Open Wide Your Hand …

To:  your Brother …the Needy … the Poor   Deut 15:11

It was a really full day today.  After morning devotionals and a great breakfast by Chef Paul (seriously knows how to cook bacon)  we headed to Hill Country Fellowship and helped sort piles of clothing, shoes, toys, miscellaneous household items. It was a daunting task for one person but our mighty group of 13 tackled the job in 2.5 hours.  HCF has a ministry clothes closet for families in their church that are committed to helping those in need.  Our team made what for her was an overwhelming task into a doable deal!  We helped deliver the bags to a storage unit that disperses the items from there.  At the end we prayed together with Shaunda. I was so proud of the students volunteering to pray and their prayers … no doubt will be answered.

For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’     Deuteronomy 15:11

After lunch we finished helping sort the toys and put away the tables.

Now on to the Christmas conspiracy project.  Each team was given $70 dollars and given the objective to creatively spend the money on someone they did not know, and the recipient not know who did this amazing thing for them.

Both teams came up with great ideas and it really was another highlight of the day.

Boys team – went to the Y and asked if there were families they knew that would enjoy one month of free use at the facility.  With persistence, going to the top, talking to the director over all of Williamson County they achieved their goal.  The boys sponsored three single moms and their children to full use of the facility free.  It was a ‘moving, tender moment’ for all involved. The organization knows just the moms this will be a blessing to.

Girls team – went to a day care center and shared their story.  The director had just the mom. A single parent with 2 small boys and one has special needs.  The director said she is such a hard working good mom that this would be such a blessing.  The girls pitched in some of their own money and bought the boys Christmas with a special treat for mom.  When the director called the mom at work, she was so blessed and cried that someone would want to do this for her boys.

Needless to say it was a special day for all of us.

Debrief is always a special time because each of us share fun moments of the day and then we each share the moments that really touched our hearts.  They all have had a great time and we’ve all laughed at ourselves and with each other.  But we all were touched by the opportunities to be a blessing … opening wide our hands to help those in need. We know it will be a blessing to them … but we also know we too were blessed.  Everyone was moved by the experience of praying and sensing what God was impressing on the hearts of each team to do to bless someone they did not know, nor would meet. It was a powerful time for all of us.  We also were blessed to be able to help organize and ‘get the goods’ out the door to the clothes closets and staging areas where families and children will be able to freely come and get items they need. What a blessing to be able to help in that capacity.

After an amazing meal of homemade lasagna, garlic break knots, salad and homemade cookies (can we say stuffed?)  we headed to Marble Falls for the Trail of Lights.  We enjoyed a walk through, then took a second trip through walking slowing and praying for the people that would be visiting this Christmas. We pray for God to bless, heal, restore, provide, etc.

Our yearly 7th grade trip to Starbucks closed the night in town then we headed back to camp to run through our songs for the nursing home in the a.m.

Pray for rest tonight, and a great day tomorrow.

We’ll keep in touch with the school, returning before 3:30.  We’ll call the school when we leave Burnet and they’ll let you know via email an approximate time you can pick your student up.

If your student has a regular scheduled practice the coach will expect them to participate.  Otherwise your student will be free to go.

 

Thank you for allowing your student to come on this trip.  It has been an amazing time together with them.

A shout out to Jack Shackleford, Paul Glum and Liz Swamson. A great team leading this wonderful students.

Mrs. G

 

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress… James 1:27

 

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We Serve a Promise Keeping God

Sunday night

We serve a promise keeping God!

We had a great start to our trip.  The Little Town of Bethlehem is not starting until next week, so our alternate plan is Johnson City PEC and Courthouse lights.  BEAUTIFUL!  We had great fun taking pictures in the town square, taking a spin around the town on a hayride, ending with a team picture under the million lights of PEC. (check out Summit FB page)

Dinner at Subway and now we’re debriefing.  Our first devotional comes from Isaiah 9:6-7.  Isaiah is proclaiming the birth of the Savior that hasn’t come. Even though it was going to be some time before God send his son, Isaiah had no doubt that God would keep his promises.

