On September 29, GAP, our Senior High Youth Ministry, sponsored an event called Gettin’ Schooled. Gettin’ Schooled turned out to be a big success and a blessing to our students. It was an “in-reach” event designed around the thought of the students going back to school and how to spiritually equip them in this. We did this in three ways: food, fun competition, and electives.
The night started off with some dinner and hangout time, where we ate what you would get a school football game: hot dogs with chili, cheese and jalapenos, hamburgers, and nachos. We then had a competition between 10 teams of students and leaders, each team having 4-5 people. The first to finish all of the stations won; the stations were a hotdog eating contest, having to get 25 Skittles out of a bread loaf pan filled with whipped cream, smash a pumpkin off a rope while blindfolded, a teamwork game where you had to rearrange yourself on cinderblocks, and an alphabet soup game where the team had to make out the phrase “Gettin Schooled at the GAP.”
After the competition students then got to go “get their schedule” for the electives they had chosen. The electives they chose from were Quiet Time 101, How to Start a God-Movement at Your School, Standing up Without Standing Out, Study Skills 201, Stress Strategies and Prioritizing, How to Not Be a Follower, Dealing with Temptations, and Developing Friendships with Non-Believers. The students were really excited to get their schedules and the feedback from the teachers was that students were very involved. Our prayer was the students and staff alike were blessed and encouraged in their faith by attending the event and above all that God received all of the glory.
Please be in prayer for our students as they continue to grow in their faith and be a light for Christ in their schools.
Earlier this summer, a whole bunch of RBC dads loaded up their kids and camping gear for an unforgettable weekend in the woods. The Dad & Kids Campout was held at Pohick Bay Regional Park, and it was a great weekend of bonfires, sleeping under the stars, and just plain fun! As Phil Robertson would say, everybody was “happy, happy, happy” with group games, campfire songs, a talent show, s’mores roast, and Sunday morning teaching & worship. The 2013 Dad & Kids Campout was truly a special opportunity to disconnect from daily distractions and create life-long memories with our kids while getting to know other dads at RBC.
Special thanks to Brad Hill for putting together the recap video above!
On Sunday, September 15, RBC accepted bike donations to benefit an orphanage in Nicaragua. Through our SACS Thrift Store partnership, we are working with Verbo Ministries, a church-planting and disciple-making ministry working with the Casa Bernabe Orphanage. Verbo has partnered wtih the orphanage to develop a thriving bicycle shop, where orphans are discipled as they learn bike repair, sales and customer service. Nicaragua is the second poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, where 60 percent are underemployed or unemployed. The training they recieve in the bike shop serves the orphans well when they enter the job market.
We are thankful to God for the generosity of so many here at RBC. On Sunday, we collected 175 bikes!
Here is part of an email we received from one of the project coordinators:
We’ve been collecting for several years from a bunch of churches. I think the most we ever got from a church collection was 58. Talk about shattering a record. You nearly tripled it!
I met some really great people today. What a blessing. We are very, very grateful. And, the quality of the bikes was excellent. This is a huge help to the ministry. Thank you for the remarkable work you did to make this happen.
Please extend our sincerest gratitude. This will make a difference in Nicaragua.
Thank you to all who donated bikes. Please keep the Casa Bernabe orphanage and those who minister the gospel there in your prayers.
Radically trusting in the promises of God.
“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” (Psalm 62:1-2)
RBC Kids Camp is a week-long day camp open to all children between the ages of 4 and sixth grade and takes place the last week of June.
Through quality Bible teaching, art, drama, music, and a ton of awesome games, Kids Camp (formerly VBS) is a unique opportunity for children to begin or grow-in their relationship with Jesus and to learn to share their hope and joy with others.
This year we hosted more than 500 children and 200 volunteers for our 2013 edition of Kids Camp called, “The Rock.” Against the backdrop of a rock climbing adventure, the children learned that when we trust in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, God guarantees certain things to us. These “promises” are things we can trust in completely. As we put our weight on these promises we see that God is faithful and we will grow in our faith. With each passing day we grow to trust Him more and more.
We are very thankful to the parents and volunteers for their commitment to making this event a success and to raising a generation that knows the goodness of our God.
This past Saturday, June 15, RBC hosted the kick-off for the Good Samaritan Advocates legal clinic.
Twenty-five RBC’ers attended the orientation and training to volunteer as pro bono attorneys, paralegals, administrative support and in hospitality. The clinic assisted four clients in need of legal counsel. If you would like to learn more about the Good Samaritan Advocates legal clinic or how you can volunteer, go to restonbible.org/legalclinic.
