Prepare Now!

Iceland Trip-123 Elly

 

Prepare Now!

Tonight’s debrief is where we challenge our seniors to be thinking NOW  how they will face their upcoming first year of college – first year out of high school moments.

Mom and dad aren’t around maybe. No one knows if I REALLY am doing my homework or where I am at this moment. I am invited to a party/function that I know deep down is not a good decision. . .  the list goes on and on.

Prepare now. How are you going to answer? Who are you going to trust to keep you accountable? What are you going to do with your relationship with Jesus?

Begin praying now and setting your mind to your plan. Have your responses settled in your heart now!

Have strong accountability.  Of ALL AGES!

Live a life that matters. Matthew 5:17  “let your light shine before all men that they may see your good deeds and praise the father in heaven”

Live with Passion – Have fun – but not at the expense of regrets – being a Christ follower doesn’t mean the fun is missing.  It means your fun won’t make you wake up with regrets

Live with Purpose  –   find your small group/ church / right off the bat.  Keep searching till you find the one that challenges you and helps you grow

Live a live of Service –  don’t stop serving –  in this world of “me”

Live a life of Humility – don’t think so highly of yourself that you don’t reach out for help, reach to help others, reach to the one that deserves your praise

Our amazing JE guide Daniel shared with the students and their amazing HR teacher Ms. Smith shared. They both challenged them – you need to really think on these things now and have a plan for every one of these areas. Choosing your friends is crucial. Finding those people that are going to spur you on to a deeper relationship with Christ.  If you’re too busy to spend time in God’s Word, listening, meditating and then responding … then you’re too busy.  Reorder your life.

Let’s pray John 10:10 for our students “I came so that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

 

Continue to pray for

  • Pastor Gunnar and his ministry in Reykjavik – and his upcoming church plant in Akureyri
  • The hired pastors for Iceland’s registered churches
  • Pastor Gunnar’s children and their needs Oldest son with leukemia, Middle daughter with continued health, Youngest son with special needs
  • Daniel (J E Guide) has many trips following our until June. Pray for strength, great teams.  He knows how to give devotionals and this is sooooo important. Pray that God continues to give him fresh words to share, words that will penetrate even the toughest hearts.
  • God to bless Elly our driver tour guide and her family
  • Our Seniors – much to do for the next 45 days  –  and beyond
    • God will protect their hearts and mind
    • They will choose to grow in their relationship with Christ
    • They will have solid Christ followers as friends
    • They Live a life of purpose –  unashamed!

 

 

 

 

 

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 66°

  • Iceland Trip-120Thursday morning

We will spend most of our day driving back to Reykjavik  – on to the turf houses and church

  • 66° =  the Arctic Circle

We came very, very, very close to that 66° … so Ellẏ says … “it counts”

So ….   It Counts!

  • Turf Houses

Oh my goodness!  These are amazing.  I teach about these in elementary and to see them in person is just a dream come true. So creative.  People were still living in them until 1958 and all moved but one man that stayed on 2 more years.

The history behind them is about being resourceful because they had depleted their forests. But as they began to make stone houses, they felt ashamed and tore many down.  Thank goodness, for historical preservation someone had the mind to save this group and keep them up.

The church is different in the front and the back are wooden.  The wood in the church is over 400 years old, but it is made from driftwood and as it washed ashore, it took 2 years to dry.  Because the wood was full of salt water, it made it strong and preserved it in a way. We sat inside as a gentleman that lived in the house next door gave us the brief history.

  • Goodbye to Ellẏ

We were blessed with the best driver and tour guide.  She was so conscientious  about our time, our safety … everything. We had to say goodbye to her. Clark drew the picture on the homemade card and we all signed it. I was very proud of the team as they took their time to bless her with kind words. She told us she really enjoyed us (I think we’re her best group EVER) 😀  lol… I’m a little partial, but, hey!