Our prayer is that we will be a part of answering someone’s prayer these next 2 days.  God always keeps his promises, even though sometimes we don’t feel like he will.  He is faithful.

In the morning we will head to Hill Country Fellowship to work in their clothes closet.  We’ll be sorting and organizing for the church’s ministry to foster children.

Please pray that God will use every moment on this trip to draw us closer to Christ and to become closer as a class.

We are working on being aware of our surroundings and to not become a distraction to others but to be aware of others so we can be obedient to God calling us to be instant in season … at that moment … to become the hands and heart of Jesus!

Serving Him Together!

Mrs. G

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Do Justice, Love Kindness, Walk Humbly

Wellllll  ………    The tunnel still looms … not quite finished … need more warm lights!  These kids have stayed the course, admittedly at times so tired and frustrated with lights not working or running out, however, they did not stop. We believe by lunch time tomorrow we’ll get them finished … if … more lights show up in the morning.

As a team we have corrected work done by other teams and added more lights in the kids swing area!

It’s pretty amazing when you think about it, how Tejas trusts their ‘first impression’ to Summit’s 8th grade class!  What an honor.

These kids are so fun! Another afternoon of ‘The Hub’, the zip line and the giant swing!  These workers stop their day and give our kids an hour and half of fun! What a blessing to us!

Okay… I know it may be crazy weird but the FOOD ROCKED AGAIN TODAY!  LOL    Dinner was chicken fajitas!   Mmm mmm mmm!

Tonight we debriefed and everyone shared a fun/funny moment and something about the trip that is meaningful.

The zip line is a favorite closely followed by the swing, then just fun being together.

Many shared about how they felt the class was really growing closer together and how good it felt to be a part of Tejas’ sharing the gospel.

To finish our devotional time we broke into 2 groups – guys and gals

We discussed what we needed to do personally and as a group to become a stronger group that honored each other.

He has shown you, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.   Micah 6:8

Having spent 17 years on 8th grade trips, it is usually the focus on how we can be a class that honors one another as we honor God.  To do that we have to look upward first (who is God in my life and who am I in him) inward second (what is God saying to me, outward (how to I honor God by honoring others)  then how do we walk this out.

This is not an easy thing, but as this is a time when they are truly stepping into being full on teens and all the emotions etc. that brings, we must challenge and encourage our precious young ladies and young men that they can make good decisions for themselves and stand up and help each other to make good decisions and the end result can be team unity that is glorifying to God.

Kindness –  our goal –  kind to ourselves –  kind to each other – prefer other over ourselves.

A goal that is hard for all of us.  We have to check our hearts daily.

Our prayer time was sweet  –  we took our papers where we wrote honestly about ourselves and what we knew we needed to change about ourselves and what we hoped God would do in and through us and we threw them into the s’mores fire pit  (of course after we had our s’mores  : D)    I promised no one would read their thought … it’s between them and God!

After a couple of our students prayed and the leaders closed in prayer we headed to the tunnel. The overhead lights are on and one panel of lights are on.  We prayed.   Then we walked it silently each of us praying our own prayers for the things we felt God wanted to accomplish within the hearts of those that will come to ‘The lights of Tejas’.

We’re at the game room – our nightly ending of each day.

It’s not supposed to rain until after we leave tomorrow. Please pray we are able to finish our task – the tunnel.  AND….  Anything else Tejas needs us to accomplish before we leave.

We’ll be calling the SCA office when we leave to give you an estimated time of arrival. We’ll have the front office send an email when we leave Camp Tejas!

If we’re there early and your student doesn’t have athletics or practice that they have to stay for. You may pick them up.  We will be there before dismissal.

Thank you again for allowing us to partner with you.  It is an honor. Your children are A.Maz.Zing!

See you tomorrow

Mrs. G

 

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They Just Didn’t Give UP!

What a hard working group of students … and leaders!

