Calling All Hinson's

"…that they should seek God…" Acts 17:26-27


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Summer Bloggin’ 13 of 14 {El Siloe}

We adore our Spanish church, El Siloe. The people there have welcomed us with open arms. They tolerate our minimal ability to communicate and help us to understand their beautiful language. They have prayed for our community and started Bible studies in Countryside. They have prayed with our people and pursued them on behalf of Jesus.

Their passionate worship of The King is extraordinary. They give every ounce of their being in worship–crying out, hands raised, falling to their knees. It is true, uninhibited praise.

Part of their normal church week includes a Saturday afternoon worship. Pastor Jesús, in an effort to reach the hispanic population of Countryside, decided to bring church service to The Connection one Saturday afternoon this summer.

Set up began early with the stage and sound equipment, chairs and tents. Hot dogs were warmed and ready to feed the crowd after the service. People arrived ready for church.

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Their worship service lasted for 2 1/2 hours that day. The sun was hot and the sweat rolled, but they praised anyways. The hot dogs smelled good and bellies rumbled, but they praised anyways. The children wiggled and the cars drove by, but they praised anyways.

I learned a lot that day about worship. I learned that if you are truly in love with Jesus, nothing can keep you from praising Him. He is worth every ounce of discomfort and inconvenience. He is worthy of our wild and unrestricted praise.

His word may have been preached in a different language and His name glorified in a different tongue, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t decipher. The example those believers set for me is one I admire and envy.

Jesus, let my heart worship you with reckless abandon like my brothers and sisters and may your name be lifted up in this city!

With Praise,

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Summer Bloggin’ 12 of 14 {Dan the Animal Man}

Week 9:

There was no week-long event this first week of August, but we did have 40 kiddos hop onto two buses one night to ride over to a local church and see Dan the Animal Man. Dan is from Raleigh, NC and teaches about the unique characteristics of God’s amazing creatures while sharing Biblical truths and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was fun to watch the kids’ faces light up when he brought out not-your-everyday house pets.

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But I’ll admit, it was a little frightening for this Momma. How was I going to explain to the Countryside Momma that we didn’t bring Little Johnny home because he was swallowed by the python? Or Little Jose was at the hospital because the porcupine went loco? Thankfully none of that happened and we came back with all 400 fingers and 400 toes.

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One point Mr. Animal Man made is one that keeps playing over and over in my mind. He said that the animals and trees and flowers and rocks are going to do what they are created to do. God made them for a purpose and they do it well. The python eats his prey that he is given to eat. He doesn’t come after us because he made a choice against God’s natural plan to decide to eat humans from now on. He eats his stuff and fulfills his purpose on earth. And that glorifies God. Humans, on the other hand, have been the only thing created by God to mess up His intentions. We choose to be disobedient. We don’t live life to glorify God. We make decisions that go against what He wants for us. Why can’t we just simply do what the animals do and keep our eyes on our Creator? I’m ready to live up to the challenge. Hey, if a monkey can do it, so can I!

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Summer Bloggin’ 11 of 14 {Thumbs Up Thursdays}

Week 8:

At the beginning of the year we sat down to plan out our summer. In reflecting back on the previous Summer, we realized we needed lots of things to keep these kids busy. Last summer we found them at our house daily playing games and watching movies. This is all fine and well, but I’m not good at coming up with creative ways to keep 10 kiddos entertained. I have friends who are gifted in that way, it’s not one of my spiritual gifts.

In those planning stages, we came up with the idea for a weekly Bible camp and decided to name it Thumbs-Up Thursdays (TUT). We would ask all the youth pastors and leaders we knew to come in and host a TUT. We gave them lots of freedom in how the day would look, as long as they did a Bible lesson and fed the kiddos lunch.

I became a little frustrated as the summer was quickly approaching and we didn’t have as many commitments as I thought we should. (Notice the word “I”.) Some brief moments of insanity, I declared that we could just do it ourselves—just the two of us. We would fill in those missing Thursdays because, by golly, these kids needed something every Thursday!

