Impact Trips!

When a group of young people – show up – encounter – impact –

Done … But Days Away From the Next Adventure!

It is hard to believe today was the last full day of our trip.

I believe most of us are going to miss Haarlem the most. During our last debrief Adam shared how he liked how peaceful Haarlem seemed and how much he enjoyed being here.  So different from London. The whole class agreed, I think, and has really enjoyed Haarlem and the quiet easy going charm around the central town square. The shops, the relaxed atmosphere around every meal, the bicycles.  Ohhh the bicycles! We had to learn to stay off the bicycle right of ways, but oh I think we shall miss the bicycles! Some tried sushi for the first time; some will never try it again. We’re hungry for chips and queso, iced tea, real crispy bacon, root beer, oatmeal, good coffee, cereal,  colas or bottled water that don’t cost as much as a meal.

This morning most of the class got up and headed into town two hours earlier for one last morning of shopping.  Then we all met at the train station to head back into Amsterdam for an afternoon of artistic culture. Today was Rijksmuseum (think Rembrandt) and Vincent Van Gogh Museum day!  The Rembrandt painting Night Watch is amazing in detail but I had no idea it was 12.41 feet wide x 11.5 feet tall.  Seriously how do you keep perspective on a painting that large!  Johannes Vermeer’s Milkmaid reminded me of the first time I saw the Mona Lisa. Had no idea it was that small!

It was so sweet to hear Kira talk about how she wanted to cry the whole time she was walking around the Van Gogh Museum.  It was a dream of hers to be able to see his work first hand.

I pray we will never forget the things we saw and the experiences we shared.  We laughed sometimes until we could hardly breathe. We shared extremely sobering moments! We were challenged by the lives of those whose heroic exploits saved many and by those whose lives were extinguished because of their lineage. I also pray that Corrie’s and Anne’s stories will become so interwoven into ours what if or when each of us are faced with difficult decisions, we will have courage to do the right thing; to honor those created in God’s image, to give to those in need, to stand which we’re the only ones standing, to do all in our power to do to help those at risk, to love graciously and extend grace which we each need ourselves every day.

We’ll see you soon. Parents, thank you again for allowing your students to come on this trip! For those parents whose students stayed home and served, thank you for allowing Summit to partner with you and your child’s education and spiritual growth. They were rockstars these past 11 days as well. Can’t wait to see them on Monday! or… at Prom on Saturday night!   What a pleasure this has been for the last year, 2 years, 6 years and for some 14 years (have taught some in this senior class since they were in Pre-K)

This senior class of 2019 is amazing.  I love them all dearly.  I am NOT looking forward to graduation day! However, I am gonna be there cheering them on to their next adventure!

So we’re done here … but just days away from beginning their next great adventure!

Mrs. G

 

~ Be blessed and highly flavored … BE the salt of the earth!     mz g

 

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Two voices still heard – Millions forever silenced

Today’s journal entry – thoughts from my amazing assistant Nan Castello!

Today we woke up in Haarlem, Netherlands.  As we walked to the bus stop, about 10 minutes away, many of the students commented on how beautiful this place is and how peaceful it feels after being in the hustle and bustle of London and Paris.  It is food for the soul to be in this lovely town.

This morning as we climbed onto the bus, our driver said “Good Morning America!” What a fun start to our day! Our first stop was The Corrie ten Boom House.  We were greeted on the windy, cold street outside the old brick building by our guide whose name was Sally.  She ushered us into the family sitting room and we all sat in a circle as she began to tell us the story of the house, the watch shop below, and of course…the hiding place.  One of the first things she told us was that the house was originally built in 1492!  Remember the rhyme you learned as a child?  “Columbus sailed the ocean blue in Fourteen Hundred Ninety-Two”.  The house was built the same year he sailed!  That alone was something to take in.  She continued with the story, going back several generations and telling us that Corrie’s grandfather felt called by God’s word to pray for Jerusalem.  He had prayer meetings in his house weekly to pray for the Jewish people, 100 years later many members of his family would lose their lives protecting those same people.  What an answer to prayer!  How faithful God is to have prepared the hearts of the ten Boom family for what was to come when the Nazi’s occupied Holland.