Our work project supervisor confirmed to us before we started the day that they had particularly left the tunnel for Summit. We started off strong but quickly had many setbacks. The team that worked the trees and the poles over by the game room and basketball court did AMAZING! ! ! !   When they finished they joined the tunnel teams. The Tunnel teams … oh… my… word!  So many of the strands had faulty wiring so instead of getting halfway done – we barely got one fourth of the tunnel done.  The kids would get so frustrated to check a set of lights, put up the strand, recheck it and half the lights weren’t working.  Over and over that happened.  The kids hung in there and kept working. They Just Didn’t Give UP! I am so proud of them.  Tejas is going to go get new lights so we can hopefully have a successful day tomorrow.

The food STILL is a favorite!  LOL!

Before dinner the staff treated us with 1.5 hours of zip line and the BIG SWING! The Hub (coffee/smoothie/gift shop was open and the kids certainly always enjoy it.  It is amazing how the staff here serves our kids … who are serving them.  Great example!

I challenged the kids last night to try to speak to the workers here and bless them or thank them.  Quite a few reported tonight that they had done that.   It’s the beginning of asking God to give them courage to eventually ask if there is anything they can pray for them or to have conversations with people about the hope we all have in Christ.

Tonight we had a crazy team building game… get your whole team across the room, using 2 metal chairs, not touching the floor, and not talking. (You would have to start over if either of those things happened) let’s just say there were many ‘start overs’.

We continued our devotional conversation!

Personally:

Inn – Where in our lives are we not making room for God

Stable – In what areas of our lives do we allow God to be involved

Heart – What is God asking us to do about the answers above? – make a heart change about an attitude, behavior, relationships, etc.

As a class:

What words describe a caring person? (Make a list )

Why is it difficult at times to care for another person? What does that tell us about ourselves?

When it comes to caring, what differences are there between you and God? (Make a list. Make two columns, label one “Me” and the other one “God.”)

What keeps us from caring?

 

Bottom line – As we serve others, they watch how we serve each other as we work together.

So being a ‘unified team’ is very important.

This class is a great class. Such amazing young men and ladies.

To bed … and then … tomorrow morning … hit the ground running!

 

Mrs. G

 

 

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Sunday Night – He is Our Hope

We arrived safely, settled into our dorms and started off our evening with a quick orientation / reminders and then headed to the game room, basketball court and gigantic slides before the infamous Tejas meal … BBQ, mac n cheese, salad and chocolate cake …  YUMMMMMM ! ! ! !   Tejas does not disappoint!

After dinner a little more free time then devo.

We read Luke 2:1-12

Jesus was the hoped for longed for Savior.  He showed us he was no respecter or people coming first to the shepherds … he came for all of us! It maybe be easy to believe in the story but what do we actually do with his story? Do we allow Jesus – the hope he brings to touch every part of our lives?  What part in our lives are we like the inn keeper – there’s no room? Or where in our lives are we feeling there is no hope?

We each privately wrote in our devo those areas we need him to touch, to bring hope to what might feel like a hopeless situation.

I then put the challenge out that if we do believe in him we carry that Good News with us, so tomorrow and the next 3 days, we’re going to practice sharing that hope and speaking blessings – to each other and to the staff here.

There will be some that it will be no big deal.  For others, it will be tough having the courage to say, “Thank you, bless you for serving us!”  It’s a first step to becoming agents of sharing the Good News of His Great Love!

We broke into small groups and shared and prayed!

We had a great game of ‘CUP’ – Lyla won!  Now back to the game room … (thanks a lot daylight savings time … LOL)

Pray for us to have a great night’s sleep!  That tunnel looks like it’s ready for some lights!

Each evening, or the next morning just log on to www.gingersjournal.wordpress.com  and I’ll have a new update!

This is a great class.  What amazing talent and great hearts!  Please join me in prayer as we work to see value in each other, honor one another and become carriers of His Hope to everyone we encounter.

Be blessed!

 

Mrs g

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Blessed to be a blessing … 96.0

Last night in Hugo

This class has been amazing this week. I am truly sad this is the last night.

