Thursday, June 18, 2015

Introducing Alfa a Omega (Beginning to End)

Alfa a Omega is my newest ministry opportunity and it is one that harkens back to the days of old when I was a young little thing leading a drama team in East St. Louis (Hiya girls!)

Alfa a Omega is a group of young people who are dedicated to sharing Bible stories through drama. However, their mission statement barely touches on everything that this group of Ecuadorian youth are doing...  It doesn't mention that they have been well trained in working with children and have hosted a children's camp...
and a youth retreat...
or that they meet each week for four hours on a Sunday...

Here's a glimpse into a typical Sunday rehearsal:

They play games.  They study games.  They know why games are important.
Because through games they break down barriers of the people groups that they intend to reach.  Through laughter and touching they enter the hearts of a group of young people or a church or a pueblo and they prepare the group to hear God's word.

They read God's word.  They study God's word.  The KNOW the purpose of God's word.
Each week we ask them, "What have you been reading this week?  How can you apply it to your life?"  They know that reading God's word should be a daily activity in the life of a believer and because they have seen first hand how God's word changes lives they have made it a priority.   Because they use Bible stories straight from scripture to share the gospel and because they write their own scripts (using only the Bible), these kids know how to study and to analyze.  They ask hard questions like, "Why should we include this story?  Why is this detail important?  What is the doctrinal message of this?  What bridge to the community does this story build?  What spiritual wall does this detail tear down?"

They fellowship together.  They know the importance of Christian fellowship.
Each week we eat together, often sharing the amazement over the different culture of food (because a salad bar is a freakishly new experience for them.  And because eating ranch dressing on salad is just as different for them as eating catsup on salad is for me).  They laugh together over my Spanish and share their problems at university and talk over solutions in an environment of trust and spiritual growth.  This has become their normal and they function like a small church.

They prepare.  They know how to do it- from beginning to end.
I recently sat down to meet with them one on one and asked them what they liked best about the group.  One of them replied that she loved the preparation.  "When my church asks me to do something I am going to be prepared to say yes.  I know how to prepare for something.  I am ready."

They pray.  They understand how to talk to God.
I once saw them face down spread over a room as they prayed silently before a presentation.  Each week they share their struggles and their prayer requests and we pray together.

They practice.  Even when it looks more like playing than practicing.
These kids have a repertoire of more than 20 bible stories under their belts.  These are plays that they have read, studied, written, blocked, memorized, costumed, and designed the set for.  Practice time goes from stressful, to hilarious, to focused all in the blink of an eye.

And now that you know a little about our group and a bit of how I spend four hours every Sunday afternoon, here are some ways you can pray for us!

We have a performance on Sunday June 28th where we will present the first 8 stories of the old testament (From creation to the Exodus).  This performance will be at the church that Dustan and I attend and will be a day full of festivities to celebrate family day.  The drama group will also be hosting a few games and getting to know the youth at the church in order to encourage them to unite and form a youth group (with almost 25 youth- this church has no youth group).  Please pray that the youth from Alfa a Omega connects in an encouraging way with the members, but especially with the youth at the First Baptist of Loja church.

We are getting ready for a mission trip that will take us to three (or more) small towns in Ecuador.  During the trip we will be hosting several Family Fairs and youth nights as well as sharing the gospel presentation through drama.  There will be bit of fence building thrown in as well (we are an ambitious bunch).  Please pray that God will work in the lives of our members as we study God's plan for the world and their individual part in it.

Please pray as the group loses two of its founding members.  This is a huge time of transition for the group as the missionary who founded it as well as her son will be returning to the states.  It will be a difficult time for everyone.

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