Monthly Archives: March 2012

Children Praying for France … it’s a beautiful thing

Everytime I return from a trip, the elementary classes want to see the pictures and hear the stories!  I enjoy sharing them with the elementary because they’ve been praying for us while we’ve been gone.  So it’s great for them to see “Who was I praying for?”  and “What did they do?”  “What can we pray for now?”

What I love most is at the close of the class, I ask the students, “Now who would like to pray for the people of France, and the things we saw and talked about?”

Sometimes I have to help the volunteers, but this last week, when the students prayed, it really blessed my heart to hear their prayers for the unbelievers and the believers of France!

Would you join us as we continue to pray for:
1. The seniors that went on the trip – that they will not forget the things they experienced and the commitments they made to Jesus Christ

2. The missionaries in France – that they would not be discouraged – they will continue to share the gospel and the love of Jesus Christ with everyone God puts in their path/life.

3. The believers in France – that they would not give up praying for God to draw unbelievers to a personal relationship with him.  Pray that they will be strong when others mock or make fun of their beliefs.

4. Unbelievers in France will turn their hearts toward our Creator God, learn and believe in his son Jesus Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to rule and reign in their lives!

Hearing your children pray … so moving!  so precious!  I believe God got great pleasure in hearing them call on him to draw his people closer to him, and to turn the hearts of the unbelievers to Him!

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Freedom isn’t Free!

 

THE MOMENT

The picture above is from the senior class’s day trip to Normandy, France!  We stopped at the Caen Memorial Museum and this thought provoking sculpture is outside of  building!

Our team gathered around it and spent time in prayer asking God to be with the leaders of every country as they interact with each other.  The student praying interceded for peace to be the ultimate goal in nations meeting and interacting with one another.

As we toured the museum, the American cemetery and then Omaha beach you couldn’t help but be moved by the incredible sacrifice made by so many, so that people that the soldiers didn’t personally know, could be free.

While I was walking around the cemetery grounds and on the beach I was reminded of the Korean Memorial that this class visited in their trip to Washington, D.C. last year… the wall facing the small reflecting pond says, “Freedom isn’t Free”… so true!

Now from that  thought,my heart must take me to the cross …  where Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice, where we are reminded that God sent his son Jesus … where Jesus paid the price for our sins… then rose from the grave conquering death …  Our spiritual freedom was purchased at a high cost …  let’s don’t take it lightly, nor give it up for anything.

THE CHALLENGE

While in France on their Senior/Impact Trip the seniors were challenged by the people they met who have to made daily choices to live their Christian faith ‘out loud’…  the students were challenged as they rubbed shoulders with the culture of a people who are living in a ‘post Christian’ society… the students were challenged as they listened to the tour guides’ personal story of an inheritance of faith in God in difficult situations, (many times life and death situations)… finally the students were challenged as they weighed all they had seen and many of them realized … my life comes up a little short … then they had to ask…what am I going to personally do about it? …

So here’s the challenge … to all of us! As we go into the Easter weekend … we are each faced with the question … what am I doing with this ultimate sacrifice given personally for me?

THE CHOICE

Personally … as I look at the sculpture, I agree, I want non violence, but even more than that … I look at the cross and I choose freedom … spiritual freedom… in Christ.

“Greater love hath no one than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”  John 15:13

May this Easter weekend be a wonderful time for you to remember and celebrate His coming, His sacrifice and His gift of eternal life … “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him… shall NOT perish… but have eternal life!”               John 3:16

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Make it count!

We started the day working at the Friday lunch at the American Cathedral!  It’s a free lunch for 64 people … every Friday … no matter the date – Christmas- New Year’s – special holidays!

Many of the people are the same ones that come every week.. and have their own spot!  It’s not really the homeless, it’s the forgotten!  Many have no other family or have been disowned!  They have very little to live on and they are treated each week to a 3 course meal, home-cooked!

A team cleaned the tables and chairs and put the table cloths on and set the silverware, while the other half worked in the kitchen preparing the food!

