Impact Trips!

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

The least, the last and the left out

Lately I was reading a devotional by Phil Ware,  getting ready for these two days in Burnet county,  and Phil used some of my favorite verses Matthew 25:33 – 40

He writes; While Jesus wants us to be compassionate and caring to all people, this passage is primarily about how we treat those the world seems to think are the least, but whom Jesus values as his disciples.

    The least, the last, and the left out  

become the primary ones who come to Jesus and find life, love, and lasting hope. Jesus’ promise is that as we care for those in Jesus’ community, no matter their circumstance, we are caring for him. We can actually experience Immanuel, God with us, when we care for disciples of Jesus!

That verse makes my heart race… when we care for others, we care for him. He is there!

Today our students did what I call, ‘brought it to the table’ ‘gave their A Game’

Debrief took a while because there was much to share.

Breakfast:

Chef knows how to make crispy bacon – best pancakes EVER

Lunch:

Chef makes great hamburgers and if you ask for 5 slices of cheese      you get five slices of cheese

Snickerdoodle cookies – need we say more

Dinner:

Chef made HOMEMADE chicken strips, and mac n cheese and        vegan broccoli

 

Nursing Home:

Our students gave so much joy

For many it was the highlight most memorable moment of the day

The tenderness with which our students served and brought value to those          that are the least or left out was very moving.

In the words of Flow and Dottie: ‘I’m glad I picked him’ (talking about the           student that actually picked her to help)   ‘Look at these three boys, they are           the best’ (constantly giving us the thumbs up – having the best time)

 

Work Project:

Job Foreman couldn’t believe our students willingness to work hard, work           longer and do more than he asked them to do.  He was bragging on 7th graders      and how impressive they were as a team.

 

Meditation Mountain:

First prayer walking experience going up the side of the hill where the work           project was and praying.

Fun Times in the Van Rides:

I love it when our students enjoy each other’s company.  This class watches out for each other, includes each other, laughs together.  What fun they have been and what stories they have told.  Don’t worry parents, we don’t believe them (just kiddin)

Prayer Walking Marble Falls Trail of Lights: For many this was a memorable moment.  Many said they had never done anything like it and it made them feel closer to God.

In prayer walking we are trying to teach the students

  • to be aware of their surroundings, the situation that they might be in
  • could there be something right there in front of them that they could use the powerful tool of prayer to pray God’s heart for … the least, the last and the left out.
  • You can pray anytime, anywhere for anyone, you don’t have to know them, you just have to tune your heart into God’s heart for them
  • Prayer – takes you there

Starbucks:  A favorite – nuff said

We are so proud of our students, they have been doing their devotionals, embracing every element of the trip, having fun, watching out for each other (most impressive) serving with joy.

 

Tomorrow morning is prayer wall devotional and our conspiracy project:

  • Each team has $10 per person go towards blessing someone they do not know. Please say a prayer for us as we finalize what we will be doing.
  • We have three teams and 3 hours in the morning to accomplish our task.
  • We are excited and want to be a blessing.
  • We are to bless someone we do not know without them knowing it was us

 

Our prayer wall devotional:  In the back of our dorm, there is a  short rock wall with many crevices.  Many others before us have put their own pieces of paper in the crevices.  We spent time tonight thinking and praying about what we will write downEach student was given a piece of paper to write down three things

  1. What do I want God to do in my life
  2. What am I praying, for someone else, that God will do in their life?
  3. What am I asking God to give me the courage to do?

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Will you pray for us?  That we will express what is truly in our hearts on our pieces of paper.  No one will read them they are personal between us and God.

We will be back at the campus tomorrow at 1ish.  The theater and choir students are expected at the dress rehearsal.

If your student isn’t in choir or theater you have two options

  1. Pick your student up when we return – we will email when we are 20 minutes out
  2. Pick your student up at the regular pick up time – we will have a place for them to hang out until you come

 

Thank you to Jake Shackelford and Amy Smith.  They are great leaders and the kids were fantastic with them as I went back to the school today for the tech rehearsal.

