Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Teens impact Peoria and its only day three
I am writing to you all on Day 3 of Mission Peoria to keep you updated.
It has been an incredible week so far. Over 160 students and adults are here (our biggest crowd ever) from 11 different churches. Most are from the Peoria area, but there are kids here from churches as far away as lake Zurich, Tinley Park and Rock Island. There are even two teens from England(!!) who are here on vacation staying with their cousin who happened to have signed up for Mission Peoria ..... so they came along too.
Each morning the students have been in 3 different district 150 schools (Manual, Woodruff and Peoria High) doing service projects (laying mulch, weeding, painting). The maintenance staff and media that have visited are all amazed by the fact that all these students are taking a week out of their summer break to do this; that they’ve paid to be here; and that they’re smiling while they do it!! They are all a great testimony to Dream Center and Jesus.
In the afternoons they are running 6 different baselines (kids outreach programs) around the city. From the South Side to Taft to Morton Square Park, we have seen 100’s of children come out to play games, ride water slides, get their face’s painted and hear a fun presentation of the gospel message. One of the groups showed up at Martin Luther King park yesterday on the south side. We have never run a baseline here before. Slowly kids started to trickle in from the surrounding community as the word got out of what we were doing. By the end of the afternoon we had 70 kids at that one baseline!!
Each evening we have been holding services for the Mission Peoria students in the sanctuary at RCC. Through intense worship and powerful messages we have already seen God challenge and change the hearts of these students. It’s hard to say that I have a favorite part of the day, but I do love watching teenagers who have been working hard and giving out all day go running to the altar in the evening to dance and sing and worship God.
If you are in need of a spiritual boost, and would like to get a little taste of what Mission Peoria is all about, please feel free to come along to one of our evening meetings at RCC tonight and tomorrow. The meetings begin at 7:15 and normally wrap up at 9:00. There are plenty of adults there, so you won’t stick out :) If the message or music don’t move you, the response from the teenagers will.
Thanks to all of you for your prayers and support this week (especially with the office being a little more hectic than usual with teens running up and down the halls). Please continue to pray. Friday night is our final big outreach where we will bus all these kids into the Riverplex and Aubrey will present the gospel. Then Saturday morning we will be giving out 2500 backpacks to families from all over the city. Then Sunday we plan on all going to bed and sleeping for 24 hours straight!!(after church of course).
Written by Dave Jane