Friday, October 31, 2014

October Ministry Update

This has been one of the busiest months we have had thus far in Student Ministry.  Our calendar was packed with opportunities to fellowship with the kids, weekly worship services, Discipleship classes, fun outings together and more.  The 6th-12th grade guys are enjoying their time together hanging out, playing games and eating "man foods" at "Man Cave" each month and this month the 6th-12th grade girls learned to make hand-stamped stationary during "Shine", their monthly fellowship gathering.   We are enjoying every moment we get to spend with our students and ask that you continue to keep them covered in prayers as they live out their Christian faith in their homes, schools, families, and community.  We had many opportunities to participate in ministry outreach events this month as well.
South Padre Island hosts a professional sandcastle building competition each year in October.  It always draws a huge crowd out to the island and the sandcastles are absolutely stunning.  This year we took 8 adults and 16 Kindergarten-5th grade students to do a "beach outreach" at Sandcastle Days.  They handed out tracts and invitations to our church to people who were at the event. It was almost 100 degrees this day and it was so hot walking around out there but that didn't stop these kids. They loved it and we were so encouraged by their excitement and enthusiasm to reach people in this simple way.  Afterwards, one of the church members treated all the kids and adults to a nice, cold ice cream cone to end the fun afternoon.  
On Wednesday night, October 8, Los Fresnos High School FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) hosted "Fields of Faith" at the high school football stadium.  This is a student-led event that is open to the entire community.  Students came together and shared their testimonies, enjoyed a live praise & worship band, shared their struggles and challenged their peers to stand strong for Jesus Christ, gave a gospel message presentation, and closed the evening with time spent in prayer.  We were invited to help with this event and were asked to be counselors for students at the end of the event.  It was an amazing night and we were so encouraged to see so many students participate in this event.  
Our church allowed us to go to Conclave, a 3 day conference for Student Ministry in Arlington, TX.  We had never been to this part of Texas so we enjoyed getting to see new parts of our state and Arlington was a neat town too.  Our hotel was right beside Six Flags, the Texas Rangers baseball field, and the Dallas Cowboys stadium. The conference was incredible and we learned so much from our time there.  They offered 3 main conference sessions of worship & then a speaker who challenged us, encouraged us, made us laugh, and made us examine our hearts and the reasoning behind our methods.  We attended 8 break-out sessions (individualized classes on one specific topic) and we took separate classes during these so we could cover more material and information that way and we got to visit with over 90 exhibitors who have products designed specifically for Student Ministry.  We came back so encouraged, excited and full of new ideas and ways to reach our students and their families for Jesus Christ!  
The conference ended mid-afternoon on Wednesday so we drove halfway back and stopped in San Antonio for the night.  Gretta's cousin had graciously given us a hotel room on the Riverwalk in downtown San Antonio for the evening and we were blessed to get to stop there for the night as we had never been to San Antonio either.  The next morning, we got up and spent a few hours downtown and on the Riverwalk.  We got to tour the Alamo and being History buffs, we loved seeing this historic landmark.  One of our close friends from church had told David to make sure we visited "the basement" of the Alamo so after we toured the building, walked the gardens, and saw the gift shop, we asked a Park Ranger where the entrance to the basement was.....yep, there is no basement!  Evidentally, that is one of the oldest jokes in Texas history but being from Alabama, we fell for it hook, line, and sinker!  We all had a good laugh about it though and will always remember there is no basement in the Alamo for sure.  

Our church hosted a 5th Quarter after the home football game in October.  We offer hot dogs with chili and all the toppings, nachos and cheese, and drinks for free to the students, families and anyone in our community after the football game ends. We play Christian music, have all kinds of games they can play, we give away a couple of gift cards as door prizes, and they enjoy food and fellowship. This month, one of our missionary friends from To Every Tribe, came and gave the gospel message to the students as well.  We had 92 students (not counting students who attend our church) that came for this event and they stayed until after midnight.  We were so excited by this great turnout and we use the information from door prize slips to go do home visitations afterwards.  
Since Halloween is on a Friday night this year, and our local high school has a home football game that night, our church decided to host a "Trunk-or-Treat" on Wednesday before Halloween.  This was a new event for our church as they had never done one of these before but they quickly caught on to the idea.  Let us just say...our church rocks!!  They showed up big and made it a great time of free family fun for the people in our community.  We had about 15 decorated cars where kids could get candy, carnival games, 2 inflatable bounce houses, face painting, a train ride, and a puppet show that shared the message of salvation 5 different times.  One car even gave away a bilingual children's Bible and we got information cards filled out so we can do home visitations in the next few weeks and follow-up from this outreach event.  It was so much fun to be together as a church reaching out to families in our community in a fun and festive way. 

The kids continue to do well with homeschool lessons and are also staying busy with student ministry activities for their ages too.  They are going to start karate lessons and they are all 3 excited to learn this martial art. A local Christian karate studio in town offers FREE karate lessons to students and we are so thankful the kids have the opportunity to learn this valuable skill.  Wyatt hit a big milestone this month also as he started reading!  He has severe Dyslexia and Dysgraphia and we have worked on his reading for almost 4 years with him.  We are rejoicing that he is now reading books and that he is excited to read to everyone that will listen.  

This year, we will not be going home for Thanksgiving or Christmas and this will be the first holiday season we haven't been back in Alabama.  It will certainly be hard to be apart from our families and friends back home and not doing the family things we are accustomed to during Christmas, especially for our kids.  However, it is all worth it though because of what the Lord is allowing us to do in the lives of our students, their families, our church, and our community here in Los Fresnos.  

We appreciate the cards, texts, and emails you send our way.  Your prayers, encouragement, and support mean so very much to our family.  It is so refreshing and encouraging to go to the mailbox and find a card or care package.  We truly appreciate each of you who remember us.  

We are still partially funded by missionary support. We appreciate those of you who so generously give to help support our family.  If you would like to help support our family as we continue serving in ministry and missions here at the Tex-Mex border, you may send your support to:  

First Baptist Church
300 E. Ocean Blvd.
Los Fresnos, TX 78566
You can either write on the check that it is for our family or attach a note to let them know the money is designated for us. 


  • Pray for those who are persecuted for Christ's sake here at the TX-Mex border that they will remain strong and firm in their faith in Jesus Christ.    
  • Pray for the Lord to continue to bless our efforts in ministry and mission work as we reach out to our students, families, and local community.