Friday, March 4, 2011

A "Bit 'O Home-y"

We were thrilled to learn that the B's were going to be in Tampa! We were only 30 minutes or so away, so we made plans to join them at Fowler Ave. Baptist Church to help with an afternoon kids camp called "Backlot". A tremendous outreach to kids from nearby homes. Many are from less than advantageous situations which could be read on many of their faces. Many of these kids were facing two strikes against them the day they were born. So SAD!! Every one of them needs Jesus, and many of them would have never heard if not for the vision of this church to reach them. 
 It is a weekly activity and they take two vans out to get the kids from wherever they can find them... truly not a hard search as right across the street there are thousands of low income houses and apartments on hundreds of acres of land. Literally a mission field full of people.
 The church is blessed with a HUGE back yard, hence the name of the program, "Backlot". They organize the kids as best as possible and play games and share the Love of Christ with them. There is a devotional time where they are carefully presented with the Gospel. I say carefully, for as many know the world is filled with people who "said a prayer" when they were young for whatever the motivation, and truly have never understood the Good News unto Salvation. People who errantly rely on a few spoken words and then live life however they want believing they will be kept from hell by a "safety net" made of dust.
Oh! that the Gospel would go forth in TRUTH and that people would accept it carefully, with true repentance and sadness at their lost and fallen state without Christ! Those that receive it with gladness are quite possibly sold a gospel that sounds much like the prosperity preachers... "Just believe God and all your troubles will melt away and Life will be great!" There is truth in that, but only in the fact that our troubles are no different, just our response to them! They melt away in the light of the fact that truly we know in whom we have believed and that though in this flesh there dwelleth no good thing, our HOPE is in Christ!
In the only two hours we were there, surely our influence will not go very far.  Truly they impacted us far more than we impacted them! The Pastor, however is there every day, every week, praying for them and loving on them, and available to be a hand in the stead of Christ. The church is a beacon of Light Spreading the Gospel - shining in a dark corner of Tampa. I know the Lord is honored in that place! 

We were truly blessed to be able to share in the day's events. Beyond that we were able to sped some quality time with some of our dearest friends, and that was certainly the icing on the proverbial cake! Even Savannah remarked at how nice it was to be with "people we really know".  Sentiment shared by All I will tell you!

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