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Loving Mountain View

On Friday October 25, GFC hosted its first ever Fall Festival at Mountain View Elementary. We were told to prepare for 175-200 people, boy were we surprised when over 525 parents and children showed up for inflatables, carnival games, balloon animals, and Chick-fil-A dinner and desserts. The Johnson City Cardinals organization even brought their inflatable baseball tee-ball game, which was a huge hit along with two other games - “pumpkin bowling” and the “cupcake cake walk.” Over 25 GFC volunteers came and helped put on this event; without them the Fall Festival would not have happened. At the end of the event, our GFC Facebook page received three compliments that show how much this event meant to the MV school, both faculty and parents/children:

I just wanted to say THANK YOU for a really fun Fall Festival today! Your love is felt in so many ways every day at Mountain View Elementary School. Know that you are touching a community in great need. "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms." 1 Peter 4:10 Wendy Rabbitts

Thank you all for providing such a wonderful night at the Fall Festival at Mountain View! It was such a blessing to our students and their families. Karen Peters Seaver

THANK YOU GRACE FELLOWSHIP!!! You provided our kids at Mountain View Elementary with the most amazing Fall Festival we could imagine and it was so much fun! Everyone had a blast and we can't thank you enough for your kindness and generosity. We appreciate everything you did from the inflatables, to the pumpkin bowling to the cakewalk...and even the delicious food!!! May God Continue to Bless You All! Cindy Poole

GFC also sponsored a kickball league this fall for the students at Mountain View School. Patrick and Stephanie Walding shared a little bit about their first time coaching experience.

Being a kickball coach was my first time being a coach of anything. Luckily I recruited my wife Stephanie to be my co-coach. So when you go into something for the first time, you don’t know what to expect. What I found was a joy in serving and helping others. I’ll admit there were times when I felt overwhelmed by an energy-filled pack of 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. (There’s a reason why I’m not a school teacher) Yet I believe God sometimes uses opportunities like these to remind us of the beauty of loving our neighbors. I just wanted to share with you some of the moments that stayed with us after out time at Mountain View.

Before our first game I asked the team if I could say a prayer before they started. I guess I was rhetorically asking the question as a lead-in because I didn't know where the kids were spiritually. Anyway, to my surprise the kids responded ecstatically and were immediately attentive. I can still remember one of the smaller girls yelling YAY! You would have thought I said “now be quiet and if you do I’ll give you candy.” What an encouragement and a blessing to pray in their enthusiastic company!

As the kickball season went on our team got so big that we had to send some of the kids on our team to other teams with fewer players. It was kind of hard to see some of them go. However, just a few weeks later I had one of our former teammates come up to me before the game and tell me that she missed me being her coach. Wow, I thought to myself. Relationships are so important and can spring up even when you may think you’re not making much of a difference in someone’s life.

We had several girls who at times were quite a handful. Being the super mom that she is, Stephanie used one occasion to pull them off to the side to have a little talk. When you confront someone, especially kids, with loving truth you don't know what kind of reaction you will get. Yet at the closing ceremony, two of these young ladies asked if Stephanie and I could be their next coaches when basketball starts. While we don't intend on being basketball coaches (way out of our leagues), we do plan to continue our relationships by visiting these kids at Rise Up.

If nothing else, we hope that through our small and imperfect efforts we have pointed these young men and women to the grace and truth of Jesus.

GFC is certainly making a difference at Mountain View and Mountain View is certainly making a difference at GFC.

Lawton Jones

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