Friday, September 11, 2009

Final Touches on the Playground Restoration Project

Playground Restoration Project
Children's Festival
Before and after of the old swings complete with new bearings and paint.

Yesterday, I put the final touches on our Playground Restoration Project by painting the new benches and the repaired rigid swings (you can see all the past posts about the playground by clicking HERE). The group from Pryluky made these last repairs and additions to the playground before the Children's Festival. We definitely couldn't have done it without them.

Children's Festival
A splash of color for the new benches

We've been planning this outreach for a long time now and I'm so happy to see everything done. The paint we put on this Spring hasn't held up against the summer sun and humidity as well as I would have liked, but it's still a huge improvement. The children, parents, and grandparents really enjoy the repairs and additions that were made and through this we have become closer with a lot of them. It has definitely opened up doors for sharing the Gospel. I'm excited to see how God will use all of this.

Playground Restoration Project
Children's Festival
Before and after of the suspended balance beam

While I was painting yesterday, several children came up to me and asked all sorts of questions. They asked things like, "What color will you paint that?", "How long will it take the paint to dry?", "What else are you going to build?", "Do the paint fumes bother you?", and so on. The question that took me by surprise came from a little boy. He said, "Why are you doing all this? Is it because you like children?" I said yes and kept painting, but I started thinking about his question.

Children's Festival
This bench had been completely destroyed by vandals at one point.

Why did I do all that work? There have been plenty of times when I was frustrated because fresh paint was ruined by kids throwing sand or ripping down "wet paint" signs or by people throwing litter all over the ground right after I had picked it all up. It can be discouraging when not everyone appreciates what you have done, but I didn't do the work to try and please everybody. So why did I do it?

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14

And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me." Matthew 18:3-5

I did it so that the children would have a safe place to play, that they might come and through outreaches like the Children's Festival come to know the name of Jesus as Lord and Savior.

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