Hi New Hope!
The team had a great day filled with 3 very different worship services. First in the morning, Robert, Chris, Alex headed to the town of Samaria and spent an intimate service time with a group of Namibian toddlers approx. aged 2-6. Most with runny noses, dirt and dust filled faces, No shoes, but still filled with happiness and fully engaged in the singing and the short message by Korean Missionary, Pastor Park speaking on Ephesians 5:18. A familiar verse that New Hope just covered, on not getting drunk on wine, but to be filled with the Spirit. Most of these kids seemed starved for affection and wanted an endless hug and physical affection. A couple of 2 year olds with mohawk haircuts really took to Chris and were enthralled by our leather bound Bibles. Many of the children were continually interested in touching our hair, especially Robert because it looked and felt so different to theirs. Again we saw small toddlers with so little in terms of material wealth and food, and yet still had such earnest, joy filled smiles.
Then Robert, Chris, and Alex walked down the hill led by several kids to meet up with the other team members at Agape Youth group building at their new site called Max. This is new dedicated meeting place for the Agape Youth. The “building” if you will was created literally with two oversea crate containers from Korea. Roof and windows were added to make this new space new and bright space to hold a larger group of kids.
Along with the Hongs, Sharon & the kids were at the Max to help set up for the Sunday worship service. Max (pronounced “Mox”) is where Steve preaches weekly to the Agape Youth kids. Agape Youth kids’ ages range from 14 & up to 20 years-old. Today about 60+ kids came. Regular attendance range from 50-80 youths. Many of them have walked to the new meeting place from quite some distance away. Today was the last Sunday to collect registration forms for next week’s Bible Camp. This new site is further away from the old site. Yet, many still walk to attend a weekly service. It was amazing to see the worship team comprised of Agape Youth setting up & breaking down the equipment, and worshipping passionately. Steve preached on Romans 3:23-24, he illustrated with mansion in the sky. How do we get in? Do we break in or dig holes to get through? No! Only with a special golden key can we open these doors. What is that key? Some rightly said Jesus Christ. Steve pointed back to the scripture and said it is by justification, a precious gift given to us through Jesus who bore the full wrath of God against all past, present and future sins. It was a powerful reminder and a great way to prepare the youth for the Abiding in Jesus theme.
Kids were divided into small groups by age and recited John 15:1-17 from memory. The cost of coming to camp next week is about $10 USD but free if you have memorized and recite the entire John 15:1-17. This is no easy feat. But, many have recited them perfectly! What we notice time and time again is that these young kids without parental pressure, push themselves to memorize and to come prepared to be part of something they believed to be greater than anything else around them.