The semi-quiet of the city block at ten o’clock in the morning rang out with “My God is so BIG, so STRONG and so MIGHTY! There’s NOTHING my God cannot do!” Children lined the steps of the front porch, arms waving with motions to the song. When the singing was done the children tumbled onto two quilts in the front yard to sit and listen to stories about God’s power. Games, crafts, hot breakfasts, snacks, Gospel illustrations and Bible Lessons drew over 40 children to participate in this year’s Neighborhood Bible Parties in the Central Park neighborhood of Topeka, Kansas.
Mary Flin, World Impact Topeka Director, enlisted the help of other believers in the community, some of them TUMI Topeka students, to plan and execute a week of Bible clubs at four different locations. This year clubs were hosted at three neighborhood houses and a local church. Mary’s home served as a hub, with the goal of resourcing and empowering these families to host a Bible Party at their house. Every day lessons and craft supplies and crockpots of hot breakfasts were delivered from Mary’s house to each location.
The children that attended at each location were loved on and taught important truths about God’s power over Satan and the world—an important message for many of these children who live in difficult environments. As people watched from their windows and neighbors waved and stopped for a quick chat, the community witnessed a group of their neighbors working together to care for their children and to share the Gospel.
On the final day of the Bible Parties, children from all the locations gathered at Mary’s house to celebrate together. Not even the heavy rain could spoil the fun as we scrambled inside before the party was half over. With 44 children, plus leaders, sitting all through the dining room, living room, and hall, they made their final craft for the week and were each given two Bibles from a volunteering Gideon representative to take home and share with their friends.
The success of the week was not in the numbers of children who attended, but in the demonstration of the Body of Christ serving their community. Children were welcomed into a safe place, loved and fed and encouraged with God’s truth, and as each child left carrying their crafts and Bibles they took those truths back with them into their homes.