(Have you been reading the past 10 posts?? I think we had plenty planned! What was my problem?!)

Anywho, I gave up on my little issue and decided I would just let God work it out. If He thought we should only have 4 out of 8 TUT then that was fine with me, I reckon.

Hindsight is 20/20 they say. Because I don’t see us being able to have squeezed another thing into that busy summer I have been writing about. God always knows best. He knew that we had enough for these kiddos to do. He knew that we would need some days when we didn’t have anything planned and we could take a family day. He knew that I didn’t know what I was talking about and He did. And I’ve learned that obedience is far easier than putting up a fight.

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TUT was fun. The groups that came did a fantastic job and loved well. Two came from NC and two were from SC. Some were youth groups, some were Sunday school classes, and some were just friends who wanted to serve together.

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Thank you First Baptist Salisbury, First Baptist Lincolnton, Pleasant Hill Baptist and Covenant Baptist for sharing with Countryside!

Thank you, Jesus for showing me your ways are better than mine. Thank you for our friends who loved well all summer. Thank you for loving us!

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Summer Bloggin’ 10 of 14 {EG surprise}

Week 7 ½:

At the end of the VBS week with Second Baptist we celebrated Evan Grace’s birthday. I wrote about how special she is here, but never got to tell you a few great stories.

In our ministry we have the privilege of loving on a lot of Hispanic neighbors. Our hearts are touched by their generosity and kindness toward us. They are givers without expectation of anything in return. God has shown us that there is a lot of love in our hearts for this culture.

And we have also learned, while getting to know the Hispanic culture, that us Americans do birthdays wrong. Where are our piñatas? What about the tres leches cake? There is a better way, guys!

On Thursday (the day before her birthday) we were going strong at VBS at The Connection. The leader of our group, Nancy, told me she had a surprise for Evan Grace since it was her birthday week–a cake and piñata! Evan Grace was so surprised she teared up and laughed as they sang to her. It was the most beautiful thing! She surely felt the love.

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The next day we had planned a birthday party for her in our neighborhood. One thing we are SO thankful for is that our kids have tons of friends here. When I asked EG a few weeks ago who she wanted to invite to her party, her list consisted of all our neighbors. Sorry Mimi and Nana.

I planned to have about 40 people (mainly kids) and I knew I needed to feed them because it was supper time. I made my famously easy chicken and rice casserole and my mom (who graciously came to help me, along with my sister) went to pick up the expensive Wal-Mart Ariel cake. As the party was getting started, I noticed more and more kiddos walk up who I had not planned on feeding. But God knows what He is doing.

I spotted a neighbor walking down the street with a large object in his hands. He came bearing gifts—taquitos! They were so yummy!!

Next, another neighbor that we love walked up with a beautiful tres leche cake. About 5 minutes later, another neighbor walked up with another beautiful tres leche cake! And then our sweet friend down the road walked up with a candy-filled piñata! How thoughtful they are. I love to give out love to these people, but it sure is special to be on the receiving end.

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Needless to say, we had enough food, cake, and candy for everyone to celebrate!

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God continues to show us how amazing He is. We serve a mighty good God!

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Summer Bloggin’ 9 of 14 {The Way VBS}

Week 7:

Each year for the past six years a group from Second Baptist Church has come into Countryside to host a VBS. Last year they came soon after we moved in and we did not have a chance to pair up with them. This year we helped plan and facilitate the effort and even got t-shirts!

In years past, the group has simply found a vacant yard and held VBS there on the grassy sand. This year we gladly opened up The Connection and had a great time with the team. Simple Bible stories and crafts were shared and the event was closed out with a water day—complete with a real, water-squirting fire truck!

Two of the highlights of the week were the free haircuts and the school supply giveaway. The kids also made birdhouses and the girls learned how to jump rope. We are blessed to partner with so many local bodies that believe in outreach and meeting the needs of their community.

