Students were woken from their (deep) slumber Monday morning at 7am sharp by our worship leader for the week playing on his guitar before the Lord with all his might.
Thus began our first day of serving in Madison. I feel that the best way to describe the day's activities would be with the word "worship." The Next Step Ministries staff has taken seriously their call to facilitate spiritual growth and worshipful service to the Lord and has scheduled each day accordingly.
After breakfast and personal devotions written by Next Step, we divided into our two work crews for the week.
Crew 1, led by Daniel Wynalda and Janet Bateman, went to serve at Nehemiah, where they will serve all day, each day of the week. Nehemiah is a local ministry comparable to a day camp that pours into middle school and elementary school students to help them develop into strong leaders. Crew 1 spent their first ministry day helping to maintain the garden, cooking and preparing lunch for the students, cleaning out a storage closet, and one member of the team even got to participate in a field trip to see the movie "Curious George."
Crew 2, led by myself (Josh Karhan) and Barb Velting, got an early start serving as teacher's aids at Savannah Oaks middle school, where summer school is in its last week for the elementary students from several schools in the district.
Each of the students reported back that they thoroughly enjoyed getting to build relationships with children from kindergarten to third grade as they encouraged them in their learning of reading, writing, and basic math.
Summer school let's out at 11am (I'm sure some of our students envy that schedule!), so Crew 2 has two different afternoon assignments throughout our week with Next Step Ministries. Our task for Monday and Wednesday afternoons is to help work in a community garden that donates all of its food to the local food shelter.