A few weeks ago at Northview we watched a video about the church's partnership with Brookside Community Church and Brookside Community School. Not only are they working with the congregation but with kids in after school programs, helping people in the community find work and equipping people with what they need. The video asked us to find a way to get involved. Immediately I thought of the FBC gang and how we could jump in.
Today after school Kcraig, Mrs. Freund and I drove 10 FBC/Wyld Life girls downtown to Brookside Community Church. Usually the HS volunteers from Northview and their Brookside student buddies work on homework, but today they didn't have school. FBC was one of their options of activities this afternoon.
As kids came into our room the FBC girls helped them cut string and then taught them how to make tornado or candy stripe bracelets. Both the FBC and Brookside kids showed such patience and persistence as they were teaching and learning.
It was a super beautiful thing to watch these girls from Fishers, IN interacting with kids that are living life in a different world than they're used to. Initially, they were all a little nervous but quickly discovered they're a lot more alike than they originally thought.
KCraig met a girl named Allison who is actually the niece of the pastor of the church. She goes to HS in Florida and every Spring every student in her school spends a week doing service. They can stay to do a project in their home town or go on a Service trip. This year Allison is working with the Brookside Church. How cool is that?
It didn't take long before the FBC room was packed with so many Brookside kids and their HS friends. I was so impressed with the kids who didn't give up or get bored but stayed and finished their bracelets.
Makayla became friends with several of the FBC girls this afternoon-- she's a sweet one.
I love talking with these two girls. They're in 7th and 8th grade and were telling me all sorts of stories. Both of them did a great job with the candy stripe bracelet and took it with them to finish at home.
Anthony was the only boy that spent a lot of time in our room. He was all about getting the ladies but eventually he settled down a little bit and tried to make a tornado for about 5 seconds. I think he did manage to make a few knots. Maybe next time he'll work with us again.
All too soon it was time to pack up our supplies and say good-bye to our new friends at Brookside. For not knowing what we were really getting into today, this was a major success. Cami, Sarah, Grace, Hannah, Sydney, Elise, Meric, Cecilia, Jules and Maggie are such rock stars and I go on another FBC Adventure with them any day.
p.s. Did you know that KCraig, Sydney and I having matching coats? KCraig and I also have matching CR-Vs so maybe Syd should look into that when she turns 16.
We got to say good-bye to a couple kids like Diego on the way out. All of the FBC girls brought bracelets with them to give away to the knew friends that we made today. I think every kid in the FBC room was given at least one bracelet. One of my girls came up to me and said, "Miss Wright, I just gave my bracelet to that girl over there. It just feels so good to be nice." YES! THIS IS LOVE IN ACTION.
The FBC girls can't wait till we can return to Brookside again for more bracelet making with our friends.
We made it back to Fishers just in time for KCraig and I to make it to leadership at Taco Bell. This month's YL Club is making a location change to the local Taco Bell. Our kids may have been skeptical, but they leaders were all psyched.
Conner usually only comes to Wyld Life things but tonight he was here partying it up with us. Not sure if it with the quesarito or the YL kids that pulled him here but does it really matter? Soon the HS friends like Angela, Blaire and Kendal were spilling into the restaurant.
Let me preface this whole Club report by letting you know that we had planned all of this with Taco Bell in advance. They were okay with having a large amount of HS kids invade and creating chaos in their dining room.
Check out Ryan's whole Boy Squad over here. They quickly ordered some tacos, burritos and chalupas before setting up camp in a couple booths.
The first event of the night made some brave volunteers smother their face in cheese and then have tater tot wedges stuck to it. There were all sorts of strategies going on around the room and a whole lot of screaming.
Next each class battled in a 5-Taco-Trivia-Relay Race. My money was on Team Senior.
Each participant had to scarf down a taco and then answer a random trivia question from the leader at their table like, "Name 4 kinds of toothpaste," before the next team member could start eating.
The room was an eruption of screaming and cheering for people to eat their tacos faster. It ended up being a photo finish with the Seniors, Juniors and Sophomores completing the challenge within seconds of each other.
One of the best parts of the whole night was when everyone joined Ryan in singing Ed Sheeran's Thinking Out Loud. Sometimes at YL we sound like a choir--seriously, harmonizing and everything. Tonight the Taco Bell workers behind the counter even joined with their arms around each other's shoulders and their phones up in the air like at a concert. It was a beautiful scene.
Hannah Schank and James Conaway battled in our gender competition next. They each had to take a drink of pop and then gargle a song until their half of the room could guess it. Hannah was a rock star and we quickly guess Jingle Bells, the school fight song and the Star Spangled Banner. Victory for the girls.
The last event of the night called for a few volunteers who still had an appetite. Mark, Conner and Jimmy bravely stepped up to the plate.
Their blindfolded partners Chloe, Grace and Blaire were blindfolded and spun around five times before they made their way across the room to their partners. Once they reunited, the girl fed a bean burrito to the guy. Jimmy was the first to eat the whole thing and Blaire's finger only got accidentally bitten once.
Tonight Ryan got to give the Club Talk in the middle of Taco Bell. How beautiful is that? He told us about stealing a pair of bowling shoes when he was in HS and how his dad took him back to the bowling alley the next day to return them even though he really, really didn't want to because he was embarrassed he'd screwed up. Then Ryan told us about how God handles our screw ups, about grace and about what Jesus did for us on the cross. He told us about the brutality of his death and the joy of the resurrection. He invited everyone to come back to Campaigners next week to finish this whole Easter series together.
Thinking about whether I'll come to YL each week is like Natalie drinking Diet Pepsi and Baja Blast at the same time-- why not? It's an easy decision to be part of all of this-- this community and family that laughs together, grows together, learns together, plays together and prays together.
People like Chloe, Julia, Molly, Katie, Hannah, Kegley, Kaelyn and Natty have each made a profound impact on my life and are main characters in my story. I love that we get to live life together whether that's out at the barn, at their sports games, side by side in church, talking at my apartment, over coffee or at Taco Bell Club. Life is better together.