The students loved the personalization of having a guide take us through the home, one student said it felt like we were their guests, invited in, rather than just random visitors who showed up to hear a story. We were told that house and the family who lived there was responsible for saving the lives of 800 Jews during the two-year period they were part of the resistance.  Later in the day, after the Anne Frank House, one student asked “Why do so many people go see the Anne Frank house, and so few go to Corrie’s house when they saved so many lives, it doesn’t seem right”.

Next we traveled via train to Amsterdam.  We split up in groups to see a little more of the city and to eat lunch.  Then it was on to the Anne Frank House.   This was a very different experience as there are hundreds of people going in and through the house at the same time.  We were given an audio guide to listen to as we moved through the house, each in our own little space and our own thoughts about what we were seeing.  It is hard describe the feeling of this place.  Dark, claustrophobic,  (some of us struggled more than others – raising my hand here) somber, heavy.  There is a sense of heaviness there and yet also such gratitude that this remarkable young lady’s story was preserved and because of her words and the museum, we can better comprehend the darkness that overtook this continent during that time of world conflict.

Tonight as we debriefed it was touching to hear the student’s reflections on the day.  Some of the observations made were:

“One day they would be laughing about how comical it was that they were hiding, and the next day they were terrified” Life was in such turmoil.

“I didn’t know that would be the last day to see my family and to have them all together.” –This quote stood out to several students.  It was made by Otto Frank in reference to their time in transport to the concentration camps.

On seeing a large book with all the names of the people lost in the camps who came from The Netherlands “The name Anne Frank was on the list, but right below were 4 Aaron Franks and we don’t know who they were.  There were 6 million who died, not to mention all the lives that were affected, their stories weren’t told”

“There was a wall where they marked the height of Anne and Margot Frank as they grew, the parents marked their height as well, they were trying to be a normal family” even in these very unusual circumstances.

I could write much more as the students were all wonderful about sharing their thoughts tonight, but I will let them use their own words when they get home.

It would be impossible for me to sum-up the experience of today.  My heart is full with the blessing of being here with these wonderful young people.  They handled themselves with grace and dignity, they took in their surroundings and allowed what they saw and learned to truly sink into them.  I could not be more thankful that I get to be a part of it all.

Nan Castello

 

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There is NO Distinction!

Monday in Haarlem

 

Leaving Paris we embarked on another train ride!  After checking into the hotel we set out to explore the town center of Haarlem.

 

The architecture of the 100+ year old buildings is breathtakingly amazing!  Cobblestone streets, the year of the buildings decoratively engraved or set in stone to forever declare, we’ve stood the test of time. There are bicycles everywhere and believe me, they have the right of way!  It is so beautiful and has the feel of a slower paced lifestyle!  I’m hoping I can get Nan and Chris back on the plane with me! 

 

Right on the corner of the Hanover town square is this magnificent church, The Grote Kerk. It is famous from the fact that Georg Friedrich Handel worshipped here and played its magnificent organ throughout his long years in London. But wait,  Mozart also played the organ in this church …. Whaaaa????

 

We let the kids go shop and explore in groups and then joined back up for dinner at La Picoletta.  It was a wonderful café serving pizza and pasta!