Thank you PARENTS, for allowing your student to come on this trip.  I pray that it was a fun and impactful time for them. I pray that they will take the new things they learned and continue to grow in their understanding of God’s great love for them and the challenge we are all given to take that love to others, to serve them and to introduce them to a Savior that loves them with an eternal love.

 

See you soon

Mrs. g

 

 

 

 

 

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Bethlehem Bread and other Thoughts

We made it to Burnet and got in line, knowing we had an hour and fifteen minutes to wait before the gates to Bethlehem would open.  For the few that had been there before, it was hard to help the newbies understand just how worth the wait it is… especially… the  bread. I think one of our small  groups kept exchanging their hoodies and going back hoping to not be recognized… alas, they were caught and encouraged to move on down the Bethelehem road… LOL.  I think 19 pieces for one of the students was the record on this trip.

First Baptist Church of Burnet has really developed an amazing experience for the many hundreds of people that come to experience it.  In debriefing tonight it was very memorable for many to think that was what it was like, the living conditions, the soliders, the crowded town, etc.  Then at the back of the town… under the star… there is the manger and it is serene.  One of the students noticed how the children would be loud and screaming and then go through the gate and then come to the manger and be quiet, then as they moved on out the exit become loud again.

We talked tonight about Jesus the long awaited promise. The reactions of different people to him coming. Those that didn’t see the promise being fulfilled because they had already passed away.  We talked about what waiting can do.. in our own lives:  Build our faith, frustrate us, challenge us, teach us perseverance, build our prayer life.  We’re writing down our responses and they will become prayer points for us tomorrow.

Tomorrow morning  we’ll have breakfast/devotionals and then head to the nursing home where we’ll sing a few carols and do crafts together.  I love the opportunity to bring joy to what can be a mundane life for some of the clients in the nursing home.  Teaching the students to not be afraid and to look the men and women in the eyes and smile and bring value to them is a precious thing.  To remind them that they are loved by their creator.  To pray with them and then to hear their stories.

After lunch we’ll do work project for Eagles Wings and bake cookies to take back to the Church for next weekend’s Town of Bethlehem.   Tomorrow night we’ll prayer walk the Trail of Lights in Marble Falls, asking God to use the simple lights that are set up to remind people of his coming, to reconcile others back to him and to challenge others to find out about this Jesus.  We are already praying about our Tuesday morning project and thinking about creative ways to bless someone without them knowing. We are asking God to give us creative ways to bless encourage and meet a need. Please Lord, use us!

Pray with us that we can be the answer to someone’s prayers.

God, please use us to bless the people you love so dearly.

Until tomorrow! ! !

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Brrrr! There is no delay at Camp Tejas!

Brrrr!  Our day didn’t start with working outside because it was still windy and just…too…cold!   Soooo… instead of getting to sleep in like our comrades back at Summit… we headed to breakfast and awaited our Plan B for the morning.  I told the girls, “Guess what?”  “What?”  Your fellow students don’t have to go to school until ten.”  “No fair, of course when we’re gone!”  “Right? There is no delay at Camp Tejas!”  LOL  but not really!  ha!

We headed to the warehouse where tubs of thousands of lights and decorations, hundreds of extension cords and Christmas trees and more are stored for the year.  Two large Uhaul truck loads and our mighty little team got almost everything in the warehouse placed all around the Tejas campus staged for the next team of 100 people to come in and finish putting up the lights and the decorations.  After lunch it was a little warmer and the teams worked on the tunnel again… They had to take many warm up breaks because it was very chilly but a couple of the teams want to see it finished!   The hot tea in the cafeteria and the hot cocoa in ‘The Hub’ helped to warm them up!

The giant swing was offered to the kids at 4 and of course they took advantage of that.  Then they wanted to go swing in the giant wooden swing. It is their favorite in between time activity.  They promised it wasn’t too cold to swing in the swing… so we all had to agree, if it’s not too cold to swing, then it wasn’t too cold to string lights… aha!  They agreed, they just wish it wasn’t soo cold.  Many didn’t bring gloves and hadn’t been taking me up on the glove offer… no more no’s they have to use my gloves.  Today, no was not accepted.   What they have done looks amazing!  If the weather cooperates they just might finish tomorow….with some swinging breaks and hot tea and coco breaks!  Regardless, they have been great workers and a blessing to Tejas!

