Gathering the Tools, Part 2

Proverbs 24:27 NKJV

“Prepare your outside work, Make it fit for yourself in the field; And afterward build your house.”

As I said in the last post, when you are building a house there is a lot of preparation that should go into that. The same is true of doing work for the Lord. We should be willing to spend a lot of time in preparation before we set to work on something.

In my case, this is getting ready to serve the Lord as a missionary. The first place that I will be going to is Ecuador, in South America. I am going first with a small short term team for about a week or so to encourage and strengthen the church that was planted there about a decade ago. But to do this we will need some practical things, such as learning some children songs in Spanish, so we can lead worship for the Vacation Bible Schools we will be doing. Another thing is money in order to provide the materials for the VBS as well as materials for a women’s retreat that some of the women from our team will be hosting in Cuenca. Something that our church has done almost every time to raise funds is to host a yard sale every memorial day weekend. All the goods for the yard sale is donated to the church and then the team members serve by setting it all up and selling it. Any extra resources either go as a donation to the church in Cuenca or help support summer youth events at the church in Phelan (where we are from).

Thankfully, it wasn’t all work and no play. I think the number one thing that I love the most about the Memorial Day weekend yard sale can be summed up in one word; zombies. Yes, you read that right, I said zombies.

When we have the yard sale we get all the donated “treasures” (as we like to call them) on Friday night then set a lot of it up so it is ready for the morning. We found out from experience that if no one stayed over night (the yard sale is a one day event on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend) to protect the stuff then most of it would mysteriously disappear in the morning. What’s the solution to this? Have a night where the youth group volunteers to stay the night at the church. The youth spends the day working and the night playing. Last year we invented a game (I’m not even sure how it came to be other then a bunch of youth leaders who play too much video games) where we take a lot of the yard sale items, dressing ridiculously and armed with plastic shovels, inflatable or plastic baseball bats, nerf guns, etc. , then engaging in a night of combat against the un-dead.

The game is simple, survive for as long as you can. You start out by turning all the lights out in the church (and warning people to stay clear of the wedding decorations in the main sanctuary for tomorrows wedding, yeah we are brave). Then you gather everyone and pray for safety as well as that we would remember it is just a game (hey, why not?). Then, carnage. Two people are appointed as Zombies and run off into the darkness to hide letting out low growls of terror. The rest of the group is the “survivors”. If a survivor taps a zombie with one of their weapons (nerf dart, plastic bat, random soft item found in yard sale pile) then they are dead for 10 seconds (or 30 depending on prior rules of engagement). The group must then run off to another area for safety. To the survivors dismay though, if they are grabbed with two hands then they themselves fall pray to the zombie infestation and become a zombie themselves. By the end of the night, if you are lucky and God has blessed you with super sweet ninja skills, it will be you verses everyone. Slaying zombies left and right with your plastic baseball bat and toy golf club (my personal weapons of choice) until you are finally overwhelmed by the gnawing horde of zombies and you fall in a moment of glorious battle. Sorry I didn’t take any pictures, I was too busy running for my life..

Before you say, hey that doesn’t sound very Christian of you, I have to tell you who is playing and how something as silly as this has changed peoples lives. There was a kid in the youth group that came to help out with the yard sale last year and wasn’t attending the youth group regularly until after that weekend. I think he had so much fun playing zombies, as well as serving the Lord the next day with so much tiredness that you might as well have really been a zombie, that he started attending youth group regularly. Also, all the youth leaders are of drinking age (our early twenties). We could be out partying and drinking like everyone else our age, but instead we are having fun playing zombies. One of my friends, Caleb Garcia, is currently on tour in Afghanistan. But in between deployments he was coming to a lot of the youth events and helping out, and let me say he set the standard for zombie persona. Who ever said that being a Christian is no fun hasn’t lived.

When you are a Christian you are free to have fun with just about anything, and you don’t have to care what people think. You are free from always having to turn to substances in order to have a good time. There is something to be said about that.

Come morning, we wake up with the dawn of the sun and the selling begins. Its a great ministry because we have no sentimental attachment to the things we are selling and can sell them for dirt cheap. No one feels ripped off, we get free profit, everyone goes home happy. Thank God for Zombies, yard sales, and good old fashioned clean fun.

Feeling like Zombies in the early morning, but blessed for being able to serve the Lord.

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