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building a community to reach a community

Kickball and Love

 
 
 
 
We really weren’t sure what we were signing up for!
Sure, we knew we’d be coaching a kickball team composed of elementary students from Mountain View Elementary School. We knew it was only a 1 month commitment in the month of April, and we knew this was a chance for us to have a real opportunity to join GFC in touching lives in the Mountain View Community. Living just a short distance from the school, it’s something we’ve been interested in for a while, but we haven’t really been sure how to get involved. We saw this opportunity in the church bulletin and thought it would be a good place to start.

Practices started in early April and we got to meet our team.
We quickly realized that some had never played kickball or any sport that resembled it. Patience and a good sense of humor was essential! After the first practice, we told the children that we would pray and do our team cheer at the end of each meeting. One of the girls said “I don’t know how to pray!” From then on, our little post game huddle was met with excitement and when asked them “what do we do after a practice or game?”, the same little girl said exuberantly “PRAY!” Over the course of the month of games, we watched our little team develop in the sport and in relationships, both with each other and with us. We also had opportunity to interact with parents of the players. We have felt the hospitality of the community through their willingness to have their kids at the games and practices, as well as cheering and encouraging the kids to cheer for their team mates.

It started with phone calls to our players and their parents. Then it moved to running around, kicking a ball in the grassy fields in front of Mountain View Elementary School. And now it has settled in our hearts in a way that nothing can uproot it! We signed up for teaching some kids the fundamentals of a base sport. We signed up for building relationships with some precious 1st and 2nd graders and their parents and guardians. We signed up for teaching children the values of respecting others, cheering on your peers, and keeping your chin up when the score isn’t in our favor. But most of all what we signed up for was having OUR lives touched by what the Lord has done with our decision to SIGN UP and follow through.

Until April, We Love Mountain View was an initiative. A monthly give. A great thing that our church is a part of. It is still all of those things, but now it is much more. It is faces, voices, and friends. The director of the kickball league consistently reminded us from a competition standpoint, “It’s just kickball!” We were glad for that reminder. But we are also glad that God used “just kickball” to change the little red house that sits in our church lobby from a feeling of benevolence, to a matter that makes are heart swell with joy and a desire to return again and again. WE LOVE MOUNTAIN VIEW, YES WE DO, WE LOVE MOUNTAIN VIEW, HOW BOUT YOU?

 

Amanda Roark


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