  • Lamb Stew

When we left Hotel Laxnes (where we are now) on Tuesday morning to head up north, we told the front desk manager, we were disappointed there hadn’t been Lamb stew!  He promised and when we pulled up, you could smell it!  Oh. My. Goodness!  It smells delicious!

  • Down Time

We are starting our relaxing evening (I’m sure the guys will eventually cross the driveway to KFC) and at some point we will debrief again all that we’ve seen and thought and talk through our prayer time last night.

5:51pm Iceland Time

 

Mrs. G

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Peace – Praise – Prayer

What a day

Godafloss falls – Falls of the gods     The Craters     Geothermal Hot Springs       Hell (it’s a path through an intense black rock field- it’s the English name they call it) you can actually get lost in there, our guide had to go with us so we could take a quick tour and not get lost.

sooooo we’ve actually been to h*ll and back … and… it was frozen over …  no offense… just a little play on words!

We’ve been in …..  SNOW …. LOTS OF SNOW ! ! !   Beautiful sparkling snow in the sunshine… then MORE SNOW!

I am reminded of the psalmists and King David and the psalms they wrote, and their awe and reverence and trust in God in every situation.  Every time we make another stop to see a natural waterfall, geothermal energy location, unique lava rock formations or just driving from destination to destination between unique landscapes, your heart can’t help but be in awe of our incredible creator God. I just don’t know how one could not help but declare who God is in that moment/situation! There is a peace, a feeling of something larger than yourself. You want to stay there. (Yesterday I think we all could have just stayed at the Lava falls … for a long time)

A very dear older and much wiser friend, just a few months ago shared what I believe to be an amazing truth that I just had not thought about. I was telling her, “ Every time I go out to our property and just sit among the trees and listen to the birds, the creek running, I feel that my soul heals, my mind is refreshed and I can refocus and fix my eyes just on Jesus.”  She replied, “Oh honey, you know why? That’s because there is no sin in nature.  That’s why you can sit in it and allow the God that is glorified in His creation to touch you, restore you, speak to you and set your soul at peace.”   I believe that’s true.

Over and over on this trip, I feel like we as a team have been ‘in’ that situation.  We are surrounded by an unusual beauty that human hands did not form, but human hearts can  not help but be drawn to the creator of that beauty.

Your heart can find peace …

  • In the roar of the water rushing over the edge and landing forcefully in the pool below
  • In the silence of the newly fallen snow, sitting on the bench overlooking a huge frozen lake and a field of craters completely covered in white, helping you to imagine … this is what the moon must look like
  • In the stench of the hot springs there is beauty and awe in knowing that God in his knowledge and power gave this … as a means to bless others
  • In the icy waters where ducks and seals and more ‘find their home’
  • In the snow gently falling we are reminded, HE is able to wash our sins away and make us ‘white as snow’
  • I am praying for each of the students, for all of us. That even though we get tired, things are confusing, strife fills our life … our hearts will rest in Him.

 

As we are back at the hotel with a short break before we go and start our prayer walking of the city.  I am very excited to be able to do this.  Prayer walking is such an amazing tool. If you have never heard of it or done it I want to encourage you.  It is powerful and I know it works.

  • Walk down the streets praying for the people in the business and homes to come to know the Lord, or if they know him to have the courage to live their lives in a way that others are drawn to Jesus
  • Pray for business owners that they would know God, come to know him – honor God in their business practices
  • Pray for  schools, for safety, for believers to be the light to those that don’t know the gospel
  • Pray in the workplace – as you walk down the hall, to another office, to lunch – pray for your co-workers, bosses, office interactions. Pray that you will have the opportunity to share your testimony or pray for a friend or co-worker.

How does it help?   4 ways

Thaws the ice –  most people don’t know what to do, and pray walking provides a quiet way to help people. You just may be the answer to someone’s prayer. Continuous prayer can warm the spiritual atmosphere. Hearts are opened by prayer and that leads the doors opening for God to touch their lives

Helps You to Overcome fear – we are all concerned about our cities, states and our nation, yet we don’t know where to start. Prayer walking provides a way for us to connect with those people and issues we are passionate about

Contends with Evil – Eph. 6 –  prayer is a mighty tool we are given to help fight the fight against our adversary, Satan. Our prayers agree with the heart of God for His people and His world. We battle against spiritual darkness when we pray for others.

