KiDs Beach Club® is always overjoyed to announce a new arrival into the family of Christ! This semester we had just such a new arrival when a young boy named Daniel asked Jesus to be his Forever Friend!
This all began when our friends at First Baptist Church of Dover, Florida began hosting their own Beach Club just two miles down the road from their church building. Right from the start of the first meeting, a quiet but engaging 5th grader named Daniel, accompanied by his younger brother, came to the after-school program.
One day in early spring, Daniel arrived for Beach Club with not only his brother, but also his two younger sisters. The church staff then engaged, having been given an introduction through Beach Club.
As the Youth Pastor told Daniel about the youth events he could participate in once he crossed the threshold into 6th grade, the church’s Children’s Pastor engaged the sisters and younger brother about the exciting Sunday School activities they could enjoy.
The kids were thrilled at being so welcomed, and that same day, Daniel politely came up to a volunteer and asked sheepishly if he could have two treasures from the treasure box to give to his little sisters. The volunteer said yes, which overjoyed an excited Daniel, eager to share this gift with his sisters. Daniel and his brother continued to attend their KiDs Beach Club weekly.
That is, until COVID entered the picture.
As concerns for COVID continued to rise, the volunteers awaited news on what the schools of Dover would do and how this would affect their ministry. Meanwhile, Daniel cared for his little brother and continued to enjoy his time at the club. When Great Treasure Day came, they both were thrilled to receive their very own KiDs Beach Club Bibles!
Unfortunately, Great Treasure Day would be the last in-person day for the semester, as the nation shut down over concerns of the ever-spreading virus. Still, the volunteers and church staff joined together during these irregular times to discover new ways to engage the kids.
Together they emerged with many creative solutions, includingan exciting day where the 5th graders received their grade “clap-out” as they safely drove past the encouraging volunteers. They also conducted online activities and were eventually able to host Vacation Bible School, with which the Beach Club volunteers gladly helped.
It was at this VBS that Daniel made his decision. He had come with not only one, but two younger brothers, expanding his own micro-ministry to his siblings. Throughout the week of VBS, Daniel seemed especially interested and intent on learning as much as he could about Jesus.
On the final day, Daniel went to the same Youth Pastor who signed his KiDs Beach Club Bible months earlier and asked if he could pray and ask Jesus to be his Forever Friend. As they prayed over that little KiDs Beach Club Bible, the Kingdom of Heaven rejoiced.
Published on Jan 27 @ 11:08 AM CDT
If there's anything 2020 taught us, it’s that things rarely go according to plan. In a year of canceled get-togethers, weddings, parties, and even jobs, we’ve all had to come to grips in one way or another with the fact that even our simplest plans can fail.
What do you do when it feels like the world is against you? What’s your response when things just fall through?
For Pastor Steven Greene, prayer is always the answer.
In January 2020, Pastor Steven Greene spearheaded the effort within Central Baptist Church to engage Lawrenceville Elementary School across the street via KiDs Beach Club. The club was growing rapidly in those first few weeks; then the infamous shutdowns were enacted, and schools all across America shut down due to COVID-19 concerns.
Steven was as disheartened as anyone when he heard the news. But he wouldn’t let this stop him; he turned to the highest power for help. When the world was in disarray and absolutely no one appeared to know what to do, Steven asked for God to show him how to continue the ministry and to watch over his students wherever they may be.
God provided. Steven was met with inspiration to provide neighborhood Bible Studies with VBS kits in the local community. These Bible Studies proved a success, and God’s work had just begun.
Steven and his team at Central Baptist Church blitzed the local communities with flyers, emails, and phone calls of encouragement and help. It wasn’t easy at first. Many of the students were still not catching wind of the opportunities available to them even during the shutdown.
“Some never checked the emails because they didn't have internet access,” Steven said. “The majority of the kids that we knew at the school weren't making any contact that way. It's been pretty difficult.” They wouldn’t let this stop them, however. They continued attempting to make contact, all while engaging local kids living in trailer parks with the message of the Gospel.
One young man named Tristan, who attended KiDs Beach Club, was prevalent in Steven’s prayers and remained one of the students that Steven’s team had lost contact with. Little did Steven know, but God was fully on the move in reconnecting Tristan with his KiDs Beach Club family.
In the weeks preceding the shutdown, Tristan was very quiet and listened intently to the lessons taught at KiDs Beach Club. On the last in-person day of the semester, Tristan actually asked a volunteer about trusting in Jesus, expressing he wanted to put his faith in him.
“I talked to his mom after the club meeting, and she was excited for Tristan,” Steven said. “She's a single mom with two kids and was struggling to hang in there. She had been saved and baptized as a young person herself. So she said, ‘I want you to come to talk with my other son about it.’