Tomorrow morning we head back into town to the Corrie ten Boom Museum.  Corrie and her family helped rescue and hide the Jews until they were caught and sent to the concentration camp themselves.  After lunch we head into Amsterdam and go through the Anne Frank house! After having visited Normandy yesterday this will be the other side of a sobering tragic time when human lives were deemed not fit to live.  The allied forces fought to defeat a tyrant and we are going to see the side of ordinary people that fought the same battle with a different strategy to rescue the Jews and others on Hitler’s victim list from the horrific ideas of his malicious anti-Semitism and obsessive pursuit of Aryan supremacy.  Hitler’s plan promoted the murder/genocide of some 6 million Jews, along with other victims; Roma gypsies, homosexuals, Jehovah Witnesses, Afro-Germans, Soviet Prisoners of War, resistance groups, people with disabilities and anyone that was caught helping Hitler’s ‘victims’. The Nazis believed that superior races didn’t just have the right, but they had the obligation to subdue and even exterminate who they thought were inferior to them. (Hitler claimed Christianity to be a part of his platform, however he had a scorn for the Christian values of equality and compassion, which he identified with weakness)

What a day tomorrow will be.  Pray for us that we won’t just ‘walk through’ but we’ll take to heart what we see and experience and these stories will become a part of our own life stories. I pray that we too will be people that carry the banner for justice, that we will be a voice where a voice is silenced.  We will acknowledge and live our lives in a way that demonstrates that we do believe that we are all created in God’s image by honoring one another. God sees no distinction … neither should we!

Romans 10:12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.

James 2   My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?

 

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Life ! ! !

Our last 2 days in France  

Catacombs     –  Life Happens            

Eiffel Tower   –  Life Celebrated                                        

Normandy   –     Life Marginalized, Exterminated, Fought For, Liberated

Catacombs: Life Happens

Death is a part of life. Not one we really like to talk about most of the time.  As believers we have the hope of eternal life. We know with assurance we will be reunited with our Creator and our loved ones in the faith. But there is that part that is hard for us all, when a loved one takes a last breath and all that is left is the earthly shell. At one time, there were so many people living in Paris and the cemeteries were overcrowded and the ability to bury the remains became very difficul.  It was so difficult, in fact, disease began to become a serious issue.  Thus, the catacombs, exhuming bodies and taking the remains and burying them (stacking them) in the hallways of the quarry’s below the surface.  Very creatively I might add.  A very interesting, creepy, waaaaay too deep under the streets and water and sewer system of Paris, I might add!  For my liking… I’m just sayin’!

Eiffel Tower:  Life Celebrated

ParisFrance. The Eiffel Tower was built by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 Exposition Universelle, which was to celebrate the 100th year anniversary of the French Revolution. Its construction in 2 years, 2 months and 5 days was a veritable technical and architectural achievement.   (Quoted from https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/tour-eiffel)

The tower wasn’t supposed to stay, it was a temporary structure, in fact the majority of the population thought it was a huge obstruction …   but it is now ‘Paris’.  I mean, when you hear Paris what do you think?   Right?  The Eiffel Tower!  

The tower wasn’t supposed to be a permanent structure and in fact the majority of the population thought it was ugly and needed to be removed after the exposition. However, when you hear the word ‘Paris’ what do you usually think about first? Right? The Eiffel Tower!

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Normandy – Life Marginalized, Life Exterminated, Life Fought For, Life Liberated

War is a horrible thing.  I remember on one of the 11th grade trips, we had an office of the Air Force come and share with the students about being a believer in the military. The struggles he faced and how his faith made the difference. One thing he said really impacted all of us.  “Going to war is the last thing anyone in the military wants to do. In fact, we will try to do everything we can, to keep from taking our men and women into war. But sometimes when you have done everything you can, you must stand up for the freedom and rights of other human beings.

We went to the Omaha Beach, The American Cemetery in Normandy and Ponte du Hoc.  It is hard to put into words when you are walking down this beautiful path and you turn left and you get sight of the hundreds of white crosses, meticulously placed row after row. Men that never came home. Some markers had names, rank and home state. Other markers said, “Here Rests In Honored Glory A COMRADE IN ARMS Known But To God”.

 

Hearing the students talk about the trip and sharing during this evening’s debrief, I asked them to write me a paragraph or two on their thoughts of the past few days!