Progress in Prayer – I think we would all desire to pray more. Prayer is hard work, but if we push through, it can become a natural part of our lives. You will find yourself praying for people going down the hall, at the grocery store, sitting in the car next to you at the light. You will make yourself available to God to be used in incredible ways.

I tell the students.  If you feel drawn to pray, just start praying, if you sense to pray about something  in particular just go with it. Next thing you know you are feeling more and more comfortable praying. It’s up to God whether or not it is answered, and that takes the pressure off. You are just agreeing with the heart of God to draw people to him and to bless them.

Our prayer life should be more than Thank you God or GOD  PLEASE  HELP…..  !

This late afternoon, as we are going to prayer walk, starting at the church and around the center of this city, we are asking God to draw the team that will lead the church plant.

  • The pastor
  • A strong support team
  • Favor in the city
  • Unique opportunities to share the gospel
  • People will be drawn to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • The pastor of the town’s registered church to be a fully committed Christ follower. That if he is not, as he prepares the upcoming messages that his heart will be convicted and God’s word will begin to challenge, mold and save him.

1 Corinthians 3:5-    What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe – as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.

Our job tonight was to help till the hard spiritual ground if you will, to pray for the people here.

I will be finding out tomorrow what each of the teams prayed.  If you are joining us in prayer, please email me or pm me on fb and let me know. We want to encourage Pastor Gunnar with the knowledge the church is praying with him for his nation.

We head back to Reykjavik tomorrow morning. Pray for a safe trip.  We will see the turf houses (I. Am. So. Excited!)  and more.

Please continue to pray for our driver Ellẏ.  Before we end our time with her we want the privilege of praying for her.

We will be doing more praying  and prayer walking for Gunnar, his family, his church / ministry.

Till tomorrow!

Mrs g

I think my heart’s too full …  can’t help it!  These students are amazing and I love what comes from their hearts in debrief and prayer … good stuff!

 

 

 

 

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Iceland = Taking It All In

Iceland –

We are in the Northern Capital Akureyri. It is a tourist town with a harbor for fishing and cruise ships. It is beautiful. However, the drive up here … stunning, magnificent, awe, God’s creation is just amazing.

Mrs. G is handing off the typing to me, Ms. Smith, while she dictates.

Our first stop was at the largest hot spring in Europe. According to Elli, this hot spring pumps 120 degree Celsius water 180 liters per second to homes and businesses across several towns. This particular hot spring is so large, that it can be pumped over 70 kilometers away! All the hot springs are in the South, and the areas that are able to run off the hot springs are powered by the renewable energy they provide.

Some major pluses to living in Iceland include NO MOSQUITOES and NO SNAKES! There are only 5 predator species, 5 different kinds of fresh water fish, reindeer, rabbits, farm animals, and the occasional displaced polar bear who sometimes accidentally hitches a ride on a sheared off piece of a Greenland glacier.

We made an extremely memorable stop midafternoon at Hraunfossar, the “Lava Falls”. These falls are created by the glacier water that melts and runs under the ground, emerging through the porous lava rocks and spilling into the frigid and incredibly clear river below. The steel-blue color at the base of the falls is…for lack of a better word, breathtaking. The kids had a hard time leaving this place because in all honesty, it looked like something out of a movie. Like blue food coloring had been mixed into the water and the rocks had been perfectly crafted to create stunning shapes with the water. This is our guide’s favorite stop, and she takes her tour guests here often. We can see why.

After we left the falls, we passed through a North Western mountain range. There was a long stretch of road that had no flora, fauna, no nothing…just raw beauty. This was a distinctly different landscape than what we had experienced thus far. Everything was so covered in snow that it was almost the only thing you could see. The kids were taking pictures and the only sounds we heard were oohing and aweing, or complete silence as they took it all in. It got me the way our guide is proud of the beauty and peace their countryside holds. The kids even mentioned this in our debriefing tonight. They noted how much it moved them seeing God’s creation in such a wondrous way.

