What an awesome week this has been telling people what Jesus did for us so that we may celebrate Easter! It has also been an eye-opening week, as well. We have been surprised by how many people (of all ages) have never heard the real story of Easter, or have never even heard of Jesus or God before either. But it has been our privilege to share this good news!
On Tuesday evening we had Rock Solid. We played tons of fun Easter games, had an Easter hunt, and some of them even had a food competition to see who could eat a hotcross bun, chocolate Easter egg, and banana the fastest. It was all fun and games, but in the end it is not what Easter is about. So, we ended the night with a discussion of the true meaning of the holiday. Alison used a rubber glove to show that when we put the glove on, we can make it do anything we want- pick up stuff, touch things, etc. But as soon as we take the glove off, it cannot do anything on its own. This illustrated how "we can do all things through Christ." Without Christ in our lives we are dead, but through him we have life. And that is why Jesus died on the cross for our sins and then rose from the grave... to bring life! There were only 11 kids at Rock Solid this week, but that is 11 more people who know the true story of Easter. For some of the kids there, that was the first time they had ever heard it before.
On Thursday morning, we had Bible in Schools. Jenna has a class of year 3s and 4s (7-8 year olds) and Jesse had new entrants (5 year olds). There are some strict rules when it comes to Bible in Schools about what you can and cannot say in the classroom. One of the things we are not supposed to talk about is death. So, sometimes we have to get very creative in our approaches to teaching kids the bible stories. This week, instead of making it about death, we taught them about life! That is what Easter is truly about, because Jesus gives us new life. Jenna asked her class if they knew why we celebrate Easter. One girl said, "because it is the Easter Bunny's Birthday!" some others said so that we can have Easter eggs, and some just said isn't it a christian thing? It was an exciting day to be able to bring the message of Christ into the public schools.
On Saturday morning, our church had a Family Easter Carnival. The day included face painting, balloon animals, Easter egg decorating, coloring contest, fun games, as well as a garage sale and sausage sizzle to help raise money for our pastors to attend General Assembly. This was a great opportunity to build new relationships with people in the community. And we praise the Lord for holding off the rain for us- our event was intended to go from 9am to noon. It literally stopped raining at 9am and started raining at noon. Thank you Lord!
This morning (Sunday morning), our church hosted a free breakfast. Just about every seat was full (which for our small church is only 35, but that is almost 3 times as many as we have on a regular Sunday!). We transformed the church into more of a cafe style with tables and chairs. Pastor Donna and her family made a beautiful backdrop for the stage, Jenna set up the table decorations, and Jesse helped make yummy french toast. It was a beautiful service and it was exciting to see families worshiping together.