The team member that we worked with, Denise, shared that many times they are too anxious for teams to come because they don’t know how to work! They were really impressed with our seniors (I’m just saying’)  they worked so hard!    If you need HEAVY pots full of food carried up and down stairs… Caleb O, Caleb S, Jonathan, Luke, John, Devin, Oscar … they’re your men … If you need the table set … and I mean set …   Grab Christine, Shelby, Caleb S, Caleb O, Luke and Oscar …    If you need food prep … Claire, Marina, Sara, John, Caleb S and Jonathan.  They all helped serve the people and visited with them.   Then if you need dishes, BIG pots and pans washed and dried and put away… Luke and Jonathan!  Okay… you understand … they were work horses!  As the team leaders, we helped some, but in the end, we just got in the way …

(oh yes… a whole group disinfected all the sanctuary pews!  And that was no small feat!

We went from there to lunch for ourselves and then we cruised the Seine River … so relaxing and a fun way to get a different perspective of Paris!

Our last dinner in Paris was at the Hard Rock Cafe of Paris!

Final Devotional and Debriefing!

Parents,

Michael Furchert has been a gift to our students on this trip!  His stories of God’s faithfulness to his family through WWI, WWII, the cold war… the wall coming down!  It has impacted these kids.  His final devotional just wrapped it all up!  The kids ALL commented on what a difference he made to their senior/impact trip and how they enjoyed every time he shared.

Then we debrief…  These kids have opened their hearts and responded !!!

I”m going to try to write some of the statements…  I didn’t have my computer with me so I’m going to paraphrase …

“That soup kitchen was amazing … I’m going to look for something like that to do in college”
“I had to step out of my comfort zone … but it was good and I’m going to try to do that more”

“Standing on Omaha beach … took my breath away … it was overwhelming”

“Normandy, Michael’s stories, it really touched me, and seeing the graves, it was almost too much, I really enjoyed Mr. Tripple and Mr. Smith sharing more information about what happened. It really affected me”

“I haven’t taken my relationship with Christ serious enough, it’s not hard to be a Christian back home, so I’ve not really been challenged. I’ve got some thinking to do, some changing to do”

“Prayer walking never really made much sense to me… but on this trip… it really did and I saw how important it was … I got it!”

“Working at Champfleuri, hearing them share and seeing Damien be so broken hearted for France … then interacting with the people here…  it really touched me”

“We have to pray and do something or the US will look just like France”

Jeff and Bev and David and I were all moved to tears…. literally!  We all bragged on them… it’s so easy to do!

David tried to share but his heart is really so full of love for these kids, he could hardly talk. He encouraged them… even though you have a short time left at Summit!  Don’t waste your time.  For the rest of your life… don’t waste your time!

I can’t stand the thought of them graduating … it’s been such an honor to know them and be a small part of their lives!

It’s 12:30am in the morning… we’ll be loading the bus in 7 hrs and 15 min …  As I remember more things they said… I’ll add them.

thank you for the privilege !

ginger lambert

We have been blessed and highly flavored … and these kids have been the salt of the earth!

I’m just sayin’

Categories: Impact Trips!, Senior Impact Trip | 2 Comments

This Class … I’m just saying’ …

It’s really been a great trip, although I’m not surprised with this class!  I’ve had the honor of being with many of them 5 – 8 years!  So … here’s some thoughts!

This class has always been able to get in there an∂ work when it’s time to work, play hard when it’s time to play hard and open their hearts when it’s time to focus on ‘what’s God saying right now to us’

On our second night of the trip, I shared this with the class how I have loved watching them have fun, work hard, but most of all how they are able to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit.  I told them, “Just because you have a couple of months left of high school, don’t just make this trip a check in the box.  Once more, listen to the Spirit, respond and allow God to make defining moments in your life.”

When I see them listening, shaking their heads in response to something, being engaged in the prayer time, I know they are ‘taking it in’!  We have had and will have many prayer times!

As their homeroom teacher, Mr. Tripple has been an important part of their high school life and I appreciate how much he loves them and how much he shows them he cares. He has fun with them, but he cares that they become authentic christians. They love him as well.  David’s (Mr. Tripple) ability to encourage, challenge and teach is a gift to these young adults and I know they kind of understand that now … but later … they will really appreciate that God placed him in their lives!

