toward families, and that a Word-based, Christ-centered message will be preached. We want to encourage churches that families can and should learn from the Word together, as the body of Christ.
Below, some photos of church services where God sent us to do just that…
NOT CAST OFF
We were invited to Cidra, a municipality in the southeast part of the island, to bring a presentation to a group of seniors who gather weekly at a community center for games, socializing, health check-ups and other activities. It was a joy to spend time with them, and it gave us a chance to remind our boys that their ministry, when it comes to seniors, is just to be themselves, as the older generation gets much joy out of having small children in their midst. We’ve told them, “Your simply being children blesses them. It’s a special treat when they get to interact with children or watch them play, and this is how you can bless them and bring them joy: by being yourself.”
They applied this knowledge as we ministered to the group of seniors in the photos below and, just as we predicted, the seniors received us with great joy and gratitude.
CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME
Below, some photos of an activity we did with a group of children and youth who live in a government condominium complex in San Juan. Their social worker wanted to do something special for them before they headed back to school in early August, and she invited us to be a part of this day in their community center.
more will be given
We have seen and experienced the joy of service being its own wages. The Lord has multiplied our work in Puerto Rico, and given us more and more opportunities to serve in farther reaches of the island. Thank you to those of you who have reached out in different ways to show support for this ministry and love towards our family.
We always like to use this part of the blog to let you know how you can be a part of this mission in Puerto Rico:
- Liking, following and sharing our posts on social media with those who you think might be interested in our ministry’s program,
- Contributing one of the ministry’s current physical needs, available on our registry page HERE,
- Making a financial donation directly to the ministry (no amount is too small), by clicking on the image below…
We thank you for your prayers, encouragement and generosity. Thank you also for keeping up with us! May the Lord bless you richly!
Also in the month of July, we were invited for an interview on a morning radio show. Below, a video we posted to YouTube of the segment, which was a lot of fun for us and our boys. Enjoy!