 

From your Students:

  • Paris France is known as the city of love. After visiting the Eiffel Tower, and going on an evening river cruise not only brought those words to life, but also reminded me that we need to love others as well. In John 15:12, God commands us to “Love each other as I have loved you.” Looking around at my classmates talking and laughing together, and seeing the people on the river banks simply hanging out and enjoying each other’s company, demonstrates how Paris is not only a city of love between couples, but a city of love to friends and strangers alike!       ~  Arianna M.

 

  • It has truly been a blessing and a great opportunity for me to go on a trip to London, Paris, and Amsterdam with a group of friends from my high school senior class. Getting the opportunity to take a lift to the top of the Eiffel Tower is an experience I will never forget. Looking over the entire city of Paris was incredible.  It was amazing to me personally, because I never thought that I would see myself on top of the Eiffel Tower ever in my life.  Also, standing on the beach where D-day occurred was an experience that I can never forget.  I was standing on the beach where so many soldiers died risking their lives to prevent the conquest of the Nazis in Europe. The story of how courageous the soldiers were fighting on the beach for their country was an inspiration to all people and I am happy I was able to experience it.     ~  Ethan W.

 

  • My favorite part about being in Paris has to be Normandy and just being able to see what I thought I would never get to see. In class we always studied about WWII invasion of Normandy beach. It was crazy to be able to be on the same beach as the Germans and American troops and also being able to explore the bunkers. And also just understanding the sacrifices, over 9,000 Americans gave their lives to give us the freedom we have to live today.   ~  Robert H.

 

  • I have honestly really enjoyed our time in France so far. Over the course of the past few days I’ve been immersed in a different culture and have been able to experience a lot of different places and people. My favorite places we’ve been to have been the Eiffel Tower and Normandy. Being up at the top of the Eiffel Tower was breathtaking and it truly made me thankful for God blessing me to be able to be there. It also made me be able to fall further in love with the city as I was able to explore it from both down below and from a bird’s eye perspective. Normandy though was most memorable to me, as I had never thought I would have been able to actually see it in person.  It was so meaningful to be able to walk alongside the thousands of graves belonging to the brave men who sacrificed their lives for the sake of our country.  And I hope to never forget what they have done for us, and their courage and bravery.    ~  Megan M.

 

  • Going to Paris has always been a huge pipe dream of mine. I never actually thought it would come to fruition but I am so glad that it did. When I came over on the train from England and saw the French countryside it almost brought me to tears because it was something straight out of my dreams.  Being able to come here and share this experience with friends makes it all the better.   ~  Johnny G.

 

  • These past couple of days in France have truly been a memorable experience. Being able to not only revisit landmarks like the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower but to do so with friends and explore new things at our own leisure was really exciting. One of my favorite parts of the trip was being able to walk Normandy Beach and be present in a battlefield that drastically changed the course of history. It was incredible to see the respect and beauty preserved at the cemetery of our war heroes.   ~  Sarah S.

 

  • I really enjoyed the last couple of days and going to Normandy and visiting the monuments and the American memorials. It was all so peaceful and so relaxing to just walk around and see what happened there. Also it was very cool to see the huge holes where some missiles were shot on the beach and cliffs of Normandy where the army climbed up while getting shot at and still pursuing their goal of getting up the cliff side and completing their goal of it.   ~  Nate H.

 

  • I really enjoyed the Eiffel tower so much! At the top you could really take in all of Paris and you can appreciate the opportunity you have to be there that others don’t. Another thing I loved was the D-Day cemetery.  I could see all the people who gave their lives for this.  I could really feel God’s presence because it was so peaceful.  Even with all the people buried, the atmosphere was so calm and comforting.           ~  Cameron S.

