We have been doing mission work for almost 15 years, right here where we live. We haven't stopped doing that while we have been on this journey of growth and adventure in new things. In fact, our heart for our ministry here grows each week as we meet with the families that are a part of our apartment church.
John teaches the youth and English speaking adults that come to our church. Eugenio and Deyanira lead the Spanish speaking adults in Bible study. Ed teaches the elementary aged kids (I used to take half of them until the preschoolers outnumbered them by triple). I teach the preschoolers and some of the early elementary kids because of their English levels. Some do not speak English well yet so they join me in a simplified lesson. In the winter we are inside and I work with the kids in a room with blocks and other toys. We don't have air or heat in the apartment so we stay out of the wind in the winter.
With the preschoolers it is a time to build some relationships, more so than the older kids, because of the language barrier. I have to break through the barrier with love and a smile. I talk to them in English and Spanish (what little I know) and they even teach me some Spanish. My group has built up a great deal these past few months that I have been teaching the younger children. A lot of times those kids will just go where ever or back and forth between their moms who are doing Bible study inside. One of the things I try to do is get them involved so their parents can focus on their lesson and learn more about Jesus.
There are times during the year where we have a meal at the apartments. Everyone brings food and sometimes we have a cookout. Our last one was wonderful, the food was delicious! (It always is but this was over the top!) We just hang out with the families and get to know them better. We play games with their children and that lets them know how much we care about them. We do a lot with the families throughout the year, like school supplies, Fall Festival, Thanksgiving meals delivered on Thanksgiving morning, the Christmas Store, an Easter celebration, youth and children's summer camps, and gym nights. There are so many opportunities to work with these families and show Christ's love to them with a simple smile. If you want to be a part of something big right here in your own back yard, contact Mission Arlington and they will put you on the right path.
Helping transform lives one day at a time.