I know as parents, you want the best for your kids, and I appreciate your allowing your ‘precious’ young people to be a part of Summit Christian Academy and have allowed them to participate in the various Impact trips!  I do believe ALL of us partnering together, we have each had incredible divine moments, inspired by the Holy Spirit to ‘deposit’ into their lives, ‘water’ the works of the Holy Spirit and even now we can enjoy the fruits of the Spirit working in and through them.

This class really enjoys each other,  we have missed those that weren’t able to come, and I’ve prayed each morning that their days were not just a ‘check in the box’ until we returned.  I’ve prayed that the book they read and their interactions with teachers and students on the campus have been a daily reminder… I have purpose…  I”m going to make every day count!

We have one more day together in Paris … feeding the hungry!

The sad thing is most of Paris is hungry and they don’t understand that the Bread of Life is there for the taking.  God is sooo out of the picture to them.  He isn’t relative to them.  He isn’t necessary to them!  I am praying that our students have truly seen the stark difference between post christian France and the United States … although … I believe we are well on our way.  I pray this trip turns them into advocates for for Gospel of Jesus Christ. I pray it helps them to challenge themselves to be courageous and not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ!

I can’t wait to talk to them a few years down the road and see … this trip was a stepping stone to their next Adventure in their faith walk with Jesus Christ… The Way … The Truth …. The Life!

I’m just sayin’  if serving the creator God … loving his son Jesus Christ … obeying the urging of the Holy Spirit and allowing him to be your guide …. if that’s not exciting to you… then I’m not sure you know the God I serve.

I’m Just sayin’

Please pray for us, we’ll have our final debrief this afternoon.  This will be a time for each one to really share what they’ve learned and are taking from this trip into their own life story …   It can be a time for them to draw closer to their Savior Jesus Christ .

mrs. g

Categories: Impact Trips!, Senior Impact Trip | 2 Comments

Sacrifice! Greater Love Hath No Man Than This ..

Truly the scripture John 15:13 was the theme of the day!  Going to Normandy and visiting the Caen Museum , then to the American Cemetery for WWII ending with walking on Omaha Beach…  seeing the craters/dents in the hill side still visible 70 years later!

At the museum there was a sculpture outside with this gun with the barrel tied in a knot.  The wording on the side of the sculpture was ‘non violence’ !  We circled the sculpture and Shelby and Jonathan prayed!

I try to take every moment that presents itself for prayer … and have the students to pray about whatever we’re either doing or looking at or have experienced. We do this on all the trips!  What I want to build into our students is that any moment can be a prayer opportunity!  Praying on sight with insight.  The goal is that eventually it will become a ‘common’ thing for them to do for the rest of their lives.  They’ll be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, pray what they feel led to pray and then leave the results up to God.

While on the ride there, and then on the ride back, Michael, David and Jeff each shared about the War and historical points of interest.  And the students interacted with good questions and you could tell, they really were taking their time and absorbing everything.

Almost all of the students had been to Arlington National Cemetery however, Mr Smith brought up the fact that one of the differences between the two cemeteries is here in France, everyone of the grave markers represents a soldier who died, in the war – in the fight for freedom.  Many families never got to come over and see where their loved one was interned. Moms, dads, wives and siblings never saw their loved loved one again! In just the small area we walked through there were quite a few markers with the inscription ” known but to God”  It was very moving!

We saw an edited version of Saving Private Ryan before we came and thinking of the film and then walking on the beach … my prayer is that these students remember what they saw, what they heard and that they will become men and women who will always stand for right, even if they stand alone.

After we came up from the beach there was a solider with his pack on and I asked him if he spoke English … yes (Praise God) … he was a British soldier.  They bring their cadets over and re-live / walkthrough the events of D-Day! The cadets were on a particular drill and he and others broke away to come up to the cemetery and the lookout view.  We took our picture with him and we told him we were going to pray for him, for God to protect him and that he would be guided by God with wisdom as he served his country!  He was very appreciative!