S’mores! The Firepit!  And a Beautiful Moon 

Tejas has amazing firepits all over the campus and tonight right after dinner we enjoyed s’mores! Ava our cat whisperer was finally successful in getting the two camp barn cats to come to her!  That made for a perfect evening! : D

Devo tonight was  Readjusting to the dark  –  the Shepherds Story    Luke 2

God meets us where we are and still reveals himself to us!  The shepherds have one of the lowliest jobs.  There they are, on the hillside, in the dark and behold… they are told of the Savior and where to find him.  Again… the conversation starts with Do Not Be Afraid.  They go and find the Christ child and then they tell everyone about it… God’s word says ALL they told were amazed… not just some of the people but ALL.  They head back to their job, the same smelly job, but THEY are not the same.  Light has come to their everday job and now they go through their days with hope and wonder that God sent his messengers to them. They encountered Jesus.   Jesus changes how we live and move through our every day lives.  Just as the shepherds did, we can bring that same hope and wonder to others.

How?  As an 8th grader how can I bring hope or change to someone’s life

  • Prayer – pay attention to what is going on around you – we talked through possibilities
    • How we can pray for different things and people at school just by paying attention
    • praying for the people that will be blessed by the outreach we helped set up at Tejas
  • Giving – the different ways we can give to needy, homeless, friends
    • The story of the single mom and  peanut butter, fruit and chips- ask your student and pray together for a creative idea like this one
  • Serving – look for ways to serve other
    • There are needs all around us, we just have to look outside our personal world

Tomorrow

I will head back with the luggage  in the mid morning.  If you haven’t heard, our amazing choir teacher, Mrs. Dorsett’s daughter has been diagnosed with leukemia.  Of course her daughter needs her mother with her as her treatments have begun. I am going in to cover her music rehearsals for the 20/20 Vision Night this Thursday.    Please pray for Mrs Dorsett and their family. I know there are many ways to support and help them.  There have been emails and social media posts with ways to help.

Mr. Shackelford and Mrs. Longanecker will finish our the day with the students and they are amazing leaders. They will have the students back at the campus by 3:40.   I will have their luggage already with me in my car and they’ll be able to get it when they return.

Thank you so much for allowing your students to come on this trip.  Impact trips aren’t about going places and just doing chores for people.  They are about learning to have a heart that recognizes a need and then answering that need with a willing heart.  We learn how to work with others and prefer one another.  We learn how to be a blessing.  We learn we can do much more than we realized we are capable of doing.  We also realize… we don’t have to look at a screen constantly to have fun and to do things of value!  We have had fun and I believe they had bonded more as a class.  They have represented you as parents and Summit very well!  They are constantly being complimented for helping the Camp get ready for Lights of Tejas!

BY THE WAY…  If you haven’t signed up to go to Vision 20/20 this coming Thursay night! PLEASE  SIGN UP!  I believe you will find it to be exciting what God has in store for Summit’s future!  I know I am!

mrs. g

 

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People will take notice … and when they do … you can tell your story!

 

This group of students … Oh.  My.. Word! They are rockin’ the lights! ! !   I’ve been leading teams of 8th graders for years, hanging lights on the tunnel.  It’s not an easy job… it’s meticulous!

Many redos!

  • the lights are too loose, go back to that strand and tighten them
  • you missed a caribeaner, take them off back to this strand
  • the light strand broke, it has to be replaced, sorry
  • three strands back, you didn’t tie it off  correctly we’ve got to take all of these off and go back to the mistake

This small mighty class has had only 2-3 redos… they are catching their mistakes immediately, they are working fast with excellence.

