Monthly Archives: April 2013

Waking up … and heading home!

We will be leaving Bucharest at 2pm on KLM    Arriving in Amsterdam at 3:50pm    2 hours 50 min (time zone change)

Leaving Amsterdam at 4:50pm                               Arriving in Atlanta at 8:20 pm           9 hours 30 mins (extreme time zone change)

Leaving Atlanta at 9:57                                             Arriving into Austin at 11:33pm   Delta DL1837   (who cares about the time zone change)

I arrive with 14 students and one leader

I am leaving with ….

Everybody! 🙂

It has been a great trip –  one to be repeated! for sure!

Gerald and Kristen Ziemer and their family and their church family have been amazing to work with!  Their love and passion for the people of Romania – and their drive to bring others into the kingdom of God – inspiring!

Pray for your own child and for the whole class that they would guard what God has done in their hearts.  This is a time when many people will be called into a mission field vocation.  It doesn’t always look like what Gerald does.  There are so many ways someone can devote their life to glorifying God and making him known!

Thank you for this honor!

Mz G

(ginger lambert)

Notes from others –   I believe they have all written a thought or two –  we are boarding so I’ve got to hit publish and close up the computer  ….

Mr. Iverson    What a fantastic trip.  There is such a need for Christ in Romania.  My fondest memory is seeing the joy on the faces of the children at the “Kids Club” meetings as they were joining our group in singing “Give Me a J.”

Saranee: Romania was so much fun! Doing the kids ministry was such a blessing to do because the kids were so happy to see us play and minister to them. I have enjoyed making new Romanian friends.

Kim: Romania has been such a fascinating and fun trip! It is so eye-opening to see how other people live and relate to Christ. I loved being able to minister to the kids in a fun way and see how they responded with such pure and bold faith in God. It definitely encouraged and challenged me!

Deanna:  Seeing the people in Romania have such a fire for God definitely changed my relationship with Him.  I love seeing how we sing the exact same worship songs; the only difference was the language.  It really gave me a new perspective on everything.  For everyone in Romania:  Te iubesc!

Christian: I can genuinely say that this trip has changed my life. I thought I already knew so much about missions and about having a more global perspective, but I now know what it means to have a global perspective of being on mission for Christ. Seeing the passion of  all the people we have stayed with and met has showed me what it means to FOLLOW God. Man, I have so much more to say, but I’ll save all that for when we get back. Love you all.

Nick: Romania has changed my life, that might sound cliché, but it really has. This has been the best week of my life. For most people who go on mission trips, the goal is to bless those in the community however, on this trip I have been blessed and have learned so much more than I have brought. I cannot thank God enough for this experience, I will never forget anything I’ve learned on this trip, and I will be bringing this experience back to America for my everyday life.

Nathan: It is such a blessing to witness Mr. Gerald and Adi sacrifice their time and belongings to impact those who can barely sustain their own home. I think that because of this, I have much more to give than to take. I am so glad to have experienced God’s wonderful creation in Romania.

Barret:          From Romania

I’m surrounded by nature

God’s great creation

I had fun with friends

I am now extremely sore

It hurts when I laugh

Brandon: Romania has been a blast, the best trip by far. And that’s not just because this has been the only one that’s international. The fellowship with my class has been fantastic and my spiritual life has never been more real. The churches and kids we served were a ton of fun despite the language barrier and I sincerely hope I can return here some day soon.

Jordon: This has turned out to be nothing at all like what I had expected. And that is amazing. I have loved every part of this trip, even the long and sometimes painful bus trips and the 36+ hours without sleep has been way more than worth it. The ministry with children has made an unthinkable impact on my life that I never even began to expect, and I am coming out of this with a completely different view on missions and life in general. Seeing Gerald and Adi communicate with and interact with not only the kids but also the teenagers and the adults inside and outside of the church is just amazing to see. Everything they do they do with enthusiasm and completely for God. The Romanian people themselves have taught me far more than I thought I could have ever taught them, which I certainly didn’t expect. The people are all so joyous and fun loving and God-centered and even with their circumstances have such a happy outlook on life because of Christ and what Gerald and Adi have done fore them. This week has been one of the best of my life, and I have come to the point of trying to plan a revisit sometime in the future; that would be a dream!

