Junior Impact Trip

Pressing on towards the goal

The final night of debriefing is a favorite time for me!  

There was so much to cover because we didn’t debrief yesterday.

Let’s just say that the Arlington Cemetery made a big difference in everybody’s lives!

Some of the student’s shared that they haven’t really fully grasped what all they’ve seen and participated in and how they feel about it!

Suggestion: when your student comes home, help them process by giving them time if they need it!  It truly has been a full week with some amazing experiences.

One student said, “This all really means a lot to me and I don’t even understand it all right now, I’ve got a lot of things I’m working through that we’ve experienced.”

Everything we experience, see, learn becomes a part of our life story, our DNA if you will.

I talked about how it’s not an ‘accident’ that a stranger would come up to them and share about how their actions blessed him and honored others. The man was so moved he could not hardly speak for crying.  (he was embarrassed that he was weeping, but had to tell your young adults what was on his heart)

God entrusted them with that ‘moment’ and it wasn’t just to make them feel good, but to realize – everything you do … counts … it can have a purpose  beyond themselves … and can honor him!  I told the class – if you’ll take these experiences, meditate on them, ask God what he wants you do to with all you’ve seen and heard, etc.  you won’t believe what he’ll do next in and through your life!

Our young adults ‘got it’ that unique things have happened to them on their Impact trips (how Hugo, Oklahoma Little Dixie remembers who they are) and how God has used their obedience and servant hearts to bless and minister to others.  I can’t wait to watch and see … what’s down the road.

We talked about what ‘a life of integrity and serving and living justly’ looks like … it can be exciting, lonely and overwhelming. But all in all … worth it!

They could be called on to … stand up … speak out … stand alone!

So my prayer for this class … from Ephesians 1: 15-22

I pray that they will allow God to reveal to them the riches of their inheritance in him.  Influence flows from identity … as they continue to grasp their identity in Christ … they will be empowered to ‘impact their world’

See you tomorrow night … late!

From myself and my leadership team … Thanks so much! It’s been a great week!

mrs. g

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Greater Love Hath No Man Than This

John 15:11 was the theme for the day!  “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down ones’s life for his friends.”

very year something ‘amazing’ happens with each group!  Of course this year is no exception! The class looked amazing as we headed out!  Suits, ties, dress pants, dress … nice!

The ceremony is such an incredible act of honor and it’s a GREAT honor to be chosen to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Four students are chosen through the process of given a speech to their class on why they would like to have the honor of laying the wreath.  As usual, it’s very hard to pick the students but after the presentations were done, our team of four was: David Hannah, James Mata, Nathan Schami and Christian Schnucker.  The rest of the class gets dressed up as well because the four students are representing their class, Summit Christian Academy and last but certainly not even the least – Jesus Christ!

I videoed the whole ceremony and hope to be able to post it! The only blooper was, the Sargent of the Guard announced our name wrong… we are St. Christian Academy!  But the name on the wreath’s ribbon was correct  and in our hearts… we know who we are!

It is such a ‘moving’ ceremony and the opportunity is an honor beyond what I can comprehend at times.  When we were done this gentleman came over to our kids and said something to the effect of ‘

I’ve been watching it all morning, these four boys were the most respectful, the way you acted, and the way you were dressed.  Your whole group is so respectful, no one has shown the respect that you have.  I’m a Ranger myself and these men guarding this tomb are real soldiers and what they represent deserves a lot of respect.  Thank you!‘

We then visited other interesting sites at Arlington, and one of the groups got to see a burial in progress – horses/caisson/band/21 gun salute.

We spent the afternoon taking a break… finally … nice!

Tonight we visited the memorials:  WWII, Vietnam, Korean and Lincoln!

Deanna read the 2nd inaugural address  (she did a great job) , we prayed and then we spent time in our small groups talking through the day – reflecting on what has impacted us the most in these past 4 days!

Remarks  from a few of the students:

“Our nation was founded on Christian principles and we’ve gotten so far from it… then how that makes it difficult for them as a believer to stand up against it.”