Would you remember Chris (the officer) and pray for him.  Pray that his meeting us will have been a ‘divine appointment’  that our expressing to him that we are going to pray for him will pierce his heart, encourage him and compel him to ‘seek his Creator God, have a relationship with his Savior Jesus Christ and depend upon the one that can give him all the wisdom and discernment he desires and needs on a daily basis… the Holy Spirit!

I love this class! It really was an amazing day!  We hated to leave!

Thank you God, that you loved us so much that you sent your one and only son, so that whoever believed in him will not perish but have everlasting life.  Thank you Jesus, for being our Savior for showing us how to live a life a sacrifice!

Well … tomorrow is another service day for us!  We serve lunch to the those in need along side the American Cathedral Church.

Pray for divine moments, that our students would realize how much God has given them… and out of that … how much they have to give to others.

It’s been a long day … my room clock tells me it’s 12:11 a.m. Paris time!

I can’t believe we only have one more full day in Paris!

See you soon!

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

Ginger

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Mona Lisa …. Mona Lisa … how I thought you were a much larger picture !

We started out the day at the Louvre … a great discussion was had on … “Now why is the Mona Lisa so famous?”

We were especially glad to have our ‘on board history teacher’ Mr. Tripple, especially since he studied French for 4 years… filled in a lot of blanks for us!  🙂

Our main three points of interest were: Mona Lisa, Winged Victory and Napoleon III apartments …  after that the kids divided up and toured the Louvre for other points of interest!

Lunch at Jardin des Tuileries, then another famous arch (sorry I can’t remember the name and it’s late)

A 3000 year old  Obelisque de Louxor  (French spelling on the map) It one of twin obelisks which mark the entrance to the Louxor temple in Egypt.  It was offered to France as a gift in 1829 and arrived in 1833.   It is decorated with hieroglyphics exalting the reign of the Pharaoh Ramses II.

The Arch de Triumph … next on the list!  A brave few  (Mr. Tripple, Devin, John and Luke) climbed another 248 steps to the top…  some of us just couldn’t torture our limbs one more time! (especially since it’s the same way to get back down… 248 steps!)

The others took a stroll on Avenue des Champs Elysees for some expensive window shopping!

We purchased a lock and key and put it on the infamous ‘lock bridge’ signed ‘SCA’ and 2012… and threw the keys in the Seine River … (supposedly proclaiming our love for each other forever …  the girls were very moved … the boys … hmmmm,  not sure!  )

We finally made it to the Deportation Memorial …  it’s very small but the story it tells is huge!  In one area there is a long hall narrow hall lined with lights on each side… 200,000 lights… one for every person who was processed through     the French Deportation Center.  When you see all the lights shining in the hall it’s staggering to think of the light of each precious life snuffed out by the inhumane acts of a madman. Down two small halls were triangular windows that held urns filled with soil and ashes from each concentration camp ovens throughout Europe! We were the last ones in and the only ones in the small yard, and the guard let us have a moment of prayer!

Dinner …

For the evening devotionals, Michael shared another story …  a miracle his family experienced.  How they were allowed to leave East Berlin to visit his grandparents … they promised to come back… they did!  It’s an amazing story… ask one of the students the story!

Thanks for your prayers, we’ve had some really incredible times with our kids.

Michael really bragged on our kids behavior, they are easy, they listen, they respond, they pray, they don’t cause trouble … AND THEY ARE FUN!

Off to bed … Tomorrow is Normandy!

Mrs. G

Oh… Sara’s bag came yesterday … she was sooooo happy to be wearing ALL her own clothes…  Thanks for your prayers!

Categories: Impact Trips!, Senior Impact Trip | 1 Comment

Truth … you CAN know it …

We started the day today going to Notre Dame! It’s built on an island and it’s considered  by the people of Paris to be birthplace of Paris and to them it’s Holy ground! Michael (guide) shared history about Notre Dame and again we prayed for the people of France would be drawn to the person of Jesus Christ and that he is not a myth but he is the Way the Truth and the Life!