As we reached the base of the mountain pass, the snow remained, much to the delight of our students. We then entered a coastal town called Akureyri (yes, Elli had us rehearse its pronunciation several times before we got there). We got checked in to our really nice hotel with views of the harbor on one side and the ski lifts on the other. After check-in, we went to dinner, then the kids proceeded to have an epic hour-long snowball fight consisting of eye-locking-sudden-death snowball duels. They were wet and cold, so it made perfect sense to end the night with ice cream!

Our walk back took us by a centerpiece church that was lit up at night. As we got closer, we noticed semi-cleaned off graffiti on its walls that broke our hearts. We were suddenly reminded of how much this nation needs Jesus. Several students commented on these writings during debrief, and we could tell they were disturbed that someone would do such a thing. This had a lasting effect on their hearts throughout the remainder of the night, and spurred on a meaningful, reflective debriefing time. We ended the night praying in the lobby in the same manner in which we conduct prayer walking; No heads bowed, saying the prayer to the group as if it were just a conversation. In doing so, we aren’t trying to bring attention to ourselves, we are simply trying to bring the presence of Jesus into the moment.

Tomorrow morning we head out to explore some more of Iceland. This is the city where Pastor Gunner’s congregation hopes to plant a church this year. Please be praying for us as we support Gunner and his church by ending our day with prayer walking the city.

A SHOUT OUT to Ms. Smith…  My brain was struggling to think and type… it was a team effort!  What a blessing she is to our school, this class and to me personally!

 

Mrs. g

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…the skies proclaim the work of his hands!

Psalm 19:1

5:00pm Monday 6th, Iceland time

What an amazing day seeing God’s handiwork.  We took the Golden Circle Tour which allowed us to see just part of the beauty, majesty, mystery and history of the American and Eurasian Tectonic Plates, playing on the pond of ice, the Gullfoss Falls(Golden Falls), Icelandic horses, the geothermal area, Strokkur Geysir, the Historic Church, the Lava Fields (everywhere), the random hot springs, the volcano, the really high prices in the gift shops!  Oh. My. Word!

The wind … Oklahoma has NOTHING on the wind in Iceland!

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiceland where the wind comes sweepin’ o’re the land

7:00pm Monday 6th, Iceland time

Load the bus to head to the Northern Lights Tour

1:00am Tuesday 7th, Iceland time –  I am now writing the rest of the story …

We were able to book the Aurora Borealis tour from part of the class Valentine Fundraiser!  Soooo worth it.   We loaded the bus at 7.  The tour company took us out in a vacant parking lot in the middle of a field where lights were so far off it wouldn’t ruin the phenomena of the Northern Lights.  The place they took us is where the U.S. military base used to be.

Freezing cold – 28°    Windy and rough terrain off the parking lot

We got there about 9pm.  Our guide Daniel and Abigail set the two cameras up that had the best potential of getting taking good pictures.  While we waited, we sat behind a pile of lava rocks and first shared our favorite moments of the day.  Then Daniel gave a devotional, sharing part of his journey as a believer and encouraging the students in their future decision making and challenging them to not wait for ‘that day’ when they’d be ready to really do the things that Christ compels us to do – sharing the gospel, being the gospel – the time really is now!

The lights didn’t make the scene until almost 11pm.  But when they did they made a line across the sky.  Pale green but after the camera took pictures you could see the other colors we couldn’t see.  It lasted about an hour then began fading away.  As we drove back they would appear again and this time more of a teal blue.

             The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Psalm 19:1

We thawed as we drove back to the hotel.  Tomorrow we load up and head north for a couple of days. Glaciers, waterfalls, craters, whale watching (could use a little more prayer there – need the seas to be calm enough and the whales to show off)

We also will be prayer walking the area where there is hope that Gunnar’s church will be planting a church this year! Really excited about that!

