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We did orientation last Thursday and a team building activity last Friday, but today is the first day of classes at the One Hope Academy.
Please be praying for us.
Something that I have come to realize over the summer while participating in the internship at Springs of Grace is that the amount of spiritual aid, knowledge, and encouragement that I have received from the other interns, brother Joe, and the members of the church has far exceeded any amount of work that I have done for the church.
There is no doubt in my mind that God called me to this church to strengthen my faith and build a real relationship with me, and He did so just in time for me to hit the secular world head-on, as I will be a freshman at the University of Oklahoma in less than a week. I have faith that God will not give up the work that He started in me and allow me to be tempted and distracted by the things of this world that can waste my time and eventually destroy my soul. My family has just recently moved to Springfield but we still plan on coming back to Tulsa to watch some Metro, Noah, and TU football games and visit Springs of Grace. I am already looking forward to coming back to Springs of Grace next summer to continue the internship and spend time with everyone that I have gotten to know over the past few months.
Written by: Whitaker Henson
There were quite a few of our interns we weren’t able to round up for this last picture, but we are so thankful for a wonderful summer of ministry with all the interns the Lord brought us.
At intern retreat at the beginning of the summer, Brother Joe pointed out something discouraging to us. He reminded us how few (if any) people that he knows in the inner city of Tulsa have come to have a THRIVING relationship with Jesus.In some ways, this discouragement has marked my summer. Several of the students from last summer that I had been excited to see had moved or were no longer attending One Hope activities for other reasons. I can only pray that God will bring other influences into their lives that will teach them the joy of repenting and following Him.
As I work in the second youngest classroom (6-8 year olds), I realize that many of these kids will probably drift in and out of our One Hope family over the next years. As much as we try to “hold on” to our students and keep them involved at church and our other programs, it’s not unlikely that their time at One Hope will be a fairly small phase in their childhood. Is there any hope that they will remember the truth they are learning now?
One thing that comforts me is the interesting ways that God has drawn great Christian men and women in the past. I think of how God had been working on the heart of Augustine (the one that wrote “Confessions”) for a long time through the prayers of his Christian mother Monica and other experiences in Augustine’s life. It wasn’t until Augustine randomly heard a child in a yard nearby (or whatever the 4th century equivalent of a yard was) singing, “Take it up and read it; take it up and read it” that he thought maybe God was telling him to read the Scriptures. He never found out why the child sang that (he couldn’t remember it being the lyric to any song he knew), but he was converted that day after reading a verse in Romans. So, sometimes I imagine one of our getAHEAD students all grown-up. Something tells her, “Take it up and read it!” When she opens her Bible, all those floor times with Mr. Nate and the missionary stories at Project61 and discipline conversations with Miss Miriam and Christian rap songs on the van route home come flooding back, and she finally sees that God has been wooing her heart all the time.
One of my dearest dreams is seeing the day when these students become interns. We often sing the song “Jesus, Thank-you.” There is a line that says, “Once your enemy, now seated at Your table.” I love having “family dinners” with my beloved fellow interns. It is some of our best times to laugh and sympathize and plan and tell stories and prayers from the week. I imagine that someday kids who had been some of our most difficult students – the ones that earnestly display their sin nature and enmity with God through their bad behavior at GetAHEAD – will come to love Jesus and will become interns, enjoying these sweet mealtimes. This will be a beautiful picture of the feast at God’s table when we become part of His family.
Written by: Courtney Martin
Last Friday, we had our swimming reward field trip. I think it was just as
much a reward for the interns as it was for the kids.
The kids were told for a couple weeks in advance that if they behaved well, didn’t get any strikes and showed up for class consistently, they would be able to go swimming on Friday for a special reward. Five kids from my class, Room Tank, got to go, and we matched up with the second youngest class, Room Journey to go to swim in the Winns’ pool (Thank you so much, Winns!). The kids had a blast, and I loved having the chance to bond with them outside of the classroom. It was awesome to be able to spend time with them without the responsibilities of class time.
The Winns’ pool had a slide, water squirters, and floaties for the kids to play
with, and we all had a blast splashing around in the pool. I spent most of my time catching Javier and Josh when they came down the slide, or supplying the foreboding music for Jadin’s shark attacks on the other interns. I loved seeing their little faces so full of joy as they splashed around in their star-shaped rings.
As we prepared for the reward field trip, we stressed to the kids that being “good” does not come from their own merits, and God is the only one who can make you truly good. Although we rewarded them for their behavior at GetAHEAD, Miriam told them that there is a much greater reward in heaven that we can only receive if we have God’s grace and Christ’s righteousness covering our sins. Every day before class we pray that God would take ahold of the kid’s hearts and show them their need for a Savior. None of the discipline or reward we give the kids can make them good; only God changing their hearts and removing their sins by His grace can give them the eternal reward of communion with God. Please pray with us that God would save these children.
Written by: Lydia Hazel