Blog Experience Music City
Children's Ministry Intern
Mission Week 2013 Experience Music City is finally done and in the books. I think it is also safe to say that it was one tiresome but extraordinary week. God did some amazing things for me and the children who participated in West End UMC’s Mission Week. It was such a blessing to get to know those wonderful kids and to see God move through their lives first hand. This year’s theme for Mission Week was Experience Music City, and the kids were able to go out into the streets of Nashville and surrounding areas to experience our city through four different perspectives.
On the Monday of Mission Week, we experienced Nashville through the eyes of a tourist. We went to the Parthenon where we learned why it was built and why Nashville is the only place on earth that has a replica of the ancient temple. Then, we took a tour of the State Capitol building. Throughout the day, I and the adult leaders encouraged the kids to be thinking about how tourist and natives of Nashville were different and how we were the same. The kids were encouraged to think about how we should treat our neighbors which included tourists.
On Tuesday, we experienced Music City through the eyes of those on the margins. We left West End to go to an apartment complex on Haywood Lane which houses mostly Burmese refugee families. Our kids led a sidewalk VBS with the help of Ann Cover, the pastor at South End UMC. They told the story of the lost coin and the prodigal son and acted those stories out for the children. After the bible story, we reviewed a little about how God cares so much about each of us, and God will never stop looking for us if we are lost. After we played a group game of hot and cold, all of the kids split up and did whatever the Spirit led them to do. Most of the boys went to the basketball court and played soccer! Others wanted to do some crafts, while others played jump rope and then there were those who wanted to read! It was such a beautiful sight to see our West End kids playing and building relationships with those refugee children. After the sidewalk VBS, we headed to Walmart. There we split up into three groups and each group received $14 which is the amount a family of 3 receives in food stamps per day. The kids were able to see how difficult it was for a family of 3 to buy breakfast, lunch, and dinner with just $14.
On Wednesday of Mission Week, we were able to see Nashville through the eyes of the disabled. Before we left for the day, each participant drew a disability out of a hat. Their disabilities ranged from being paralyzed to being blind, from being mute to being deaf, and they had to act out those disabilities for the majority of the day. After the disabilities were assigned we loaded the bus and drove to Grassland Park in Franklin. There we visited a sensory garden where the kids were able to taste, touch, and smell different plants. After we went through the sensory garden we played some disability awareness games which showed the kids how difficult it is to do some normal, everyday activities when you are disabled.
Thursday we saw Nashville through the eyes of kids. We went to Edwin Warner Nature Center and we did a little scavenger hunt there. After lunch, we swam for the rest of the day at Centennial Sportsplex.
Throughout the week, I and the other adult chaperones really tried to make sure that the kids were thinking of how all of humanity is interconnected, how we are all neighbors, and I think that message really hit the heart for everyone. My favorite day from this week had to have been Tuesday. When we arrived at the apartment complex you could feel the awkwardness in the air, not only from our kids, but from everybody. However, slowly but surely, God was breaking down those walls and destroying those barriers and by the end of our time there I had to separate the kids so I could make sure I had all of the ones from West End! Both groups of kids were inseparable!! It was truly a sight to behold and most certainly a modern day miracle.
It was such a blessing in my life to work and lead those kids during Mission Week. God did not only move in their lives in mighty ways, but God also moved in my life in a mighty way and I will forever be changed because of it. I praise God for Mission Week 2013 and I praise God for West End!
With God’s Grace and Love,
Children and Families Ministry Intern