Zach: This trip has been unbelievable. Everything, from the ministry to the adventures, has been fun and at the same time, life changing. I had the opportunity to work with a missionary named Gerald and a pastor named Adi, and through this, I have grown more than I could have even imagined. They have helped me to see a new way to look at life. I have always tried to live my life well and remember Christ in what I do, but that falls far short of what God wants with my life. Now I truly understand what it means for Christ to live through me. I can not wait to come back!

I believe God has led us here so that we can, not only be thankful for what we have, but to understand what is truly important. The things that we need are much more humble than our desires. All we need is his guidance, and plenty of water.


I cannot begin to describe what this trip has done for me. God has showed me so much in such a short amount of time. I am extremely excited to see the changes we have made play out in our lives when we get back and I know for a fact that one way or another I will be back in Romania serving and glorifying the Lord with Gerald and his family. God is good and I am so blessed that I was able to come one this trip with my amazing peers.


Now I’m not one for writing, but I could go on for page after page about how this trip has changed me. I’ll try to keep it brief – The most spiritually changing moment of this trip was seeing the children in the impoverished villages worship and praise God with absolute abandon. They praised His name even though they had next to no earthly possessions. This has been an inspiration for me to start worshipping God with all my heart. The second most memorable part of this trip is bonding with the children. Even though there was a language barrier, we still played catch, still played volleyball, still made new relationships. This children and the memories I have made with them will be forever in my mind, and all the other things I have learned this past week have changed me for the better. I hope I get to come back soon.


I understand why these trips are called IMPACT trips. This week I have seen God work in so many ways and impact the community, the villagers, my class and myself. My heart has been more aware of the love of God and how He uses others for His glory. I have seen his power in his creation when I look at the gigantic mountains, running streams, and green valleys. Then I think if God created these great things and takes joy in them how much more does he love us, his creation, and designed us for greatness. I have seen so much joy in the people here and their passion to follow Christ and worship Him is truly inspiring and also convicting to me. It challenges me to not get caught up in the way we worship God like lights, genre, stage, etc. but to realize to main goal and focus is a connection with Him. This is a trip I will remember the rest of my life and I hope to come back to Romania in the future.


Categories: Impact Trips! | 1 Comment

Over the suspension bridge and through the woods……

Today was a fun day!  On the way to Bran Castle in Transylvania (tourist name is Dracula’s castle).  We stopped a few times for ‘tourists’  photo ops…  walking across a suspension bridge, the largest natural earthen damn and a cemetery with an open crypt with bones ‘n skulls, (remains of WWI heroes).

The castle was very interesting, some artifacts from Romania’s Queen Mary and Princess Ileana and others.  Afterwards the students had so much fun bartering for ‘local’ (well mostly) goods to bring home.  Then off to Basov to walk around and then our hike through the woods to a waterfall!  It was really a fun day!  Gerald and Adi really gave up their day for our team to enjoy a different view of Romania!  Tourist stops, old town and God’s creation!

It has been an amazing trip!  I have been asking the students to pray about giving $ to Gerald and Adi for all they have done for us this week!  We came to serve them but seriously… they have done nothing but serve us!  It’s been a great time!  It is going to be such great fun to bless them in the morning during our debrief!

We’ve been invited back!  We want to come back! soon!

Tomorrow we will get up… debrief … bless … eat … head to the airport … see you soon!

Warning – I’m sure they will be ready to come home about Atlanta time, but right now, if I were to tell them we get to stay 3 more days… they would be so excited!

They have served hard, worked hard, played hard, ate a lot  – we’re coming home tired, with sore muscles, with some allergies, with some banged up chins, ankles and knees … but hey … who ever said serving Jesus was without its fun and bumps along the way!



Categories: Impact Trips! | Leave a comment

Goin’ Muddin’ in Romania!

We loaded up to head out for two days of sight-seeing and experiencing more Romanian culture. As soon as Gerald got in to the van he turned to the kids and said, “Everybody out, we forgot something! You need to try to walk on water!”  What?  We headed to the lake and the kids took turns walking in the hamster ball – or tried to walk in the hamster ball on the small lake.  We also rode the zip line across the lake – (yes Mrs. Hensley, I did zip line – and did it safely )  It was a blast!

Then we headed to their Camp Eli (where they have summer camp for children from the orphanage). We stopped along the way and climbed small mountains – or large hills, explored the muddy volcanoes and the giant crevices! 

