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This verse is central to the mission and vision of Church in the Village Carlisle. Their vision consists of serving people in the community directly, with the goal and intention of sharing the gospel with the people of Carlisle. Our students just returned from our third annual week-long trip serving the community of Carlisle alongside Church in the Village.

Throughout the week, our students had multiple opportunities to be conversational with people in Carlisle. Each morning we met in the park to help with VBS. Our students led the games, took groups from station to station, as well as assisted the kids in each activity. Throughout this time, the students are encouraged to build relationships with the kids and share the gospel with them, often over a Dixie cup of water and a handful of animal crackers. In the afternoons and evenings Eric Clarkson, the pastor of Church in the Village, would send our students to different areas to make contact with people—like parks and baseball fields. There was a continual push to encourage the students to engage with people. (Often, to share the gospel conversationally. A conversation is required.) It was encouraging to see students make an effort to initiate conversations and have opportunities to connect those people to Church in the Village.

One night, our group drove up to Dayton, which had just been hit with multiple large tornados. We parked at a church parking lot, surrounded by the rubble of many houses and we unpacked a grill and some coolers and walked around the surrounding neighborhood. They walked from house to house, letting them know they were grilling out and they could come grab a burger or hotdog and hang out for a bit. As people showed up, our students were told to just listen and talk as they came up.

When people are in a situation of brokenness, as many of these people were, they often want someone to just listen. What some may have expected to be a small “backyard barbecue” talk, developed into 15-30 minute conversations where people shared about their lives and current situations—where our students were able to show that they cared about them.

I talked to Eric throughout the week as he sent our group to these places. He shared that he really wants people to see the importance of going where people are and being a light to them. The students in our group, through the week, saw more and more the opportunities we have to reach people do not come through surveys and big events—they come from our honest intention to care about people. The work that was done that week is not unique to Carlisle, OH. Everything we did can be done in Wentzville, if we approach our opportunities with a Gospel mindset and just talk to people.

Continue to pray for Eric and Nicole Clarkson as they reach their village with the Gospel.

Posted by Alec Erhart with
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Check out these pictures below of what you're missing at VBS! You still have time to join us tonight through Thursday from 6-8:30 PM!


Posted by Jason Hoke with

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