What a joy to gather in person once again for a week of Summer XP! From June 14-18, we met at Miller Elementary School and learned to “Focus” on God’s work in creation and God’s work in our lives. The responses that we are hearing to our week of Bible stories, games, and fellowship are incredible! Children are reading their new Bibles at home to friends. Children are singing Summer XP songs at home and on the ball field. On our final night, 19 children prayed and asked Jesus to be their friend forever. We are rejoicing as we see how God is at work in the hearts of our children!
Last year’s Summer XP week was unique in that we offered our program completely online. We weren’t sure what to expect as we sought to re-engage with families this year. We invited all who came through the meal lines at Bauer on Thursday nights, along with all those who worshipped with us on Sunday mornings. We put yard signs in different areas around the Miller/Bauer neighborhood. We emailed and invited the children who are part of our database lists. By the end of the week, we had 49 registrations, and we were grateful for this solid re-entry into Summer XP, following a year of pandemic.
While our groups were smaller than in past years, we were able to restructure our format and simplify what we did each night with the children. We went back to a rotation model, where children began in a homeroom, then gathered together for a large group singing time, and then moved through three different stations. We taught the lesson each night in our Bible story station, got kids moving each night in our games station, and did hands-on projects that connected to the lesson in our craft/activity station.
The children were divided into three smaller groups based on age, and each of these smaller groups was blessed with volunteers and leaders who got to know the kids on a more personal level. Because of the smaller size, kids got to know each other well and volunteers really got to know each child. It was our hope and prayer that each person at Summer XP connected with others in a way that embodied Christ’s love and care for them.
Throughout the week, we learned how you could see God in creation (Romans 1:20), Jesus’ teaching about the wise and foolish builders (Matthew 7:24-27), Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Son of God (Matthew 16:13-20), how you can talk to God anytime & any place through the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:5-13), and that you can live for God by loving others, as it says in Matthew 22:36-40 and 1 Corinthians 13.
We had an incredible team of over 50 volunteers who gave so generously of their time and talents. Thank you to each and every one of you for being a blessing to children and families all week long! We invite all to pray with us that the lessons taught and the experiences lived during our week of Summer XP will have a lasting impact for God’s kingdom here in Lafayette.