Our next clinic will be on July 20.
The body of Christ came together in a beautiful way this week in International Connection, the English as a Second Language (ESL) program at RBC. In order to make a Health Fair work, I was in need of healthcare instructors to deliver short talks on general good health habits to our internationals, and I also needed translators to assist in the lower level classes. With the precision of a physically fit body, and by God’s grace, it all came together! Students were divided into 3 groups, depending on their level of English. Everyone rotated through 3 different seminars on health on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, instead of their regular English classes.
In the two days of health seminars, we featured a registered dietician, nurses, a dental hygienist and a representative from Medicare/Medicaid. Students had their blood pressure taken, learned what those numbers mean and how to improve them. They were also given vaccination schedules for their families and talks on general preventive medicine. The dietician gave talks on eating appropriately from the five food groups and dedicated all of Wednesday’s seminars to diabetes education. The dental hygienist used student volunteers to act as “teeth” as she used a giant brush to demonstrate proper brushing habits and a jump rope for flossing! With our ESL students, the more demonstrations and visuals one has, the better! The rep from Medicare/Medicaid spent time emphasizing how to live an active and fit life.
In addition, we had RBC attendees come alongside our presenters to translate into Spanish (our largest language group) all of the details of this important information. They also spent time one-on-one with some of the students who had very specific questions for our health care professionals. It was a beautiful thing!
I was blessed to have a very robust turnout for this unique event which leads me to think that it might be wise to have this on an annual basis. I will be looking for more ways to serve our international community in the future and welcome any ideas that the church gives me in this regard.
Director, International Connection
Last week, the RBC Sanctuary was transformed into Fast Eddie’s, a funky old diner, for the annual production of Conversations.
At Fast Eddie’s, families came on their way to the “best Spring Break trip of their lives,” infomercials from the infamous Kevin Winthrop, memories of lives spent together, and a community college study group. We were serenaded by the music of Philip Phillips, Coldplay, Gabe Dixon, The Beatles and more… But most importantly, we heard stories of God’s grace in real lives.
It was a wonderful week, made possible by the more than 300 volunteers, who provided food, served in the Coffee Shop, ushered, baked cookies, etc. We are so grateful for everyone who served, whether on stage, in the lobby or behind the scenes. More than 3,000 people attended Conversations this year, many of whom are friends, family, and neighbors of our regular attendees. Many people were able to come, relax, and hear the truth of the Gospel message through this production! We’ve been encouraged by the many stories of how God enabled people to attend, is softening hearts, furthering the conversation, and working in our community as a result of this production and the faithfulness of our body to invite their friends.
Just before our final performance, we received an email from someone who first attended Conversations two years ago. They wrote, “I have attended Conversations each year since (including last night). I really wanted you to know that you do have an impact on people. I don’t know if you hear from many people who you have been involved helping start a relationship with Christ, or wonder if you have reached people – You have! I’m living proof.”
We give thanks to our gracious God for what He has done – and may do still – through this production. Do you have a story to tell from your experience at Conversations? We’d love to hear it – drop us a line at email@example.com.
Remember the elevator scene from Conversations 2012? Conversations 2013 saw the return of the infamous Kevin Winthrop.
Thanks to Mike Kelly for the photos above. You can check out more shots from Conversations by Mike here.
BINGO NIGHT: RBC helped sponsor a Bingo Night at Guilford Elementary last Friday evening. The event is one of the school’s biggest community events with 300-400 families attending. The Guilford staff and PTA were so thankful for the RBC volunteers and the financial support we were blessed to be able to provide.
Here’s an excerpt from a note we received from Alex Collier of the Guilford PTA:
“The volunteers really made the evening run smoothly. They were up for helping with anything we needed, and added a definite air of excitement to the night! Katie VanDorsten and her son were the best 50/50 raffle hawkers we’ve ever had! Together they raised almost $100! Julie and Micah Loesch worked the popcorn and cookie concessions like pros, and Tyler Preast and his friends did a spectacular job manning the bingo sales table, selling cards and daubers with confidence and pizazz!”
BOOK DRIVE: We are thankful to God for all who donated books and time for yesterday’s Guilford Elementary Book Fair. We were able to give out over 1500 books! Each child was able to take home 3 books of their own, and the librarians and resource teachers were able to restock their dwindling supply of books and resource items. The principal and entire faculty were so thankful to RBC. Many of these children have never owned a book and were joyfully overwhelmed to be able to take three books home. RBC is sharing the love of Christ to children in need in our community, and we are grateful for the many who invested your time (and books!) in serving them.