Our morning devos before we headed out – Galatians 5:13-25

We are called to be free, but not to use that freedom to indulge in sinful nature, but rather to serve one another, to love our neighbor as our self … we do this through displaying the fruit of the spirit. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control.  As we come to day 4, we’re tired, patience can run a little thin and now is the time to push through and extend to one another grace that is empowered by the fruit of the spirit!  This means… we need to conquer the flesh!

I think this group of young people did a really good job of that!

Our Work Day

The kitchen crew FINALLY got the cabinets finished … after 7+ coats … 3 of them Kilz!  NO JOKE!  They worked so hard and never gave up! We were so impressed with all their hard work!

The table painting crew, which actually started out with everyone, did a wonderful job making all the fairly old handmade wooden tables look brand new. The students loved seeing the final table project finished, knowing they made a real difference for the camp with all their hard work.

The brush/log clean-up crew – really ‘cleaned up’!  All the brush clean-up helped make the view around the cabins and through the trees down to the river … beautiful!

Everyone came together as a team and a few of the students even commented on how they really enjoyed getting to know each other better, become a stronger team.  They all agreed that they really enjoyed working together as a team. Having MANY strong leaders in this group, it was good to see them all work together, helping each other, preferring one other.

Many students commented on the fact that they enjoyed the car rides, interacting with the leaders, serving together, helping Jim get much more done than he ever imagined would happen.

Jim and Johnny

It was really special getting to be a blessing to Jim and Melissa Ogden. The stories that Jim told, the history of Beaver’s Bend, and his passion to work hard and his appreciation of all our kids made them work even harder made us all want to get as much done for him and Melissa as possible. They are precious camp managers that love the Lord and love serving others.  Melissa baked us homemade cookies and brownies for us to take with us on the ride home. 3 LARGE gallon bags of cookies and brownies.  We didn’t want for the ride home … we tested them after dinner!  Delish!

Johnny Moffit who is over Little Dixie in this region of Oklahoma was so impressed with our kids. He led us to the camp and help serve  our lunch every day.  He served us as we served Little Dixie.  Johnny had seen Summit work a few years ago when our 10th graders cleared the path for the Handicap trail here in the park.  This class was no different … they delivered BIG in everything they did.

Before we left Beaver’s Bend, we circled up and prayed for the camp, for Jim and Melissa and Johhny and his family.  Jim then prayed for us!  It was a sweet time of blessing.

Thoughts from the leaders during debrief

  • Loved seeing a lot of incarnation leadership – Sonny – every single time – Mrs g asks someone to pray –  sonny and Dylan immediately  jump in
  • Each one of you has matured more in the year – painting last year compared to this year – able to let you work and not stand over you – you just got up and started unloading you are thinking things through and making responsible decisions
  • I loved getting to see your character shine and grow, I love the energy and the passion that you have displayed in everything you’ve done
  • I am so proud of all of you. You stepped up to the plate and did not disappoint.

o   There was so much more … but there isn’t enough time nor space in this blog to write all our thoughts about what a blessing this week has been for each of us serving along side each other and with these studnets

 

Fun Stuff

After we finished our work day and returned to Hugo, we had the time to make two ‘fun points of interest stops.

  1. Doaksville Choctaw Nation Capital ruins – A few of the students were really surprised by going to the Indian ruins of Doaksville (today at the end of our workday) – and really enjoying it. You have to go through a cemetery and take the concrete steps over the rock wall into the forest to the abandoned Choctaw capital in from the 1800’s.  There were ruins of the jail, 3 wells, a hotel, house, kitchen, and a tavern.
  2. Mt Olivet Cemetery – I always take the team to the Mt. Olivet cemetery in Hugo and it is an interesting stop. There is a section for people that were involved in the circus industry. Sooooo interesting.  Elephant statues, showman’s best, elephant trainers, trapeze artist, etc.    Lane Frost (from the movie 8 Seconds) is buried there, Freckles the famous bull rider, the original Marlboro Man has his headstone there, however, he is still living in Hugo, OK and works at one of the Casino’s… and, by the way,  He was never a smoker!
  3. After dinner and debrief – we played 2 games – screaming toes and that’s nonsense (or something like that) A LOT of laughter and talent. Oh my goodness!