Their Camp is amazing and the kids enjoyed an intense game of soccer and we ended the evening with a camp fire!

Debriefing happened right after dinner…My heart truly has been so blessed by these students!

One after one they talked about the awesomeness of God – and experiencing it on the hikes and the exploration. 

I am having to borrow a computer to get this blog out…hopefully tomorrow night I’ll be able to get online and  have time to write more…

Pray for continued safety (we have had a few bumps and bruises from the games but all is well) and we’ll see you soon.

If you don’t hear from me until we’re in the airport… it’s because it is extremely difficult to get wifi or get online.



Categories: Impact Trips! | Leave a comment

Hope – Speranța – Last day of Kids Klub

Another great day in Romania! News flash – the kids don’t want to come home….


I know, we have to stay on schedule, but it was really wonderful to  me that the student were sad about it being the last day of ministry! Some thought we were going to Camp Eli tomorrow for more ministry but we aren’t… it’s just a stopping point heading to Castle Bran on Wednesday!

Since it’s our last night here we are skipping the debriefing and will have a long one tomorrow night! The students are having one last game night with the youth!

David Hannah (my Impact Intern) asked to write the blog …

Today was a mixture of familiarity and new experiences.

The day started with a visit to Bucharest Christian Academy, where the children of our guide, Gerald, attend. We went there to visit with the senior class. All the students spoke English and it was a welcome break from the language barrier we have been struggling through for the last few day. We talked with the graduating class of only 6 students!

After just a few minutes of conversation, we quickly realized that we shared more in common with these students than we initially thought we would. We took the exact same Financial Peace course with Dave Ramsey (we both slept through most of it). We both like to hang out at the mall; we both enjoy playing pool.

And so, after a few days of ”Culture Shock,” we found a group who were exactly like us and were able to take a break from the stress of being in a foreign country.

But after lunch, we went to Valea Argovei to do our final ministry. This was the most culturally impacting village of our visit. Most of the home were made of mud bricks. The church there was just a single room, about the size of your average dining room. But that did not deter any of the believers in that village; there were 24 believers crammed into that tiny room, and they all praised and worshiped the Lord with all their hearts!

Most of the villagers had worn-out, dirty and tattered clothing; they smelled a bit because they could not afford to bathe regularly, yet our students loved on and played with these children as if they were no different than us. And truly, they weren’t. The only thing that separates us from these believers is where we live. We believe in the same God. We play the same games. And the students today understood this.

I wish we were debriefing tonight, because I can hardly wait to hear how God has revealed Himself to the class, even in the midst of absolute poverty. But I can say with absolute certainty that this day has forever changed who we are as a class, and enhanced our individual relationship with God.


We head to the camp in the morning, stopping off for lunch and a trip to the muddy volcanoes, then on to the camp.  It will be a day of sightseeing and relaxing and enjoying the mountains!

I agree with David. I wish we were debriefing tonight but the final fellowship with our Romanian co-workers was important. It has been an amazing time working with the Ziemer family and their church Hope-Speranța.

mrs. g

Categories: Impact Trips! | Leave a comment

Pace – How beautiful on the mountain are the feet of those that bring good news… that proclaim peace!

Sunday in Romania –

When we entered the building everyone would stick their hand out – grab yours and say Pace   (sounds like paunch)   means Peace .

We were asked to come up front, I was asked to share briefly why we were there.  I explained who we were and that the introduction to Pace reminded me of Isaiah 52:.  How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news who proclaims peace.  We were honored to be there and  experience   that peace together with our Romanian brothers and sisters in Christ.   We had been asked to sing a song in the morning service so we chose He is Mighty to Save!  (We never had a chance to practice with the worship leader, but it worked)  Then James gave a brief 5 minute encouragement from the word on Proverbs 3:5-6.   It was a morning filled with special things, Sunday school class quoting scripture, singing 2 special songs, a quartet and then a guest speaker. The worship was amazing and the message was good (for those that could hear an interpreter).

After the service we split into two teams.  Gerald (missionary) told me that the worship leader wanted me (ginger) to bring two students and go with him to the small church service he leads after the morning service.  Kristen ( missionary’s wife) asked me if I thought my students would be able to do the kids club without me.  No problemo!  They are so talented and they are taking this ministry time seriously, and they know what they are doing and Mr. Iverson was going to be with them.