My heart has so much more to say… but my brain is saying… go. to. Bed!  : D

Thank you for your prayers. The driver overheard me say I had people back home praying for the weather. She said she couldn’t believe the beautiful clear days we were having. She also said if the weather cooperated while we were in the North she might really believe there was something to it!  Hmmm!

Pray for the kids to not just enjoy the beauty but to see God’s glory within it! Pray that their hearts are moved to worship our creator God for all he has done. Pray that their hearts are broken for this nation of people that have been robbed of even hearing the truth of the gospel, so they could actually make a REAL decision about a REAL savior.

Until tomorrow night

Mrs. g

 

 

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Lofstofan – a family of authentic believers

Lofstofan – a family of believers authentically following Christ seeking to make him known

I am struggling to find the words to really describe this morning’s church service.

Amazing … but not because it was big or emotional or had amazing lights and technical support, in fact the pastor was apologizing for the struggles they were having.  Gunnar (the pastor) had just returned from the United States raising funds for a Children’s Bible Story book to be printed in Icelandic. He himself is fully supported by a church in Virginia.  This church has approximately 25 people who are trying to make a difference in Iceland.  And he has a huge ministry ahead of him.

We got to the church early and the worship team was practicing.  It was very relaxed.  They have had such bad weather that the church has had to cancel for a few weeks, too dangerous for cars to be out in the wind. So today maybe 12+ of his people were there.  The children’s leader had to work so the kids needed to be in the service.  The pastor’s son rode his horse (stick) up on the stage … and during worship he and his little sister were comfortable going up and standing by their mother who was helping lead worship and holding her hand.

It was such a relaxed *personal intimate setting that the children were not a distraction at all.

Because most everyone there spoke English, they did most of the worship in English and Gunnar gave the message in English.

The message was based on James 1:18   Of his own will he gave birth to us by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.

John 3: 1-8 – the story of Nicodemus.

Gunnar briefly shared his testimony, how he came to pastor this church.

Some of the challenging statements Gunnar made

  • We create God in our own image. We say it with our life. The way we live. Our lives tell others, “God likes what I like, the Bible isn’t up to my views”
  • God gives us freedom of will “My will is often to do what I want” but when the spirit of God moves we become born of spirit John 3:1-8 My will starts to change as the spirit of God moves … I become more like him
  • We like a God that is a concept and we can tweak that concept and make it into whatever is comfortable to us
    • Pimp my ride – We do this to the image of God – make HIM into what we want – he becomes Frankenstein God –  a concept instead of a person
  • Jesus said, If you want to follow me (God in flesh) take up your cross and follow me. Jesus then becomes your anchor. When you have him (fully who He is) you already have everything
  • Our lives will be a reflections of either         Judas    or    Peter

Sorrow   vs   Repentance

  • Love is best shown when I see my failures and I realize He has come and saved me
  • Man’s chief end – To glorify God and to enjoy him forever.

He closed his sermon with this quote.

”God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him” John Piper

At the end we had communion and then sang 2 beautiful hymns in Icelandic. (We didn’t do half bad)

It was an amazing, personally intimate morning with a message that was applicably impactful.

I asked Miss Smith and Abigail, “If you could describe this morning’s service in one or two words what would you say?”

A *personal intimate time (Abigail)  Applicably impactful  (Miss Smith)

 

After the service we headed to lunch and then an hour at the Iceland Museum.  Very interesting.

Then we headed back into town and walked around and did a little souvenir shopping then dinner.

Back to the hotel and Gunnar joined us.  He shared with us for an hour and half the plight of ‘the church’ in Iceland.

