Earlier this year when Easter rolled around, we realized what a huge opportunity we'd missed out on by not having a special service, not doing a big push in Sunday school, and not taking advantage of the chance to fill the church up with visitors! It was during my dad's actual Easter message that he mentioned Pentecost Sunday was 50 days away...it was then the idea hatched to get a special speaker, have the kids sing, do a special push for parents and visitors! We'd let Easter slip away without any fanfare, but we needed another chance!
Dad was scheduled to teach the adult Bible class at Elder Wakefield's church on Sunday morning. I ended up going with him to play for their service since Hayde was sick. I'm glad I was able to go though - it was an exciting service! David Garcia preached and this lady got the Holy Ghost!
As soon as church ended, we rushed out of there to head over to our own church for our special service.
The kids sang.....
They did soooo good! I thought they'd end up getting so nervous that they wouldn't project their voices, but that isn't what happened at all. They sang their little hearts out - it was so sweet!!!
Marisol also did awesome - she was bright red the whole time and looked mad as a hornet, but she made it through the two songs without any major bloopers! :D
As the kids went back to their seats, Dad praised them over how well they did, then mentioned "...and Sis. Marisol did so well on the piano!" The whole congregation busted out in riotous applause and hollering!! (So much for all the attention being on the kids :)
|Our special speaker - the renown Mario Garcia!|
Mario did really good by separating all the kids - he made sure there was an adult in between each one before he started preaching. Ana, however, is determined to cause a ruccus no matter where she's sitting or who she's sitting next to! We were on the front row and whenever there was a question asked, she was the first one to throw her hand up, but would answer the question - at full volume - about 5 seconds after the preacher had moved on.
What did God make Adam out of?
All the kids: "DIRT!!!!"
*Mario moves on*
Everyone got very excited when Mario started talking about CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and called Abner up to use as a prop - haa!
|Abner protests and covers his mouth with his tie :D|
This is a perfect picture of how the service went:
Paulina acting crazy, getting into my purse, flipping through my Bible, dropping it, contorting her face...augh...
And Ana. Trying to put my hair behind my ears and telling me she had to use the restroom.
...Then I realized this child has a tooth growing right smack down the middle of her gums. In between her two "front teeth".
Paulina was very eager to inform me that her brother, Miguel, has one growing out of the side of his gums.
A very touching moment during the preaching - Bro. Mario had all of the kids' attention - even the little monsters sitting beside me and Nicole on the front row...
He asked the kids to raise their hands if they've ever had problems in their home. Of course, most of the kids raised their hands. Ana leaned up to my ear and whispered, "my dad drinks everyday." That about broke my heart. She knows that her dad's drinking is a problem.
Mario then got down on his knees and showed the kids how to pray when there are problems in their home. I was glad to see the kids' attention focus on Mario in this moment. With Ana's little admission, there is no telling what these kids go through on a daily basis, what their "normal" is.
Because of the poverty here in Mexico, it is also not at all unusual for these kids to go hungry. All of the kids raised their hands when he asked if anyone had ever gone to bed hungry because there was nothing to eat in their house. I love the burden Bro. Mario has for teaching kids to pray - I remember a little while back, he told me about a time he tried to encourage his little niece to pray for her backslidden parents' salvation. His niece replied, "But how? I don't know how to pray!" He broke down in tears that his own little niece did not know how to pray. He then told this little girl, like he did with our kids on Sunday -
You get down on your knees and say, "Lord Jesus, I ask you to..."
Save my dad. Save my mom.
Bring food to my house.
Solve the problems between my parents.
Bring peace to my home.
I really believe that in this moment he planted a seed of faith in these kids' hearts. He spoke right into their situations. They aren't alone in their struggles. God will hear the cries of these children!
At the end of the service, all of the kids were called up to the front, and the adults followed behind. Everyone began to pray so earnestly. Our Sunday school team was scattered throughout the crowd praying for the kids.
|Bro. David's little boy, Samuel, seeking the Holy Ghost|
Things were going really well, except for a small group of kids snickering up towards the front. Who was in the middle of it? None other than our little trouble-maker Ana. Dad pulled her out of the crowd and up for time-out on the platform - haha!
As soon as Dad turned around and went back to the altar, she looked up at me and gave me this innocent little smile and shrug. A few seconds passed and I watched as she got down off the chair, crawled across the platform, and and grabbed the microphone that Mario had on the ground beside the pulpit. She snatched it up, handed it to her little brother who was goofing off at the altar, then her cousin, Tania, grabbed it and with a silly face blabbed something into it. Thankfully it was off! (After this, they were caught and separated.)
|The little culprits - the 4 middle kids in the front|
After a while, Ana's brother, Miguel, was sat down up front too...
...the praying continued...it was so good to see these kids seeking the Holy Ghost.
And what do ya know? The last kids in the altar bawling their eyes out praying were Ana, Paulina, Miguel, and Tania. Hilarious!!!!
After church Sis. Carmen served arroz con leche, cheesecake, and jello. This lady is a goooood cook! <3 br="">3>