Last month, RBC hosted our annual Youth Winter Retreat. We spent the weekend with the kids teaching them and hearing about how we should live as Christians as Biblical men and women. The gospel was also shared and several of the youth indicated they had prayed to receive Christ! On our activity day, the youth did either indoor activities which included bowling, roller skating, laser tag, or an outdoor activity where the kids went skiing and snowboarding at Elk Mountain. It was a blast and it was great to see God work in our youth and speak to them that weekend.
Please be in prayer for our youth from winter retreat:
1. Pray that those who accepted Christ would continue to walk and seek to grow in their new-found faith in Jesus Christ.
2. Pray that the teen guys would take to heart the teaching on authentic manhood and would seek to no longer live passively or in laziness, but that they would become strong Godly leaders and initiators.
3. Pray that the teen girls would take to heart the teaching on biblical womanhood and would seek to live a God-centered life as daughters of the Most High King, living a humble life in His unfailing Love.
4. Pray that all our teens would remember and live from the fact that God created them for a specific purpose.
The arrival to our annual Daddy-Daughter Valentine’s Dance was posh this year with valet parking, corsages upon entry, and a formal photo shoot before heading into the exhibits area for this year’s dance, The National Gallery of Heart: Love on Display. The girls and their dates visited several exhibitions, including the Hope Diamond room where they fashioned their own version of the necklace or the Portrait Gallery where dads and daughters could choose a frame to draw their own work of art right on the wall! A bit later in the evening, the Dessert Café opened with a sundae bar, and then came the big reveal in the auditorium with a freshly-installed wooden dance floor and a DJ showcasing some struttin’ music! With a little over 200 folks in attendance, the night was brimming with joyful laughter and sweet smiles.
At one point in the evening, everyone was assembled to discuss that there are lots of ways that dads can put “Love on Display” for their wives and children. However, the only perfect example of “Love on Display” in history was Jesus Christ’s death on the cross (John 15:13). Jesus took on the penalty that we deserve for the times when we don’t love perfectly, forgave us for the times when we turn away from Him, and opened the door for us to live with Him in heaven for eternity. All we need to do is trust in what Jesus has already done for us. Jesus truly is, always, love on display.
For myself personally, there was never a moment to sit as I poised my volunteers for the next transition in the evening’s agenda or checked on the maraschino cherry stash. I’m so thankful that my duties kept me in and out of every room constantly throughout the night so that I could witness the fun and the awed faces of the couples with each new reveal! My eyes vigilantly searched in the nooks and corners in each room and I was never disappointed in the findings as I saw dads and their girls involved one-on-one in their own conversations, whether it was answering some questions we posed in their Gala Guide, or telling their own stories as they worked their way through each gallery exhibit.
The girls and their dates were blessed with a dedicated crew of volunteers and several staff members who made this night shine! May we be blessed to continue this event for years to come.
Have a story from the Daddy-Daughter Dance you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With each of our Jr. High Friday Night Lives, we strive to create fun, safe environments where our students and their friends can have a great time & also hear about what Christ has done for us. On January 18th, the Jr. Highers had a blast at our Epic Fun Night. A series of Epic Fun activities were spread throughout the youth building so teens could compete in RC car racing, basketball, dodgeball, sculpting, Mario Cart, foosball, Super Smash Brothers, and more. The video below gives you a glimpse of all the excitement. It was a great time for our volunteers to hang out and build relationships with our students and over 40 of their friends that came.
In the middle of the epicness, we paused to watch some epic near-death experiences. In lots of epic movies it always seems when certain death and failure is imminent, at just the right moment salvation comes. The same was true for us in our spiritual lives. As Romans 5:6 says, “While we were still helpless, at just the right time, Christ died for the ungodly.” While we faced certain judgment and eternal punishment, Christ came in God’s perfect timing to die for us. This makes us some of the luckiest and most blessed people ever.
Praise the Lord for His salvation and for the 12 students who indicated they trusted in what Christ has done for them & began a relationship with God that evening.
If you have a Jr. Higher or know one you want to reach out to, go to www.restonbible.org/breakthru and check out our latest calendar to find our details for our next Friday Night Live.
Back in December, the Jr. High Ministry held our 3rd annual Minute to Win It: Friday Night Live. Guy Feiri (played by Erik Palmer) hosted our own version of the TV game show as our students played a series of pressure-packed challenges to win prizes.