My heart is broken. What a huge task is before Gunnar and his congregation, however, their hearts are big enough.  I think of the prayer of Jabez where he asks God to enlarge his heart.  I believe God has and will continue to bless Gunnar and his family.  They have 3 little children. The oldest is a boy and is fighting leukemia (on my facebook page he’s in the fedora on the stick horse), the middle little girl has struggled with epilepsy, and the baby is on the extreme autism scale. The baby cannot swallow and will possibly never be able to have the ability to hold his head up.  He had a rare disease that as far as they and international doctors know, he is one of three in the world.  But to see the joy and patience in Gunnar and his wife, it is confronting, humbling and amazing.

God has given them favor with people so they are given interviews on radio stations by the Atheist leader of Iceland, they are holding training seminars for business people, by fb and youtube posts.

The hope is that a church will be planted in the northwest part of Iceland.  We are headed there Wednesday to prayer walk.

The state of the church in Iceland – dire

Statistics say that 86% are Christians – that is because the law requires you to put on the birth certificate the religious beliefs of the mother. So the child takes the mother’s religion, therefore it is put in statistics how many Christians there are in Iceland. In reality.  Not really very many.

There is no separation of church and state. This has been disastrous because the church hires the pastors.  All you have to do is study Theology, get your license and then you can be employed by the state to preach at one of the Lutheran churches. Because it is a really nice paying job, there are many agnostic professors and businessmen or women choosing to pastor a church because of the money they can make.

The picture of the giant church on Summit’s fb page.  It only has about 25+ people that attend. The same size as Gunnar’s church. When we visited it yesterday a small group of us stood close to the pulpit and prayed for God to do something in that church. That his presence would be felt. That the minister would preach the truth. That as he prepared the message that the Holy Spirit would reveal truth and it would open his/her heart to the truth and change them. Little did we know what we were praying is a desperate prayer that desperately needs to be answered.

A young college student from Oregon is coming this next year to go to college and begin a small group bible study at the Iceland College.  He will be the only Christian on the campus.

Prayer: Please consider praying for these requests

  • For the community of believers of Lofstofan to stay encouraged and to be brave and creative in their sharing of the gospel (one gentleman has been fired 2x because he loves sharing the gospel)
  • For the resources to do the seminars, videos, etc. that will draw others to come and ‘check out’ authentic Christianity
  • For Gunnar’s family and his son’s treatments for Leukemia – for his newest son and all the complications. With only 3 in the world, there is not a lot of help or understanding on how to help or treat him
  • For the church plant in northern Iceland
  • For the college student coming to start a Bible Study group on the college campus
  • Pray against the struggle of loneliness because there are so few with a task so large
  • Pray that the joy we sensed within their community and just sharing with Gunnar tonight will not be robbed from them but will grow and will be contagious to others, drawing them to the person of Jesus Christ
  • Pray for more ministries and people from America or anywhere will partner with and/or come to Iceland to partner with Gunnar to make His name known and bring the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ to Iceland.

Before Gunnar left three of our students prayed for him.  It was an amazing time.

 

Tomorrow we are going to do what is called the Golden Circle: Pass through glaciers, Thingvellir National Park a World Heritage Site – where the tectonic plates of Europe and America meet together, the Geysir and the Gullfoss Waterfall.

After dinner we are hoping to go on an Aurora Borealis Tour (if not Mon night then hopefully Thursday night) Please pray we get to do that!

It’s almost 1a.m. here!  The alarm is going to go off in just a few hours. Just like the 11th grade trip, prayer is now our main focus. The weather is too cold and windy to do any work projects.  But as Gunnar told us, prayer is far more valuable.

In our debriefing, many said this morning’s service touched them. Please pray that we ‘think on these things’ and it changes us. From here on out!

Relationship evangelism. Prayer walking.

 

Mrs. G

 

 

 

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The Eagles Have Landed !!!

We did NOT have to wait until we got to Iceland for the adventure to start.  Just the plane ride and landing in New York would be a roller coaster creator’s new idea for a new thriller ride.