We went to the Deportation Memorial, but it was closed to us because they had diplomats coming.  We might be able to try again on Friday! Even though we didn’t get to go in, Michael shared of the time his grandfather took a stand again Adolf Hitler.  Because of his grandfather’s relationship with Christ, he descerned that Adolf was not speaking the truth when he was proclaiming a new and better way for the people of Germany!  Michael read us a part of one of Adolf’s speeches and you would have thought a Christian leader had written it.  However, Adolph said the things he knew that believers wanted to hear and tricked them.  Once they realized he had not told the truth much damage had already been done! We spent time in prayer again – for the people that visit the memorial, for the people of France’s eyes to be opened to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and for ourselves that we would be a people that would recognize truth and be willing to stand for truth even if we were the only ones standing.

Next … the Eiffel Tower!  Since Michael got us reserved tickets we got to bump ahead of a 2 hour wait line… and Michael then became the team hero … !  It was a magnificent view with nice weather to be able to see all of Paris! It’s really high! I’m just saying’!    A group of us walked down from the 2nd level to the bottom!  ( Helped work off that really cheesy pizza I had for lunch)

We had a couple of hours to shop and hang out in the park!

Dinner was at Chez Clement.  It’s decor was really cool!  Our room was the library! (by the way, the kids took the news of last’s night’s duck very well!)

After dinner we headed over to the American Church of Paris to going the Young Adult Tuesday night gathering!  It was an interesting night as they were finishing up a study of a teaching for a group of believers in Syria that a Pastor in the U.S. had turned into a Bible Study.    To our students it seemed that the members of this Tues night group  wanted to be able to just share their opinions and have them validated … rather than seeking the truth about each issue from the scriptures.    Mr. Tripple, Mr. Smith, Miss Ott and myself made sure that when we got back to the hotel, we gathered all the students together and Mr. Tripple led the discussion … what is truth and what is  not!  We were pleased that most had realized, something wasn’t quite right!  We talked about the fact that as they finish High School and head into the next chapter of their lives… they will be in discussions similar to this one tonight.  They might find themselves searching for a group of believers to connect with and the  only way to be able to discern if they are with a group that desires to know and follow ‘truth’ is to know the ‘truth’ for themselves – that leads us right to … we have to read and study God’s Word. (We’re not saying that this group doesn’t know the truth and that they don’t study scripture… but we were pleased that our students realized that what Damien had told us was true, many in the French culture just want to ‘discuss’ an issue not necessarily come to a complete or correct conclusion. As our students move forward we want them to recognize when a ‘door is being left open’ or when you’re not directed back to what God’s word says… might want to throw up a red flag somewhere!)

It was a great discussion and after we dismissed the kids to their rooms, we leaders looked back over the day … it was just as Michael had shared this morning … you have to know the Word to recognize what is from Creator God and what is not!

We counted it a privilege to be able to have been with our students tonight.  We were proud of them and pray that each one of them will remember today and learn from today and desire to grow in their relationship with Christ… The Way … The TRUTH … and the Life!

Tomorrow … The Louvre!  Can’t wait to see where God has us praying tomorrow and where our conversations take us!

S

Categories: Impact Trips!, Senior Impact Trip | 1 Comment

Promises made promises kept … In Paris and in our lives!

We took the metro and walked to the Sacre-Couere!  Pretty amazing!  It was built as a promise to God if He would save them from Germany taking over, they would build this great cathedral in His honor to remember Him and worship Him!  Part of the promise was kept … they built the Cathedral, but as you interact with the people and look at history … the promise for all of Paris to worship Him and remember His protection … that is a promise broken!

It didn’t take long for all of us to realize what Damien had shared about Paris is so true! It was beautiful inside … and the 300 steps to the dome (and I’m pretty sure it was a 1000 back down) gave an incredible view of Paris.  Still, none of that can compare to the matchless beauty and wonder of our God!

We had dinner at a Restaurant …  bread (of course) salad, baked duck, fried potatoes, baked tomato …. and for dessert …  mousse de chocolat  ….. YUM … I’m just saying!  Not sure the kids know it was duck … we’re going to see if they understood that … tomorrow …  !

