2019 Awana Grand Prix benefits ministries
Darlene Young never saw the Nehemiah’s Few car speed down the Awana Grand Prix track April 7 at Triad Baptist Church.
But she’ll soon see the results from the ministry’s second-place Outreach Ministry Race finish. The $100 second prize will help pay for repairs to her home.
“With the prize money, we will use it to pay for materials needed to replace the door, add a storm-door latch, correct water drainage issues, and patch holes in siding to avoid a return of bees,” said Harold Simcox, who leads Nehemiah’s Few and volunteers who show Jesus Christ in action to others through carpentry, roofing, painting, and other “handyman”-type activities.
Charles McPeak, whose son, Dwayne, died at age 35 after a blood clot formed on his return to the United States from a mission trip, accepted the $200 first prize for GriefShare — a support group for those facing similar losses.
It meets 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday evenings from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Room G-216 at Triad.
“We will probably use the money so the participants can all enjoy a meal together,” said McPeak. “It’s important to have GriefShare because we have a lot of people grieving over the loss of loved ones.”
Linda Cross accepted the $50 third-place prize for The Mom Connection ministry she leads.
Designed to encourage mothers in their walk with Jesus Christ and in their mothering to their children, the ministry follows the Forsyth County school schedule and meets from 9:30 to 11 a.m. the first and third Thursday of each month in the Kids Street Worship Center.
While no final plans have been made, the group is considering using its prize for its end-of-the-year brunch in May before the summer break, Cross said.
“We have a brunch at the beginning of each of our meetings after the moms drop off their children with our childcare workers and where they share with other mothers before the actual meeting starts,” she said.
“Usually the women sign up and bring food to share with the group but at the last meeting of the year we want them to just come and enjoy without having to prepare anything ahead of time.”
Following the model of the ministry staff race in 2018, Awana Grand Prix Race Director Jeff Chandler said the event’s team built identical cars for each of the church’s outreach ministries. Member Kenny Laubach then designed and wrapped each car.
Chandler briefly described each ministry before the cars were placed on the track to start the new-for-2019 Outreach Ministry Race that capped racing by 78 cars built and designed by children from age 2 through fifth grade in the church’s Awana Bible clubs, or by former adult and other race champions in the Grand Prix’s Open division.
“This year for our special event race, I really wanted to focus on some of the church’s outreach ministries, and be sure everyone in the church knew what they represented,” he said. “I thought that an Outreach Ministry Race would be a great way to share with the whole church a little about them but also have fun doing it.
With so many new faces at Triad, Chandler said that an event like the Grand Prix gives outreach ministries added exposure and the opportunity to promote themselves in a fun and informative way.
He said the ministries felt the support from Triad’s Kids Street Children’s Ministry and AWANA leadership through the $350 “prize money” donated for the race.
“I don’t know what we’ll have in store for next year but this was a way of having fun and building ministry relationships too,” he said. “I’m thankful for all of the support. When I look back at all the pictures — the cars, the track and technology — it’s seeing see the kids smiling, laughing, and having fun that really stands out to me.”
Tim Gerber, executive pastor for children and ministries, said the Awana Grand Prix and its new Outreach Ministry Race benefitting members and nonmembers alike showed the power of unity in Christ.
Gerber said what happens through the event — parents working together with their children, children encouraging their friends, and ministries helping others — is a great illustration of what the apostle John says in 1 John 4:12.
“The verse teachers us that ‘No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us,’ and the result is we make God known for all to see.”
Photos by Kevin Carden