Dinner

El Pueblito Restaurant in Hugo – Really good!

My Leaders

It has been an amazing time with this class.  I want to give a shout out to Jake Shackleford, Dana Jacobson and Tony Woods.  They have been amazing leaders with the kids and hard workers. They really helped make this trip a success!  Your students have been in good hands as they encouraged and empowered these students to do their very best … glorifying God by serving his servants!

 

Coming Home

See you tomorrow afternoon.  Our plan is to leave the park between 8 – 8:30am.  We will stay in touch with the front office.  When we are about 30 minutes out, we will be letting the students text and hopefully maybe get an Iris alert to you to let you know when we believe we’ll be pulling in to the campus.   We’ll be making a lunch stop and ‘pit stops’.  Usually 6 hours but that depends on the stops needed.

 

Thank you for allowing your students to come on this trip.  They are a blessing and it is an honor to serve alongside them!

 

~ Be blessed and highly flavored … You are the salt of the earth! ~

Mrs g

the title – a student asked me how many of these kinds of trips I’d been on … we figured it up …  for sure  96

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True Joy! Absolute Trust! 1 Relationship

We had another successful day at Beaver Bend Park. These kids are amazing hard workers. They just don’t stop!  We had to end our work day a little earlier so we could get back to the cabins and get ready for tonight’s ministry time at New Life Church Boswell, Oklahoma.

This class has been working on the theme, scripture, songs, skit, and testimonies for the past 2 months.  As leaders, we were so proud of them tonight.  At the end of each ministry time, elementary and secondary, our students prayed for all the kids, listening to their concerns and prayer requests.

Elementary theme was JOY – Romans 15:13   May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit

Secondary theme was Trust – Proverbs 3:5-6  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight

The church always feeds these children every Wednesday night, knowing that for most of those that come, it will be the only hot meal in the evening most of them will get for the week.

It was a jammed packed hour of fun, laughter, listening and blessing.  I know we blessed the church and the kids that came, but truly, we were the ones that were most blessed. Being given the honor to get to know these kids and listen to them and pray with them, is amazing.

After all the children left, we circled up with Rikki the children’s director and all her volunteers and prayed for them and their ministry. Please join us in praying that God provides every resource they need as they continue to love on and introduce these children to Jesus the one that can truly save them and give them the gift of eternal life.

Coming back to camp we stopped off at Braum’s for ice cream and Jr Burgers. (We were served pizza for dinner but most were still a little hungry)

Getting back to the cabins, it was a little late, however after such an amazing day and night, we needed to debrief.

The kids really are enjoying working hard and being a blessing to Jim and Melissa.  Seeing the results of your hard work is encouraging and makes you feel good about your work but also really feel good about being a blessing to the Ogden’s.  Also they are enjoying the incredible scenery and the history of the area that Jim tells the kids.

Many of our students stepped out of their comfort zones tonight and in the end it really did impact them personally. Some of our students spoke of how they were really glad they did stuff they’re not comfortable doing, and seeing the results of stepping out and speaking or taking the initiative with the kids from Boswell, it really made them realize they could do it … and they’re really grateful.

They would have really missed a special time if they hadn’t done it. I am thanking God they chose to step up and step out.

Some of the children had very sad prayer requests. This too is very eye opening and heart breaking. Our students took to heart the requests and tonight as we closed our evening debrief, the prayer time was very sweet and I believe very Holy Spirit empowered.