I responded saying, ‘We want to get both of them in church and get them baptized!’ Then COVID shut us down. Then her phone number went dead, and I never got an email response. We even had trouble locating the apartment listed on Tristan’s sign-up sheet. I mean, we just went months without any contact. It was seemingly a dead end.”
Steven continued, “I added the younger brother to my salvation-prayer-list and began praying for him with our church once we were able to meet back for Wednesday services. In our prayer meeting, we prayed by name for that young man. After church, I drove home, and he was standing in the road in front of my house!”
Steven jumped out of the car and asked him what he was doing there. The boy simply said his grandmother lived around the corner from Steven’s house. “I asked him to talk to his mom about reconnecting, and he texted her on the spot,” Steven related.
“A month passed. I called again, and a week later she called me back on a new number saying her old phone broke out of the blue.” Another week later, and the entire family showed up Sunday morning for church!
“We talked about going ahead and starting counseling for Tristan to get baptized, and at the same time, we would witness to Jayden, the younger son. Then she said she wanted to rededicate her life as well!”
So Steven set up a meeting to arrange it all, but she never came. She called and asked if he could reschedule for the next day. The morning of the new appointment she called saying Jayden was feeling sick. Another appointment was set up; again, she didn't come. Steven called again to discover that she was now hospitalized after a dog had bitten her!
Steven was shocked at the difficulty of getting this family baptized. He was even more shocked when he was in an accident on his way to work, T-boned by an oncoming car the day the mother finally arrived for the meeting. Steven was at a complete loss. He set up another appointment right away, only for her to be in a car accident this time!
After all this madness, the mother started bringing the boys to Central Baptist’s Youth Group. After one hospitalization, one quarantine, two car accidents, and weeks without contact, Tristan was finally baptized.
His family has been attending the church for weeks, and Steven can breathe a sigh of relief as he and Tristan minister to Jayden both in and out of KiDs Beach Club®.
Regardless of how difficult the situation became, Steven and his team never gave up the battle for Tristan’s soul. God empowered them all, no matter how hectic things appeared.
A year filled with uncertainty concluded in celebration.
No matter how crazy our day-to-day gets, we have the ultimate help from our Lord, Jesus Christ. God is on the move in KiDs Beach Club and His Kingdom.
So when you feel like the world is upside-down, backward, or what have you, remember, prayer changes everything.
Published on Jan 27 @ 11:08 AM CDT
With 2020 throwing all of us a curveball or two, it could be easy to become discouraged.
Lockdowns, restrictions, the media giving us 24/7 coverage of bad news nobody asked for—sometimes everything just looks bleak, causing us to wonder, Can I really still make a difference?
As a result, those times we encounter light, hope, positivity, and encouragement are even more special, and at Midway Elementary in Sanford, Florida, two KiDs Beach Club® volunteers are shining examples.
Mary and her daughter Ashley have been working hard at Midway to keep their Beach Club the same welcoming place for their students it's always been. The joy of seeing their students’ beaming (but masked) faces after school every Monday is part of what motivates these two diligent volunteers to persist even in the face of unprecedented and unpredictable challenges.
The beauty of meeting in-person, even with appropriate safety measures in place, is that Ashley is able to enjoy listening to what's been going on in the students’ lives just as much as she enjoys sharing the Good News with them. She’s grown closer to everyone in her group.
It hasn’t been normal, and it hasn’t been easy, but with plenty of prayer and determination, Mary and Ashley have made it work during the hectic first few months of the 2020-21 school year.
With the pivots made and the fall semester well underway, the next exciting event for the students in KBC at Midway Elementary was Great Treasure Day!
Ashley recalls the high level of anticipation among the kids: “When the school year started, we gave them big black Bibles, and we told them that when they got their Beach Club Bible, they could give the other one to a friend. And they felt really excited about that!
But when I told them, ‘Hey, next week is our Great Treasure Day. That's when you're going to get your new Bibles, and we're going to have a celebration!’ I've never seen kids get so excited about getting a Bible...ever. It just made me so happy and they were just thrilled!”
The kids were literally jumping in anticipation of Great Treasure Day!
Before Great Treasure Day came, Ashley was met with an inspiring surprise. One of the little girls ran up to her, gave her a huge hug, and exclaimed, “I was with my aunt this past weekend, and I prayed for Jesus to be in my heart!”
She explained how she was asking her aunt about the cool things she learned at KiDs Beach Club, and she made the choice for Christ. Ashley overflowed with joy for her young friend, now also her eternal friend.
While the small group enthusiastically celebrated their new Bibles on Great Treasure Day, another student approached Ashley and Mary to ask them about what baptism has to do with being saved.