When we got about half of the tunnel done, the cold front blew in, and when I say, blew in…  It came with a fury…  There was light misting so we put all the rest of the boxes still to be hung under the cabin porch…  then it stopped… then all of a sudden the wind… and leaves were blowing everywhere… (think Wizard of Oz with no tornado)  more rain…  there was laughing, yelling, running to the cabin porches near the tunnel.  It was obvious it wasn’t going to give another break so we sent the kids back into the warm dining hall and the leaders picked up all of the empty light boxes, and cardboard pieces.  The wind was too hard to go back out to hang the lights. We were done with the tunnel for the day.  That was so frustrating for the kids because once you get started, you are DETERMINED to finish.

 

Camp Tejas tried to find other jobs but they didn’t have the inside jobs ready for us.  Sooooo…  We went to the Hub (smoothie/gift shop) and the Lounge (board game/comfy chairs/visiting room) and played cards, scrabble, shopped until dinner.

Dinner and then Devos

Advent #2 –  Seeing in the Night

The angels came to Mary, Joseph and the Shepherds, telling them all “Do not be afraid”  He had good news for them to hear.  We too can be messengers of good news. We can be encouragers, comforters.  When we have ‘the light’ ,  the presence of Jesus within us we can be the messenger someone needs.  We talked about times when we were nervous, scared, confused, etc.   Moving to a new school, a new state, a new class, making new friends, new job, new situation in our life that was hard.  We all needed encouragement during those times.  We talked about how we could be that person, someone else is needing to hear encouragement from.  We talked about allowing the Holy Spirit to give us courage to do something out of our comfort zone that would end up blessing someone else… being a messenger of hope, kindness, blessing. We encouraged again, how you talk to each other… pay attention. Have fun, but speak life.

Debrief the day.  We go around the circle and each gets to tell one fun thing, and one thing that they realized that was meaningful about Camp Tejas and their outreach,  hanging the lights,  the people here, etc.

Here are some of the remarks.

For the Fun:   The Swing was at the top of the list… here are some of the reasons listed

When we took a break and got in the big swing… it was so cool, I felt like we bonded more as a class ~  we got to know each other better ~  I learned things about my classmates I didn’t know ~ it was fun hanging out with classmates that we don’t usually hang out with ~  It was funny watching the others on the swing

Dominoes: Dominoes… I won,  I liked beating Mr Shackelford in dominoes, that was fun ~   I liked watching Ava beat Mr. Shackelford in dominoes ~  You did not beat me in dominoes (Shackelford) LOL

Meaningful:   I like that we’re helping preach the gospel through lights ~ So many people stopped and thanked us for coming and helping with hanging the lights ~ People were so grateful ~  Even in the dinner line the servers thanked us ~  People were really happy we were doing it for them ~ We get to help people find God.

Please pray that tomorrow they’ll be able to come up with indoor work and that it will warm up and the wind will go away so we can finish the tunnel. That being said, we will be safe and do whatever they have for us ,knowing we are part of a bigger plan.

Isn’t that what the Christian perspective should be?  Being able to see, whatever God has in front of us to participate in, is a part of a bigger plan…. to know him, to glorify him in all we do and to make him known.

Before we went to our cabins we needed just a little more fun!  We headed to the game room and watched the fiercest game of carpet ball (?)  Gavin aka ‘lil Windex’   was wipin’ everybody clean!

Challenge FOR US ALL : Be a messenger of hope, kindness , gentleness, grace,   People will take notice and when they do, they will ask you, “What makes you like that?”  Then,  you can tell them how HIS story (the gospel) has changed YOUR story.  

 

mrs g

 

 

 

 

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Light & Darkness – Good?

Soon Advent will be celebrated and on this 8th grade trip we will sometimes use advent devotionals to help us get in the mindset for the work we will do here at Camp Tejas. The tress and poles we will we will wrap, hand and string with lights will all be used with the ultimate goal of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ during their ‘Lights of Tejas’ outreach.

Our Advent devotional challenges us to look and light and especially dark in maybe a different way.  Many times we think of the darkness as ONLY wrong, bad, evil, etc.  But God gave us darkness too, and called it good.

