Code Name: The Muppets Take Harrington (Park). What a day. What an outreach. Okay. Lemme start off with the genuine, undeniable fact that going to get your worship on at River on a Wednesday or Sunday, basking in that anointed goodness, is full-on 100% awesome. You will always hear a much-needed word and leave the better for it. With that said…
River events reaching outside of the River to non-Riverites in hopes of turning chaff into wheat is super awesome! Stretching ourselves out like an army of the Almighty’s ambassadors and ministering to the lost, indifferent or unknowing (don’t want to call children ignorant) is joyous. Let’s just say it does a (church) body good.
As I usually do, I’m gonna bounce around the day’s events, probably get something out of order, and most definitely call someone “him” or “her” because I neglected to get names, but…my hope is to paint a pretty enough picture that it looks good enough to hang on your wall.
About 15-20 kids accepted Christ into their life at the event. One person is awesome, but this many is…well, I bet angels are still singing about it. And this number is a rough guess based upon my daughter’s eyewitness testimony, so there may have been more. Extra cool if there were. Plus, several people came up to the stage and sought healings. Not every event sporting the Easter Bunny and Jesus in a white t-shirt can say that!
Speaking of which…the puppet show. Now, I grew up a die-hard Muppet fan. Kermit, of course, was my favorite, yet I always had a soft spot in my heart for a few others as well. Fozzie was cool. Animal was awesome. I even liked Beaker. You know, the tall, skinny red-headed guy who was always like,“Mee mee mee mee!” Yea, he was funny. But, I digress…
These puppets, courtesy of River’s own “Splash” drama team, delivered a good show to the kids in the audience, and perhaps a gentle reminder to the parents who brought them. People can be blind to Jesus in two ways. One is by literally not seeing Him, or those He places on our path. This, in itself, is not eternal life-threatening. There’s braille, audiobooks, or a good smack in the back of the head for that.
The other way is the trail no one should hike on. It’s when people’s hearts are blind to Jesus due to unwillingness to accept His message of truth. Some people apparently can’t handle the truth. I think Jack Nicholson said that once.
Now, about Jesus in this play. I gotta say, there is something very inviting about our Lord portrayed in a plain white tee. I mean, it was the weekend and if anyone deserves a casual day, it’s Jesus, right? But that’s all I’m gonna say on that before someone calls me out for blasphemy or something. So,moving on…
Events at the event. Oh, yes. The (cup)cake walk seemed to be the belle of the ball. I saw kids everywhere double-fisting cupcakes like the factory was next door. My own kiddo had more cupcake on his face than in his belly…so no wonder he kept going back for extras. I tried the lemon cupcake. Pretty good.
And then there was face painting. That took off out of the gate with the quickness and I’m not sure the line ever stopped. There may still be kids waiting at the folding table wondering when they’re gonna get Spider-Man drawn on their cheek. I will say, at one point the demand was so high for temporary face tattoos, that my wife was recruited to help.
Balloon animals. Now, those were cool. Actually, I saw a lot of balloon swords. Not sure if they were swords the whole time, or if the kids were mutating balloon giraffes into weaponry. Either way, I made an Ichthus (Jesus fish) out of one. It required zero skill, yet somehow I was still proud of myself. Go figure…
Oh, the bean bag toss. You chunk a bean bag from about…five, six feet out into the gaping mouth of a cute little bunny dude. And, there was also a big piece of plywood that just had endless amounts of suckers sticking out of it. I didn’t know if it was a game, but if it was, everybody was winning. Like every five seconds. I think every kid there had a sucker or three.
Now, to the egg hunt, or as I saw it, the re-creation of the Oklahoma Land Grab of 1889. But, this time with eggs. All the kids lined up like defensive ends ready to sack the quarterback, which in this case, was a million plastic eggs strewn across the grass.
They were told to go and they went wild. Every different direction. Chickens. Head’s gone. Chaos, yet somehow organized. It only took a few minutes for the grass to be scalped clean. And after one area was picked over, the mobs moved to other territories to do the same. There became no turf to call your own. It was a free-for-all. 5 year-olds were competing against teenagers for control of the egg population.
When the dust settled, only a few scattered, empty shells remained. Eggs who once safely guarded chocolate and sugary treasures were ripped of their prizes and left to face the cold, harsh reality that some kid somewhere else was enjoying their spoils of war.
So, yea, it was fun. The Easter Bunny was there. Taking pictures. Hanging out. He was a real trooper.
Oh, wait, the drawings. That’s right. The kids all signed up to win various fabulous prizes. And that was cool. The grand prize was a brand new bicycle. The lucky – wait, luck isn’t real. Let’s try, theblessed kid who won that was Juan. I remembered to ask him his name! I even got a picture of him and his new set of wheels.
The River’s Easter outreach was a huge success. Did I mention a bunch of people gave their lives to the Lord? So awesome!
UPDATE: The official number of those who gave their lives over to Christ during the outreach was 29! Woo-hoo!!!