Wrap Up Report
Today we left New Orleans and headed back home. This week was one of the most eye-opening and amazing experiences I've ever had. It was full of spreading the good news of Jesus to the children at VBS, building close relationships and visiting with both the people and kids in the community and also with the other leaders that we were leading the VBS with, helping out around the church, dancing and singing to some really fun galactic starveyor songs, many games of duck duck goose and apples to apples, and being adventurous and trying new foods at some of the famous spots around the city and experiencing its culture.
It was emotional leaving because of how close we had gotten with the kids and the people of Hope Church, but overall the VBS was a big success. It was very fun for everyone of all ages and the children learned a lot from it. I feel so beyond blessed that I had the opportunity to be able to share my faith with these people along with make various other memories that I'll never forget. I could not say enough good things about my team and how much I genuinely loved this week!!
Written by Sloane Sellers
The day began with a slight delay because a few people slept through their alarms, but we got on the road with plenty of time anyways. We drove for a while until we reached the French Quarter where every street was filled with talented musicians and other skilled people. We quickly found our way to a famous cafe with a big line. After a long time waiting in line we were seated and we all ordered beneights, a fried donut with plenty of powdered sugar on top, and some of us got coffee also. Next, we walked down to an open market, stopping in small side shops on the way. We bought many souvenirs such as, Mardi Gras masks and beads, plenty of t-shirts, some jewelry, and fidget spinners. Later, when we were done with shopping, we walked to another famous cafe. The cafe had massive servings so that two people would split a meal and still not finish it. With our stomachs full and our wallets empty we headed back to Hope Church to prepare for our last VBS.
We helped make a craft which was a picture frame with a group VBS picture inside and a bible verse on the back, which was to help thwm remember the amazing experience they had at VBS. We had many relationships grow between kids and missionaries and after a few emotional goodbyes the children left. After all was said and done we prayed as a team for the last time and bonded over card games and pizza. We also exchanged social media information with the other highschool students who were helping. We continued to go back to the hotel and tried to stay up all night, in order to sleep on the bus. That plan faiked quickly as everyone was asleep by midnight.
Written by Duncan Steeples
Someone is our room forgot the alarm so right as we woke up we took off to Hope Church. Once we got there we discussed with the Matt Tipton (the pastor) about last nights vbs and was we can improve. We then went shopping for supplies for Friday's barbecue and after we all worked on house cleaning around the church.
For lunch we got some alligator bites and gumbo then as it started to rain. VBS much like last night I feel was a success, getting to build relationships with kids brought me joy and I felt like Christ used us much during this time like with just small things like helping with games, snacks, worship , and bible study. I was blessed to meet a little shy boy named Angelo who attached himself to me the first day and since then I've been so grateful for getting to spend time with him. God is definitely doing great things in New Orleans.
Today we started out with our work project. We pulled weeds and removed old plants from around the church grounds and flower beds. We also went over how our VBS went the night before (very well). For lunch we ate at a cute cafe called caffe caffe & it was very good. After that we went and got new plants for the flower beds and continued working on them, and jammed to NEEDTOBREATHE. In the afternoon we went out to the surrounding neighborhoods and put doorhangers up. We quickly learned about what a diversely religious community NOLA is, when we saw a hindu temple, catholic church, and met a buddhist woman all on the same street.
Later that night we went back to Hope Church and prepared for the kids arrival. I personally rode a bus to a small community about 10 minutes away from the church to pick up some children who lived there. They were all so sweet and full of energy and were so excited for another day at VBS. At VBS the children learned new songs, played games, did a craft, ate snacks, and most importantly, they learned about Jesus Christ and how he has saved us. After VBS the squad went and ate at "Mooyah Burgers" (very good) and then headed back to the hotel for the night. All in all it was a fantastic day filled with work, fun, laughs, and Jesus. (: Please continue to pray that the spirit will move through us and into the children and that Christ will reveal himself to them through us & the VBS activities this week.
Written by Halle Hastings
Today we helped set up for the VBS. After putting up some decorations, we went to make flyers to hang on people's doors. It was an interesting experience. There were people who didn't want to have anything to do with the VBS, but there were others who were interested. We even found some boys playing basketball and personally invited them to the VBS. Pastor Matt had told us what to say to kids which had really helped.
After that, we had a little free time on our hands, but not for long because the VBS was about to start. Pastor Matt took me and Sloane to pick up kids in the bus. It was an awesome experience getting to see how different people live. I got the chance to entertain the kids and they loved it. I can't wait to pick them up tonight. After arriving at the VBS with the kids, I saw more kids already there. I was surprised and happy. The VBS went great. I was helping with the younger kids and I saw many of them listening intently to the Bible story. We had our goal of kids come and we hope that that number will continue to grow. Please pray for the families coming to this VBS that they might come to know Christ and come to atttend the church.
Written by Austin Krell
We started the day with a long 7 hour drive to New Orleans. It was very sketchy because the van shook a lot. We ended up making it though, so we're okay. Checking into the hotel, the people called us "the Tennessee people!!!". For dinner tonight, we ate at "The Big Cheezy." It was pretty bomb food. I highly recommend getting yourself a grilled cheese.
Following dinner we stopped by the church plant. They went over our responsibilities for the week of VBS. Not to mention we all danced to the VBS songs and will probably be much more into than the children. Ending the night, we prayed for the children to understand the word, the parents to grow relations and comfort to the staff.
Written by Megan Kaperak