When we returned to the hotel, Michael shared another story about his family and a promise made and a promise kept!  God miraculously saved his dad when he was 6 years old and his mom promised God she would teach him to love and serve the Lord.  She never told his dad, but prayed he would follow the Lord.  Ask your student about the rest of the story … how in the end (actually the beginning) his father had to choose between his faith in Christ and the communist party … He chose Christ and lost his job and seemingly everything he had studied and prepared for … however, he became a preacher behind the iron curtain, encouraging others to live their faith with a promise kept by  God … always being there for them.

Pray for our students … I wonder how many times they might have made a promise to God only after some time has gone by  … the promise is not only broken, but forgotten! Pray they will remember and renew a commitment to a promise made.

Pray that if the Holy Spirit moves upon their hearts whether in a private moment or standing in a line or looking at the beggars on the streets … wherever … they will yield their hearts to the giver of life!  and experience life … and if they make a first or a new promise to God … they will keep it!

Tomorrow, it’s the Eiffle Tower!  Notre Dame!  The Deportation Memorial … then tomorrow evening we meet with a group of young adults from the First American Church.

Pray our students will truly interact, encourage, receive and be a blessing as I know we will be blessed!

Bon Soir!

ginger and the team

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We Made It !

We have arrived in Paris! The train ride was smooth.

We have left our luggage at the hotel because not all our rooms are ready. We are exploring the plaza of Bastille.

Next we go to Sacre-Coeur… Sacred Heart…

We really enjoyed Champfleuri.  They were really appreciative of the work ourteam did for them. It saved them many hours /weeks of work that can now be used for ministry

When Damien shared his heart for France he implored us to pray, pray, pray for France.  He said again that so many believers are discouraged and have quit praying. Please add the camp and the church of France to you prayer list

Until I come to another free wi-fi !   : )

Ginger

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Saturday night and Sunday …

We ended the day yesterday taking a drive further up the mountain to get a look at the other side of the Alps! AMAZING!  Mr. Smith is a French driver now!   We took pictures and returned to the camp and had a time a worshipping our incredible Creator!  Allen, one of the directors shared about the French culture and how post Christianity has effected the younger generation.  It was fairly shocking to most of the group!  He shared and challenged us with the story of Jonah and the main thing he wanted us to see was that Jonah wanted grace for himself but didn’t want it extended to others.

Allen shared about how amazing it is that God has used all the things he’s learned, done and the talents he has and turned them into different ministries to shared the gospel and glorify God.  He challenged the students … allow God to do the same!

We had another fantastic dinner (the students are learning how to serve each other French style) and followed that with free time!  Hide and Seek, foosball and ping pong!

We ended the evening with a time of debriefing …

We encouraged the class to be authentic and allow the Holy Spirit really work in and through them.  So many times on trips, this class has really opened their hearts to receiving and responding to the Holy Spirit.      My prayer is that this trip will be no different.

Mr. Tripple shared with the students… a story of grace that God has been working in his life!  …. Grace

It seems to be a theme for us …. needing it …. giving it …  receiving it!

We went to the International Church this morning and enjoyed worship in English… then different speakers got up and shared how God has giving them different ways to fellowship with students to eventually be able to share Jesus Christ …  inviting them to a meal … teaching French for free …  another leader from the campus ministry shared about the story of cleansing of the lepers … only one that got cleansed turned around and thanked Jesus …  Jesus asked, “why is there only one of you”  the bottom line was … only one broke away from the law … and recognized the grace that was given to him.

Grace … again!

After church we went to an open market … then went to the park at the bottom of the Bastille Grenoble and had our sack lunch… it was a windy cold break!  We only went part way up the trail to see the Bastille, it was just getting too windy and beginning to sprinkle.

We tried to go to a French cafe’ but none were open so after a few tries, freezing in the rain, we gave up and came back to the camp and warmed up … taking naps and playing games!

Right now, we’re listening to Damien (he oversees the Bible institute) share the history of the camp and will have a little worship, dinner and then Michael (our JE guide) will share his story of his life behind the iron curtain!

Pray for continued health and that the wet and cold won’t make anyone sick and that the ones that came with colds… get well can completely get over them!

We are praying for Sara’s luggage to be brought to the camp tonight!

We leave in the morning by train for Paris!

Au Revoir

Ginger

Categories: Impact Trips!, Senior Impact Trip | 2 Comments

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