God surrounds us in both light and darkness. In the light, like the sun, we can see the beauty he created, we can see what we’re doing, we can get a different perspective, we can grow.    But with a dark night sky, we can also see beauty, the incredible heavens He created, and then in the darkness God gives us rest from all the worries of the day. In dark places, a seed grows and then comes forth in the light as beautiful plant, life giving food…   both are needed.

John 1:1-5

Jesus is called the light –   and in that description He brings us hope and goodness in the dark and in the light..

Our Challenge: May we be light for people who need to see hope in this world. May we be like cozy darkness for those who need a safe place to rest.  May we bring light – words of life, peace, acceptance and may we be a place of acceptance, safety, rest for those that need a break.

Good and bad happen in the light……  Good and bad happen in the dark …

Our prayer is that we will allow Jesus to be a light at all times in our lives … and especially in this Christmas Season we need to think about … what are we doing with the Story of Jesus … Camp Tejas is using lights … at night … to tell the Good news of Jesus … the Savior … his coming …

What are we going to do with His Story?  Invite someone to a special Christmas Church service? send a note of encouragement? make a gift? help someone get a chore done, run an errand? visit the elderly? share the story of Christmas?  Invite a friend to a meal? Give up a Christmas gift off your list and give it to someone that might not be getting anything?  _____________________________________________?  fill in the blank

We’ve had a lot of fun already – the gaga pit, the tube slide, dinner, the game room  and especially new to this group of kids… Pass the Pigs …  fuuuuuuny!

Tomorrow, we will serve Tejas AND each other!  We will pray for the people coming to the outreach.  We will pray for resources for Camp Tejas, it cost to put this amazing outreach together, it takes many volunteers to make it happen. We will pray for those that we know that are sick, we will pray for those that have never heard the gospel… we will pray that God’s light will shine…  in the day and in the night!

We will have fun… Serving… Is… FUN!

mrs. g

 

 

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Awareness – Concern – Action = Justice

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 Visiting the Holocaust Museum is a very emotional heavy experience. I have personally been through it 15 times.  I still see and learn something new every year.  I also find myself coming away with a greater resolve to be an advocate for justice… Biblical Justice.

What is Biblical Justice? Last year I had the opportunity to be with the Senior class for Bible.  We spent quite a bit of time learning and talking about Biblical Justice.  According to the Biblical justice that God sets forth, all humans are equal, all humans are created in His image, and all humans deserve to be treated with fairness and justice. (Bible Project)

Can I get an Amen?

Most of the time when we think of justice being delt.. we think of retributive justice… people get what they deserve, punishment…  but really in scripture we see God’s justice is really about the end result being … restoration.

            There is a Progression to becoming an Advocate

There is a progression to becoming a person that moves from just  caring about themselves to becoming a person that cares about what’s going on in other’s lives around them to becoming a person that is aware of injustice to becoming a person that becomes an advocate for justice… Biblical Justice. 

Today’s trip to the Holocaust is a part of the awareness journey we’ve been on this week.  As we’ve prepared for the trip, we’ve learned;

  • about the freedoms people groups in the nations of the world have and don’t have
  • about the injustices suffered by different people groups
  • just knowing about it is not enough… our knowledge and concern should move us to do something
  • our first line of advocacy is prayer –  it takes us there –
  • communication with our Father God directs our next move
  • we cannot stay silent – lives depend upon us caring and acting upon our new perspective
  • we pray, we share, we write … but we do something

The Laying of the Wreath, the American History Museum, African American Museum, the Holocaust, The Bible Museum, Congressman Carter’s office, the Capitol, the Memorials, Embassy Row .. all of these experiences/moments have the ability to begin chipping away at the bubble we live in, the self absorbed bubble and we become young men and women that care, that look outside of their own circumstances and start making a difference in the lives and the world around them …

Right now …

maybe just small steps … maybe just changing the way they act and react around others… the way they appreciate what they have … the way they were looking out just for themselves at the beginning of the trip but by the end of the trip, they are looking out for each other in a more caring way, they are aware of their surroundings, they are more aware of  way people around them act (this is a biggie)  they way they respond begins to change… it’s subtle, but usually … it’s there!

