Becky and Sherry’s Local DTS Outreach
The outreach that I have been a part of looks a little different from a “conventional” DTS outreach. Due to health reasons, I couldn’t go with the rest of the DTS to south-east Asia, so I have put together a local outreach with one of the DTS staff. The two of us have been volunteering at various community organizations, focusing on our particular skills and abilities and attempting to find activities that best suit our skill-set. Throughout the last few weeks, we’ve volunteered at the local food bank, taught Bible study at a community church, played games with senior citizens at the nearby senior residence, as well as ministry and prayer at a few coffee shops in Turner Valley and Black Diamond.
Each Wednesday I’ve been teaching Bible study at Millarville Community Church. I was a bit nervous to start with, because I have never taught a study based on a book from Kay Arthur’s “Lord” series. Kay Arthur founded Precept Ministries, which publishes studies teaching students to use the inductive method to study and discover God’s truth in the Bible for themselves. I taught Lord, Teach Me to Study the Bible in 28 Days, although we did it in three weeks. I spent the first morning focusing on a passage in Hosea, where God says His people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. We spent time doing what Kay suggested: marking key words, making lists, and answering her observation, interpretation and application questions. I decided to pause at the end of each stage, and told them that Kay’s intention for writing this Bible study was not so we would get better at doing her work books, but so that we could study the Bible for ourselves. Therefore, I asked them what questions they could ask of the text, and then took them up together, and showed them how asking their own questions led each of them to their own rich applications. Almost everyone shared a personal application, and received abundant insights from the study. I ended with making the point that although Hosea wrote his book under God’s inspiration thousands of years ago, it is directly applicable to anything we are going through now. It felt great to help people get excited about the Bible, and God taught me through what the others in the class had to say, as well.
I continued on with this study, and taught the inductive method through the books of Jonah and Jude. This past week, we embarked on an eleven week study of the book of Exodus. Although I’ve studied Exodus before, I’ve never taught on it, and am excited to bring to life the truths of Exodus. It’s so amazing how God laid out His plan for salvation in Exodus through Moses as the redeemer of Israel, pointing towards Jesus as the redeemer of the whole world.
One of the other organizations we have have been volunteering with is the lodge, which is an senior citizen’s residence in Black Diamond. We watched a DVD of chair dancing together, and did the exercises with them. I felt like I got a decent workout, considering we were sitting down. We enjoyed using paper plates as castanets! We also facilitate games like velcro ball-toss, which in actuality is darts – without the danger of getting an eye poked out by a poorly aimed throw. Bean-bag toss and curling are also immensely popular with the residents. Playing with the folks there is fun, and the residents with dementia are some of the ones who seem to enjoy it the most, although we had to remind them each turn what they were doing. Sherry bonded with one lady in particular, who kept forgetting how to throw, and had to be retaught. I enjoy being able to do activities with an age bracket of people I don’t usually have much opportunity to interact with, and thoroughly appreciated just being silly and playing simple games together.
I’m not entirely sure what the rest of our outreach will look like or what it will entail. Yesterday the south-east Asia outreach team came back, and we will be participating in re-entry week with them next week. Once this week is completed, I am unsure as to whether we will be continuing in the activities we have been doing, or if outreach will be entirely different. Regardless of what we will be doing, God has been teaching me personally that there is need wherever we are, and no matter what our physical limitations are, He has a wonderful plan for each one of us.