Team Chicken Coup-  So Zach, Taylor myself and our guide Ed had lunch in the home of Audi and Nikki, then Nikki stayed with her children and we all went to the small church.  It had been a chicken coup! No joke!  and they closed it in and made a small church that holds 20-25 people (squished).  Zach and Taylor and I rode with the interpreter (the worship leaders sister-in-law). When we got there… we saw they were right!  It was the smallest church I believe I’ve ever seen.  But the big presence of God was there.  It was a sweet time of worship, sharing testimonies and hearing the Word of God.  Afterwards Audi (worship pastor) shared his vision for an area that has 5,000 villages that have no evangelical church.  He wept. We were humbled by his passion and were honored to be able to pray for him and the vision God had given him!  Afterwards we drove back to Audi’s home and Nikki had prepared snacks (brownies, chips and biscotti and hot tea!  Audi entertained us with his accordion, his children sang and then we just visited for 4 hours until the other team returned.  It was a precious time together with brothers and sister in the Lord from two different countries.

Team Kids Klub – The rest of the team stayed at Gerald’s home and had lunch and then headed out to another village to do another kids klub.   Mr Iverson was beaming as he bragged on how well they did.  The students were excited at how intreating this group of children were.  Another 16 hands were raised saying they wanted to have hearts to obey God and to trust him with the plan he has for their life!   I can’t tell you how proud I am of all of these students!  They are sad that tomorrow is the last day of ministry!  They don’t want to come home!  Most of the team is falling in love with Romania!  God is meeting our students in individual specific ways.

Thank you for your prayers… don’t stop!

Tomorrow we go to the Christian school where the Ziemer’s children go to school.  We are going to meet with their senior class and share and visit!  Then after lunch and a walk through an open market.  We go do our last kids club!

The debriefing was great… some comments

I make God too small – as though he is only revolved around my life, the American culture – there are other cultures out there – I know it but I don’t .. when we were all praying  – listening to other people praying  – I realized God understand all of it –  I know that God understand me – I forget that he understand everybody –  it made me see how big he is and how small we are

Today in the village, you could see how borderline impoverished the people were, yet they were contact with who they were and what they had.  They have to trust God on a daily basis just for their basic needs.  We live and don’t even think about those things.

We complain about our jobs, or things that don’t even really matter … even their small children are more responsible than most of us.  We couldn’t even being to deal with what they deal with.

The kids today at kids club were so passionate. It was so fun!  it really touched me how they responded to everything.

We walked around the village with Crystal (church leaders) and invited kids to the ministry. It was amazing to see how she knew the people, they knew her – she was telling them to come to the church, these guests are going to do something fun for you!  It worked because it was all about relationship having a with them.

All in all – it’s been an amazing trip!

I’ve had some really special times just sharing about their future with a few of the students, please pray that God continues to give me opportunities to encourage them to ‘follow Him’  ‘live it loud and strong’   Because …  they are blessed and highly flavored … you know… when they love Him ….    they are the salt of the earth!

mz g

Categories: Impact Trips! | Leave a comment

Language is not a barrier – 16 little hands raised – Day 2 in Romania

What a fun filled, ministry packed day!  We had two opportunities to show our Texas style of Bible stories and crafts and songs!  The first Kids Klub ministry time had 70+ children –  12 little hands raised saying they wanted to have hearts to love, serve and obey God.  The second Kids Klub time had 20+ children – 6 little hands raised!  It makes your heart want to jump out of your chest when you realize God allowed you to be a part of their journey to eternity with him.

The class had prepared 2 skits Western style, songs, the David and Goliath story from scripture, coloring, games and the bracelet of courage!

Moments shared from debriefing tonight!

  • Seeing how the children would respond to Gerald and especially when he leads the children’s the worship and really how the children respond to everything with their whole heart – challenged me to want to do the same thing, really give God my whole heart and not be worried about what friends or anybody else things
  • Being able to really connect with the children – we can hardly say anything in Romanian and it wasn’t a barrier – we and the children pushed through and it was amazing
  • I love seeing this culture and experiencing it!
  • Seeing how Gerald and his family have given it up for these Romanian people they love,
  • I know we weren’t supposed to look around when the call for salvation happened, but I did and it was cool that the kids were actually raising their hands for salvation … that and talking to the turkeys  (there were turkeys running around in the road, Barret would gobble like a turkey and the turkeys would gobble back at them… sooooo  funny!)