Please pray

  • We get a good night’s sleep
  • Safe travels
  • Everyone continues to stay well
  • We get all the work done
  • (The Kilz works on the old cabinets)
  • God touches the lives of the children and makes himself known to them – they will allow Him to truly be the Lord of their lives and their best friend

Pray the little ones find true, unexplainable JOY in their relationship with Christ

Pray the secondary students learn to trust in the Lord with ALL their heart

  • This class continues to grow together and become more unified – they are an amazing group of young men and women

True Joy and Absolute Trust –  they both can be found in one relationship … I pray that each of these students will press in and strive to make their relationship with Christ an authentic one that will bring … true joy when they absolutely trust in the one that loved them so much he gave his life for them.

 

Blessed to be a blessing

 

Mrs. g

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A Great Day of Serving!

Our students are amazing!  As soon as we got to the Camp at Beaver Bend the kids went right to work.

Within 1.5 hours the Camp Managers Jim and Melissa realized this was a hard working group of young people that had showed up to work and to be a blessing. Jim told me, “They’re ahead of me. I didn’t think we’d get all this done today.”  We painted, picked up tree limbs from the recent storms, repaired table legs and hauled BIG tree pieces, painted some more.

Sitting with Melissa (Jim’s wife) during lunch we got to hear a little bit of their journey to become Campground Managers and we also had the privilege of hearing her share her heart for our First Nation’s People and their Christmas Outreach to them.

We returned back to the campground and were surprised by the wind blowing across the lake – it looked and sounded like we were at the seashore! Supposed to be a low of 35° tonight!    : – O

We rehearsed for tomorrow night’s ministry time in Boswell and had a quick debrief. Everyone was tired and ready to head to their cabins. The kids spent time in prayer tonight and listening to them pray was incredible

Prayer for tonight and tomorrow:

  1. Great sleep tonight
  2. Safe travels to Beaver Bend tomorrow
  3. We get a lot accomplished tomorrow at the 2nd Camp Ground
  4. God brings the children to the church tomorrow night. Please pray that they will take courage in their relationship with Christ and trust Him to give them the words of encouragement and speak through them as they are there to bless the young people of Boswell
  5. Pray for Jim and Melissa as they are into their 2nd year of managing the camp. There is a lot of work that needs to be done. Pray that organizations that use that campground will come and serve to help to get all the things done that are on Jim and Melissa’s Do To list!

Philippians 2:1-30

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, …

 

We are having a blast serving together

(Ice cream and cold weather go together … right?)

mrs. g

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This will be worth it!

Monday

We got to our destination in record time, even stopping in Paris (Texas) for a couple of pics by the Eiffel Tower!  There really is a replica of the tower right near the town convention center that has really nice restrooms.  Today we got a real treat with our stop. A gentleman jumped off his tractor and asked if we’d like a quick tour of the Veteran’s Memorial that is beside the tower.  “How long would it take?”  “Five minutes!”  We take him up on it, because he look excited to share about all the news things they are doing to honor veterans.  They really have added more things since we last stopped there and he/Travis was so proud. Being flexible can really be a catalyst to being blessed!  I have to be honest, I didn’t really want to take the time, I was trying to get to Hugo Lake State Park in time to check in and get our keys, get to the grocery store, etc. etc.  But a tug at my heart and the excitement on Travis’ face spoke to me, “this will be worth it” .  It was. Sometimes, it is just the little things isn’t it, a smile, a word of encouragement, a helping hand … five minutes! Travis stayed true to his word and we got the quickest tour EVER and I must say I was wishing he would slow down, it really is an incredible memorial park. Small, yes, but large in the honoring department.

We said our goodbyes and asked how we could pray.  Pray for all veterans and for his two sons who are in California and train others preparing them to serve our nation.

We got to the State Park in time and moved into our cabins, had dinner, then we practiced our program for Wednesday night in Boswell.

We ended the evening looking at Proverbs 3:5-6 tonight and Romans 8:28 …  In what areas in my life is it easy for me to trust God?   Where do I struggle to trust Him?  Even though God’s word tells us that in ALL things  God  works for the good of those who love him …  we know it’s not about giving a fake answer that things are great when really they are not, they are very hard.  It’s another way we learn to trust God … in the hard things … in all things!

We go to our work project in the morning. Continue to pray for our safety as we travel back and forth to our work project and as we work and serve!