We had a full room of excited Jr. Highers (with about 50 friends who do not regularly attend RBC) trying to throw rolls of toilet paper through hoops, making Diet Coke volcanos with Mentos, and bobbing their heads trying to tally steps on a pedometer.
The highlight video below gives you a small glimpse of the excitement. In the middle of the event, one of our Jr. High Volunteers, Amy Stegeman, shared about her life (you can also watch her story below). Just like how in the game show you only have a short time to complete a task, she shared about how she has learned that our time here on earth is short. But unlike the game, we don’t win prizes based on our performance, but by believing in the performance of the God who came into this world at Christmas 2000 years ago.
Praise God for the over 20 students who indicated they trusted in what Christ has done for them & began a relationship with God that evening.
The Youth Ministry would like to extend a huge thank you to the body for its prayers and support in all aspects of First Fruits. God answered your prayers in many different ways last Saturday. There were more than 600 workers, spread over 30 teams that did close to 150 jobs, and raised almost $40,000 to immediately impact more than 70 families in the local community with groceries and gift cards. It was a long, but good day, one in which God provided near perfect weather. It was also a blessing to have Park View High School stepping out with volunteers (students and staff) and providing a place for us to meet for our morning and evening programs.
Check back in the near future for pictures from that wonderful day. For this and countless other reasons, we are truly grateful to God for richly blessing our body. Have a very special Thanksgiving.
TRUNK-or-TREAT IS CANCELED.
After much deliberation, the church leadership has decided to cancel Trunk or Treat.
Like you, we are very disappointed, but feel that it would not be safe to hold the event outside, and we don’t have what we need to move the event indoors. None of our supplies have been delivered due to the storm, and our facilities staff will need to devote their time to making sure our grounds and building are safe for use, rather than setting up this event.
To our volunteers:
To all who answered our plea to sign up for Trunk or Treat, we cannot thank you enough for your willingness and flexibility. We hope that you can use the candy that you have purchased to bless the children in your neighborhoods. We will be using what small amount of supplies that arrived before the storm to bless the children of our food pantry guests with a mini-Halloween.
In early October, a team of five from the RBC went to Brazil to partner with Mike Meyers, RBC Children’s Ministry Associate and founder of Open Arms, in an event called Voz e Vida. Voz e Vida, Juntos Pelas Crianças (Voice & Life, Together for the Children) is an annual benefit concert held in Assis, Sao Paulo, the base city for Open Arms in Brazil. This gospel music event seeks to cross over denominational lines and bring together Christians to reach every child with the gospel of Jesus Christ through the work of Open Arms. The event also has gospel proclamation component both within the concert itself as well as throughout the promotion phase leading up the concert during radio, television and newspaper interviews. From Mike & Patricia Meyers:
Whenever we engage in short term missions, the question arises about what kind of impact was made and whether or not it was worthwhile. Let me answer that question here. In the space of two weeks, we were able to share with the city of Assis, Brazil about the work that Open Arms has done and is doing among the children of this city and throughout the region in the name of Jesus, via radio (nearly a dozen interviews, four of them with the guys from the band), television (2 stations), newspapers (3 papers published 6 quarter page stories), the schools (2 grade schools, 1 technical school and one university) and all culminating in a concert before a very enthusiastic crowd.
This massive exposure was in large part due to the participation of five very humble servants of Christ from Reston Bible Church. Erik & Elisa Palmer, Jesse Trask, Brian St. Andre and Carter Keeton took Assis by storm and left here with a city full of new friends, and fans. Besides their busy promotion schedule during their week in Assis, they came prepared to work with our kids at their schools and in a Children’s Day party which was to be held on October 12th. The party got rained out but the team still was able to minister to 600+ children in two of the public schools we are partnered with.
The gospel was preached in word by our team and in deed by the RBC Five. Their example of joyful, sacrificial service, not to mention the music which was an immediate hit, has opened doors for the ministry more than we could have imagined. Since they left, our staff and I have been running non-stop responding to new donors, volunteers and business leaders who want to get involved in what God is doing among the children here.
On behalf of the staff, volunteers and children of Open Arms in Brazil, we have only thanks to give. Thanks to God for bringing this event together, thanks to Reston Bible Church for standing by this ministry and sending your very best to us, and thanks to the team for encouraging our staff here with their music, their laughs, and their example.
Mike & Patricia Meyers