Thirty-two high schoolers and adults went on our church's first mission trip called Mission Miami 2012. We spent 9 days in south Miami June 16-24 to help spread the word about a new church plant and share the gospel with the community. The new church is led by Jose Prado and is still quite small with about 50 people including children.Our goal was to contact 10,000 people in the immediate neighborhood of the church, provide a community vacation bible school during the week and put on a family festival.
The week was spent preparing for the festival we had on Saturday, June 23rd. The festival was a time of fellowship, food and fun where people from the community could meet members of the church and find out more about the new church. We worked all the elements of the festival so the church members were free to interact with people who came.
In the mornings on Monday-Friday, half of our team did the Vacation Bible School. The other half distributed flyers for the festival in the local neighborhoods. We delivered primarily in neighborhoods but also went to shopping centers, restaurants, and businesses.
We delivered in the scorching sun, the pouring rain, the humidity and with tired feet...nothing stopped us! We walked an average of 5-7 miles every day! The vacation bible school team had a VERY energetic group of children and they feel like they walked even farther! We had a lot of fun together and it was very fulfilling to know we were serving the Lord and reaching the lost.
Miami is noted as the one of the most un-churched cities in the United States. We saw this firsthand distributing flyers in the neighborhoods. There were simply no churches in all the neighborhoods we visited. We walked miles and miles through these large, dense neighborhoods and didn't see a single church. Yet back home, we can count 5 churches in just a small square block area. Our hearts grew for the people there and we understood more clearly as the week went on why Jose wanted to plant a church where he did.
The Lord was faithful in SO many ways from the beginning of fundraising all the way through the actual trip. Our church helped us raise $25,794 in 4 months. The Lord provided every single thing we needed for this mission to happen.
Our team grew in an awareness of God's continual presence in our lives through our team meetings, preparation work and ministry work in Miami. We grew in a love for each other and for Miami. We beheld what it meant to know that with God, ALL things are possible.
The family festival we provided on Saturday was truly a miracle. We got a lot of rain during the week and there was 90% chance of rain for that Saturday. We woke up on Saturday morning to more rain and temptation doubt. We met as a team, heard from God's word He was sovereign even over weather and then prayed. It looked doubtful. We continued with our plans certain that God would use us rain or shine!
In route to the park, the rain stopped and the sun broke through the clouds! It was absolutely amazing!! We were (and still are!) in awe of the power of our Heavenly Father. The festival was a huge success; from 10am to 4pm, God brought 108 people and all of them signed up to find out more about the church! We were thrilled to have so many people that our "work" (preparing food, organizing games, crowd gathering on the streets, etc.) hardly seemed like work at all. One last detail- it started to pour again after we returned to our hotel!
We experienced that God, the great I AM, is in Miami....literally!
Look at the word- MIAMI. He's not just in the middle, though.
He is over all, through all, and in all of Miami.
Thank you again for all your support!!!