We have been asked as a team to sing a song in their morning worship service  and then James is going to give a brief word of encouragement.  In the afternoon, the students will again do our ‘Texas themed ministry time’ and then Audi, one of our drivers has asked if I would to go his afternoon church ministry and share.  I’ve asked Zach and Taylor to go with me – please pray for them – I know they will do well and believe God really wants to use them to encourage the small Romania group AND to encourage Zach and Taylor – they can make a difference in someone else’s life!

It is such an honor to be here with these students –  for this morning’s devotional I challenged the students with some points from a new book I’m reading by David Platt!  I challenge you parents to read the same book.  As they head off to college – I pray that they will realize a relationship with Jesus is not about ‘what do I have to let go of, or not do anymore … but instead, who is it that I can cling to?  It’s not about a list of don’ts but rather an adventure with God who summoning us to lose our lives in order to live in Christ!

All of the students have already asked for a repeat trip back – an alumni trip to come to Romania!  Next year!  : ) !    I have to say… I’d be voting a resounding YES to that!  The students have really connected with the missionary family and the children!

Honored, Blessed and Blown Away!


‘be blessed and highly flavored, you are the salt of the earth!



Categories: Impact Trips! | 2 Comments

Making New Friends in Romania

We arrived here safely this morning, and had the easiest entry into a country through customs that I’ve ever had…  that was nice!

All our luggage made the trip!  We went to the palace that was built under communist rule …  ridiculously large – we only went through 2% of it.

Had our first Turkish Kabob Wrap thingy –   Delish!

The hotel where we are staying is very nice!  After we unpacked our luggage in our rooms we headed over to the church we are partnering with and the students had about 2.5 hours fellowship with their HS and young adults – getting to know one another – fellowship, tacky sack and basketball.  It really was a fun time!

We are going to sleep in tomorrow!  Then head to the church at 11:00am ready to start our first ‘Texas Style’ children’s ministry! We’re really excited!

Pray for good rest and that we will really be able to connect with the kids tomorrow.  We want to be a blessing to the Ziemer family and the children of Romania that God allows us to connect with.

Good night!

mrs. g



Categories: Impact Trips! | Leave a comment

Great Endings Can Make Great Beginnings!

Great endings can make great beginnings!

It’s always sad to come to the last day – but the last debrief can be the beginning of something new in a student, in a small groups’ relationships and in the class dynamics as a whole.  Tonight as we reflected on the day it was obvious God was at work.  Our work day got canceled because of the rain so a small team of us went and did a cold call on the Baptist Village Nursing Home. We shared what we’d like to do and they allowed us to come back in the afternoon and join their Wednesday afternoon service.  We joined the residents in singing hymns and then were invited to go to the Alzheimer’s unit and sing there as well.  Of course we accepted.  As we walked over to the second unit, the man that leads the worship for the service said, “I’ll tell you how God works.  This morning I felt God tell me to leave my guitar at home.  I’ve brought it each week for 15 years. I have learned to trust and obey God. It didn’t make any sense but I knew God said to leave it at home.  I wondered what we would do then your group showed up with a guitar and a piano player.”  He then quoted “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28)  “It works doesn’t it?”

Yes it does!

It’s been a great week.   The students were amazing tonight at New Life Community Church. Many of the students shared tonight that it really was a God moment for them when they realized they really could impact the young people at the church. Those that worked with the children did an incredible job as well.  This year the children that showed up for the evening did not want to leave at the end.  They were enjoying talking and visiting with their new friends from Summit!  We were asked to pray about making the ministry at the church a 2 night outreach next year.  That’s exciting to me!

Because of the rain, we needed to find ‘other things’ to fill the day and we happened upon the Hugo Train Depot Museum.  It was amazing and the knowledge of the two men running it made it even better.  (And it was free….. nice!)

We took cards of thanks to the Los Compadres (where we ate last night)  restaurant owner and workers.  The food is great but the service is incredible.  They made such an impression that Taylor and James got cards and had everyone sign them and we dropped them off.  It was such a blessing to them.  Taylor and James led the team by example that this was another way to be a blessing to others.

