Epic Entertainment and Servant Hearts

The last few weeks have been crazy busy. Crazy – but oh so fun!

Once again Jan and I worked with the Youth Group to put on a Valentine banquet for the church. We planned and prepared a meal and then provided some after dinner entertainment.

16807740_1478265435519731_5104976078355933186_n

And boy did we entertain them!

It was epic!

16807381_1478265358853072_8916612015314010498_nPeople are still talking about the hilarious skits that left the audience rolling with laughter.

A synchronized swimming team with zebra bath caps from the dollar store that brought down the house.  A cowboy ballerina in hat and boots – participating in a homespun talent show.

Judged by a panel of “local” celebrities.

And won by a wig wearing pastor-impersonator.

While people may still chuckle about our finale – a parody of the 70’s hit – Staying Alive that we called Staying Awake……the memories that make my heart happy and still bring tears to my eyes are the behind the scene moments that nobody else saw.

The youth group kids that quietly cleaned up the massive mess in the kitchen after we made Oreo cookie and strawberry ice cream desserts.

The servant hearts that washed dishes, vacuumed floors, organized props, cleaned up costumes, set up mikes, found music, moved chairs and hauled tables.

The tender hearts who prayed before practices and really loved each other.

These kids.

That is what I will remember.

 

Calling in the Cavalry

Many of you may remember that we frequently host a one day – all day Vacation Bible School here at Windy Ridge. And it’s all done outside, in tents and on the lawn.

Every year people ask what we will do if it rains. Every year I just smile and say we’ll figure that out when it happens. But it never did.

Until last year.

In the middle of the worst drought in 100 years (seriously , we hadn’t had any rain for almost 3 months!) yet the minute the kids step off the bus that morning it started to rain.

Then the wind picked up and it started to pour.

Then the lightning came and some really strong wind gusts.

We huddled together under the tents we had set up and watched the wading pools fly by.  After we saw the food tent fly by – we decided to quickly move all the kids back on the bus.

We were just in time to see the porta- potty blow over.

When the rain stopped, we moved back outside and enjoyed a great day.

But I determined then and there that we needed to have a back-up plan. What if they rain hadn’t stopped? We sure couldn’t spend all day in the bus!

My idea? The pole barn.

The only problem was that it, like all the other buildings on the property, was full of “treasures”.

But if we could simply rearrange the building to put all the storage items in the back half and keep all the easily moveable things in the front half (things like tractors, mowers, balers, etc..) Then, on VBS day, we could simply drive out the things in the front half , park them in the pasture and set up VBS in the now empty front half of the pole barn.

It seemed like such a good idea at the time.

All winter it seemed brilliant. All spring it seemed genius.

It really did seem like a wonderful plan until last week when we suddenly realized there were only 3 weeks till VBS and we still hadn’t started re-arranging.

We worked in the evenings – sorting, emptying – but the task was monumental.

The scrap guy hauled away 3 loads. THREE loads! God bless him.

We’ve had a fire going that would rival the eternal flame.

But still we had a massive job.

It was time to call in the cavalry – the kids in the youth group. Young, strong, and would work for food. Perfect.

They arrived Friday afternoon in the midst of heat and humidity.

And they worked. Hard.

They moved piles and piles of wood left over from remodeling. They toted and carried. Car parts and bike parts. An outboard motor. Many, many doors. They unearthed some very interesting artifacts.

I’m wishing now that I had made them sign a confidentiality statement.

They were covered with sweat and dust and old spider webs, but still they smiled.

Then I fed them all the hot dogs they could eat and they had a massive water fight well past dark.  And I smiled.

They earned it.

They got us over the hump. God bless them.

We spent another day doing the finishing touches, but now we’re ready.

So – maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

And maybe I need to bring those amazing youth group kids some ice cream. And cookies.  And squirt guns…

Valentine Banquet

Part of last week’s busyness included taking this crazy crew of kids…youth group…and pulling off a Valentine’s banquet for the entire church.

The kids did everything!

They set up the tables…

Valentine tablescape

…using wedding pictures to decorate – as well as candles, streamers, M&M’s and conversation hearts.

 

They did the cooking.

kitvchen crew

And with my own Dagmar (in the black apron) in charge of the kitchen, everything ran smoothly.

Or – close enough.

And serving.

servingWhich also went surprising well. (Oh yes – that is a tuxedo! Only the best for our guests!)

Then – following the delicious three course meal – the kids provided some world class entertainment!

Valentine skitsWell – okay – it was actually a series of skits that the kids wrote full of inside jokes and some wigs that left the audience in stitches. (That’s my Pedro in the center!)

And when our guests – of all ages – left, the kids cleaned up.

I was so proud of how hard those kids worked and what a good job they did!

And I’m tired.

Very tired.

Working with teenagers is not for the faint of heart!