This past year, Crossings donated some of our past curriculum to Bobbi Chesser and the mission team of Riverview Baptist Church of Cox Creek, Kentucky. The team traveled to a Native American Reservation in South Dakota and partnered with a local church in order to minister to the community. Here is a letter we received from Bobbi about their trip:
I would love to share a few stories! I will attach a few pictures as well! I have so many stories and pictures, and it is hard to choose from them all!
So this past year was a little different for our ministry. We were expecting to minister to children on the Reservation. God had a different plan! The children on the reservation were not out of school yet. We partnered with Reverb Church in Rapid City, SD. The ministry takes place at the Oyate Community Center. This community center is such a blessing to the community. The community center offers a summer meal program, Christmas help for families, a food pantry, and many more services. The best part about this community center is that it’s right in the middle of the Lakota Homes neighborhood. The only people that live in the neighborhood are Native Americans. The children that live there have parents that are trying to give a better life to their kids than what the reservation offers.
We had a large “Toby Tours” bus, and I was worried about the persona of us as “rich people” coming in to “save them.” The bus we were on was newer and costs way more than several of the local houses combined. When the bus pulled in the neighborhood on the first day, we all got out and began to pray with Pastor Phil (Reverb Church). We prayed for the children and families that we would minister to during the week.
I had all kinds of plans and expectations. On the first day, God taught me a lesson about my plans and expectations.The children were WILD!!! I soon found out it was their last day of school! I didn’t feel like we did a single thing to honor God that day. Did we try hard enough? Did we try and sit them down to share the gospel? I went back to the camp where we were staying and prayed, “God, lead me!” God has gifted me in the area of organizational skills, and He knows that when my schedule or plans are off by a little bit, I begin to panic! However, in my prayers that night, I began to search what God wanted from me. I felt Him say, “You did exactly what you were supposed to do! You loved them today!”- Which was exactly true! Our entire team spent time with the kids, loved them, and showed them that we cared about them.
The rest of the week we were able to incorporate the Life In Color curriculum from Crossings! It was amazing. Our day was structured. We began by feeding the children breakfast. We had small group time and large group time. We also had many activities that tied into the curriculum. For example, when they would go to the craft rotation we were able to incorporate the craft using the “color of the day.” All week long we would have some type of water activity! The children loved this! We would begin to speak about the things they learned that day and tie it in with each activity they completed. We would get them excited all week for Colorfest! This was something they looked forward to. They built forts in their second small group time with their adult leaders using only cardboard boxes, duct tape, and plastic covering. They were able to pick two adult leaders to be in the fort. We would have them all try to destroy each others’ fort with color filled water balloons. Whichever team had the most “colored” adult would be the losers! If your team managed to keep your adult clean then you would win! They had so much fun with this!
The very last day at Colorfest, we had a relay race. They loved this as well.
The curriculum blessed us all in so many ways! Even the adults. During the afternoon hours on the last two days, we had our medical and eyeglass team come and offer their services to the community. As the parents were taking advantage of these services, we did not waver from the curriculum and most importantly giving the gospel! The parents were sitting and listening during Large Group time! If it were not for the curriculum that you all blessed us with I don’t know if the kids would have been so receptive. Your curriculum helped us overcome some of the social barriers that exist in this context. With “Life in Color,” we were able to meet the kids where they were. We were able to open with fun activities and incorporate the gospel. At the end of the day we would bring them together and ask them questions about what they learned during the day. We would pass out candy and small gifts. All week long I wondered if we were just having fun or if they were getting it? THEY WERE!!! As we asked these questions to the children and they began to answer, my heart was so full. We accomplished exactly what God wanted from us! We were able to share the gospel and truly love these children.
One thing I mentioned earlier was that I was concerned about our big bus coming in and giving the wrong perception of our group. God helped us overcome these barriers. At the end of the week, several children were hugging us and crying when we left. They told us that we were best group they have ever had to come and visit them. All Glory to God! As the bus pulled away the children began chasing on foot and by bike. As tears streamed down my face, I realized that God was glorified in everything that week!
Thank you again for helping us! We truly appreciate it! We would love to have the curriculum from last year to use this summer as well. This year we will be using the curriculum in Pine Ridge, SD as well as a new trip for us to the Seminole Reservation in Clewiston, FL! It’s an exciting time for our mission team!
In His Service,
We praise God for the work he is doing through team from Riverview Baptist! We’re honored that our camp curriculum was used to help spread the gospel.