Thursday, April 21, 2011

Public School Outreach

Although I'm several weeks late sharing this with you, I do want to take the time now to describe the public school outreach the our church sponsored about a month ago. My two reasons for really wanting to share this:

1. To praise God for the great work He did!
2. To possibly encourage some of my friends in the ministry to consider bring Bob Holmes for an outreach in their school district.

Bob Holmes has been an evangelist for decades. Burdened about America's public schools, he was praying for a way to reach them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He had never been athletic and was the last kid picked for sports teams; but as a middle aged man, he suffered an injury and it was suggested to him that he try volleyball as a means of physical therapy. Surprisingly, he was quite good at it. So good, that by himself, he consistently beat large teams. Thus began a new ministry: Beat The Odds (That link would be the site for school princliples to learn about what Bob does in the school assemblies).

Bob travels all over the country as a one man volleyball team. Using a positive anti drug, anti bullying message, he is scheduled as a motivational speaker in public school assemblies. With 2-3 assemblies each day, he sees thousands of junior and senior high schoolers during the week he is in town. During these public school assemblies, Bob can not, by law, present the Gospel. He does, unashamedly, tell what Jesus means to him, but can not have an invitation or lead the teenagers to Christ at this time. However, during the school assemblies, the teens are invited to a Thursday evening rally, hosted by the local church. Pizza and awesome prizes are announcement, and Bob lets them know that he will tell them the rest of his "Beat the Odds" message at that rally. The teenagers really enjoy the assemblies. I will honest... I thought a middle aged man playing volleyball would not really get them excited. BUT... it is very fun and aside from how impressed the kids are with him beating entire teams on his own (which he does in the assemblies), his message really gets to their hearts. So many teenagers are hurting, and they open up to him in a remarkable way. Suicide, drugs, sex, bullying... they face these issues every day. His facebook page is loaded with grateful comments from the teenagers.

During the rally on Thursday evening, held at a gym that has been rented by the church, he plays "celebrity" teams such as the fire department. He has even played pro sports teams, like the Buffalo Bills. But as Seth said, beating them isn't such a great feat. ☺

My husband was preparing for the week's events for several months before Bob actually came. There were times when nothing was working out. School administrators weren't interested. Assembles weren't being scheduled. A gym wasn't available ANYWHERE for ANY price. We were praying. Seth was getting that horrible knot in his stomach that we all get when no matter how hard you work and try, things are just NOT coming together. I'd gather the girls several times a day and we'd pray. And then, about a week or so before the outreach was schedule to happen... details began to fall into place. I wonder if God just wanted us to keep in mind Who would be running this show! ;)

Here are the HUNDREDS of people who came to the Thursday night rally. We actually had to turn people away! We ended up with a very crowded gym, with about 800 people packed in.

As people entered, we asked them to write their name and address on a plain 3x5 card. They took the cards to their seats, for later collection.

(That crazy lady is my fabulous sister in law. Mother of 4. Looks 14 yrs. old. Plays piano awesomely. She is my friend. I ♥ her.)

Bob played several teams that evening, including our local police department and fire department, the riot team at the jail, and some varsity sports teams. He, of course, beat them all.

We had promoted free pizza for all in attendance. Some was donated, some the church bought. So this is what 800 slices of pizza looks like, in case you've always wanted to know:

After playing, and beating, every team, Bob went right into presenting the Gospel to the crowd. Here he is telling them of the One who beat all odds and can help us do the same.

800 people hearing about Jesus!

After leading those who want to trust in Christ in prayer, Bob asks them to take the 3x5 card with their names/addresses on it and fold down a corner if the just received Christ as Saviour. Then church volunteers collected the cards and the prizes were given away via drawing the 3x5 cards. We had a Game boy, bike and gift cards to giveaway. (Again, some were donated, some the church provided).

And then everyone is given a slice of pizza on their way out. Impressive stack of empty pizza boxes, eh?

When it's all over, we were left with a bucket overflowing with 3x5 cards. In our excitement, we sorted the cards that same night. 380 cards had bent corners! In addition, Bob was able to speak in a local Catholic school during the week of school assemblies. Since that was a private school, he was able to preach the Gospel there as well and approximately 180 high schoolers raised their hand declaring they had received Christ. WOW. To God be the Glory!

We then took the cards with bent corners and organized them by streets and have begun visiting each one. This was a perfect opportunity to start a bus route so that is exactly what we have done! Last Sunday was the second week of offering rides on the bus and we had 8 awesome kids and teens come to church on the bus! It's thrilling.



Beth said...

That is so awesome that you got to do that! What a great opportunity!

Michelle said...

Absolutely amazing, Kayte! We prayed for this for a few weeks before hand, so it's so nice to see what came off it. God is so good!!

Marisa said...