We’ve been passing out flyers all week for Calvary Chapel Community Church’s parking lot BBQ and festivities! We spent the morning setting up the face paint, balloon animals, children’s crafts and of course the BBQ. We ended up serving approximately 450 hot dogs and hamburgers to the community. Some were invited and others simply stopped by as they saw the festivities.
Later in the evening, we went out to see Rapid City’s night life which it seemed due to the weather, was not quite so busy. Our teams ended up at a couple different coffee shops where we were able to at least bless those who walked through the doors and engage in conversation. We drove by Art alley as well to find our work from previous days painted over with what seemed to be a message of hate and anger. Though upsetting, it tells us that Satan is not happy we are here and so with that, we will keep our armor on and keep on loving…
“While we were Laundromat I met a girl named Tamra. Ezekiel was taking photos and she said that she wanted a picture with me. Because of the way that she spoke, I could tell that she had special needs. Right away she told me that she loved me. Her mother came over and introduced herself and I invited them to the BBQ at Calvary Chapel. I told her what would be at the event and she said that she would bring her family. I didn’t expect them to come because we didn’t talk very long, but they did!
As we were talking at the BBQ, I asked if they wanted any prayer. The father said their family needed a place to live. He had just gotten a job and they were living in a motel, but because of the motel payments they didn’t have enough to save up for a home. I asked if they had contacted any social services, but they said they didn’t know of any. I said, ‘There has to be something, could you wait for me? I’m going to ask around’. I got the contact information for Corner Stone Rescue Mission. I called the Mission and explained that I met a homeless family with a child with special needs and asked if they could help the family. They said yes and added that the family could come tonight.
I remember talking in class once about how we need to not just be willing to pray for people, but to meet needs where we can. I got to not only pray for them, but I got to meet their needs. I didn’t want to push them to come back to church because I knew that they would probably come back on their own. They said they would come tomorrow! As they were leaving, the mother said that the food was delicious and they were tired of eating microwave meals. “ -Lydia
Art Alley has been one of our favorite locations in Rapid City. When we go downtown it’s as if we naturally gravitate to its color splashed interior. After the days we had worship and painted there it became sacred ground to the HSE family. However in a matter of days we returned to find that hate attempted to block out our work. “Jesus loves you” signs were covered with swastikas; beautiful artwork was defaced and tarnished by locals with darkened hearts. [Editer's note: Although swastikas have different meanings in different cultures, in western cultures, it is typically a symbol of hate.]
Our first reaction was sorrow, but after contemplating it we could see their opposition was just confirmation that we were engaging in a very real spiritual battle and that we are on the winning team. Seeing the enemy franticly try to extinguish our light gave us joy that we were truly pleasing the Lord by reaching out to the community.
“I felt the reality of the spiritual war. We need to be more aware of the battle. We need to have one hand holding the Word, and in the other hand a sword. It says in John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” The devil is not happy we are here doing Gods work, but he will bring abundant life. We need more prayer!” -Dinna