As you all have heard from the previous days, Graffiti2 is bustling with activity. From baseball camp and summer tots to construction and kitchen prep, there’s work to be done, people to serve, and lots to pray for!
As Graffiti2 transitions to a new location, our construction crew has worked long and hard to help meet building codes that will allow for a greater occupant capacity. What an honor and blessing for us to not only serve the community but also serve Graffiti2 so that they can continue bringing God’s kingdom to this neighborhood. Please be praying for continued resources, both labor and materials.
Day 3 of baseball camp took the bright center stage of the suns rays as 69 kids were coached in the great American sport by over 34 coaches. About half of these coaches include summer interns from the surrounding community and are not required to know Christ personally. Please be praying for the hearts of these interns as well as the hearts of the children.
During the camp this week I have been floored and encouraged by my fellow coaches and students. The child who responds “chicken nugget” to every question in bible study is also the one who asks afterwards “why do we not make sacrifices anymore?” I’ve seen coaches taking the time to ask kids why they were misbehaving, caring not only for their obedience, but also for their wellbeing. When one of the kids took a blow to the head, I turned around to see everyone already flocking to her side to care for her. This group knows the importance of teamwork and encouragement. Please be praying for continued questions, wisdom in leading, and quick healing.
To end off the day, the Clearview group joined in the evening service of Graffiti2 known as TNT. Food was prepared by our very own kitchen crew who executed an atypically long day as they prepared not only lunch, but dinner as well! In addition, the bible study was lead by our very own Andy Beachum! We have loved the opportunities to build relationships with our brothers and sisters here in NYC and we can’t wait for the time we have on our last day tomorrow! Please be praying for continued growth of the church body of Graffiti2.
Written by Allison Bruning
Greetings from the South Bronx in New York City. It is hot but we are having a great time with the kids at the camp, the summer interns and the Graffiti 2 staff. Our morning schedule is the same each day Tuesday through Friday. Kids that were shy the first day and hesitant to participate in the baseball drills were really opening up today and excited about participating. Some even wanted to teach some of the other kids! They all love to hit the baseball! We are teaching them to hit and seeing them improve with each swing of the bat. There were more kids the second day so word got around the neighborhood about what a good time we were having. Between baseball and Summer Tots there were 15 more kids attending over the first day. The kids are memorizing their verse for the week, John 14:6, and are excited to earn special treats once they accomplish this task! The Clearview Mission team and the kids are making connections and becoming friends.
At the same time the baseball camp is going on, several of our team members are working with the Summer Tots program for ages 3 through 6 back at Graffiti 2 Church. The kids in Summer Tots are learning the concept of Respect… Respecting Authority, Respecting Others, Respecting Yourself and Respecting God. For many of the Summer Tots, this is a new concept for them so we talk with them about what each of these ideas mean and how they can do this in their day through crafts, games, music and playing together on the playground. We also have been teaching the kids in our Bible Study time about missionaries and what they do to help spread God’s Word to others in other communities and countries. We have been talking about a missionary named Holly that lives and works in Canada and what her jobs are with the people that she serves. The Summer Tots are full of energy and on the move so they keep us on our toes, but so far God has blessed us through these young children and it is so inspiring to see their happy faces and loving hearts open to hearing God’s Word and hungry for love and affection.
Most afternoons and evenings we have free time. The team has enjoyed getting to know each other better by experiencing the NYC subway system, long walks between tourist attractions and enjoying quality time together with our families. In addition to the Yankees game, we have experienced the Staten Island Ferry, Battery Park, One World Trade Center, the 9/11 Museum, Grand Central Station, Chinatown, Times Square and shopping. Then we go to bed exhausted and get up the next morning ready to greet the campers and spend another day watching them smile and learn more about our theme for the week…#IAM. “I am the way, the truth and the light. No one comes to the father except through me.” John 14:6.
Written by The Dillon Family
A beautiful Tuesday morning marked the beginning of Summer camps for Graffiti2 (G2). After gathering for reminders and prayer at the church, the baseball camp teams walked a few blocks to St. Mary’s Park to prepare for the 9:00am arrival of the 1st-8th grade children. We had a brief coaches’ meeting on the field and then opened up registration. The Summer Tots teams stayed at G2 and the construction crew continued work at the site at G2’s future church home.
Baseball camp is divided into four age groups: 1st-2nd grade; 3rd-4th grade; 5th-6th grade; and 7th-8th grade. Each group was assigned a section of the baseball fields to conduct drills and work on skills. We had 63 kids register today (our first day), and each child was given a baseball glove to be able to participate.
Each age group for baseball kicked off the start of camp with icebreaker games while kids continued to arrive. We then gathered together for a large group welcome time with announcements and reminders. G2’s core values of showing respect were communicated and this week’s memory verse was presented (John 14:6).
Following large group time we separated out into our age groups to work with the kids on the fundamentals of baseball: catching, throwing, hitting, running the bases, etc. This was a time for us to really connect with the kids. We talk about school, family, favorite foods, and the good news of God’s great love for them. During snack time today several of the kids talked about their idea of God being a punisher for when we do bad things. That led us in to talking about what sin is and how God feels about sin. We also talked about how God loves us so much that He does not want us to be separated from Him, so He sent His Son Jesus to take the punishment for us.
Yes, we are conducting baseball camps this week, but baseball is just the tool that God is allowing us to use to help bring light and life to this amazing Mott Haven community. We are so excited to see how God will continue to move this week. Blessed and humbled to serve.
Written by The Beachum Family
After the team's safe arrival on Saturday, we attended small group Bible study and worship at Graffiti 2 Church on Sunday morning. It was great to worship with new friends and reconnect with staff and old friends from previous trips. After church, many traveled to Yankee stadium and watched the Bronx Bombers lose a close game to Milwaukee. The evening was filled with an excursion to Chinatown for dinner followed by breathtaking views of the nighttime Manhattan skyline from high atop the One World Trade Center observation floor. Other team members visited the 9/11 museum.
Monday morning began with our mission team's orientation at G2 Church. We learned about G2's mission, vision and values to prepare us for the week. We walked over to G2's future location - a beautiful, old church building with oak pews and incredible stained glass windows. While the property will require years of renovation, G2 has a wonderful, new home with much needed space. Members of our construction team were already busy preparing the space for additional bathrooms. G2 will move to their new location in September.
Before lunch, we divided into prayer walking groups. These groups were made up of ClearView team members and student volunteers from across the Bronx. We were able to learn about one another as we walked through Mott Haven and prayed for the community. Following lunch at the church, we conducted a two-hour training session in preparation for the sports camp and summer tots program on Tuesday through Friday. We finished up the day by handing out camp flyers in the neighborhood.
Please be in prayer for our team as we minister to the families of Mott Haven and the student volunteers on our team.
Written by The Magee Family
We gathered for Sunday worship and Bible Study with Graffiti 2 and were able to hear reports from the G2 Kids on Centrikid and Centrifuge. After that, Andrew began a sermon series on #IAM which is also the theme for the next four weeks at sports camps. We are looking forward to a great week!
Written by John Gardner
Everyone is here. Got in hotel and had a brief meeting with the group and then they went for some exploring of the area.
Looking forward to church tomorrow morning with Grafitti2 church!
Written by John Gardner