This fall, the kids at Bdecan have been focusing on the story of Moses in our KICK and Sunday School classes. We’ve talked about Moses leaving his life of royalty behind, and escaping to the wilderness, running away from his problems. Although he was trying to hide, God found Moses in the wilderness and called him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Finally, out of excuses, Moses reluctantly agrees. He went to Pharaoh time after time, asking him to let the Israelites go and worship God. Each time, time Pharaoh said no, and the plagues followed. When they finally get the okay, God shows the Israelites the path to the Red Sea. At the last moment, we see God separate the Red Sea for the Israelites can cross but drowning the Egyptians. Over and over again in the book of Exodus, we see God providing for His people.
Now, the Israelites in the middle of the wilderness, complaining about not having food.
You would think that after all that they had seen, they would trust that God would provide for them. Nope! Instead they complain to Moses “Why did you bring us here? It would be better for us to be slaves back in Egypt”
God hears their cries and provides them quail in the evening. In the morning, after the dew lifted, there were flakes on the ground, a bread like substance, called Manna. God tested them, telling them to only gather enough manna for their household for that day.
Exodus 16 tells us,
“18 But when they measured it with an omer, those who gathered much had nothing over, and those who gathered little had no shortage; they gathered as much as each of them needed. 19 And Moses said to them, “Let no one leave any of it over until morning.” 20 But they did not listen to Moses; some left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and became foul. And Moses was angry with them. 21 Morning by morning they gathered it, as much as each needed; but when the sun grew hot, it melted.”
No matter if they gathered much, or little, none was wasted, and everyone had enough. This passage shows that even with their grumbling and bad attitudes, God still provided for the Israelites. There were those who got greedy and did not trust that God would provide it again the next day. They saved their Manna, and it spoiled overnight. God provided us just what they needed, just when they needed it.
God still provides for his people.
Again and again in the ministry at Bdecan, I see God providing. I talk to our ministry team leader Donna most weeks over a conference call. Sometimes I will share a crazy idea, or she will share one with me. Both of us wonder, is this going to work? Is it too crazy? Are we too out of the box? Are we pushing the envelope too much? It amazes me that every idea we share with our supporters, there are individuals, congregations, and groups that step up to the plate and say they support what we are doing. For every request we make, and God brings someone or some group that rises to meet the challenge.
In mid-September, we moved our KICK program to after school, something we did last spring. We give the kids a meal shortly after they arrive. Our second week, we made walking tacos (taco’s in a bag). It was simple, meat, lettuce, cheese, sauce. Most of the kids were eating outside. One was eating alone inside. I sat by for a while. He had about 3 walking tacos in total. I joked with him about how hungry he was, and we were both laughing. He shared with me that he had barely anything for lunch that day.
This showed me the importance of the program that we have.
It is about providing these kids a place to play, and to create. Giving these kids meals, that some may not receive outside of our program. It’s about sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with them every single week. Most importantly, it is providing these kids with a safe place, where they can feel the love of God, and just be kids. God provides for this ministry, so that we can go out and provide what is needed for these kids, for this community.
God has provided and continues to provide for every single one of our needs.
It is so amazing to look back at our history, and to see how God has brought our ministry to where it is. God provides. Not always how we expect it, but God provides every single time. Just like God provided for the Israelites, God provides for us.
May you go to God, trusting that he will provide for every single need you have.
His love for us endures forever.
Youth and Outreach Coordinator
Bdecan Presbyterian Church
When thinking of how to summarize what’s been done this summer at Bdecan, 1st Corinthians 12 came to mind. There are way too many fantastic verses in this chapter, so I took out a few excerpts:
Verses 4 - 7 "Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good."
Verse 12 "For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. "
Verse 27 "Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it."
Each and every single one of us has been made individually and has unique gifts and talents to use to further God's kingdom. Things that make us different. Things that make us special. Things that not everyone can do.
Sometimes we forget about our talents when we see the abilities of others. We wish that we could be more like them. Being prettier, faster, smarter, or just better in some area of life. But if we were like them, who would share our gifts with the world? There are countless little bits and pieces that form the body, and each piece is critical. one part of the body is in pain, the whole body suffers. If one part of the body isn't functioning the right way, the body doesn’t work at its best. The same thing is true about the body of Christ. Every individual part is critical, to have the body work correctly. If one part is missing, the body can’t function right.
This summer I’ve seen many mission groups use many different gifts. The team that came from First Presbyterian Churches in Rochester, Ely, and Amboy MN did a fabulous 3-day Vacation Bible School for the kids at Bdecan. They were the hands, feet, and heart of Jesus to the kids of our church, and the community. We had countless groups, churches, and individuals give all that they could financially, so we can have a new clothing closet for our community. Members from Westwood First Presbyterian in Cincinnati Ohio were physically the hands of Jesus, helping put together the inside of our clothing closet. They did all the electrical work needed and started the insulation and paneling. Not just that, but other members of their team did yard work, helped clean and organize the church, cooked, painted, and did so much more. There were so many people involved in our ministry this summer. Each of them had so many gifts and talents. Working together, we got AMAZING things done.
Remember, you are part of the body of Christ. Without your gifts and abilities, the body doesn't function the right way. I’m not saying to stop trying to improve your skills and desiring to learn new skills. That is important, never stop trying. But know that you are an important part of Christ’ body, just the way you are. Remember, you have amazing gifts and abilities to share with the world in your own way. What you offer the body is irreplaceable. Without you, the body does not function the same way. You are special. You are important. No one else can do what you do, the way you do it.
Youth and Outreach Coordinator
Bdecan Presbyterian Church
My name is Joe Obermeyer. I was the Youth and Outreach Coordinator at Bdecan Presbyterian Church from 2013 to 20202.