The devotionals that James and Taylor prepared on the life and battle of Gideon has been perfect.  Our small group times have given us the leaders the opportunity to connect with our team at a personal level. Gideon’s life is such an example of ‘uncontrolled’ obedience – Obeying God without trying to still control certain aspects of your situation or life. Uncontrolled obedience is about giving over all control – relinquishing your ‘rights’ and living wholeheartedly for our Living Savior, Jesus Christ!

A HUGE thank you to Joanna Knighten, Patrick Chapman, Ed Wilson, James Mata and Taylor Metz!  What an incredible team of leaders!

I asked our student leaders to share their own thoughts!



Sad that it’s the last day in Hugo, I’ve really been blessed to be able to spend time with such an amazing group of students, they have a lot ahead of them. All week we’ve been working on having uncontrolled obedience like Gideon and just really letting go of the control we have and letting God work through us and help us accomplish big things. We have and are still learning how to have absolute obedience and do what God asks us, no matter how impossible it seems. If Gideon can defeat countless Midianites with only 300 men and some jars, trumpets, and torches then we can do anything as long as we have God there with us. It’s been fun and I can’t wait to see what else God has in store, really hoping for another amazing trip like this.



I cannot begin to describe how special this trip has been for me. God allowed me to use my gifts and heart to serve him by being a leader to fellow students. There has been numerous times on this trip that God has spoken through me to minister to the hearts of the 10th grade and it is a joy that is hard to contain. I have laughed and smiled constantly this week and realize I’m doing it because I am fulfilling God’s plan for my life. Lately I have been having a tugging on my heart that God wants me to enter the field of Ministry. I was unsure though because I did not feel like I was hearing a loud enough voice from God saying “Yes this is what I have created you for”. But there have been so many instances for me on this trip that I clearly heard God’s plan for me to be a pastor and minister to the broken hearted. From devotions that were discussed to team activities that were put on and even to reaching into the lives of children and youth at the church services. These times have been clear examples that I should follow God’s plan for my life. I have seen God work in various ways in the hearts of students and allowed them to have a more open heart to Christ and to grow in their relationship with Him. I will remember this trip for a very long time and see how this was a turning point in my life spiritually and career wise. I’ve learned that we all have struggles and the only way to get over the struggles is to unite with followers of Christ and let God be the number one focus in our lives. It has been an honor to be selected as a student leader on this impact trip and I have had such a fun time bonding with the 10th graders and learning more about their lives. I am very much looking forward to seeing what incredible plans that God has in store for these sophomores in the coming years.

Back to me J   Well, it’s pretty amazing to think we have student leaders that are great examples for the younger classes and had such a desire to serve them these past 5 days!

Thank you parents for allowing us to partner with you…  I think if you were able to see first hand what has transpired this week you would truly say  “Our vision is to graduate leaders equipped, enriched, and empowered to IMPACT THE WORLD for Jesus Christ”

Mrs. G


Our plans are to leave about 9:30 tomorrow!  We’ll be checking in with Summit as we pull out and an email will be sent out with our ‘tentative’ heading home schedule!  We have to make a stop in Waco and meet up with the Summit baseball team and hand of 3-4 players to them!  Please continue to watch your emails tomorrow! 


“be blessed and highly flavored … you are the salt of the earth”  ~ mz g

Categories: Impact Trips! | Leave a comment

Being Aware!

I asked Mrs. Knighten to help me with the blog tonight! So… from her pen:

Being aware!

Today everyone was given someone else’s name on the team. Our objective was to be ‘aware’ of them to share what we observed and to bless them.  It is such an amazing exercise to do!

We had an great time working on the house. Many conquered fears by working together. Despite a plethora of volunteers willing to brave the heights, students terrified of heights chose to go up ladders, trusting that their classmates at the bottom would keep them steady in the wind. We also got to meet the woman whose house we were working on, which was neat for a lot of the kids, as it gave them a clearer awareness of why we were doing what we were doing.

We left the house to head back to the cabins, but stopped off at MasterWorks , a shop where they make handmade dulcimers. What a sight! They gave us a tour, and several of our very musical students gave it a whirl; Mrs. G even managed “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” It was a cool reminder that if we allow ourselves to be aware of our surroundings and to take a chance, even at  a little shop on the side of the highway, God can use us to encourage and bless others.

