Madisonville, KY: Families reaching families

There were 12 adults and 13 children on our Family Mission Trip, ranging from 9 months old to 75 years old. We got busy on our project very quickly! Unfortunately we forgot to take a group picture!   Here are a few of us.  We made sure that everyone got involved!!!!   (okay….we didn’t find a specific job for the 9 month old…but she also wasn’t a hindrance!)

How did the children contribute?

1) we had specific “jobs” for each to do during the Children’s Bible Club meetings

2) children attract children!  The community children loved playing with the kids from our team.

3) a mission trip is a great opportunity for children to be mentored by other Christian adults – so they get to see adults other than their parents serving the Lord.

This family mission trip allowed individuals of all ages to participate in a project that supported a local church ministry partner in a Spanish Language church planting context.  Since the start of 2017, the Hispanic Ministry from 1st Baptist Clarksville, TN has traveled about 40 minutes north each Friday night to Madisonville, KY.  At the host church, Grapevine Baptist, they have held a Friday night meal, Worship & Bible study.  

A couple of our team members focused on a construction project to provide a picnic table in a green space to promote community gatherings.  They also refurbished a gazebo that children in the community can use for awaiting the school bus, and cleaned trash out of a housing area.

The Madisonville Hispanic Ministry partner asked for our team to provide Bible Club programming for children on Friday morning, Friday evening, and Saturday morning. Our team prepared inter-related Bible Studies, crafts, music, and games that all pointed children to how God can help us have strength to follow Him – just like a Super Hero!

This was a great opportunity to give every team member an important job, and our kids joined in with community kids == EVERYONE had a great time!  Most importantly, we had the privilege to start introducing Bible concepts to children who didn’t have a church background.

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Attending a worship service in a foreign language is a unique and wonderful experience.  Realizing that while you are singing….others who speak a completely different language are also raising their voices to praise the same God of the Universe – it really can be overwhelming.

Our Friday night began with a fellowship meal for families – with authentic delicious Hispanic food!  The praise team from First Baptist Clarksville Hispanic Ministry is currently traveling up to Madisonville each Friday in an effort to start a new church in that area. 

Some of missions work is “just showing up”.  Some of our team only stayed in service for the music, and then helped with a Children’s program in the Activities Center.  Did we miss out?   Well… not really.  We knew we were doing something really great for the kids, and also giving a break to some of the volunteers who typically run that program.  BUT….as the pastor helped our team clean up at the very end of the night, we found out we didn’t miss out at all.  ALL of us were a part!  We showed up!  Without being there…the evening might have been completely different.  At the end of the Friday night worship service, one of the attending couples talked to the pastor.  They had been attending Bible Study for several months, and each time they had resisted following Christ.  Tonight, they had tears in their eyes:  “Tonight is the night!  We HAVE to follow Christ!  We just know it’s the right thing to do!”

Praise the Lord that we got to see that relationship get started :) 

To finish out our partnership with the Spanish language work in Madisonville, Kentucky, we were joined by 20 volunteers from the Hispanic Ministry at First Baptist Clarksville, TN for a community block party.

Many of the men on our team left our Playcation program early so that they could greet men from the community, who we anticipated would be early arrivers before departing for work.

It was exciting to see that as soon as the rest of us arrived, one of our team members was already praying with a gentleman.  When our team member told the story later, he seemed to be a bit taken aback:  “We were just talking about life, when the man told me that he used to attend church, but now his mom takes his kids to church. The Holy Spirit promoted me to say “Imagine the impact if you took your kids to church.” At that, the man broke down and seemed to make a renewed commitment to Christ.”

Community members came and went.  We provided supervision for the bounce house, cotton candy, hamburgers & hotdogs, face painting and a general good time.