“I thought I knew about sacrifice, but I don’t think I trul understood it.  It’s really been impactful to me to understand it. It’s affected me deeply.”

“Learning about our first President, the kind of man he was, makes me want to be a better person, to be someone like him. “

“Today was my favorite day so far!  All the things we experienced!”

I agree… and tomorrow is going to be a great day as well!  We get up and head out to Embassy Row to pray for people all over the world.  To pray for our country’s relationship with other nations.  To pray for the persecuted church all over the world.

After that we’ll head to Congressman Carter’s office and pray there, and then on to the Capitol Tour!

It’s been a great trip!  This is a great class!  And we serve a great God! HE is worthy of ALL our Praise!


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George Washington first in war – first in peace – first in the hearts of the countrymen

Once again this class had a first on this trip, we took a boat ride to Mount Vernon, which was awesome. It was a beautiful view of the mansion from the Potomac. We saw George and Martha Washington’s graves, took a tour of Washington’s house, and got to explore the beautiful landscape of Mount Vernon. A lot of the kids really enjoyed going through the house and realizing these were some of the actual things Washington lived with and used every day. We also watched an amazing short film on Washington that showed just what type of person he really was. The humility and intelligence of this man is just incredible. It was surreal being in the same house and walking the same stairs as our first President!

When we debriefed it was evident we are all pretty amazed at the integrity and humility of Washington!  We all agree, we don’t know of any person in history since him that matches the caliber of person he was!  One student commented that we should all strive to ‘be like him’. 

George so understood the bigger picture of setting up a government run by the people that he refused to be called ‘His Excellency’ or ‘King’!  He understood sacrifice and knew how to inspire everyone around him to be a better person.  He never quit, even in battle! 

Christ is that same example to each of us … no greater man, no matter how great George Washington was … Christ was and is the ultimate example of laying down his life for the freedom of others!  When you read the speeches, quotes, comments of our founding fathers it’s so amazing how often they mention Creator God, divine providence, Jesus Christ being the moral guide, etc.  Even those that didn’t claim to be ‘God Followers’ still used the teachings in the scriptures as a moral guide. 

Tomorrow morning at 10:15 EST we will be laying the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  David Hanna, James Mata, Christian Schnucker and Nathan Schami will be participating in the ceremony!  It will be another powerful reminder of people laying down their lives for others.  


Following that we will be prayer walking Embassy Row! Pray for our prayers to be directed by the Holy Spirit, partnering with God’s heart for the world!

Tomorrow night we’ll do the Memorials:  WWII,  Vietnam Wall, Korean Memorial and Lincoln Memorial. Sacrifice … it’s truly the theme … It’s an amazing time! 

I know you are praying, thank you so much, please continue to pray for us as we are challenged to allow the Holy Spirit to work in and through us!


Blessed to be a blessing! 

P.S.  We visited Smithsonian Museums again this afternoon!  Cool stuff

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Integrity – Service Before Self – Excellence

What a DAY!

I’m going to warn you … it’s a long post… but it was an amazing day…

The student’s responses below are  for the parents… everyone else… enjoy what you want…

It was a stellar day! As we were walking off the metro this morning Mr. Iverson shouted, “There it is!”  The Discovery Space Shuttle was circling the National Mall! We got some great pics!  Mr Smith claimed, “This class has a first and only!”  Indeed!

We headed over to the American History Museum  …  AMAZING!  Old Glory,  the spy glass that George Washington used in the Revolutionary War AND one of his uniforms AND his military camp set! The top hat Lincoln was wearing when he was shot …  just to mention a few of the things…  many of us are hoping we can go back before the end of the week.

Next was lunch then the Holocaust Museum – the 1st person series.

The Holocaust Exhibit and the Propaganda Hall!