After a trip to Los Compadres, a fantastic little Mexican restaurant with the brilliant invention of strawberry sopapillas (Oh. My. Word.) and the chance to share the school’s story and God’s love with the owners, we settled down to work with our groups for tomorrow night’s ministry. I can’t wait. Our kids are so, so incredibly talented, and it’s been a blessing to watch them work together to plan the evening. If also has been neat to watch them be aware of their strengths and weaknesses and in turn encouraging and supporting each other.

We then settled down to debrief. James challenged the students to identify a fun or funny moment from the trip, a God moment, and then share about the person of whom we were to be aware. It was both intensely hilarious and moving. Some highlights:

Funny moments:

Liz Davidson shared her story of trying to jump through one of the window openings…and not quite making it.

Elisha Schnücker enjoyed Brandon Lee’s and Mr. Chapman’s blues improvisation in the back of the van.

Several students mentioned enjoying getting to hijack Jason’s camera, much to Jason’s delight.

Katelyn Foxworth loved the pizza. J

God moments:

Many students mentioned that they really saw God working in the way they were able to work together today and in the safety that we experience.

Specifically, Sarah Allen noted how she was able to work with people she hadn’t even made eye contact with before, and how it was neat to see everyone talking with everyone.

Cheyenne Tillman saw God working through her classmates being selfless in helping each other.

Jordan Shaw said she saw God work even in the name she was assigned for the day, as she was thrilled to be assigned Mr. Chapman since she had just recently gotten to know him.

Awareness moments:

Jocelyn Payne identified Dawson MacLeod’s sacrificial heart, in that he was willing to let other people do what he was doing if they wanted to and in that he was willing to take the jobs that everyone else didn’t want or were too scared to do.

Brandon Lee talked about Cheyenne’s cheerfulness and encouragement, and how she always made him smile.

Ally Hubbard talked about Jason Mun’s willingness to talk with anyone and his willingness to do whatever he could to help everyone else.

Grace Styron admired Chandler Wilson’s dedication to completing his work well.

Please pray for us tomorrow as we continue to serve. We especially would like your prayers in that we need good weather for tomorrow night, as we would like to have a good group of kids there for our ministry.


Joanna Knighten


It’s truly been an amazingly full day!  Thanks Joanna for staying up late with me and writing your thoughts for the day!




Categories: Impact Trips! | 3 Comments

Rocks in the Lake!

    • The wind REALLY does sweep across the plain!

    Today’s devotional was about the idols we have in our lives.  James and Taylor a rock for each person to take one and then write on them  the idols in their own lives.  We then carried the rocks around in our pockets all day until the evening devotional.  During our devotional time – we discussed different idols people had and how do we overcome them? We all went outside and threw our rock into the lake ‘representing the desire’ to ask God to help us remove those idols and to commit to allowing God to be first in our lives.  We realize that it’s not by our power that we overcome sin, but by God’s power.  After that exercise, we broke into our small groups and confessed to each other the idols in our lives or the areas where we needed to change and put God first:

    1. We need a personal relationship with the living God,
    2. The Word of God,
    3. The power of the Holy Spirit
    4. Prayer

    I encourage you to do the same exercise.  Read Judges 6 along with us.  Allow God to show you things you have forgotten or have never noticed before in that scripture.  It’s an amazing story of how God used the weakest to conquer the mightiest, showing Gideon and us… it’s not about us… it’s about our faith in a living God who is more than able to conquer the challenges in our lives, heal the brokenness and empower each of us to live up to our God given potential.

    We worked in Durant, OK   today caulking and painting a ‘Little Dixie’ self-help house.  The kids were such hard workers. As usual, the 10th grade class of Summit ‘shined’! We’ll return tomorrow and finish caulking and painting.  Please pray for good weather so we can finish the project.

    Today as we returned to the lake cabins, we stopped off at a tourist stop – the Hugo cemetery.  For real!  It has famous people (in the rodeo world) buried there but even more interesting is the circus people section.

    We finished the night watching the final four game –  Congrats to Louisville!  It was a divided house – with popcorn, pizza rolls, oreos and guitar playing – we ended with a great time of fellowship and team bonding.

    Please continue to pray for

    • the students to desire to spend time in God’s word
    • safety as we travel to and from the job site
    • good weather
    • team unity
    • Our hearts to be filled up by the Holy Spirit so we overcome our personal temptations and glorify God in all we do!

    Till tomorrow





Categories: Impact Trips! | Leave a comment

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: