Sunday, July 20, 2008

Take me out to the ball game...

Yesterday eight kids decked out it red excitedly gathered at the World Impact on the verge of the much anticipated Christian Family Day fieldtrip. All summer these kids had been working towards earning this fieldtrip. Having limited tickets available, we made this fieldtrip attainable only by the "best of the best." This fieldtrip required the accumulation of the highest amount of points (points earned through attendance, memory verses, and bonus points).

And so, at half past noon we set out in our big brown van for a day full of festivities. First we attended the pre-game carnival where we were given free Chick-fil-A and Coldstone Ice Cream and we played several of their carnival games.

Then we were off to the game! The last few years we have gotten seats at the very top of the stadium, under the shade. So this year, to "sell" our nosebleed tickets to the kids, we pitched them as luxury seats under the shade and open to the cool breeze where you can see everything. So yesterday when we filed into our row, 10 rows down from the shade, still in the nosebleeds, there was a collective groan...."Andrew, you said we were gonna be in the shade"....You told us our seats were in the shade, Andrew." The kids were not happy. (We were not that happy either!) But we acted excited to be closer to the field and began our several hour sit in the roasting sun. It was HOT! But we made it through the game and got a free hot dog and drink with our ticket. Even though it was miserably hot, the kids loved being able to be at a game.

After the game came the concert, and a special part of the program for one of our boys, as he got to go down on the field and meet several of the players.

All in all it was a good day. We came home dead tired and drenched in our own sweat, but the kids had enjoyed the day that they had worked so hard to earn.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

July Update

July 1, 2008

Dear Team,

If you were to come and visit Adria and me in St. Louis on a Thursday evening, you would find me (Andrew) at World Impact helping out with our Men’s Basketball Night. We usually have anywhere from 30-50 guys over the age of 18.

The night consists of three hours of some of the most talented basketball players you would lay eyes on playing some of the toughest basketball you would ever see. About half way through the evening, one of the guys on staff named Jason calls a break and leads a short devotional. Two weeks ago, Jason thought he would try something different. Instead of the usual shared devotional, he thought he would ask the guys if they had any prayer requests, and then he was going to pray for them. The guys started out with shallow requests such as, “Could you pray for my team that is in the NBA playoffs?” But then they started to get a bit more serious.

One guy asked for prayer for a job; another wanted prayer for his housing situation. One young man even asked for prayer that he could get full custody of his baby boy. I was shocked at how open and honest the guys were. After every request was presented, there were about eight to ten petitions. Jason prayed for each of these very real requests.

After the prayer time ended, one of the guys came up to Jason and asked him if he had heard his request. Neither Jason nor I had heard his request because he was talking while someone else was sharing. He said that he wanted prayer for the poverty that he was facing and that his neighbors were up against. He wanted that burden to be lifted. He shared that he really liked the time of prayer and that he really appreciated it. Then another young man came up to me and said he needed a Bible and asked me, “How much will you sell me a Bible for?” I told him that we do not sell Bibles here, but I would gladly give him one. He was shocked at this offer. I told him to come and talk to me before he left.

At the end of the night, he stopped by to see me, and I gave him the option between two versions. He picked the more manly-looking of the two Bibles, and I told him a good place to start was in the Book of James. Since then we have been talking about deeper things, and he is reading the Bible as often as he can.

“How much will you sell me a Bible for?” The sad thing is that some people would have probably taken him up on his deal. I cannot think of a better gift than providing a young man with his first Bible. Just think; you play a vital role in allowing Adria and me to be on the front line in our community. We need and value your praying for us so much! Handing out the Word of God is just the first step. Being here when this young man really needs us in the future is just one of the reasons we are here. This young man could be the next pastor at a local community church. He has so much potential, it is not even funny. Thank you for partnering with us in reaching our neighbors for Christ!

All for our King,

Andrew & Adria Medlen