What an amazing week! I am still in awe of all that God did this week and my mind is trying to grasp the depth of what the Holy Spirit accomplished over these past few days.
We hosted our first ever VBS week here in Leesburg (right between our 2nd and 3rd Sunday morning weekly worship services). God blessed us with amazing partnerships with 2 other churches that made this week possible:
- Crossroads Baptist Church, Leesburg, VA – Pastor Ron and his congregation allowed us to host the VBS in their facility and campus this past week.
- First Baptist Church, Norfolk, VA – They sent a team of 11 up to plan and execute VBS and subsequent block party that we could not have pulled off without their support.
We started our week with 32 campers on Monday morning, about 20 of whom are children at the daycare that
meets at Crossroads. We wrapped up Thursday with 53 campers. It was so encouraging to have new campers each day and that the vast majority of the growth came from families in the community not connected to a local church. 6 children indicated first time decisions to trust in Christ! We are excited about following up with these families and getting them plugged into our ministry. We were blessed to learn that 2 of the daycare workers are planning on coming to Rising Church this Sunday morning as well!
We concluded our week with a community block part. We were expecting around 100-150 people based on VBS attendance and we were hopeful that families from the community would come out and join us as well. We had over 200 attendees at the block party – at least half of them were residence of the low income and government subsidized housing right across the street from Crossroads. We had free hotdogs, games, crafts, balloon animals, and face painting. After giving the Gospel we saw 5 adults make first time decisions to trust in Jesus Christ. We found out as we talked and prayed with them that 4 of them were just walking by and wanted to see what all the fun and music was about. How cool is that? Holy Spirit prompted curiosity led to divine appoints of salvation for at least 4 individuals that we know of. These new believers, along with a few other families, expressed interest and a desire to join us for worship this Sunday morning.
God is so good! What an amazing week of ministry. We lived out several values that are core to us at Rising Church: being missional in our community, being a multi-generational congregation (we had children as young as 2 at VBS, volunteers as young as 12 and as young-at-heart as 81), and being a multi-ethnic congregation! I am in awe of what God showed us He is willing to do through us and who we – His bride – can be. This week also marks the first harvest of salvations that God has blessed our church plant with and I love that it came as the result of us being in the community through VBS and a block party. It is beautiful what God can do through the church when we get outside of our 4 walls of comfort and live and give the love of Jesus to the neighborhoods right across the street.
and whenever you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear this command behind you: “This is the way. Walk in it.” – Isaiah 30:21 HCSB