We began the Spark weekend with a fabulous kick-off on Thursday night with several hundred students and adults checking-in and devouring fajitas! It was extra special this year to have almost 50 students from Tallowood’s Burmese Church to join us for Spark. (Hmmm, I hope they liked the fajitas?!) We didn’t waste any time during the first main session as students came excited and expectant for the weekend and jumped right into worship with the Jeff Johnson Band. Brad Jones from Passion City Church in Atlanta shared the powerful truth that Jesus really IS the Light of the World. Before we can B Light, we have to KNOW the Light – we need to KNOW Jesus! From there, our students spread out all over the building into their different grade groups to discover their host home for the weekend. The students spent time after each main session unpacking and discussing together in their host home groups led by seven amazing facilitators; 6th-Tony Robinson, 7th-Kevin Harris, 8th-Jacob Robison, 9th-Harlie Raethel, 10th-Will McCartney, 11th-Scott Young, and 12th-Tommy Brown. Before we knew it, Thursday’s SPARK session was over and it was time to go back home to pack, finish homework, and wear their Spark shirts to school on Friday!
No doubt, Friday morning meant 25 host home families were busy with final preparations, house cleaning, grocery shopping, and a trillion other details to be ready for the their homes to be overtaken by a bunch of excited students! Our host homes are the heartbeat of Spark, and the weekend simply would not be possible without the servant hearts of men and women who choose to serve Jesus by bravely opening their home and their lives to be a picture of the gospel. Next time you see these folks, give them a pat on the back and say, “Thank You!”
Friday afternoon our students finally finished school and headed back to Tallowood for a spaghetti supper and another great night of worship, teaching, and time in their grade groups. At last, our hosts took a deep breath and headed out the Tallowood doors with screaming kids in tow! Every host home has their own stories to tell, but I heard about one group of girls that were all quietly reading books when it was time for bed and had to be told they only had 10 more minutes to read before lights out! And yet, another home group went to play night Frisbee with “mom” and “dad.”
Saturday was an incredible day that began with grade groups meeting in homes all over Houston discussing how to “B Light” in the world. It didn’t take long to put the lesson into action as all of those groups began arriving at the SunBlossom Garden and the SunBlossom Mountain apartment complexes where Tallowood’s Burmese Church has already been shining the light of Christ to their Burmese neighbors in southwest Houston. What a sight it was to see students all over the place passing out flyers, cleaning and painting in individual homes, repairing fences, power-washing sidewalks, picking up trash, playing with zillions of kids, leading Bible clubs, and serving over 600 meals! Whoa! It was an incredible sight to see! The true Light of the World was shining all over the place as our students loved and served with their whole hearts and shared Jesus.
We came back to the church that evening to celebrate and continue to worship, learn and share together. It was especially awesome to celebrate as Lauren, one of our 6th grade girls, bravely stood up to say that she wanted to believe in Jesus for the first time. Wahoo!
Sunday morning brought a lot of sleepy kids back to Tallowood bright and early for one last time to hear from Brad Jones who challenged us that if God made us to B Light, we need to leave the lamp store and go out and light up places that are dark! We need to let the light of Christ shine in our homes, neighborhoods, schools, sports teams, etc. After a final prayer in each grade group, we headed to the 11:15 a.m. Worship Service to worship with the whole body of believers. Like I said before, I can’t believe the weekend passed so quickly, but I am thrilled that the Light will keep shining brighter and brighter in the days and years to come!
To see more pictures from SPARK, click HERE.