 

  • These last few days in Paris, France I’ve made memories I will withhold for the rest of my life. As a little girl I always wanted to see the Eiffel Tower, I even had a bedroom decorated with the massive monument. So, you can only imagine how excited I was when I first got a glimpse of it, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. It was even more magnificent at night when they light it up and make it sparkle for everyone in Paris to see. Then, going to the Louvre was INCREDIBLE!!  I wish we could have spent more time there because the place is beautiful and every room is breathtaking. The halls that held different time periods of art paintings blew my mind and was definitely my favorite part of the museum.  The Catacombs was also interesting to learn about and see, and a little off putting, lol.  I’d been wanting to go for a long time so it was cool to finally see the thousands upon thousands of skeletons that are hidden underground. Next, Normandy … Normandy is one of the most astonishing places I’ve ever seen in my life.  It’s truly somewhere you have to go yourself and see because no camera could capture its beauty.  To see and learn about one of the bloodiest wars during WWII was amazing and heart wrenching all at the same time. Lastly, all the excursions we’ve been doing are phenomenal but I also wanted to acknowledge how stunning the architecture is all around Paris and just how beautiful the countryside of France is.  These little things make the trip all that it is.  I’m extremely thankful for seeing everything we have so far and excited to go to Amsterdam!! : )     ~  Kira M.

 

  • One of the most impactful things I’ve seen so far was going to Normandy. I didn’t expect for it to be so beautiful and peaceful despite all of the carnage that took place just a few decades ago. I kept thinking to myself that if there wouldn’t have been a war, then Normandy’s beaches would be home to a luxurious resort. However it is now a somber place that is still so beautiful yet still shows what took place many years ago with all of the craters and ruins of bunkers.    ~  Blake W.

 

  • I really like Normandy. The reason is, that we were able to see where our soldiers were fighting for the freedom of many. Going to Normandy made what we learned so much more real to know where exactly everything took place.  It impacted me more going and seeing what the bombs did and that the results are still there and how many soldiers passed away from D-day!    ~  Emily H.

 

  • I am so glad that I came on this trip, this trip is so amazing. Visiting Paris with everyone was the best part. Translating French to English, teaching words in French, hearing the students repeat the words in French was funny! I also got to see my family, I am so thankful for that. The cruise was really fun and amazing. I had some much fun on this trip so far. I am so happy that I came on this trip!                   ~  Angela N.

 

  • These past few days in France have been some of the most memorable days on the trip. Getting to see Paris in some of the most spectacular ways, such as deep in the catacombs, cruising on the river, and even on top of the Eiffel Tower. But what I have enjoyed the most while in France was traveling to the beautiful area of Normandy Beach and being able to see and stand on the same beaches that my Great grandfather and his best friends fought on for our freedom and the freedom of others. So many had sacrificed there lives on Normandy beach and it still amazes me to think, if my great grandfather had died on that beach I would not be here, and for that I am grateful.     ~  Adam S.

 

  • I’ve loved the trip so far, and I’ve especially enjoyed the pace of it. I haven’t had a chance to be bored and I feel I’m experiencing the cultures of places we visit very deeply. Every day has been an adventure especially here in France. Although I did my best to learn French, I ended up resorting to the universal language of nodding and waving my hands.  I am looking forward to the Netherlands, as I think I know enough German to avoid embarrassment. But despite my embarrassment regarding my monolingualism, Europe has been an absolute blast.     ~  Dean J.

 

  • I really enjoyed going to the top of the Eiffel Tower and seeing Paris from a whole new perspective! I was also so happy that we got to see the Tower in the day and at night to see the difference and the beautiful lights. I also really loved seeing the catacombs and the macabre beauty of it all.  Paris in general is just a gorgeous city and I loved going from place to place with such an incredible backdrop.                    ~  Nickoli B.  

 

  • For me, these last few days in Paris have been eye opening. I immediately fell in love with the city and its beauty, but it all came together for me as soon as we saw the Eiffel Tower. Going up the tower and being able to see Paris from above took my breath away, and I already know that that moment is one that I will never forget. Not to mention, I also got to do this with some of my favorite people in the world, and friends that have become almost family.                                                 

Being on that tower made me      feel small, as if I am just a single part of this huge             world we live in. Below the tower were hundreds of people with lives different                   than mine, and it just made me realize that there is so much to this world, which is             a scary but really beautiful thought at the same time.

