Thursday, March 6, 2008

Parents' Night Out

Talk about win-win. Last Saturday night, our youth group hosted a “parents’ night out” at the Long House. From 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. our youth group provided a fun place for kids to play, so that their parents could have a free evening. It was done as a fundraiser for the youth mission trip this summer, but it was a big time for all.

Most of the adults went out to eat together at a Brazilian steakhouse. This was a blast. We had about 28 adults in the party, so the restaurant gave us their special cellar room. Most of the people were not attenders at Crossroads, and only a few people knew everyone there. We just had a fun time laughing and dining together. I met several new people.

The restaurant has a great salad bar, from which one could easily make a meal. But the star attraction is the selection of meats. “Gauchos,” roam through the dining room with huge skewers bearing chunks of roast meat. They had various cuts of beef, plus pork, lamb, etc. They had about 16 different types of meat. The gauchos walk from person to person, offering to carve you off a slab of meat. It is an Atkins diet frenzy. All the protein you can consume.

This was especially fun for me because I had been to a similar restaurant in 1982 when I went on a mission trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There, of course, the gauchos did not speak English, so we Americans had to guess what kind of meat was being served. The meal was a highlight of the trip. I did not even know until last week that we had a Brazilian steakhouse in Greensboro. We’ll certainly be going back.

When we picked up our children from the parents’ night out, they were all excited. Our teenager loves to play with kids, and so this was heaven to her. Our younger daughter also had a blast, probably doing more giving than receiving of babysitting services. “When are we going to do this again?” they wondered.

The evening was also a win for the youth group mission trip. They watched about 3 dozen kids and received $530 in donations for their trip to Indianapolis this summer.

I hope we do this again, not as a fundraiser, but simply as a ministry. Someone mentioned today that there is obviously a pent-up need for the service. This is a great way to share the love of Jesus with whole families. The kids have a blast and the parents get a break.

When God builds his kingdom, everybody wins. Only he can do that.