SMT CAST – Update #4

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! But that was last week, so we must be in Kansas now. Wichita, if we’re being specific. We have spent our week leading a Gospel Arts Day Camp and assisting with a couple community outreach events at the Wichita Citadel Corps. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! But that was last week, so we must be in Kansas now. Wichita, if we’re being specific. We have spent our week leading a Gospel Arts Day Camp and assisting with a couple community outreach events at the Wichita Citadel Corps.

We spent the Fourth of July enjoying a meal with our hosts, Majors Ken and Robin Shiels. Later that evening, we went with Major Robin to do a home visit. Sandy brought her guitar and led a couple praise songs, and we ended our visit with singing her favorite song, “I’m In His Hands.” We were blessed to hear why this song is so important for her and by her testimony. It is always good to remember that while we may not know what tomorrow holds, we know who holds tomorrow. Afterwards, we spent the evening visiting with Sandy’s family, and eating more delicious food. We were also available to Facetime with Team Costa Rica just in time for the fireworks show.

On Wednesday, we began our first day of the Gospel Art Camp. We went to a nearby apartment complex with some of the children and teens from the corps and when we arrived there were a group of children waiting for us. We started our day by teaching them the SMT dance, “Say Yes”. Then we went outside to draw out the creation story using sidewalk chalk. We ended the day by showing the children how to use puppets and how to hold a guitar. We had over twenty children join us for the first day. In the evening, we visited a local retirement community and joined the Sr. Band for a concert. We sang a couple of songs and did a spoken word piece and a dramatic scene.

On Thursday, we decided to move the camp location to the corps building. Good thing we did that because the attendance jumped to forty! We started the day by learning the names of our new friends and then we learned how to do balloon animals (dogs and cobras being very popular choices). The dance class was taught by Georice, the drama/puppet class was taught by Mitchell and Jacob, the guitar class was taught by Sandy, and the ukulele class was taught be Kish. An unexpected highlight of the day was the foosball table tournaments. Many of the children weren’t familiar with the game but by the end of the week several had the title of undefeated. In the evening we participated in the corps’ Contemporary Night of Worship service.

We continued the Gospel Arts camp for the next few days, averaging over forty children, all very excited to continue learning everything they could. On Saturday, we concluded the week with a student showcase where we invited the student’s parents to come see all their hard work. All the students did the SMT Dance. The drama/puppet class performed the song “All Good Gifts” from the musical “Godspell”. The guitar class learned four chords and played “Lord, I Lift Your Name On High”. The ukulele class learned two chords and played “Whole World in His Hands” and “Mary Had a Little Lamb”.  The Dance class performed “Shackles”. Jacob then led a small devotional, ending with a Sinner’s Prayer where we were blessed to have ten members of the audience, both children and family members, make the decision to give their lives to the Lord. It was a fun day!

On Sunday, we participated in the corps’ morning meeting. Kish and Mitchell were part of the preliminary section. Jacob and Mitchell were part of the Call to Worship. CAST shared “The Wordless Book” as the message for the Sunday service. The congregation responded very well to the message and we were blessed to be part of their meeting. The highlight of the day was seeing a group of the children from the Gospel Arts Camp attend the Sunday service. Not only that, they came with their parent and younger siblings. Many of them have expressed interest in coming back more often to join other programs, and a few are considering joining Jr. Band and the dance ministry at the corps. It is wonderful to see what God is already doing in their lives, and we’re so excited to be a part of that story.

Now, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore, as we’re starting a new week in Missouri. We will be at Mihaska for their Family Camp, and soon be travelling to St. Louis and Peoria, IL. We ask for your prayers for the children who made such important decisions in the last week, and for our continued ministry for the rest of the summer as we’ve just passed our halfway point.

See you next week,

-Jacob Wise (rep. Creative Arts Service Team)