Sometimes they don’t see it … but it’s there.

Tonight we talked about the things we heard and saw in the museum… how they made us feel … how they made us think.

One student said,  I was walking through thinking, “Thank God this doesn’t happen any more… then I walk into the new section and see the atrocities happening in Syria … right now!  It DOES still happen…  (it honestly blew the minds of those that went through the section)  Yes is does still happen …  we just need to be aware … so we can be a part of the solution.

If you want to be a part of bringing about justice …   think about starting here …   learning about it..  https://www.ushmm.org/genocide-prevention/countries

Let it start with prayer.    It might move you to give, or write, or share with others. so they’ll do the same … pray, give, write, share with others.

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As we were preparing to leave, of course I must always check the gift shop for new curriculum/books I can use when I teach or share about justice and injustice.  For the first time EVER there was a guest Holocaust survivor in the gift shop.  I was thrilled because you only get to hear the ‘first person series’ in the springtime. Elly was selling her books. She is 90 years old. She was taken to the concentration camp a 14.5 and was released when she was 16.  She is the only one of the family to survive.  We visited briefly with her.  I was thrilled our students would get to meet a survivor. I bought the video for them to watch back at Summit and again… learn.

We can pray

We can share with others.

We can write.

We can give.

We can … do something!

It starts with us… in our small circle… how we value each other … as people who are created in God’s image and then,  like the pebble in the pond… our caring expands … until maybe our prayer reaches the shore of a distance land … and someone who is crying out for someone to care… is touched, helped, rescued!

Please God … use us … to show your beautiful, amazing, grace giving restorative justice.

 

g

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Speak up!

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9

This scripture stands out and represents so much of the day today.

We started our day at the Bible Museum.  It truly was a great experience.  We had no idea what we were going to experience but we all agreed, it was really good.  I don’t know that it can be put into words.  We started off  in the Old Testament – the Torah.  The creativity used to tell the stories of the Bible.  We were all pleasantly surprised and blessed by the experience.  I think we would all suggest… it’s worth visiting.

After lunch we split into our two teams and did some walking and some praying in our two specific areas for some of the nations that have an embassy in Washington, D.C.  First you aren’t trying to bring attention to yourself, in fact we have the teams pose in front of the Embassy with the flag behind them, while the leader is taking a picture of the team.  Meanwhile, the person that chose that country prays for the nation, key points they research and for some countries, the persecuted church.  We pray for healthcare where some countries have very little and the infant mortality rate is really high. We pray for our relationship with the nations, etc.

After Embassy Row we all headed to the National Museum of African American History!  It is moving, eye opening, sobering, convicting … it is also honoring, challenging and then fun in the entertainment section to see items from famous African Americans icons and interactive booths set up to make your own music.   It’s like the other Museums, you can’t see it all in one visit and as we each shared in debrief tonight, you’ll see something someone else didn’t and realize… I have to go back!

The scripture above really is a big part of this week…  Speaking Up!

In the African American Museum in an obscure corner in the lower section C2  of the museum is the story of Emmett Till that really shook everyone up! Five of us went yesterday and came back talking about it, so much so that everyone wanted to go to the African American Museum today.  I believe that small room and the story rocked us all.  I pray that we’ll never forget it and it will spur each of us to speak up, out and loud.

The designer/creators of the museum really did do a good job of bringing you along in the struggle of freedom for the black man, woman and child…

Tomorrow morning is the Capitol Tour and following that is the Holocaust Museum. It will be another day of interesting information and events … but it will also be another day of being challenged deep within our very beings…  to be a person that will

‘speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves’

 

mrs. g

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It changed my whole day

It’s what I love most about this trip.  A moment, an experience, a sentence spoken, a quote read and taken to heart … can change a whole day’s perspective and if we really let it sink it, it will change your whole life.

