After a good night of rest. The group assembled again at Nashville Inner City Church of Christ, now with Ena Carol and Fred, ready for some outreach. Our bus driver Mr. Stacey led the group again into the neighborhood.
Although it rained lightly, our door-knocking went really well. We always parked in the middle of the street. The eight of us split into two groups and went opposite ways. Every time one pair of two would knock on one door, the other two in the group would walk pass them and knock on the next door. Several of us had very nice conversations with the residents. Mr. Stacey also ran into a couple of people he knew when the Inner City Ministry was still at the old location. They were very tickled to see each other. And a couple of them promised to come to church next Sunday. Also worth mentioning is that when Mr. Stacey saw some of the kids he know were just hanging out, he asked them why they didn’t go to school. He then talked to them with a very genuine tone about how education can break the “cycle” and get them out of poverty. During all these, Mr. Stacey has stayed cheerful and never dropped one harsh word on these kids.
After a quick lunch, we got back to NICCC to help set up the building for their catfish fundraiser dinner. The group had such great energy that we finished stacking chairs and cleaned 70% of the folding chairs they were going to use for the dinner. Katherine and Ena Carol also helped making sandwiches for Bible class that’s happening later in the evening.
Just 10 minutes after we put up the paper towels and spray bottles, we headed out again, riding on a church bus with Mr. Stacey and his wife Mrs. Tiffany to pick up little kids for mid-week Bible school. The church we went to was Bellevue church of Christ. When we arrived at the church we had about 30 people, adults and kids. The kids were then divided into different age groups. I sat in the middle school age group. They were talking about planning and how we need to keep God in mind when we plan. To my surprise one of the girls who was causing a chaos on the bus had such willingness to learn. She asked our teacher if she could read the scriptures, after given permission, she read various verses and wanted to read more.
After the Bible class we all gathered in the gym and Bellevue church fed us pizza for dinner. All of the kids enjoyed this meal. A little boy named Markell made friend with all of us. He was just horsing around and giving everybody a blast. Markell took Josh to his teacher to introduce him his “brother” because Josh and he were both very tall. Max said that Markell told him “Because the marks on our hands are all the same, we must all be brothers”.
On our bus ride back to Nashville we were all affected by such a cheerful group of kids. So together we sang many songs. The Inner City kids had their “gospel rap” lined up and we also had fun singing our 4 parts harmony “some day” almost successfully, along with other songs like “10000 reasons”, “light the fire” and “as the deer”. I personally found great joy singing alone one song I learned at VBS last summer, Mobile kids’ ultimate favorite cheer song “Give me a J-E-S-U-S”.
After returning to Madison church of Christ, almost everyone in the group was tired. So we met shortly. Everyone shared their highlights of the day. We then went through our plan for tomorrow and wrapped up the day with a prayer.
In conclusion. Today was a willingness to serve-filled-day and I’m very thankful for this group of people I’m with and how God is using us on this trip. (Written By: Dingyi Zhang)