We ended our afternoon with Colonel Randy Mauldin!  He has been such a blessing to Summit students whenever he has been able to join us and speak to our group. Randy shared how the core values of Military service are:

  1. Integrity
  2. Service before Self
  3. Excellence

He shared how even though these are military values they are also core values of believers. He shared the scriptures God has given us as examples of each of the same core values!

Randy then shared about how God is truly involved in every aspect of our lives. He shared about the time in his life he thought he’d be a geologist and was going for his PHD and then through circumstances ended up in the military and then later, while serving, a time when he was away (Desert Storm) and truly felt discouraged. Through God’s word Randy was immediately comforted, encouraged and empowered to do what God had placed him there at that time to do… and it really was a  ‘life changing moment’ for his continued relationship with Christ and his ability to confidently lead where God has placed him!  To have someone like Colonel Mauldin take the time and share his own personal battles and victories with our students… truly a gift and a blessing.  An American Patriot!

As we debriefed tonight the students each shared about insightful and meaningful moments they experienced throughout the day

Snippets from the Students”

Taylor – The Holocaust – ‘voices of the people’  – it touched my heart – listening to them put you in touch with what they were feeling and how they handled it …

Christina – The Holocaust –  my  great grandparents were involved with it…  the exhibit was cool and really heavy to see what kind of stuff they went to …  the kind of people that they had to be to get through that and then live lifestyles after that

Nick – The Holocaust – so eye opening I knew about it but saw stuff I hadn’t seen before – artifacts – shoes –

Cory –  The Propaganda Hall exhibit –   unbelievable  to see how they  manipulated the  people , just sucked them in with their propaganda-

Nathan –  The Holocaust Museum – the concentration camps   info   – what they went through  – hard to see it and be truly affected by it…   we get desensitized with all the studying we do about it at school … but the visual images – shoes  rail cart –  also made me realize how grateful I should be.. not having to be in that situation ….

Christian –  Jefferson bible – George Washington’s uniform –  I was awed at the handwriting in the Bible –  wondering – what would they think about how I was marveling at an object like that  –  the object makes us think about what they did –  At the Holocaust –  I felt like when we stepped off the elevator –  I felt like a heaviness – never had that happen before   –  never had that happen before –

Kim –The  Holocaust –  In school the more we learn the more it turned into facts, it seemed  less real – but seeing  the videos – it’s about real people – it actually happened –  I knew it was horrible but you really get it.  I loved all the quotes on the walls ,  I felt like I connected with the people –  it really affected me a lot

Chris –  The Holocaust – I was glad they didn’t sugar coat it –  through the  videos  – their faces –  the whole event was really life changing for them –so the museum,  it’s a testament  to how they really wanted to bring change through it

Zack –  Colonel Mauldin’s talk –  because his education funding got cut off –  it seemed like a horrible thing… yet it wasn’t … he’s a Colonel now …  almost a general in the air force    what was a bad thing, really wasn’t, it was God’s plan, that was really cool

Deanna  –  The Holocaust Museum – When you were in the elevator then stepped off on the top floor, there was such a  heavy solemn feeling – the doors open – you hear the German chanting – you see the big word… holocaust –   this is what really happened . What really showed me the whole realness was the shoes –   the quotes were very powerful –  then the shoes – people really did wear them and went through all that

David –  The Museum of American history – Jefferson’s bible –  Washington’s life –  Jefferson had favorite verses in the Bible and he put them in a special book to read them when he wanted to.  Then  when you first walk in – turn left – giant statue of Washington – looked like his super muscle man… yet with the Washington Monument, it wasn’t about him… it was built  for God’s glory .

Barret –The Holocaust – horrified me – during  Isak’s speech when he talked about the  door… how people came to his door at 2:30 to warn him that the German’s were coming and (he and his dad were able to escape and hide because of the warning)

Then the Huge burning pits – Jews going to the gas chamber –  Nazi’s telling them they were going to the showers to be de-loused when they were taking them to the gas chambers.