Tuesday:

Yesterday was an amazing day at Arlington National Cemetery.  (please forgive me… I literally fell asleep with the computer in my lap and didn’t write my blog after I uploaded the wreath laying ceremony)  What an honor it was for our whole 11th grade class.  The four that represented us had to go down to the guard office ahead of time and by chance they got to meet a guard getting off duty and visit with him.  That was a first. Then in the visitor’s center there were two guards that were there to answer questions. That was another first.

The afternoon and evening we visited the Memorials on the mall. It is so sobering to think of all the lives the memorials represent. Lives lost, lives changed forever, countries changed forever.  Each student has been assigned a place of interest or a memorial.  Last night as we came to each memorial the students would share and then we would talk about that war or what some of the items or parts of the memorials would represent.

At the WWII memorial I asked the students to read all the quotes and take a picture of the one that really resonated with them.

Wednesday

We met Justin before breakfast. He works at the hotel and was excited to see our name on our breakfast room… Summit ‘Christian’ Academy.  He had been trying to meet us for two days.  Jeff and I had a nice visit with him before the kids got to the room and  found he was a believer. He’s been reprimanded 2x for trying to share Jesus with others.

After breakfsast we headed to Mount Vernon.  The tour of the grounds starts with watching a short movie about George Washington.  I think it is very well done and gives you a picture into the kind of military leader he was. Determined, focused, empowering.

After the movie we had  a guided tour with a ‘character interpreter’  who gives you a look into the life of the Washington family through a first-person narrative of one of the people that actually lived on the mansion grounds. Our guide was Frank Lee who had lived and served the Washington family over 30 years… His final position was Head Butler, which gave him many responsibilites tending to the family, their guests, overseeing the other endentured servants, the grounds, whatever was needed.  We got to hear about the day to day life of the endentured servant; the food alotment, clothing alotment, days off, separation from family, 40 – 60 men in a small bunk house, etc. After he was done he introduced himself and told us this was his 3rd time to every ‘be in person’.  We were amazed because he WAS AMAZING!  Then we visited with him for about 30 more minutes, he shared why he wanted to do something like this… not to make his race issues recognized… but to help make a difference… for ALL races.  He talked about all he had learned and was constantly learning.  We asked what we could pray for him for tonight during our debrief, he aske, “You’re going to pray for me specifically?”  “yes”  He was noticeably moved and  he gave us three things.

  1. He’s an actor and for his acting career to continue and to be productive
  2. For his well being
  3. For his family, they lived in Tennessee and he misses them, feels lonely

We had lunch, toured the mansion and then headed to the slave burial grounds.  Sobering, no markers yet the excavation has shown it was the slave burial grounds.  As we sat in the quiet of the area nestled in this beautiful cove of trees, we had prayer for the slavery that still goes on today.  Human trafficking.

Next Aaron and Benton participated in the wreath laying ceremony at the Washington’s tomb.  It was another sweet moment AND another First for Summit!

As we got back into the D.C. area we split into groups and headed to two museums… African American Museum and Air and Space.

One of the students said, “this morning with Reginald (actor portraying Frank) changed what I wanted to do this afternoon”  It Changed My Whole Day … I want to know more about what he shared, now

he wanted to go to the African American Museum.  We barely had time in both museums and will try for them tomorrow, but what we saw in the African A. M  was riveting.  You can’t see those things and it not go deep into your heart and change you… hopefully forever.

At dinner we met Blake (our waitress) and got prayer requests from her

Our discussions throughout today and debriefing tonight was really special. We discussed:

  • Our favorite quotes on the WWII memorial and why.
  • Frank (Reginal) and what we learned from him
  • How Washington was a great leader but was quiet on slavery
  • Through influence of close friends Washington before he died he was becoming an abolitionist but he would not use his voice to speak out against slavery.  he set them free upon his wife’s death.  George thought the people weren’t ready for a fight to end slavery .. To me… He missed the mark.

We closed the night with prayer for the people we met today.

Justin, Reginald and Blake.

It has been a good day.

Tomorrow we go to the Bible museum, then prayer walking the embassies and back to the Smithsonians.  I know my group wants to head back to the African American Museum.

