Monthly Archives: March 2013

Prayer Walking…Alligator Bites…Park Ministry…Words of Blessing

Can’t believe we’ll be heading home tomorrow!

What a packed day we had today.  The day was filled with amazing opportunities to learn, respond and bless.  (not to mention have fun)

We started off going to YWAM’s crisis pregnancy center and learned about their ministr y there and the incredible testimonies of rescue that God has allowed them to be a part of!  It is sitting right beside an abortion clinic.  We walked the side walk silently praying asking God to remove the clinic and save the young girls and the babies and to YWAM’s efforts.

We then went back to Jackson Square and down to the French Market, enjoying lunch in the open air being serenaded by a local band… burgers…shrimp…gumbo…alligator bites… You get the picture!  Watching some of the students learn to ‘bargain’ in the French Market for their treasures was a lot of fun!

After a fun ride back to the base by way of the ferry (with the vans) we headed to the projects ready to play and minister. The students did a great job playing, building relationships and then they sang songs, performed a skit about the lost toy ( Parable of the Lost Lamb)  then we had the opportunity to pray with the children.

Debriefing was really great.  Both ministry times really touched the hearts of everyone.  I think Mr. Miller really expressed it well when he said he thought it was amazing to see our teenagers prayer walking around the clinic.  There is a tall fence between the abortion clinic and YWAM’s clinic.  As we made our two rounds and came back to the YWAM side each student put their hands on the board fence and began to pray. Right on the other side of the fence was a young man sitting in his car with his hoodie pulled over his head.  If you were standing at the end of the fence this is what you would see.  The young man trying to be invisible on the left in his car with his music blaring while whoever he was with was inside making life altering decisions.  On the right of the fence you would see 19 high school students with their hands extended, praying for that young man and everyone else in the building.  Then you fast forward to the end of the day.  We met many children whose lives were very difficult.  At risk. Yet their mothers decided to give them a chance at life.  Some of their prayer requests would break your heart BUT they were given a chance…   We pray God’s grace and mercy on all those kids we met today and that they would fulfill the purpose for which they were created.

Our evening time of debriefing and blessing was amazing!  The kids did a great job.  We were so impressed with them.  Philippians 4: 8-9  is my prayer for them as they continue to grow and united as a class. “And now, dear brothers and sisters, on final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.  Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me – everything you heard from me and saw me doing.  Then the God of peace will be with you.

We hope to be home around 4pm tomorrow… I’ll be checking in with the school!  As soon as we are about 30 minutes out the students will be calling.  Please be waiting on us!  Our leaders will have been driving a long time and are anxious to be home with their own families!

I really have so much more to write, however – I need to get up in just a few hours. J    (I was actually already in bed and realized it had been such a great evening… I hadn’t written the blog yet)

See you tomorrow

Be blessed and highly flavored – You are the salt of the earth  ~ Mz G

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Every Moment Counts

What a day!   I’m going to have one of our student leaders, David Hannah share! 

The day stated out with the devastation tour. In the morning,  YWAM came to the house and showed a video that showcased the devastation and ruin of Katrina. Although the images in the video were convicting, many of the students did not fully grasp the magnitude of the destruction caused by The Storm.

                Immediately after that, we all got into the vans and drove to the  9th Ward – a particularly poor region of New Orleans that was virtually wiped out when the levee failed. From the first moment the students saw the ruin, they were immediately affected. As we drove the streets, we saw houses that were still in shambles. We saw empty lots pervaded with weeds where houses once stood. We saw “houses” that were simply foundations.

                We found a place to park and walked on to an empty lot where our tour guide, John, told us about the 9th Ward. Historically, generations of families would live and die in the same house. Someone’s great grandfather would have bought a house where his children and their children and their children would have lived. It was a common sight for three generations to live under the same roof. John also said that the 9th Ward had developed its own micro community. Small businesses emerged in the residential area giving the residents no reason to leave the area. Often people would live their entire lives in the 9th Ward without ever leaving its borders.

                At one point John told the group that the only houses that survived the flood the few that were built on brick foundations. Those that were built on cinderblock foundation floated away. During the debrief, Mr. Miller shared that he moved by the tour. We were driving on used beaten down streets  with no houses .  There used to be house there and now there is grass and weeds. The ones with brick and foundation were still there. The houses that were built on cinder blocks and were washed away from the storm give us a modern representation of the parable of the wise man who build his house on the rock and the foolish man who built his house on sand.

                After the tour, the students returned to the YWAM house to process what they had just experienced.  After a while we began cooking the hot dogs to hand out to the homeless. Before we left, we took the time to pray for the food – we wanted it to be an effective way to minister to the homeless under the bridge. It worked.

                Upon arriving, we broke up into small groups to hand out the food and bottled water. The goal was to engage them in conversation after giving them the supplies. Although it would have been perfectly understandable for the student to be hesitant and fearful of talking to a stranger whose lives are a completely different lifestyle, they took to it like a fish to water. The students showed boldness and courage and were able to converse with some of the people under the bridge.