Brandon – The Holocaust – it was so realistic – the worst humanity could do or lowest –  reading the stuff over the walls  – it makes me really want to pay attention to history so it doesn’t repeat itself –   if that were to happen again –  no matter what we have to do something.

James – The History museum – made me look at history in a different perspective –  recognizing certain parts of time –  Abraham Lincolns face –  others looked at that too – for me to look at that is crazy –  how powerful he was –yet humble

September 11th the ID’s they found of the guy there at the Pentagon – the phone from the plane –  hit me really hard  – that was a last thing they were holding on to..  even seeing the pillars – made is more real

Saranee – The Holocaust Museum –  The Voices – listening to their own personal experience  –  I can’t imagine what they went through  –  now we don’t think about stuff like that– it’s really easy today –  they had to give up so much –  really you got to connect with them personally –

Taylor –  The Holocaust –  I understand now that there’s a reason you tell us you won’t  bring us in middle school –  it disturbed me, they didn’t honestly care about what was going on –  they were loud and running the wrong way – such waste to come

Nick – At the last – hall of remembrance – they were reading the names –  video in the museum – hitler giving a speech to kids wearing school uniforms –  he went to their school – an event for students – recruiting –  scared me but made me appreciate where I am right now

Christina –  holocaust – videos of survivors –  a lot of them talking about they wanted to give up but they didn’t have enough food – wanted to give up – pushed through it – we give up if something is remotely difficult –  made me realize how much easier life is .. how lazy we are … we don’t want to struggle

The quote from a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.

Niemöller is perhaps best remembered for the quotation:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

It was a moving day… pray that the things we saw and heard will change us, and  because of that change … we will impact our world …

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

One Nation Under God – Laus Deo – Praise Be To God

Written in the capstone at the very top  of the Washington Monument are the words   Laus Deo meaning ‘Praise Be to God’ … this is very meaningful because it’s placed at the highest point in the one of the most powerful cities in the world.  You can’t see it, but it’s there.

When the monument was being finished, churches and organizations donated to help finish the monument and on the steps are also declarations of  their Christian faith –

On the 12th landing is a prayer offered by the city of Baltimore

On the 20th is a memorial presented by Chinese Christians

On the 24th a presentation made by Sunday School children from New York and Philadelphia quoting Bible verses

Prov 10:7    Luke 18:16    Prov 22:2

When the cornerstone of the monument was laid, on July 4th 1848, deposited in it were many items, including the Holy Bible presented by the Bible Society!  Such was the discipline, moral direction, and spiritual mood given by the founder and first president and our unique democracy … One Nation Under God

What a different time we live in where people are fighting to have ‘Under God’ removed from plaques, walls, etc …  where people try to say our nation was not founded on Biblical principals.

After we checked in to our rooms, we began our time in D.C. at the  Washington Monument in prayer.

Sitting at the base of the Washington Monument in the grass, we discussed how crucial it is for each of us to be informed advocates for justice and righteousness by praying and participating. Scripture tells us to pray for those in authority over us so we might live in peace!  We read quotes from former Presidents and influential men in our nation’s history and every one in some way, referred to being guided by God’s Word, or the importance of Jesus Christ being involved in decisions, etc.

We prayed for our week, for our leaders to heed Godly council!  We prayed that men and women would turn back to God, or turn to him for the first time! We thanked God that we live in the United States and asked him to give our team divine moments this week.

Tomorrow morning we go back to the National Mall – then to the Holocaust Museum.   Our students will see first hand what it looks like when you turn a blind eye to injustice… when you don’t stand up against horrific acts against mankind.

The Holocaust Museum will take most of our day! We’ll listen to a 1st person testimony of a Holocaust Survivor (those are always so powerful) then we’ll meet with Colonel Randy Mauldin of the U. S. Air Force.

Then we’ll see what God has us end the evening with!

Pray that we will ALL grow in our prayer life! We’ll be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit!  Our hearts will be open to whatever God wants to do in and through our lives!

Praying On Sight with In-Sight!

The 11th Grade Impact Team

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