They explained that accepting Jesus is what saves. After thinking about it a moment, the student declared, “I think I need to do that!”
As they approach the end of the first semester of this entirely unique school year, Ashley and Mary, along with their team, continue to minister to these children each week, determined to keep bringing them the Word.
As Mary so eloquently put it, “If these two kids are saved, and that's all that came out of this little club, it's already been worth it.”
Mary and Ashley would both encourage other churches, club leaders, and schools to get back into bringing KBC to the students as soon as possible. “It's not that hard to do it once you get back in; the school already has the safety standards going, so you don't have to worry about that. But don’t be afraid to start small!”
Together, even at a time such as this, we can bring more kids to Christ both in-person and online! We can’t do it without the support of our incredible team of KBC volunteers, our partner schools, and you!
Published on Jan 27 @ 11:07 AM CDT
Thankfulness...a virtue we all teach our children, grandchildren, students—and often have to reteach ourselves. As time progresses, we realize just how many blessings the Lord has bestowed upon KiDs Beach Club®.
From our amazing students, to our TV episodic adventures of Beach Club at HOME!, we truly have been blessed beyond measure and have never lost faith that our bountiful Father would provide for our ministry. He has always fulfilled our needs.
Even in a year of confusion and delay, with many of our clubs losing their host schools and many of our students remaining home, we still find our hope in God’s love for us and our students.
Instead of looking back at the 2020 calendar to see what challenges stared us down, we see the hope of reaching thousands and thousands of children in 2021 in many new and fun ways.
Our new TV series, Beach Club at HOME!, is surfing into the lives of our students, wherever they may be, to bring encouragement, scripture, positive role models, and more!
Great Treasure Day is also just around the corner as several of our churches who are presenting virtual Beach Clubs and some who are still able to conduct in-school Beach Clubs, prepare to give KBC Explorer's Study Bibles to children who don't have a Bible.
We all have so much to be thankful for.
KiDs Beach Club® would like to thank you for supporting us and contributing to our ministry. Your gifts truly do enable us to fulfill our financial needs and continue bringing scripture to children who otherwise might never have the opportunity.
You will always remain in our prayers, and remember that God is multiplying His Word far more than any of us could ever imagine.
In the immortal words of the Psalmist,
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
Published on Jan 27 @ 11:07 AM CDT
Beach Club at HOME! is splashing into kids’ lives all across the nation!
For those who have not already visited Jeremy and Jennifer—our Beach Club at HOME! leaders—and the kids over at the clubhouse, allow us to introduce you!
Jeremy is our goofy group leader who leads in our games and engages with the kids on-screen to help themuse their character word in their daily lives. Every week under the alias of Fink Martinstein he hosts “Make It Stick”, the exciting game show-style game where the kids can answer questions on their verse and character word.
Jennifer is the other volunteer who often brings up the scripture she has rigorously been studying. She encourages and always brings a smile to the Club members. She helps in games and the entire club session.
Matt is one of the loveable and quirky Beach Club kids. Matt is an encouraging friend, and while he often forgets to say hello to Cody, he always has the best of intentions. In the first episode, he struggles with being dependable, and after losing his dog Penelope, he learns an important lesson about striving to be the dependable young man God wants him to be. His natural leadership talents shine through whenever the group gets into a tough situation.
Amy is the intelligent and polite member of the group who enjoys reading and finding solutions whenever any of her friends come across a problem in their lives. She often brings reasonable answers and even helps Cody get his Baseball practice scheduled to help him be more orderly.
Emma is the excitable, youngest member of the bunch. Her comedic timing is always right on cue, giving her pals a good laugh, and often bearing an ironic sense of humor. Her lovable smile and pure sense of friendship helps her instill confidence in her friends.
Cody is the athletic and witty member of the crew, often providing a laugh for his friends. He is quick to think of ways he can use each week's character word in his daily life. In episode two, he struggles with the thought that maybe he is not good enough for the coming baseball tryouts, and he needs to learn how to have orderliness in his life.
Pastor Mark shares the scripture in story form for our students every episode. He not only helps with the memory verse, but relates some of the most amazing moments in Biblical history to support the memory verse. In every episode he directs the kids’ attention to the option they have to make Jesus their Forever Friend!
Of course, all of our Beach Club at HOME! episodes are FUN and FREE!
Parents, all you have to do is click here to register your child so they too can enjoy and join the fun of Beach Club at HOME!
We hope you and your kids can join Jeremy, Jennifer, Matt, Amy, Emma, Cody, and Pastor Mark for all of the weekly fun over at the clubhouse!
Published on Nov 19 @ 10:38 AM CDT