Eggs, Agua, and YOU...

This Saturday, April 3rd, The Connection Church is hosting our annual Easter egg hunt extravaganza, The Big Hunt! If you've never been a part of this incredible event, just imagine 30,000 eggs, live music, inflatables, puppet shows, and the Easter Bunny. (Get more details here.) It really is a great day of fun for the entire family and if you live in the Hays area, we would LOVE for you to be our guest.

And if you call TCC you're church home, we'd love to have your help to make this incredible event possible for our community. Here are three great ways for you to make a difference in people's lives through The Big Hunt:
  • Donate Eggs. We're shooting for 30,000 eggs. (Yes, you read that right: 30 THOUSAND) Buy plastic eggs, fill them with non-chocolate candy or small prizes, and bring them with you on Saturday.
  • Donate Water. We are expecting literally THOUSANDS of people from the community to show up to this event. We need lots and lots of bottled water to give away to all our thirsty guests. Our goal is to have at least 200 cases of H20.
  • Serve. It takes a team effort to pull off an event like this. And we'd love to have you on the team. If you can serve at The Big Hunt email nic [at] theconnectionchurch [dot] org and I will get you in touch with Jennifer Williams, our Big Hunt coordinator.


To Belize via Duct Tape...

We have some remarkable students within our ministry here at The Connection Church. Some are creative, some compassionate, and some are just a little wacky [in a good way]. And then there are those are all three: creative, compassionate, and a little wacky...all rolled into one. Here's a story of two of those girls and how you can help them change the world...literally.

Makenzie Phillips & Mali Lewis are just two middle school girls who want to make a difference in their world. Makenzie's dad is the Lead Pastor of The Connection Church and Mali's parents lead an incredible puppet ministry called P.A.L.M.S. The puppet team traveled to Belize last summer on a mission trip and had an incredible experience sharing God's love with others. In fact, Mali's mom, Kamala, is a dentist who regularly goes on medical mission trips to Belize. Kamala was planning to go back to Belize this summer for one of those mission trips and Mali insisted that she go. After some discussion about the idea, Kamala told Mali no because she didn't want her exposed to the infectious diseases, such as HIV, that can occur on these trips. And Kamala thought that was the end of it. Here's what happened next in Kamala's own words:

A few months back Mali started asking to do extra stuff to earn money in addition to her chores. She wouldn't say why, and I just figured she was saving for something like someone's birthday present or something. But, she just kept on and on. Finally, I asked her why and she didn't want to tell me because I would say no. I promised her I wouldn't, and that is when she told me she was saving to pay her own way to Belize so I would have to let her go. What was I going to say then? So, needless to say I couldn't tell her no! Who am I to go against what God is speaking to her?

Fast forward to the past several weeks. Makenzie and Mali are close friends and Mackenzie decided she wanted to do something to help Mali follow God's call for her to go serve in Belize this summer. But what's a 7th grade girl got to offer to a fundraising project, right? Well, it's amazing the creativity that God gives you when you are willing to do whatever it takes to follow him.

These girls came up with the idea to take your everyday, regular notebooks and design custom covers on them to sell in order to raise money for Mali's mission trip to Belize. And what better way to design cool, creative, custom covers than to use DUCT TAPE! That's right. Mackenzie & Mali are designing the covers of these notebooks out of duct tape [some have ribbons, stickets, buttons, etc too] and selling them for just $3.99. I think the creativity & compassion that God has placed within these two young ladies is absolutely inspiring. I believe that they are living, breathing models of the fact that nothing is impossible with God.

You can see a few examples of the notebooks below. But the possibilities and designs are really endless. I think these two girls will even put together a custom design at your request for a few bucks more. So if you live in Kyle or go to The Connection Church, you can buy a $4 notebook and literally be involved in changing someone's life in Belize. Your 4 bucks can change the world. And if you live outside of the Hays County area, I've got a deal for you. If you want to support these young ladies and their efforts by getting a notebook [or several notebooks], then I will personally pay for the shipping cost to get the notebooks to you. Simply leave a comment on this blog or email me at nic [at] theconnectionchurch [dot] org with your name, address, and how many notebooks you want to purchase.

Notebooks that can change the world. Creativity out of compassion. Belize via Duct Tape. Get involved and do something.


Enormous Egg Throwdown...

Every year at The Connection Church we do it BIG at Easter with The Big Hunt. The Big Hunt is the biggest Easter Egg hunt in Texas, with thousands upon thousands of eggs, live music, puppet shows, giveaways, and fun for the whole family. [You can find our more details about The Big Hunt here.]

One of the coolest things about The Big Hunt is that it is a 100%, completely FREE event for our community! We want to show our community that God loves them and that we do to in a very practical way.

In order to do this, it means all of us at TCC have to step up BIG TIME to donate eggs filled with candy and to volunteer to serve at the event. Making The Big Hunt happen is no small task! So I wanted to let all of you know that this week Hobby Lobby has eggs on sale for 50% off (through March 20th). That means you can get a dozen eggs for only 33 cents!

That brings me to my ENORMOUS EGG THROWDOWN Challenge:

Beginning today, Johanna and I will MATCH your egg donations for The Big Hunt egg for egg.

UPDATE (3/16/08): Three other familes have joined Johanna & I in the Egg Challenge. Shep & Kristi West, Trey & Jennifer Williams, and Joe & Melanie Barnes have also agreed to MATCH any egg donations egg for egg with the following contest details! Thank you to these awesome families for jumping in & making this contest even better!

Here are the challenge details:

  • The challenge begins immediately and runs through this Thursday, March 18th at NOON central time.
  • Your donated eggs must be filled with something - either individually wrapped candy or a small prize for a child. (Please do not use chocolate candy because of the melting factor.)
  • We will match every egg donated up to 100 dozen or 1,200 eggs.
  • This challenge will be based on the honor system. For us to match your eggs, simply leave a comment here on my blog, send me a message on Twitter, or comment on my Facebook page. With each comment be sure to let me know how many eggs you are donating! [And you better believe I will be making sure we get those eggs!]

So there it is: My Enormous Egg Throwdown Challenge. Go buy some eggs. Fill 'em with candy or a prize. Let me know how many you're donating. We will match it. And you've just doubled your egg donation to The Big Hunt & made an ENORMOUS impact on our community!


Creative Bible Resource...

If you're a parent of a younger child, you have got to check out this new resource from Phil Vischer, the creator of the Veggie Tales. Phil has developed a really creative way to teach kids the Bible in a way that is fun and relevant to children. The first couple videos in this series are being released this month and can be purchased at Family Christian Stores - in stores and online. Check out the video below: