From June 26 to July 3 a team of three from Graffiti 2 Ministries traveled to Mississippi to help Reach One Ministries host their first football/soccer camp. Beyond just hosting a camp, Graffiti 2 spent time teaching Upside Down Principles and best practices to leaders and volunteers to better equip them to serve their community. Kyiva Beasley, one of the team members and Graffiti 2’s Social Work Intern, wrote the report below. Scroll all the way down to see pics!
This past week, Matthew, Andrew and I traveled to Mississippi to assist in a sports camp similar to the camps Graffiti 2 has hosted for twelve years in the Bronx. The only difference in Mississippi was we had about 40 boys and we were the first mission team for Reach One Ministries. Reach One was founded by Dru Dilley who graciously asked for Graffiti 2’s guidance in behavior strategies and program structure. We provided Upside Down Training for staff and volunteers of Reach One.
Here are some of the Upside Down Principles both taught and observed throughout the week:
Look for big changes, not big numbers. After three very short days we began to see the atmosphere in the boys change, not expecting it to happen quickly but seeing the seed get planted.
Stop leading. We worked with several different groups and individuals to host the sports camp for those boys; we worked for the Kingdom not each other in return letting God take his children where he wants to lead them.
It’s about the Kingdom, not castles. Dru Dilley said, “During camp, the focus for the week was John 14:6. The students learned how Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life! The Reach One students and I appreciate all of the hard work that went in to making this a great summer event!” As we worked for a greater purpose, helping make changes for the Kingdom together we made God smile.
As a student who has benefited from the fruits of believers’ labor, I pray that we reached one heart like many who have traveled to the South Bronx reached my heart.
As our week went on, we visited with an old friend, Scott Fortenberry pastor of Soul City Church. He is planting his church in a neighborhood that struggles with similar battles we see in the South Bronx. He is looking to revolutionize his targeted population from the inside out.
We also were blessed to spend some time with our friends from Forest Baptist Church who welcomed us to their homes with generosity, hospitable love, and good southern cooking.