It has been said, “the entire world’s a stage,” and there is none more deserving of the spotlight than Grace Christian School in Mount Olive, Mississippi. For on this stage, we find all the elements of eternal life; kingdom work with all its highlights and heart breaks, the joy and drama of real life, true servanthood, and the day to day desire and struggle be found faithful. Everyone would have the privilege to serve God’s children at Grace Christian School.
From August 8th to the 16th, a small group of ten young adults and parents were blessed to spend the week with 21 exceptional kids at the school.
After a fun-filled, 12-hour drive from Sovereign Grace Church in Apex, North Carolina, and the teens brought their “Take the Stage” theater arts program to Mount Olive. The kids at Grace Christian triumphantly rose to the occasion as they learn to stretch them-selves and realized their God-given gifts and talents. The Take the Stage group sang, danced, acted, created, and played challenging games. Cassie, mastermind and leader of the group, beautifully led worship each morning and taught the kids how to use their voice through storytelling and singing. Caroline brought to life such artists as Monet and Picasso, and the children tried their hands at various artists’ techniques while learning about art history. With patience and grace, Caroline also taught the students how to use their bodies to express emotion through dance. Jamie, no stranger to drama, had fun playing theater games, which cleverly taught about emotion, body language, character analysis and humor—lots of it with this group of kids!! All this culminated into an action-packed, fun performance on Friday afternoon when the kids entertained us with sons, dances, and skits.
While all this was both enriching and reward-ing, no one had more fun with the kids than Katrina, Nadia, Truman and Will. They were blessed to be counselors for the week, getting lots of laughs and hugs from the kids who stole their hearts. The four counselors led the kids through each class and blessed us with their many talents. Led by Nadia, they also played games each day: relay races, water games, obstacle courses, and an “Amazing Race”. During this “Amazing Race” orchestrated by Truman, the kids were challenged mentally, physically, and spiritually as they made their way through a variety of challenges. They also learned valuable team-work skills as they competed on teams for the grand prize.
Encompassing all the celebration of God’s gifts of song, dance, art and drama, were the daily devotions led by Katrina. She powerfully inspired us with God’s Word as she presented Matthew 7:12-14 each day, teaching us how to make wise choices and stay on the narrow path that leads
to salvation and life in Christ. Katrina also encouraged us to commit God’s Word to our minds and hearts.
There was no sweeter time than hearing the kids sing out “My Number One (Jesus)” during worship and recite God’s Word. But, let’s not think.
Katrina was all seriousness. She and Nadia led an enthusiastic rendition of the “Wobble” and the kids also enjoyed showing off their dance moves with the “Whip” and the “Nae Nae.”
Every kid participated, and to every-one’s delight, Miss Shannon joined us! We learned that she not only keeps the school moving, but she’s got some moves!
It is difficult to put into words what we left with in our hearts. We were so in-spired and blessed to meet Pastor Tony and Shannon Duckworth, their children, Mariah and Tony Jr. and the amazing staff who serve tirelessly and selflessly at Mount Olive Ministries. God has been able to use them mightily for the Kingdom as they all put in long hours and tremendous effort. And, let’s not forget the parents and caretakers we met, who faithfully work hard to encourage the kids toward a successful future.
The children are given the chance to grow into young adults who can rise above poverty, drugs, and the vicious cycle of hopelessness that awaits them if not for the love of God shown through the Duckworth’s and staff at MOM. Donations and ministry work of all types allow these children to experience God’s love and teaching.
Please prayerfully consider sponsoring a student at Grace Christian School to offer more children the opportunity graduate from high school and be pro-ductive, loving citizens of the greater Kingdom of God. Grace and peace to you from our Lord Jesus Christ.