Pray that we will all be aware of the moments God places in front of us these next 5 days that everything we say and do will be to glorify and honor God so that every moment God sets up for us … we will know in our hearts …    “This will be worth it”

Mrs. G

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Do They Understand? Make Sure They Understand!

Today really brought home the ultimate picture of service and sacrifice … the laying down of one’s life!

We started the morning heading to Arlington Cemetery

  • The Wreath Laying Ceremony
  • The Changing of the Guards
  • Audie Murphy tombstone – http://www.audiemurphy.com/
  • Memorial for U.S.S. Maine
  • Memorial for Space Shuttle Challenger
  • Memorial for Space Shuttle Columbia
  • Memorial for military lives lost attempting to free hostages in Iran

It was a cold windy morning. But the ceremonies are beautiful, sobering and most of all … impactful.                  2+ miles

After a brief late lunch at the Pentagon City Mall we took an hour break at the hotel and then headed back out for the Memorials on the Mall.

  • WWI
  • WWII
  • Vietnam
  • Memorial – Nurses Memorial for Vietnam
  • Memorial – The Soldiers Overlooking the Vietnam Wall
  • Korean War Memorial
  • Lincoln Memorial

Just for reference – it is 1.6 miles from the Smithsonian Metro to the Lincoln Memorial – add in the stops at the other memorials, then head back to the Metro to head to the hotel … 3.5+ miles

One of my students was going to ride with me over to the Vietnam Memorial which was a special thing for her to be able to do because of her grandfather’s participation in the Vietnam War.  We didn’t think it wise for her to walk in the cold wind so we met the team there.  It was a very special moment for her and I rode back with her and handed her off to Mrs. Castello. As I rode back to meet the team at the Korean Memorial, the taxi driver asked me what we were doing in D.C.  I got to share briefly with him that we came to D.C. to pray for our Nation and get a bigger picture of service and sacrifice. He thought that was amazing. I told him God’s word tells us to pray for those in authority over us so we can live in peace. I shared that we pray that those in every capacity that have the ability to made decisions to sway those that make decisions would listen to Godly counsel and would vote for what was truly good and right and just instead of voting so they will be reelected.  “That is wonderful! Yes, that is what we need here!”  (I believe he was from Cameroon)  As he stopped his car, he stopped the ticket running for my fare then said to me, “This is very important what you are doing. Do these students understand how fortunate they are to be living here? Do they know that in most countries no one would have the right to have a protest just down the street from the leader of the country? They could not be able to challenge him or say horrible things about him. They certainly would not be able to walk away without any fear of being punished. there are very few countries where people could do that. They cannot even write bad things or how they disagree with what the leader is doing. Do they understand? Make sure they understand! Make sure they know that people have died so they have the freedom to do that. That is very important”

 

I told him I believe they understand in part, but I am praying this trip helps them appreciate even more and not take for granted the freedoms they have. To use those freedoms wisely.

I asked him what we could pray for him for.  “For people to want to get along. For people to want peace. For people to be blessed with what their hearts long for”

 

We can do that.

 

It was late when we got back and some of the team ordered Pizza and some got McDonald’s down the street. Everyone is packing up for tomorrow.  We start are morning early, debrief today, then prayer walk Embassy Rows followed by heading to the airport.

 

It has been an amazing trip.  I am glad we all have Tuesday off – The students don’t have to be back to school until Wednesday. We are tired. But we have been blessed with an amazing trip.  A few came on the trip struggling with allergies, etc. and the cold and the allergens up here haven’t helped. But they all have been troopers.

 

Then, this next weekend we celebrate the greatest gift given to all of us!  The gift of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ … dying on the cross, conquering death – rising again on the 3rd day and offering to each of us who will believe in him and receive him as our Lord and Savior … the gift of Eternal Life.  That beautiful gift that we cannot earn.    ~ The Gospels

 

Have I told you lately … I love your kid!  (So does Mrs. Castello btw) (Insert heart here)

 

Mrs. G  and Mrs Castello

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