Do you know how odd it is for a group of teenagers to enter your business and ask if they can clean your windows and bathroom? Super weird. The Eastside students did that today. We went door-to-door around the commercial district in Fishtown (area in Philadelphia) with cleaning supplies and surprised the business owners with our request. Many of the proprietors turned us down, but some accepted with a confused expression and immediately asked why we are doing such a thing. We heard several life stories and were able to pray with a few people because we took a few minutes to scrub some toilets.
One of the groups (Lauren, William, Trey, Kevin, Joel) were rejected by every business they asked; however, they came across a homeless man and Lauren suggested the group buy him lunch. Walking to a hoagie shop just around the corner, they bought him a nice sandwich and talked with him. The man mentioned during the cold winters, it can be hard to find a warm place to sleep, but when the temperatures get particularly cold, emergency shelters are opened so he doesn’t freeze. Perhaps the group was rejected by all businesses so they could talk with this man.
The sport of the day was soccer at soccer camp. The grass was much higher than we would have liked, but we made it work. Splitting into several groups, as usual, we began to teach the fundamentals of the game. Dribbling, passing, and shooting were covered before games were organized. Conner displayed his soccer skills in the older kids' game. He dove to protect the goal, made fast drives to the goal—always passing the ball to one of his teammates when open—and demonstrated to the kids his fancy footwork. Conner showed the children how to play soccer in a skillful, competitive, and sportsmanlike manner.
Each day while the sports camp is underway, there are always smaller children playing on the playground. We make an effort to ensure there are several Eastside students mingling with the children on the playground so they are not left out. Today, Garrett put his heart into entertaining the playground kids. He tossed a football and chased around the preschoolers until it was time to leave. Sam was so encouraging to the boys on his soccer team, always coaching them with an uplifting voice and manner. It was too bad his team lost 5-0 to the girls!
One of the fathers came to us and told us his kids were nervous about attending the sports camp yesterday, but came home so excited, they told their family all the things they did. In particular, they made note of "the man in the blue shirt" (Tim) who told them about Jesus after the camp. They then recounted everything Tim said about Jesus to their family. The father said his children ministered to him! We don't know much about the family—no idea if they are Christians or where they are spiritually (we will be sure to follow up tomorrow with the family)—but this makes it so clear we are affecting many more than the 30 children we have seen these past few days in sports camp.
Tomorrow is our last day of the sports camp. We can't wait to see how God will work in these kids and their families!
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Eastside Baptist Church
2450 Lower Roswell Rd.
Marietta, GA 30068
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