Asbury University Tumbling Team 2017
March 11 – 15, 2017, in partnership with Grace Klein Community, the Asbury University Tumbling Team, an acrobatic group, traveled to Birmingham, AL to perform free shows. Their desire is to impact younger students by setting an example of how hard work, a strong education, a healthy lifestyle and a good attitude can change the world for Christ.
Through the generous donations of partner businesses, friends and family, Grace Klein Community was able to provide food to all 4 host homes accommodating the students during their stay. With a full schedule of seven performances and a number of clinics, the tumblers came with hearts ready to love on their audiences, making new friends, and shining Jesus through their words and actions. It was a joy approaching our partner schools, businesses and churches, offering opportunity for shows performed by the team, and even reaching out to schools that had possibly never heard of us. One school in particular were so honored that we would offer their students such an opportunity, and at the convenience of their school building, during school hours. The team performed at Metro CME and their surrounding community, at Seeds Coffee during a fundraiser for Purpose Place Thift Store, at Westbrook Christian School, Seminole Boys and Girls Club, Minor Elementary School, Restoration Academy, and Mighty Oaks Homeschool Co-op during their stay in Birmingham.
The team spent their “free time” serving with Grace Klein Community. Our first “meet and greet” with the tumblers was at the Grace Klein Community house! We were looking forward to meeting them, as well as showing them the house God provided to be used as a place of respite for traveling missionaries. The team was not afraid to get their hands dirty. After dividing in groups, they began tackling the yard, racking leaves, trimming bushes, and weeding the flower beds, while others assisted with house work. The tall windows were no match for the tumblers, when you are in acrobatics climbing on each others shoulders is really no big deal. Another team assisted with food preservation, cutting, washing and packaging strawberries for families in need, while others wrote encouraging notes to bless mamas attending a single parents appreciation weekend taking place at Liberty Church. The team completed the tasks at hand just in time before the rains came down, and, their first show in Birmingham! After final clean up, and a quick lunch, the team hit the road for their first performance.
The following day the tumblers joined Grace Klein Community at the office as we hosted Sunday Trade Market, open to learn the “in’s and out’s” of Grace Klein Community. A team assisted in the garden, weeding and preparing the soil for the next season, while others preserved a large amount of tomatoes received from a gracious donor. Another team worked in the Give and Take Room sorting and boxing clothing for this year’s No More Safety Pins event, while others helped manage the Trade Market and assist community members as they came to collect food for their families. Toward the end of the day, a community member shared her heart for community with the team, encouraging them in the “what’s mine is yours” and “others first” lifestyle. It’s an honor to partner with a team sharing a heart for the lost, caring for the broken, and opening our lives to the “least of these.”
We are so thankful for the Asbury University Tumbling Team for giving us the opportunity to care for your needs during your time in Birmingham, while caring for ours. Spending time with the tumblers in groups, or as individuals, hearing their stories of how they came to be a part of the team, their walks with the Lord, and their desire to seek Him more deeply, was so encouraging for our hearts. Worshiping with you was a delight, an honor, and a treasure.
“I have been a part of many volunteer work projects from many different places around America. I have been blessed to work with soup kitchens in Oregon and I have been blessed to work alongside clothing supplies in Tennessee. But I have never seen such willingness and involvement as I saw with Grace Klein Community. These people don’t have a singular focus, instead they ask what is needed and do it to the best of their ability with as many hands God has given them. I specifically helped with preparing a home (Grace Klein Community House) for incoming missionaries. And not just any home, but a beautiful one. I saw something special in the eyes of everyone who plays a part of Grace Klein Community, the cool peace of God and the infectious love and care of God. I saw them encourage one another and yet hold each other to Godly standards all the while teaching the children who were involved with everything. I hope to work with them again.” – Jacob Junker
“It was great to see all the different ways Grace Klein Community is meeting the needs of their community. It was very convicting for how I should serve back home in Lexington. Thank you for being Jesus to the least of these.” – Rebecca Vaughn
“My name is Summar Bussey. I am a freshman at Asbury University and this is my first year on the Tumbling Team. Our time in Birmingham, AL, was such an amazing experience. It was so special to serve so many people in so many different ways. Not only did we have the honor to perform our show at schools and for fundraisers, but we also had the opportunity to work with Grace Klein Community in a deeper way. They were so lovely to us, kindly providing so much for our team, not simply with food, but in service opportunities, as well as prayer and spiritual sustenance. One of my favorite parts was when we had a worship night at the home of community members. We sang, prayed and shared our testimonies. I really felt God speak to me in the opportunity to share about how my week was going. Since I am very new at tumbling and gymnastics, I had been struggling immensely with our stunts. It wasn’t even the actual stunt that was the issue, but the process of how to get down from the stunt. I kept overthinking it and allowing my head to cloud my ability and my perspective of it. The day of this worship night, I finally let go of overcrowding thoughts and I got it. I realized how easy it actually was. As I was sitting at that worship night, contemplating what I was going to say, I was reminded of how simple life can be. How in simply trusting God with your whole being, you can achieve anything. So as I overcame a very big fear of mine, and shared my testimony of the simplicity of trusting God, I grew in my understanding of His power and plan. I was able to comprehend how much of my life He had in His hands, and me overthinking is just clouding my head with lies and preventing me from fully basking in His glory. I will forever be changed by our time with Grace Klein Community and I am beyond grateful for all they did for us.” – Summar Bussey
“I had a wonderful time working with Grace Klein Community. It was fun cleaning up the yard of the Grace Klein Community house with my teammates, Denver and Jimmy. One of my highlights of our tour was the outside show at Seeds Coffee, and the worship night at a cozy home of community members, and the delicious Indian food!” – Catherine
“We hosted 7 members of the Asbury Tumbling Team in our home a few weeks ago. They were a delight and we were blessed by these amazing young people. They were so much fun to get to know and hang out with. We were grateful to Grace Klein for providing so much food! The kids really enjoyed it. All of them were so appreciative of having a place to stay and food to eat – even when our clothes washer broke down.
Asbury Tumbling Team is passionate about what they are doing and sharing the love of Jesus. Not many kids would spend their Spring Break sharing Christ, but these kids did it in a very creative way. They went to churches, schools and parking lots to put on an amazing tumbling show with humor and daring stunts. It was a joy to watch them interact with the kids during their show. Giving the children attention and letting them be a part of the show. They even invited, whoever wanted to give it a try after the show, an opportunity to try some stunts on the trampoline. My husband, Denver, took them up on it and was the only 50 year old in line with all the kids. The kids thought it was great, he had a blast and I’m thankful he didn’t break his back!” – Denver and Susan Nolin
“We were honored and privileged to host 8 members of the Asbury Tumbling Team in our home. We could not have asked for a better group of young ladies. Bethany, Sammy, Rachel, McKenna, Marrissa, Bailey, McKenzie and Jill were wonderful. They truly demonstrate the love of Jesus through their tumbling and actions. You have a part of our hearts forever and our prayer is that you will continue to shine for Jesus. May you be blessed as each of you pursue your future.
If any of you are ever back in Birmingham, AL, please don’t hesitate to let us know. You will always have a place to stay! We know that the whole team is great, but we spent more time with these ladies and they were delightful and awesome to be around.” – Oliver and Zonia Waltman