In the wake of 2020, two phrases have been repeated almost daily: unprecedented times and the new normal. The first references the bizarre events which rocked the medical, social, and economical scenes seemingly out of nowhere; the second is the idea that since everything has changed, we will experience a new normal. But what is this new normal we see emerging out of the ashes of COVID-19?
When COVID-19 shut down KiDs Beach Club inside schools last spring, we had no idea where God would lead us as we watched the world turn upside-down. We began forming our new plan of KiDs Beach Club at HOME!, but we also started to hear the stories of exactly what this new normal would entail for us. Our volunteers were continuing to find creative ways to inspire their students and community. They have worked throughout the pandemic to serve others as Christ first served us.
As more and more of their inspiring stories poured in, we decided to share a few with you, our friends of KiDs Beach Club, so you could also see the way God has continued to move through this amazing team of dedicated Christians. Here is a small collection of stories of how our volunteers are continuing the mission of making Jesus cool, not just in school, but in their whole community:
One of our church partners and volunteers, Jamie Brooks, wanted to demonstrate the impact we can still have through his testimony of how their club has endured. “The big questions our church has faced are similar to what KiDs Beach Club is facing now: Do we give up because we can’t do things the way we used to? Or do we imagine safe and responsible ways to continue offering opportunities?
Like you, we’ve chosen the latter. This summer before we began having small groups on the church campus again, I drove around the metroplex telling Bible stories in the park with the families in each community. So, praise God! He is not surprised or overwhelmed by our need to be responsive in the midst of a viral pandemic, but He has been abundantly faithful to inspire, to protect, and to flourish His Kingdom.”
Gerry Andruszko, a veteran volunteer, wished to encourage us by saying, “It has been a strange year. Since my students were moving on to the 6th grade, I made sure that they could keep up with our activities during 2020. I do keep in touch with my KiDs Beach Club students at Eisenhower Elementary through one of the classes, and our Sunday School class continues to supply Christmas gifts and stockings for them.
We are all looking forward to a time when we can get back into schools, to give hugs and high fives, to share character words, to memorize scripture, and sing God’s word. God is in control, and His timing is perfect, so until then we will keep on keeping on!”
Volunteer Douglass Brown has put this time to good use helping others in other ways, saying, “Since KiDs Beach Club was put on hold, we’ve had church members and non-members who just call up because they’ve lost their job, or have quarantine without pay, seeking how they can make it until help comes. We worked with distributing the food from the Farm To Families Food Program. That was 8 weeks of distributing tons of produce all in the Name of Jesus!”
Kyle Terwilliger of First Presbyterian Church Arlington says, “We have been sending cards, making phone calls, stopping by houses, doing drive-thru events, outdoor, socially-distanced activities, and are constantly trying to figure out better ways to keep in contact with the kids and their families. I am thankful for what we are able to do.”
Lynn Sandberg related her and her husband Bob’s sentiments, stating, “Bob and I are missing KiDs Beach Club very much! We have been involved with two ministries for the past year and have enlisted volunteers to pray daily for our educators. We also have been ministering to the 60+ widows in our church. We are praying that the Lord opens the door for KiDs Beach Club to open back up again.”
A former Surf Team leader, and forever member of the KiDs Beach Club family, Judy Braswell, says, “By the time schools here resumed last fall, our church decided to no longer partner with KiDs Beach Club to the dismay of students and volunteers alike.
As I began to serve as a substitute teacher, some of the KBC kids talked about missing it. I miss it too, but God has given me opportunities through substitute teaching to connect with and encourage many more students than just our former KiDs Beach Club kids. Thank you for the great curriculum that leaves kids wanting more. May God bless KiDs Beach Club and expand its impact despite the current challenges.”
Carol Baker shared her story after the shutdowns in Tildenville Elementary School, Orange County, saying, “We have continued to pray for each child in our club and have kept in touch by sending letters to them. We still look at the 43 Bibles now placed in their homes, and know God will protect and encourage every one of them and their families.”
Arlene Holland offered us words of encouragement, saying, “Our KiDs Beach Club in Burleson prays for you all every day at 3:00 P.M., about the time we would have been starting clubs. We pray for His protection over you all and this ministry. We pray for wisdom in moving forward; for each school that has opened up for us, at least to this extent; for churches to be ready to join us; and for the lives of the past, present, and future students and families, that they might see Jesus in us. We are blessed to be joined with you and KiDs Beach Club.”
After the ups and downs of COVID, we stand looking upon this new normal, and we don’t see a landscape of fear of confusion, but of hope.
As Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 1:3, “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
We are indescribably thankful for every one of our great volunteers and their determination to serve Christ—and the kids of KiDs Beach Club—no matter how crazy the world has become. Their inspiring stories have given hope to the entire KiDs Beach Club staff as we carry on our ministry and bring the light of scripture to all those we meet!
Published on Mar 15 2021 @ 3:25 PM CDT
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