Please pray for courage for our students as we pray tomorrow…  It doesn’t have to be perfect, just a willing sincere heart. We aren’t trying to make a spectacle, in fact, we’ve been practicing just standing… heads up, eyes open and me praying.  We  just want to practice this amazing tool God has given us… prayer as we become advocates for religious freedom, education, peace, children’s rights, women’s rights in various countries around the world.

Pray that God changes our perspective for the people he loves and the nations he has proclaimed that every tribe and every tongue shall praise his name, “Jesus is Lord” !!!

Mrs. g

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Wreath Laying Ceremony 2019

It is always such an amazing experience just going to the Arlington National Cemetery, When we have the honor of participating in a Wreath Laying Ceremony it just adds to the incredible experience we feel so privileged to be a part of.

If our students want to be considered to be chosen for the opportunity to lay the wreath they must get up in front of their peers and share why they would like to be chosen.  These four young men did just that.  They shared what was on their heart.

Today they represented you their parents and Summit Christian Academy as they presented the wreath to honor those that gave their lives and their names are known only to God as it says on the Tomb  sarcophagus…

Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God

I hope you are moved as you enjoy the video clip.  It was an amazing experience for all of us.

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That Men May Know…

Isaiah 45:6  reads. That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun that there is no one besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other.  That is one of our scriptures for this week.

We had an early morning start. 4 a.m. at the Austin Airport… and landed in Washington D.C. at 12: 13pm.  Grabbed our bags, and met up with Jeff Smith (D.C. team leaders from Houston) and Colin Murphy who was already up this way for a Lacrosse tournament.  Had lunch then headed to the National Mall to start the week.  We chose to go first to the American History Museum (they close at 5 in the winter) and enjoyed seeing ‘Old Glory’ and all the historical memorials.  I was with the girls and getting to hear them share their desires for the future which included serving others, and then seeing pictures and watching video clips of women that impacted others lives through their service was pretty special.

As the sun was setting we headed to the Washington Monument.  I was excited for this class because it has been a few years since we’ve been able to walk up to the monument and touch it.  There have been so many years of repair, fences keeping you at a distance etc.   It was a beautiful clear night and  the monument was amazing as the sun set and the lights came on… the flags, it was beautiful! .

Each student was given a monument or memorial or place of interest that we will be visiting and they had to look up and bring the information to the group. Aaron had the Washington Monument.  He did a really good job giving the history and the interesting fact that inscribed on one of the sides is “Laus deo” meaning “Praise be to God”

We talked briefly about what it means to have a Christian Worldview and how it affects every area of your life. We will continue the discussion throughout the week.  The boys now are realizing what I meant by… you will get cold in shorts and it kind of got comical, people thought we were in line to go in and kept coming up to us trying to figure out how to get in the visitor center door.

We spent some time in prayer at the base of the Monument… A few things we prayed:

  • Asking God to direct us this week
  • We prayed for any that did not know God as the creator, Savior that they would come to know him and believe.
  • We prayed for representatives from the nations that are here to come to know Jesus as the Son of God and would take the gospel back to their nation.
  • We prayed for any U.S.  elected officials to make decisions that were Godly and lined up with God’s word, not ones that would just keep them in office.
  • We thanked God for being a God of love and justice
  • We prayed that God would be glorified in our nation

Please join us in prayer as we continue throughout our week.  Seeing all the monuments and memorials can really impact you. I pray that the students will come away with a deeper understanding of service and sacrifice and an appreciation for those in every kind of position that serves the public.

That men may know .. their Creator, their Lord and that there is no other and this will inspire them to live their life to glorify and honor Him.  As the capstone says … Praise Be to God!   Those are world changing prayers!

Tomorrow at 12:15pm EST  we have the honor of laying the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  Four of our students will be representing the class:

Aaron Campbell     Chase Bouloy     Chase Jordan     Benton Ballengee

I will be attempting to bring it to you live via Facebook.  Our time is 12:15p  EST Set your clocks for 11:15 am CST  to see our four gentlemen  lay the wreath. 

It’s only 8:29p but it feels like it’s 11:00pm.  Going to call it a night!

mrs. g

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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