On the 3rd attempt to land, we had one losing his lunch, one just about to lose it, 6 guys sweating, our 1 girl saying something like, “I guess I’m just not that used to flying is this bad?”  LOL!  Then I personally had a death grip on my arm rest while I’m praying for mercy AND grace.  Miss Smith and I trying to look as calm as possible knowing we had better have a seasoned pilot or … we’re heading to Detroit! Ummmm … opposite way!

Our pilot was AMAZING!  We spoke to him after we landed and thanked and praised him.  We told him, “We want to request you on every flight!”  Later we were told it was a cyclone blowing through.  We believe it!

Then our 8 hour layover turned into 11.5 because of weather, however our pilot that was coming from Atlanta finally made it to JFK in New York and we were on our way at 1:00am today.   While we had plenty of time on our layover, at different times, different ones of us would get up and take a  prayer walk, up and back a few gates, praying for those that had emergency situations, those that needed to get to or back to loved ones, or those that were just tired and afraid.

Our flight to Iceland wasn’t a full flight (can someone say, “Thank ya Jesus) for real!  Most of us slept, Abigail got beautiful pictures of Greenland.

We saw many interesting sites today from the Airport to Reykjavik. Our driver/guide is a woman named Ellie.  She is so sweet.  Every time we got out of the coach bus we woke up from the brisk air.

We are settled in to our hotel ….   we’ve had dinner and quick debrief … now it’s chillin’ and games in the game room. We’re trying to stay up til 10:00ish …  The SKIES ARE CLEAR – PRAY FOR US TO SEE THE AURORA BOREALIS!

Our guide saw it last night, so our chances pretty good.   We’ve prayed, we’ll see what God has in store. Psalms 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

  • The ‘White House’ in Hodfi where the  Reykjavík Summit was a summit meeting between U.S. President Ronald Reagan and General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev, on 11–12 October 1986
  • The Whale Ship Sculptre
  • The Harpa – the most beautiful, unusual glass covered community centre
  • The Perlan Museum
  • Hallgrímskirkja – the largest Lutheran church and among the tallest sculptures in Iceland

Tomorrow we go to church and hear Pastor Gunnar and worship with our Icelandic brothers and sisters. We’re really excited about that.  Later tomorrow evening he is going to come to the hotel and share with us about their church plant and how we can pray for them.

We get to sleep in tomorrow morning… I’m looking forward to that.

God is good – his creation is astounding!  Thank you for your prayers and continue to pray for us.

Waiting to see the Heavens declare His majesty!

Mrs. G

 

 

 

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Love in Action Day 4

Another productive day in Rockport!

Bathroom painting is more than halfway done. We’ll finish the last 2 small ones in the morning.

Our teams moved piles of office and classroom supplies. What surprises everyone the most is how young our team is and how hard they work and how kind they are.

We are leaders aren’t surprised.  We are honored to get to work and serve a long side them.

Charlie and Matthew were awesome chefs.  It was so fun taking them to H E B and letting them shop for the items.  We had fried rice with beef tips and seasoned chicken wings (seasoned with coke and soy sauce) seriously.

Chase Bouloy had to go home today he was not feeling well.  Once we realized it we removed him from the team and his mom came and got him.  We scrubbed everything down 2x.  So far so good with everyone else.

This afternoon we went downtown and blessed one of the gift shops. They were so happy to have customers.  Then even though it was foggy on the water… it was so nice and warm and the team had a great time playing, running and watching the dolphins out in the distance.

Tonight we had our circle of blessing.  Each student/leader took a name of another student or leader yesterday.  Since then we have been observing and thinking how we can bless them with words of encouragement and scripture. Tonight we shared with each other and spoke those words of blessing and shared the scripture we felt led to share.  It is always such a sweet, fun inspiring time.

These kids have been amazing.

Our goal is to leave here about 10:00 a.m.  We will stop for lunch/food on the way home.

We will have the front office email or use the iris to let you know when we are approx. 30 minutes out.

You student will be able to leave once the vans are emptied and cleaned out. 😀

 

Blessed to be a blessing!

Mrs. g

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Love in Action Day 3

What makes a team effective?