                Some of the stories shared during the debrief include:

  • Somebody accidently dropped a pamphlet while handing out supplies and another group happened to walk by and pick it up. Immediately after that, they encountered their first homeless person who did not believe in God. When they offered to pray for him, he said, “I’d prefer if you didn’t. I’m not ready to get right yet. I – I would just rather not.” But when the students turned to leave, the man noticed the pamphlet and asked to see it. After thumbing though it, he decided to keep it to read later. The students saw this as a glimmer of hope for the homeless man and have been actively praying that the Lord will use that information in the pamphlet to help bring that man to Him.
  • Talking to the homeless, it amazed me that we have similar problems – either I’d gone through or I know people who have gone through the same thing. They just need to tell their story – how they got through it – it was important to them to tell others about it – and some of them really have a relationship with God and are trying to grow in their relationship just like us
  • We all were made for fellowship.  Some we met had some fellowship going on  –  sometimes not healthy but it was fellowship –  it shows how relational we are – being positive with one another –  one word can tear down or build up –  your acts of kindness can be  the most meaningful thing   
  • The homeless, they have nothing and they have faith –  we having everything  and we lose our faith

DAVID

 

We ended the evening’s debrief praying over what we saw and who we met! Please pray for us as we are still processing what we experienced today!  Every moment counts!. Life can change drastically in a moment. Relationships are important And the most important relationship of all – ours with Jesus – can help us … when disaster strikes and him in us can make every moment count!

Tomorrow we go and prayer walk the crisis pregnancy and hear some great stories of rescue!  Then we’ll go to the French market for food and souvenirs. In the afternoon we’ll do one more practice run through for our ministry with the children in the government housing that YWAM works with all the time! 

Everyone on the team drew a name today of someone else.  They are keeping that name a secret and asking God to let them see that person through His eyes.  Tomorrow we’ll tell whose name we drew and then encourage and bless them.  Pray for that time of blessing and our last debriefing.  It has been a really good trip watching the students not only serve but bond as a class. 

Thank for your prayers

Ginger

 

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Renew – to make like new – to bring restoration – N O L A

1 : to make like new : restore to freshness, vigor, or perfection <as we renew our strength in sleep>

2 : to make new spiritually : regenerate

3 a   : to restore to existence : revive

b   : to make extensive changes in : rebuild

 

Today we had the opportunity to work at 2 different elementary schools.

When you walked around both campuses there were inspiring quotes everywhere – just as an example.

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.      Nelson Mandela

Never, never, never give up.    Winston  Churchill

If  there is no struggle, there is no progress.   Frederick  Douglass

I had asked the students to pray for the campuses and the teachers and students as they were serving!   This is another way to ‘prayer walk’!  Praying on site with insight.  Jeremiah 29:11 really comes in to play when you see lives being changed and hope restored!

So what did we do?  We raked, swept, cleaned, picked up trash, delivered paper, participated in elementary P.E. and ran basketball drills with middle school students.  It was a fun day.  I love watching our students serve others, but more than that I love it.  I also love it when I get the opportunity to talk to others about why we are here.   I had the opportunity to talk with an administrator and a PE teacher about Summit students and in particular what Impact is.

When Michael the PE teacher first approached me his hand was extended and he said, “I’m Michael and I wanted to meet you and tell you how much I love seeing young people serve!  Where are you from?”   I’ll fast forward – he got the whole Impact picture in probably the briefest commentary I’ve ever done!  Then he said, “Sister, you are talking my language! That is my same belief, we were made to serve others and we both serve the same Big Guy!”  Then he invited us to join in his PE classes!  F U N ! ! !

When we debrief in the evening, each student shares two things – one fun thing of the day – one meaningful thing. Here are some of the responses

Fun times:

As we debriefed it was almost unanimous one of the most the ‘fun’ parts of the day was when we were able to play with the little kids.

Meaningful times:

  • Seeing how little they have, how much we have.
  • How much fun it is to bring joy to others.
  • How different it is – our school – the things we have –  we have books, we throw them away when we’re done –  they can’t afford books and copy one book for each student
  • Seeing some of the houses in their neighborhoods not redone after Katrina – some completely remodeled – the children live with seeing that all the time –  so to see the schools challenging them  to do well in school and to go to college –
  • We have so much, they have so little
  • As we toured last night – we learned how New Orleans was built on mistrust, built by rejects of other societies, we saw a guy throw up on the ferry –  a group of young people that were inebriated  – you got the feeling, what’s so different about New Orleans today?  The city  still is so lost, but today we got to see restoration – and it was encouraging to see it and to be a part of it! There is hope for New Orleans to change.

It was an impactful day.  As we look at the definition of renew, it’s pretty exciting that God is allowing us, Summit Christian Academy to be a part of the renewing He is doing here.   May he change our hearts as he brings spiritual renewal.  May we allow him to make extensive changes in us.  Create in us a clean heart o God and ‘renew’ a right spirit in us!  Psalm 51:10

Tomorrow we go on the devastation tour – then we feed the homeless

We are working on the skit and the songs for our Wednesday afternoon with the children in the projects.  The kids are pretty pumped about that now after having spent some time playing with the children at the school.

Thank you for your prayers.

Pray for unity, safety, God to work in us as he works through us.

 

Ginger

 

 

 

 

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