Lutz Campus

18333 Exciting Idlewild Blvd.
Lutz, FL 33548

Idlewild at The Springs

8209 N 19th St
Tampa, FL 33604

Iglesia Bautista Idlewild

Main Campus, Student Building, Hall 2
 

Nashville Updates

Nashville Updates

Middle School Nashville Mission Trip

Nashville Mission Trip Updates

 

Good evening parents,

Please forgive the delay on the updates. I just aquired access to a computer and sufficient wifi, and I thought I would catch you all up to speed. I have been creating short recap videos of our days here in Nashville – these videos certainly won’t accurately tell the stories of what we are experiencing, but I know your students will be eager to share these with you upon our arrival back at Idlewild.

You should find a daily recap video and ministry summary below. Enjoy!

–Pastor Andrew

 

The Drive

The drive was long, and there were MANY stops. I’ve learned that the bladder of a middle school student is about the size of a quarter, and I’ve also learned that you will experience traffic in Atlanta, even on a SATURDAY. haha. But, we had a blast, and your students are troopers – we are incredibly proud of them. We made it safe and sound. Click on the link below to watch the video.

Ministry Day 1

Our first day of ministry started with an eye opening look into the refugee community. The Mobilizing Students team taught our students about why the refugee community exists, how they are recognized by our government, and how their culture influences every aspect of their life. After our training, it was time for us to experience this culture and the FOOD. We visited three cultural markets (or grocery stores), and it was interesting to see how the food selection didn’t even remotely resemble what we would see at Publix. We saw pig ears, chicken feet, giant snails and SHARK – all edible of course. My favorite quote was, “WOW. A shark only costs 4 dollars?” haha. The store clerks were so friendly, and they continuously offered us samples (not of any of the foods listed above, haha). We had the opportunity to try SHAWARMA, an Arabic type of sandwich with mixed meats and vegetables. Each market was different – some catered to the Indian population, some to the Muslim population, and some to the Asian population. Our students thoroughly enjoyed our visits.

Our primary focus here is the people groups residing in the apartment communities. So, our afternoons are spent right in their neighborhoods. This type of ministry is HEAVILY relational, so we use sports, face painting, and crafts to open the doors of comfort and communication with these people groups. Each of our apartment complexes is within 1 mile of each other – and in that mile we have encountered people from Congo, Sudan, Burma, Nepal, Somalia, Kazakstan, Iraq, Iran and Syria. Many of these people speak enough English for us to communicate, however, we have also encountered those that cannot carry on conversation due to the language barrier. It’s crazy – like we’re in a different county, yet we’re right in our own backyard. The name of the game on day 1 was relationships. After day 1 we had names and faces, conversations and stories – we had specific people, REAL people to pray for. We had an incredible first day. Click the link below for the video.

Ministry Day 2

The most unique part of our trip was most certainly our interaction with people groups that hold to a different religion than we do. On day 2, our students were trained on the belief systems of Islam – which allowed them be educated on what they believe and why. They experienced Muslim representatives of the islamic faith who have dedicated their lives to Allah, and now lived disciplined lives of obedience. A question that continued to resonate with our students was, “If Muslims are this dedicated, disciplined, and passionate about something we know to be false, how much more disciplined should we be in our faith to a Savior we know to be real?” You see, we discovered Muslims pray 5 times a day. FIVE. Can we say that we do even half of that? During the month of Ramadan, they fast (from food AND water) from dawn to dusk, fixing their focus on Allah. Do we even fast once a year? They give generously to the poor out of obedience to the Qur’an. We have a similar command that often goes overlooked by Christians. Our interactions with the Muslims helped to remove stereotypes of the people group, and allow our students to see them as people. REAL people, who are in need of a Savior.
Our visit to the Islamic Center solidified the faith of our students, and educated them on how to share their faith with Muslims.

We took our bagged lunches and headed to Centennial Park to visit the Parthenon. The Parthenon is an EXACT replica of the one in Athens, Greece. It’s HUGE, and ornate, and beautiful. We played some football in the park, and headed on to our ministry sites.

I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am of our students. I gave them the challenge to do three things:

  • Be Prayerful
  • Be Relational
  • Be Intentional

After the first day at our ministry sites we had names and faces. We had REAL stories of REAL people. All of this to say, we had people to pray for…by name. And we did. And we began to see God move. I’ll tell you all the specifics of what God did this week in the day 3 recap. Click on the link below for the video.

 

Ministry Day 3

Today’s educational concentration was Hinduism. Hindus believe in and worship many gods, each with their own respective attributes. They believe that god is in everything, and everything is god. They believe that there are many ways to god, and each person’s path looks different. They hold to the belief of reincarnation contingent upon the state of their karma. If their good works outweigh their bad works, they will reincarnate with a better status – and vice versa. Their ultimate goal is reach “oneness” with god.

If you are reading this and saying…”WHAT?” – then you are in good company. Our students left our time with at the Hindu temple with humbled and grateful hearts for a SAVIOR that did all the work for them – that there is no ladder to climb to God, that He paid the price for their sins IN FULL, and that He proclaimed, “IT IS FINISHED”.

Now on to lunch – today is what is known as “Dress up like a cow and get a free meal at Chick-Fil-A meal” Day – so, naturally we took EVERYONE. You’ll see a clip of us dressed up in the video link below. We had SO MUCH FUN. We took pictures with the REAL Chick-Fil-A cow, and they even posted a picture of us on their Instagram recognizing Idlewild Baptist Church for is patronage.

MOST IMPORTANT: When we began conversation with the Mobilizing Students organization, they informed us that our primary purpose on our trip would be to build relationships. I don’t think we realized how important relationships were for this type of ministry, but we soon learned that they are crucial. They establish the basis for the Mobilizing Students missionaries to continue to do ministry here.

Today was the day that we saw all of our prayers answered. We saw the fruit of students that live prayerfully, relationally, and intentionally. We witnessed our students…YOUR students…stand firm in the gospel and articulate it with clarity at each apartment complex. We saw our students pull children aside and tell them about the “good news”. We saw students that had never shared the gospel before, walk away having lead someone to the feet of Jesus. I AM SO PROUD OF OUR STUDENTS…and I can’t stop saying it!

WE ARE CELEBRATING 23 SALVATIONS IN NASHVILLE.

We are so incredibly thankful that your students were a part of the Kingdom investment here in Nashville, TN. We can’t wait for them to tell you the stories that we have experienced. We leave tomorrow morning for Atlanta – please pray for us as we travel. And last but not least, click the link below to watch the Ministry Day 3 Recap.