And so it begins, once again! It is a very neat thing to be back in Chicago for the 3rd summer in a row partnering with Christ Our Savior Church to run an outreach-focused Vacation Bible School program. The partnership between the two youth groups continues to grow.
Thank you to all the people who have committed to support us and pray for God to be glorified through this trip. The focus of the Go Fish Guys VBS we are using this summer is all about becoming “glory-givers” not “glory-getters”. This means learning to seek God’s glory in everything rather than seeking to gain glory for ourselves.
We have chosen to call this summer’s trip a “vision” trip instead of a mission trip for the simple reason that we want to remind ourselves that as Christ-followers we are called to be “on mission” for God at all times in our lives, not just for a week in the summer when we go on a mission trip. The goal of this trip is for us to better catch God’s vision for loving and rescuing the lost.
As a way of update on the trip so far, here are some things we are praising God for:
- Overcoming Vehicle Issue
- In preparation for this trip, I (Pastor Tony) installed a trailer tow hitch on our minivan so we could haul a trailer of our luggage and supplies down to Chicago. Shortly into the installation process last Tuesday morning, a rusted bolt broke off and then a few minutes later a second one broke. A small project turned into a very big project working for several days and utilizing special extraction tools as well as a torch to resolve the issue and finally finish the project Thursday night before our Friday morning departure. I praise God for the perseverance and for helping me figure out how to resolve the issue so we could safely tow a trailer.
- Safe Travels
- We (and our trailer full of luggage) safely arrived in Chicago at 6:15pm Friday night. We ate together with some of the youth from Christ Our Savior Church (COSC) began an orientation and spent some time doing a special devotional book we are using during this trip.
- Good Progress in Preparation and Promotion
- Today (Saturday) was a full day of preparation and promotion. We promoted the VBS in the local community by handing out fliers to several hundred homes having numerous conversations with people we encountered. The team also accomplished ALOT of preparation in decorating the building and getting the different areas ready (registration, crafts, games, funky beats room, bible teaching, etc.) After a long, hard, hot day, we treated the team to a local favorite: Mia’s Gelato. If you are ever in Portage Park in Chicago, we recommend you check it out 😉
- Praise God for a neat open door last week when my mother-in-law was meeting with a local elementary school assistant principle about a service project providing school backpacks with school supplies for needy children. In the conversation, my mother-in-law shared about our VBS and the assistant principle asked to make copies of the flier to hand out to families that were coming to the school that very evening. How cool is it that a local Chicago public school is helping us promote this gospel-centered VBS!
Tomorrow we will be worshipping together with COSC and finalizing our preparation process.