This expanded even more once we arrived in Normandy. Seeing such a historic site           in front of my very eyes was shocking because I have learned so much about                       history there, but in that moment, I got to see it. The beauty of Normandy was                     indescribable. The flowers exploded from the crater-like holes in the ground, but as           Nickoli said, it was an explosion of light. On this trip, I have seen sights that I never           thought I would get to see. I am in love with this place, and I cannot wait to keep                 learning from it.    ~ Naiomi S.

  • This trip to Europe has been something I will never forget and hopefully return to in the future! Experiencing different cultures is a passion of mine and just seeing all the different ways people go about life in London, Paris, and Normandy has been amazing. I also had the opportunity to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower (WAY bigger in person) where you could see for miles in every direction and it honestly takes your breath away!  We also ventured to Normandy which has some of the most beautiful views I have ever seen! It was surreal seeing the places where the US invaded and what was left over from the war including bunkers and massive craters in the ground from artillery fire. It makes me even more thankful for the veterans and current military that risk their lives to keep us safe! I can’t wait till we head out tomorrow morning to see the Netherlands! (Where my great grandparents were from!) #proudtobeatoehead #blondehairedblueeyeddutchbo       ~  Christian F

We head out in the morning by train to Harleem, Amsterdam!  We’re all excited to be experiencing this together. Missing my students that didn’t get to come!  Looking forward to seeing your faces next Monday 😀 !!!

Mrs. g

 

P.S.   Another Shout out …..  Sooooooo appreciate Nan and Chris Castello and Jeff Smith (Summit Alumni dad and 13 years of co-leading the 11th grade D.C. trip)  and their leadership and friendship.  Thank you to their families that sacrifice to allow them to be able to join us on this trip!

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Fast Train to Paris!

Took a Fast Train to Paris!

Friday Morning

11 days seems like a long time … however … It is flying by!  Literally, at moments it truly is.

We left London wishing for more time to see MANY more places but, alas, Paris was calling.

Landing after 1:30 (another time change) we checked into the hotel and off to the Louvre!

Our guide Michell met us at the station. He was great, obviously loves what he does and has a great sense subtle of humor.

On the Way … Creative Art!

Stopping off at the (?) can’t remember what he called it but I shall call it the creative communication garden.  People were encouraged to use the different levels of pillars and ‘share their story’. Not sure what story our kids were trying to tell but they ‘jumped’ right in and began creating!

We have very creative young people. So fun!

 

The Louvre!

Then to the Louvre! Amazing! Overwhelming! Mona is smaller than you’d think however, I’d said it so much, the kids didn’t think she was that small! LOL!

Dinner in Paris!

The kids were so excited to see Five Guys right across the street from the hotel. (yep … for real) The adults enjoyed the small café!

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Saturday Morning 
We are heading to the Catacombs. Can I just say right here… make no bones about it … caves and dead people … claustrophobic!
After the ‘below the surface’ tour we’ll check out the line to the Eiffel Tower … chill … 9pm Seine River Tour! Paris at night!
Tomorrow – Normandy!
See ya later … or will I?    :/

 

Mrs. g

 

1 John 4:7-8

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Take Courage

~ Take Courage

“Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.” ~  Winston S. Churchill

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, I lived through this horror, I can take the next thing that comes along. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”  ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

“Be Strong and courageous. The Lord you God is with you wherever you go,” Joshua 1:9

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear. But the triumph over it.” Nelson Mandela

Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.” ~ John Wayne

Courage, dear heart.”    C. S. Lewis

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Brixton Soup Kitchen

Today was our first service day. The lady we had set the ministry time up with was no longer with them (thus why in the past week we haven’t been able to confirm once again our coming, etc.) however, we headed out ready to jump into Plan B, whatever that might be. The team working at the kitchen was quite surprised to see 21 of us show up to serve. They quickly scrambled and before you knew it we had:

