Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Easter Happenings

So I survived the first week of Sidewalk Sunday School. On Friday we had 100 kids at my site. Which is really good considering it was the first week of the semester, and we come on a different day and time than last semester. It was also cold, and there was no school. So 100 wasn't bad at all considering. We also had several parents who came, and you never know who was listening from their apartments.

On Saturday we showed segments of The Passion in Indoor Sunday School. The kids were visibly touched by it. We even asked kids to come up for prayer, which doesn't usually happen when you have 1000 kids in a small area. I was in Big Class Two, also known as the overflow class. This class is used when they run out of room downstairs. So first session we had about 200 kids, second session we had about 60 kids and third session we didn't have a class, because it wasn't needed. Anyway, Saturday went really well.

On Sunday I was able to give Easter gifts to Ali and Niasia. These are the kids my mom and I sponsor through Metro's Won by One child sponsorship program. It went very well. I also helped with the Easter egg hunt at the Brooklyn Church. The had hundreds of eggs spread across the gym floor. They also had a live rabbit and live chicks for the kids to pet. It was a lot of fun. Many of the kids had never seen live farm animals before.

On Monday I was given a chance to go to the circus. A friend of one of the staff member's bought us all tickets. It was really pretty cool. Madison Square Garden is considered one of the premier spots to see The Ringley Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. About twenty of us went, it was fun.

Going Forward with Christ

Friday, March 25, 2005

Sidewalk Is Better In The Snow

Well I experienced something yesterday that would never happen in Chandler. We did Sidewalk Sunday School in the SNOW!!!! We did about 5 very short sessions. We waited until we got five or ten kids then told a quick object lesson and quick salvation prayer. It was cold but fun. Sidewalk kicked off on Tuesday. We had one hundred and sixty kids. My site is tomorrow. I am very excited to see how many kids show up.

Keep going and going and going

Monday, March 21, 2005

Mailing Adventures

Yes, even mailing a package in Bushwick is a little different than in AZ. Robberies are common in this area so the want to protect the mail clerks. In order to prevent someone from getting to a clerk with a weapon the have windows between the clerks and the customers, much like at a movie theater or court house. But people have to mail large packages too, So the have this chamber that you place you packages in. If the clerks side of the chamber is open you can't open your's. But when it's closed and your's is open you can't reach through and open the other side. This is done by a bar that prevents the other door from sliding up while on is open. Anyway, always something new in Brooklyn.

Trying to figure it out, Bryan

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Bus Adventures

Today I rode the buses for Saturday Sunday School. The contrast between the two buses I rode was amazing. In the morning I rode with a volunteer co-captain who only had about twenty-five kids on her bus. The bus I rode on the third session was much different. We were in East New York, which is one of the neighborhoods that has historically had difficult children. We had 68 kids on the bus. Carlos was the bus captain and our driver. I was the only other adult on the bus so it was basically me and a couple of well meaning but poorly qualified teenage volunteers trying to control the bus. Unfortunately the teenagers caused more problems than they solved. But everyone made it home safe and I survived, maybe it will be better next week. I am assigned to teach in the classroom known as Big Class 2. This class is used as an overflow for the 7 to 12 year old class. This week, however, we did not have enough kids to use the overflow so I hung out in Big Class 1, which is the main class where Pastor Bill leads he's here. This week they talked about not getting discouraged. It was a good lesson, and seemed to get the kids' attention.

Well thats all for now.
Not getting discouraged, not quiting

Saturday, March 19, 2005

John Adams Houses

I went on visitation for the first time today. What a different culture these kids live in. John Adams Houses are six 21 story buildings siting on less then 10 acres, housing over 2,300 people. While there I saw a stairwell with soot all over it from a fire two weeks ago, a boy trying to get his dog out side to pee (He didn't make it), another girl had a cockroach on her shoulder that I brushed off for her, and of course lots of kids that need to here the gospel.

Pray for John Adams Houses. That God will move amongst the people. That I will have divine ideas on how to visit all these buildings plus smaller houses outside the projects in just under three hours. That we will find a knew place to do Sunday school. Currently we plan to have it directly on a sidewalk, but we only have room for maybe 100 kids. We need to get permission to use one of two nearby basketball courts in order to have room for the 200-300 kids I know God can bring. That God will give me wisdom and safety as I visit.

Serving Him no matter what it costs, Bryan

P.S. In case you were wondering about the dog: Yes, he peed in the stairwell. No his boy did not clean it up.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

South Bronx Here I Come

We found out yesterday what Sidewalk Sunday School divisions we will be in. I will be in division number nine, in the South Bronx. We only have three staff members (Tamara, Jenn, Al) and two interns (ME and Sabine) which makes us the least populated division. But Leo (the director of Sidewalk Sunday school) said I count for three people. So being that our group is small I will have my own site. So pray for my as I take this bold adventure. The south Bronx is a lot different than Chandler, AZ. Also I may be taking another adventure in the next couple of weeks, driving in New York City. Honestly I am probably more nervous about driving than I am visiting projects by myself. But I am looking forward to both opportunities to expand my experiences. Given God All I Got Bryan

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Lambs In Leadership

This weekend the Metro staff and interns went through the semi annual Staff retreat.

This semester's theme was "Lambs in Leadership". The theme is derived from Luke 10 when Jesus sends ot the seventy and tells them they will be as "lambs among wolves".

The general idea is that although we are called to be leaders we are still lambs. It is important to balance the two.

One thing God showed me through this retreat was that it's not about me. I don't need notoriety or fame because I'm not doing it for me. Every time I get on that stage or give a kid a hug it is only by the grace of God and it is Him that the kids are glad to see. Nothing I have is good enough, but through God's strength ordinary people can do extraodinary things. Even Paul when he was at the end of his ministry said he had not obtained the prize. If the man who evangelized two continents in a time when the fastest transportation was a donkey and wrote most of the New Testament, didn't feel that he had accomplished everything God had for him: Then I have just barley scratched the service.

One thing Pastor Bill Wilson said this weekend (paraphrase) was if you are satisfied with what you are doing you might as well pack up and go back to wherever you came from because you have become ineffective as a minister. We must always be pressing on toward the prize and we must understand that the prize will not be revealed in our life. In other words, it's like a timed race when you don't know how well the other racers have done or will do when it's your turn. So you have to give it all you got until the end. If we can do that then we are doing what God wants.

Tuesday, March 8, 2005

Yes, it's snowing here in Brooklyn. Unfortunately, there aren't any hills to sled on. In fact, the snow that doesn't melt immediately because of the steam coming from the under ground, gets very dirty very fast. Central Park has a few patches of white snow, but only in the areas they don't allow people to walk. Any way got to love New York. Yesterday we went on a scavenger hunt through the city. We had clues like find the concrete garden (Madison Square Garden) and take a picture with the tallest pedestrian. Note: Madison Square Garden is where the New York Nicks play. Our team however was less competitive then I would have liked and we stopped and had lunch after the second clue. Oh well, it's just a game, but those of you who know me know I hate to lose. Maybe it was God's way of teaching me patience and humility. We came in fourth out of five. Actually, because of our extended pit stop, we didn't make it to the last clue. But another team quit all together after not being able to figure out the fourth clue. It was fun anyway. Can't wait till we get to do some ministering, but that's still two weeks away. Serving Him with all I have, BSS

Sunday, March 6, 2005

New York New York

Spent a few hours in Manhattan yesterday. The goal was to walk through the city and then take a stroll through Central Park. However, one of the young ladies I was with was quite a fashonista and wanted to stop at every high end store she saw, Coach, Armani, Sofirah, Bannana Republic. But I did get to go into my favorite Fifth Ave store, The World of Disney. Anyway we did make it to Central Park eventually, Took a quick stroll and went to the train. One interesting thing about New York is that not very many places have public bathrooms. So if you got to go you need to find either a Starbucks or a McDonald's. This usually isn't to much of a problem though because there are approximately 4 McD's and 10 Starbucks in every square mile in Manhattan. That means over 200 Starbucks on an island that is 13 miles long and no more than 2 miles wide at its widest. Any way we had a good time, but I can't wait until the real training begins on Tuesday.

Friday, March 4, 2005

Hanging Out

Not doining too much today. Most of the interns are still arriving so we're pretty much on our own, but we can't leave the building unless we are in groups of at least three or more. Went shopping this morning. One of the girls is from San Diego and didn't have any warm clothes. So she needed to find some. It has been in the twenties and thirties. It is supposed to snow this weekend BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. It's a little much for this desert dawg. Found some boots for 15 dollars, and an alarm clock. They should help me through this adventure.

Thursday, March 3, 2005

Here In The Big Apple

Ok I'm in New York now. Flew in early this morning. I'm only the second intern to arrive here so I got first dibs on bed, comforter, pillow, storage areas, etc. I flew in a day early on purpose, I'm no fool. The gentlemen are on the third floor, so I will be getting plenty of exercise during the next four months. I will be sharing my room with thirteen other guys from all over the world. There are also 28 ladies with us in the building, although they stay on a different floor of course. There are four continents represented in the interns this semester, including the countries of germany, Switzerland, U.K., France, New Zealand, China, Taiwan, Canada, and the USA. I will be meeting these people in the next couple of days. A few come in tonight but must come in tomorrow and a few more on Saturday. I'm looking forward to meeting new people and can't wait to see what God has in store.
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