Ultimate Slooze Show: Florida team brings whacky games to area youth
August 13, 2009
- "This is a unique group of people. They've made a commitment to young people, and to bless young people."
- Janna Carter came to Germany to "serve military families and their kids ... to share the gospel and the hope of Christ in their life."
- "Here we're so cool, and back home I'm a lawyer and not very well liked, and here it's like I'm the coolest person ever."
- "The funnest part was when I got slimed, because I got to eat it."
HEIDELBERG, Germany -- Green spots recently appeared on several children in the Heidelberg area prompting smiles and cheers from onlookers.
The spots were slooze, a mixture of edible ingredients, which a 22-member team from First Baptist Church of Altamonte Springs, Fla., flung onto the children during a series of games they call the Slooze Show.
The group of mostly young professionals flew to Germany and had a show at Landstuhl and in Mannheim before spending a week volunteering at the Heidelberg community vacation Bible school and running the capstone event, the Slooze Show Friday afternoon.
"This is a unique group of people," said Todd Lamphere, pastor of First Baptist Church of Altamonte Springs and a former Soldier. "They've made a commitment to young people, and to bless young people."
Janna Carter was one team member, who took one and a half weeks out of her trial schedule to come to Germany to "serve military families and their kids ... to share the gospel and the hope of Christ in their life," she said.
Carter, who has been on every mission except one in the last 10 years, said "Everyone supports my decision to come out here and work with our military families. Taking a week and a half out of my trial schedule doesn't seem like nearly that big of a deal when you're faced with what they're doing."
The group typically performs one show in a location and moves on to the next city, but this year in Heidelberg they stayed for a whole week and volunteered at VBS.
"It may become the prototype at least for our military visits," Lamphere said.
"We know these kids now," Carter said. "We can call them by name and know their personalities. It's a totally different experience. Here we're so cool, and back home I'm a lawyer and not very well liked, and here it's like I'm the coolest person ever."
Each team member paid their own way and was rewarded with the ministry experience, but they also did some sightseeing in Heidelberg, Strasbourg, Dachau and Ludwigsburg.
Ultimately though, Carter said, "It's a huge privilege to be able to serve their kids in any way that we possibly can, even if it's just to have fun for a week."
The message behind the show is that God is crazy about every one of us, even if we get a little messy in our lives.
For the kids the message was clear.
"It was fun," said Sarah Byron, 8, one of the green-spotted children. "The funnest part was when I got slimed, because I got to eat it."
(Editor's Note: Jason Austin writes for the USAG Baden-WAfA1/4rttemberg newspaper, the Herald Post.)