  1. Kitchen team
  2. Pantry team
  3. Clothes Closet team
  4. Garden Clean up team
  5. Soliciting Donations team

This group of seniors did amazing. For some it took courage to:

  • Step into a new place and do something unfamiliar with unfamiliar people looking on.
  • Stand on a street corner with a donation bucket asking people to give up their spare change to help feed the homeless (the kitchen gets no government funding and is run completely by donations. Their own workers participate in the soliciting. Most of the locals know them and readily give up small change to the work)
  • Take wet chairs stacked outside and store them in a small storage that just might have small furry animals in it… BTW Praise God … no rodents! 😀
  • To fold clothes and do it in a dignified way as to not make those that would be receiving them feel uncomfortable.
  • Feed those that are waiting for a handout and do it giving dignity and honor to those receving
  • Strike up conversations with people – giving value to their lives by recognizing them and their needs

Courage for the people showing up for lunch

  • For Esther and others to share their story of struggle. Just needing to come to Brixton Soup kitchen for help, food, encouragement and community
  • To admit needing help
  • For Solomon and his comrade to step out with courage … they saw a need, they saw no one else was going to do it … they courageously answered the call.

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The Outdoor Market

On our trek from the Soup Kitchen to the Theatre we walked through an amazing fresh food market!  We snacked! Delish!

The Walk to the Globe – Take Courage

Looking up – words of inspiration were painted on an historic building (even though to encourage others is not history of the words being painted) taking the picture and reflecting over the day it was a day that involved many stories of courage. (photo above)

  • Bear with me: Rated PG: Today this building acts as a simple motivation for passers-by.  Not gonna lie, at first I wondered … was this for encouragement during the blitz bombings of WWII?  I have to know … Alas, this building (an 1807 house for employees). Had this slogan appear in 1955 when Barclay Perkins & Co. merged with London rival brewery, Take Courage,  now acts as a simple motivation for passers-by.

 

The Globe Theatre

Our guide reminded Mrs. Castello and I of a former student of Summit Christian Academy. Out guide was so knowledgeable, an actor himself, gifted with the ability to take Shakespearean terminology and history and make it engaging and fun!  Thanks Dom! You are Amazing!

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A trek over the bridge (that Naiomi claims was blown up in a movie) to St. Paul’s Cathedral for photo ops!  Then on to dinner and back to the hotel to debrief.

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Just for fun pics!

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We head to Paris tomorrow morning.

 

Mrs. G

Prov. 14:31  Anyone who oppresses the poor is insulting God who made them. To help the poor is to honor God.

Proverbs 31:8-9  Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy

James 2:15-16  If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?

Proverbs 3:27-28  Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back later; I’ll give it tomorrow” – when you now have it with you

 

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Mind the Gap!

A day of sightseeing on the Red Bus, Achilles’ statue, another statue, the horse, famous buildings and streets, Churchill’s War Rooms, Westminster Abbey, WA gift shop,  Buckingham Palace, someone famous that got to ride in a helicopter and dropped off at the Royal guard’s Barracks, a walk through the Park, claustrophobic tube ride, dinner at the hotel/Thai/Nando’s … yeppers…  It was a full day y’all!

A big shout out to Chris and Nan Castello –  Nan for all the trip planning/organizing. (We have our own in-house trip planner – when other trip orgs couldn’t do what we asked … she just went for it! And we have scored!) Chris is our navigator –  if we get on or off the tube wrong … we get to blame him!  😀  honestly two amazing people that Summit has been blessed to have ‘on our team’.

The list above was our day!  After Churchill’s War Rooms we split into two groups and went to Westminster  Abbey and Buckingham Palace!