Works together well – has a great attitude – patience – hardworking – flexible!

It was the question that was asked at the end of our debrief and everything the students described is EXACTLY what they have displayed the last two days.

We stayed on the church campus today and helped 4 people accomplish 4 tasks that were on their volunteer lists. Honestly, one of the ladies hugged me and said, “We were looking at this probably taking us weeks.  What a blessing your group has been to us today.”

Blessed to be a blessing!  We had fun. We worked hard. We worked as a team.

After we finished all the tasks we took a tour around Rockport to see more of the devastation.

Heartbreaking … overwhelming heartbreaking! Travis and Mimi led us around and on speaker phone gave us history and stories about the areas.

Tonight as we were debriefing one of the students said, “As we were driving around it kind of hit me that was someone’s home where they made memories – was all gone in a matter of minutes.”

As we have been prepping for the Impact trips and talking about why we do what we do. We have given the kids a challenge to step outside of their comfort zone. They each have an assignment to ask someone how they as a class can pray for them.  This has three steps.

  1. Ask someone in your family
  2. Ask someone you know (friend, neighbor, etc.)
  3. Ask someone you do not know. Waitress, people that we’ve helped, check out attendant, etc.

It seems so simple but when you have to be bold and ask it can be intimidating.

A few of them pushed past their comfort zone and asked Rob, Larry, Mimi, John, tonight’s waitress and other volunteer workers here, “How can we pray for you?”  What a blessing it was to those we served but even more, what a blessing it is to be able to lift these precious people and their needs up in prayer.

Tomorrow we paint.  This church is so committed to helping Rockport ‘heal’.  They are giving up building space to turn it into volunteer dorms if you will.  We will be painting the bathrooms so they can install the fixtures and finish getting the building ready.  If you can imagine, months later, the work is still in full swing and people here have to be tired. The fact that we can serve those that serve is an honor.

Parents, you would be so proud and moved at the list of tasks this class has completed.

Thank you for your prayers and your support.

 

Grateful,

Mrs. G

 

 

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Love In Action … Day 2

It was a cold start this morning. We were all bundled up (thankfully I brought extra beanies and the church had extra gloves).  I don’t think some of them didn’t believe me that it would be colder than walking from building to building.  They believe me now!  😀

 

Our first work project was Rob.  He and his wife had recently purchased a really nice double wide modular home. His yard was full of roofing nails, pieces of shingles, trash and the destroyed flower bed borders and garden mesh.  He is recovering from tongue cancer and our prayer time for him at the end was so sweet.  He kept asking us to have our lunchtime with him, so we did.

We headed to work project #2 but it was no longer there.  The house had been condemned and a bulldozer had cleared the lot.  On to project #3.

Larry had just finished a fixer upper and Harvey hit.  The yard was covered with debris of all kinds.  Larry was limited on what he could do because he had previously had heart surgery.  Our kids rocked it.  2 acres of shingles, wood pieces, trash, limbs, toys, tin, etc.

We logged in 6 hours today.

The track and golf team got their run in.  Dinner is almost done.

I’m pausing and then I’ll come back and write in debrief time!

The evening:

Tonight we each reread Romans 12 and chose the verses that spoke to us individually.  We each shared our verse or verses and why we chose them.  We also each shared the moments during the day that impacted us.

There were many recurring themes.

The overwhelming loss that people have suffered.

It is sobering to know many people lost many personal items yet in their yards were the personal items that someone else had lost.

Even with loss, Larry was so happy we were there to help.  The more we did, the more his shoulders lifted.

To be able to pray with each man was such a blessing. Rob was so blessed we were there with him. Prayer meant so much to him.

After we prayed for Larry he said, “Wow, thank you. I feel lifted up right now.  I just feel better.  Thank you so much”

We finished ahead of schedule, so asking for new projects.

Till tomorrow!

The pictures above

Left -The Back of Larry’s house is no longer there

Middle – Notes left around our living area from people of Rockport

Right – Side view of Larry’s house

 

 

 

 

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