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Each night before the team would leave, they would gather for prayer. Asher volunteered to pray one night. His maturity and compassion showed and it was an encouragement to us as his parents. He prayed thanking Jesus that the volunteers came to love on our friends and that our friends would ask Jesus into their hearts. We all left feeling uplifted and my heart was full.

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 Jesus said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.

Mark 10:14-16

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To God be all the Glory!

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Summer Bloggin’ 8 of 14 {A Visitor and Fancy Nails}

Week 6 ½:

I have this friend that I met through a job a few years ago. She and I have kept in contact a little, but I do think of her often. We were texting one day and she told me she had been reading the blog and was catching up on our life in Countryside. She had been thinking a lot about her daughter and the comfortable lifestyle they live. She asked me what I thought about letting her daughter come to stay with us for a few days to see what life is like when things aren’t as comfortable.

It was a pleasure for us to host this young lady. She was very quiet, but I think she was very observant. A lot of opportunities presented themselves those few days that showed her a life unlike her own. She saw children reaching out for love. She saw hungry adults. She saw a different language and a different set of morals. But most of all, hopefully she saw the hands and feet of Jesus at work.

Speaking of hands at work, during that time I hosted an online Jamberry Nails party. A perk of hosting was that I got some free samples to try. I donned my nails and was asked about them very regularly at the grocery store and at church. They are, in fact, super cute, don’t ya think?!

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And not only was I asked about my nails when I was at Food Lion, but also in the neighborhood. These ladies LOVED the Jamberry!

My nails came in the mail and I had an extra set of teenage hands at the house while our visitor was there. I thought it was the perfect time to bless my neighbor friends. I called some ladies and little girls to the house and we had our very own Jamberry party—complete with fresh baked chocolate chip cookies.

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As I was trimming each nail and pressing the wrap down, I prayed for these precious hands. I prayed that they would feel the love that we shared and they would love others the same. I prayed that their hands would be the touch that someone else would need and that they would use them to do God’s work.

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It truly was a special and unique opportunity to love on our neighbors. I am thankful that God’s love can show in many ways—especially when it includes cute nails!

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Summer Bloggin’ 7 of 14 {Crestview VBS}

Week 6:

Crestview Baptist is another of our partnering churches and we were happy to take our kiddos to their Island themed VBS.

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I guess our Jesus momentum was going strong, or either the kids were getting really bored with summer, because we took about 40 kids with us to their VBS one night.

I think they really felt the love that is shared at Crestview. It is a great church with great people—all of the churches we work with are.

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The last night, Pastor Scott gave a simple Gospel presentation to all the kids. He tied it into the story of Zacchaeus in the Bible and how he wanted to see Jesus so bad that he climbed a tree. By putting forth effort, Zacchaeus was even given the opportunity to dine with Jesus. I know you remember the song. And you are probably singing it right now. But you may not know that there is actually a third verse to that song.

Zacchaeus was a very little man,

But a happy man was he,

For he had seen the Lord that day

And a happy man was he;

And a very happy man was he.

Hearing about Zaccheaus and his happiness in meeting with Jesus resounded in the hearts of some of our kids. They wanted the happiness that can only be found in Jesus.

FIVE of them wanted that happiness and asked Jesus into their hearts that night!

Five sweet girls joined the Family of God and became daughters of The King!

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This summer six girls have felt the love of Jesus so profoundly that they met their Savior. This decision did not change their home situations or give them the answers to life’s problems, but it did provide them the best gift of all.

They now have forgiveness, redemption, and salvation.

A Comforter.

An Advocate.

A Provider.

A Convictor.

An Intercessor.

And a surety in knowing they will live eternal lives with Jesus one day!

Pray for those beautiful smiles. That they would fall in love with Jesus more and more and would catch hold of a fulfilling relationship with Him.

What a glorious day!

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