For almost everyone the War Room was a first.  They continue to add to the information and details which is wonderful. To think of all the decisions that were made in the underground bunker. They had to have sun lamps for the workers to help keep them healthy because they would have to stay for days sheltered as they watched, planned and plotted the allied route to victory during the Second World War.  To hear the testimonies of those that served in what I call the ‘war hole’ is amazing.  Men and women dedicating their lives to stop the horrific plans of a regime that was systematically destroying human lives because of a thought that one race was superior over others with plans to cleanse and dominate.

Tomorrow we have plans to work at the Brixton soup kitchen.  Please pray for us as this will be a wonderful opportunity to serve those that ‘serve’! For some this could be a first to get to work within a working soup kitchen.  Generally those that God has placed this ministry into their hands need serving themselves.  We are honored to have made the connection and are looking forward to ‘easing the load’.

Later we’ll head to Shakespeare Theatre and some more sightseeing.!  I think perhaps, we’ll hang around ‘in town’ till the tube clears out before we brave the mobs.  One group yesterday said, Angela is so short, at times it was as if you could only see her arm… hanging on to the pole!  😀

Onward … through the fog ! ! !

my group victoria statue

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Day One – Stay awake or Off wi’ yer head!

Day One –   # one goal ….. Stay Awake till Bedtime!

With a 6 hour difference in time, the number one goal after you land is to stay awake!  Well.. the wet cold weather helps.

Off we go on the tube to the Tower of London and Harrods…

The Tower of London has the Crown Jewels which are absolutely amazing! However, the history of the Tower of London is filled with intrigue, conquest and tragedy including a little bit of, “off with their heads”

Forgive me, but I think Harrods might be an equal in many ways. First …it is a serious conquest to navigate the place to just find the food court.  Second it is intriguing to see the many people that are willing to pay the astronomical amounts of money for the items sold inside Harrods.  Thirdly, a tragedy to the wallet is the end result, with possible parents or spouses thinking … You paid whaaat?  Off wi’ yer head!!!   😀

Returning to the hotel, we had our last adventure of the day just trying to figure out which exit to take … oops! wrong one … where’s the hotel?   Is THAT sleet?

Finally we find our abode,  finished checking in and either enjoyed a plate of fish and chips, burgers or salad … OR enjoyed the sandwich purchased in the elusive food court of Harrods.

Now to get the body to cooperate and adjust to the time change and go to sleep.

Tomorrow we explore London via the Red Bus, visit Churchill’s war room and hopefully one other historical museum.

There was no debrief tonight as most of the class was asleep before the other half was trying to have dinner.

Till tomorrow!

mrs g

Whaat?   sleet?  –  we weren’t prepared for this!    https://photos.app.goo.gl/5RizpKUUJudNQjVH8

tower of london blake dean naiomi and nickoli

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e pluribus unum

carters office

The 11th grade class – Congressman Carter’s Office

Out of many, one! In the Capitol’s visitor center there is a film called just that … Out of many, one! Such a powerful motto of the U.S. and an amazing film explaining the hope of those in the beginning years of forming this nation. Really sets the tone for the Capitol tour and to remind you how important it is be become a person of prayer for our nation, our state, our town, our school, our family, etc.

Our tour of Mount Vernon yesterday was wonderful and last night we visited the monuments on the Mall from dusk to ‘late’ thirty (as my dad used to say). The students had been assigned different monuments or places of interest that we would be visiting and shared at each site. With each sharing comes the richer understanding of what a great nation we live in, and inspires us to become that next beacon of hope or hand of compassion to those that are in need.

Friday afternoon the whole team visited the American Museum and then split into two groups to go to the African American Museum and the Natural History Museum.

Tomorrow morning we will prayer walk the embassies the students were assigned. We will be praying for their leaders, for freedom of religions, for those imprisoned for their beliefs, for refugees, for education, for women’s rights, for children’s rights, for foreign relations, for peace, for the Gospel of Jesus Christ to bring peace, hope, faith and reconciliation.

1 Timothy 2: 1-6

We will be home tomorrow afternoon.

Thank you for praying,

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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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