Hey Friends! This month on the Sidewalk has been BUSY. Most of our sites started back up and it has been such a joy getting to see "our kids" every day of the week.
This month we talked about RESPECT — showing others that they are important by how we treat them. It’s easy to only think about ourselves and how we feel. If someone does something mean to us, our immediate human reaction is to do something mean back to them. However, as Christians we know that the Bible calls us to do the opposite. We were able to talk about what this practically means in these neighborhoods and how even though it can be hard, we need to do the right thing and respect others - just like Jesus did.
Our Bible verse was "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Luke 6:31 this helped hide the truth of RESPECT in our minds and hearts.
An exciting thing that we started this month is a "homework help club" at Valencia Way Apartments. This club meets every week at 4:30 in partnership with the Community Center. The teenagers and "big kids" get help with their homework, and tutoring in areas, such as math. We also have "Story Time" where the younger ones get to listen to stories read aloud, which is fundamental for brain development. We believe that it is impossible to share the love of Christ with our mouths without simultaneously showing that love by addressing emotional and physical need. We have had a great turn out the last couple of weeks, and our prayer is that this will grow and there will be lasting impact.
February is also a great excuse to talk about the great love a perfect savior has for His people. We gave out valentines bags at our sites filled with sweet little reminders that we love them so much, but Jesus Christ loves them infinitely more. He is what love truly is.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16
The New Year also means a new group of students from SMBS (Slavic Missionary Bible School)! We are so so thankful for the opportunity we have to partner with them. Their students exemplify what it looks like to be willing to go anywhere and do anything that God tells you to. They help give us the "man power" we need to make things run, and our kids genuinely love them so much. If you're interested in learning more about their program, visit smbs.org!
How you can pray for us this upcoming month:
For the weather! A challenge we encountered this past month was rain. As thankful as we are for all the weather God created, rain makes it challenging to hold our clubs.
For our new Homework Club! This is an exciting way to reach our teenagers and to partner with the community center. Pray that many will come and that God will equip the volunteers to not only talk about Homework, but to build relationships and share the Hope that is in Christ.
For our BBQ next month! Pray that new partnerships will be made, and God will help raise up faithful leaders who care about reaching their city with the life-altering news of the gospel.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support for the work that the Lord is doing on the Sidewalk here in Jacksonville, FL!