Christ is the Bond, Love is the Mission
CVBS in Baltimore
The CVBS mission in Baltimore started two years ago as the Chase family was in the midst of following God’s call to move to the city. Apostles in the City partnered with a team from All Saints’ and had a wonderful week teaching kids about how they are God’s favorite and his great love for each of them. We held CVBS in a park surrounded by homes. Last year with the help from a team from Church of the Apostles in Fairfax, we were able to expand to three sites throughout Belair-Edison.
Belair-Edison is a one community over from where the church is. Baltimore is made up of 264 neighborhoods and the lines are thick and are not often crossed. The Baltimore City Police Department and Government has identified seven communities throughout the city as VRIs (Violent Reduction Initiatives). These are communities with extremely high rates of violent crimes. Belair-Edison is one of these communities. The leadership of our church has decided to make this community a focus for our outreach and we have been working hard and successfully at building relationships throughout the community.
Our three sites were; in the local middle school parking lot (very central to the community and in an area of very high crime), the same park as last year, and a community lot that is owned by a very good friend and pillar (and now a member of our church). Each site looked very different. The one at the community lot had a small group of younger kids and moms and things ran very smoothly with children and moms soaking in every word and story. The site at the park was absolutely wonderful as we had some repeat children from last year with a wide range in ages, yet each child had so much fun and walked away knowing how much Jesus loves them. There were also some great connections made with a few teenagers who came with younger siblings and with a few grandmas. The site at the middle school had the largest group with numbers reaching over 30 on some days. This site definitely had the most challenges, but with a beautiful ending. After deciding that it would be best to split the group into two, we were able to see kids really get into the bible lessons and even had quite a few pray with me to accept Jesus! And the beautiful thing is as we continued to be in the community after CVBS we see these kids and are able to continue to pour into them. Michelle is even working at the middle school now! I just love Jesus and how He works.
This week of CVBS was definitely a lot of hard work and we learned quite a bit. But overall we can look back and revel in all that God has done! Many of the kids were so sad that it was only a week and asked if we could do it all summer. I told them, I wish we could too, but Ms. Michelle would be done for the year if we did! The great news is that we have started a Bible Club on community lot (in the elementary school for colder months) and will continue it throughout the summer. Go God! More of Him is all that we need.
We cannot pull this off without a team to join us! If you are interested in coming this summer or your church youth group is looking for a summer mission, please consider us. I can guarantee it won’t be easy, but God will bless your socks off! He loves Baltimore and loves using us to pour that love out!