S H A P E

We started the day with the MOH team leader Katie, sharing about how Mission of Hope began, in 1998 by Brad and Vanessa Johnson. While serving on a trip, they were faced with a tragedy that God used to birth their ministry in Haiti, Dominican Republic, Key West and beyond.  Because of their willingness to say yes to God’s heart they continue to gain favor in areas and then expand to touch more lives.

One of the people that joined them in Haiti, Pastor Carey, has many things going on in Key West and the area islands. He serves many pastors, training them to reach the island communities.  Today we started giving painting his church office!  Spraying off all the dirt and grime, then putting on a fresh coat of paint. We’ll finish up on Wednesday. Katie (MOH leader) told us he was a story teller and she was not kidding.  But he shared some really cool stories and funny stories. Obeying God has taken him on an incredible journey that is till going.  All the different places of leadership that have been placed before him has given him the ability to share the gospel and raise up leaders. . I pray that God will use his life story with each one of our students.

I pray that as they go through life and they feel God leading them to change course or to press forward with faith, they’ll remember Pastor Carey and it will strengthen their own resolve that they can expect God to do great and mighty things for his kingdom because they listened and then said yes to him.

Pastor Carey told them he had a message for them. S H A P E

S- Spiritual gift. Discover your spiritual gifts. They will help you in your life’s journey to understand how God designed you

H – Heart’s passion. What do you think about doing all the time, even if you were not paid.

A – Ability. We are all given abilities and skill sets.

P- Personality – Understanding your unique personality will help discover your gift.

E – Experience – Your future is attached to your past. Pay attention now.

Paying attention to and pursuing with purpose, all of those things listed above can help you life a purpose filled life starting now.

Tonight, was Coppit First Baptist Church Homeless Ministry.  Scott Borgert is their Mission’s Pastor. They graciously fixed us hamburgers, then the team packed food packs to hand out.  Scott shared with the team and prepped everyone for the ministry time.  He talked about how it can feel scary to approach someone you don’t know with the purpose of meeting their physical needs and their spiritual needs.  He told us he feels that way himself many times.  Summit divided into four teams, each one led by one of our leaders. We arrived at our first stop, each person grabbed a food pack and a bottled water, hoping to meet 4 people we broke into four teams and walked the sidewalk looking for the homeless in their makeshift shelter areas near the golf course fencing.  We had some pretty special times, getting to meet precious people and pray for them.  Our last stop was on the beach and walking the pier. Some were able to strike up conversations and were able to pray with a couple of people. We circled up at the end of the pier on this giant tiled compass on the ground, sang a worship song and closed in prayer.  What was really great was Mrs. Borgert was so encouraged by three new people from Key West that joined them, and our team.  They have been praying for years for God to send them more people to help them reach out and minister to the homeless. “Tonight, was an answer to prayer” she told us.  I pray that more people come and those that joined her tonight, will come back and bring others with them.

 It’s been a long hot day, so when we returned to True North, we let the kids start the showers and we’re going to turn in early.  We will debrief two days tomorrow night.

Tomorrow, we deliver Groceries and have an afternoon neighborhood cookout.  Tomorrow evening, we practice for our Saturday VBS in the park. 

It’s been a full day!  The line for the shower is shortening.  I’m going to end there. 

Prayer points:

Thank God:

  • For all the moments during the day, known and unknown that God touched the hearts of our students
  • For how great the kids did and how they stepped out of their comfort zones many times,

Pray:

  • Everyone continues to allow themselves to be stretched
  • The students learn to become comfortable being uncomfortable.
  • Our ‘day in the sun’ turns into glorious tans (we used sunscreen, however some look a little sun kissed)
  • A good night’s sleep

Pray for those that we prayed with tonight. God will protect them, answer their prayers, heal them, free them and do what only he can do.

Good night from the top deck on True North. 

Mrs. g

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I Can Feel The Heart Of The Worship

We arrived!  We made our connections, secured our luggage and headed true north!  Actually, we headed to True North.  That will be our home away from home for the next week. 

Katie share the heart or purpose of Mission of Hope.  First and foremost, to unapologetically share the gospel of Jesus.  That manifests in many different ways Serving the local: church, partnering with the local schools, providing teacher training with Christian curriculum, meeting nutritional needs, local leader training, community development.  MOH has also developed a trade school which provides training for skills that can bring financial stability for them and their families.  The boat, True North also takes medical teams around the islands to provide healthcare where there is little access to it.

I am so excited for our students to ‘rub shoulders’ with and work alongside MOH team members who are passionate about making every moment count.

                                 “I didn’t understand it, but I could feel the heart of the music”

Tonight, we visited Jean Jean’s Creole Church.  It was amazing!  Only a couple of times did one of the team members translate letting us know what scripture was going to be read and to welcome our team as visitors.  Then there would be some sharing and then singing.  The worship band was rocking, the worship leader would begin a song and you felt the passion in his voice and in his movements.  The congregation would sing and then begin to sway.  To say it was amazing really sells it short.  A couple of people said they sang along and just made up words because the spirit in the room moved them to be a part.

Each evening we debrief the day and the highlight was the church service!  “I loved the service”  “The band was dope”  “That band, I loved the band”  “I loved how loud the band was” “That was different from what I’m used to but I really enjoyed it”  “That reminded me of my old church and I really loved the band” “I didn’t understand it, but I could feel the heart of the music” I think we ALL could agree with that.

We closed in prayer and I believe this team is excited to take on this week!

How can you pray?  

  • That we will choose to not be distracted by things going on back home so we can dig in and allow God to accomplish all He desires in and through us
  • For our work project and our community outreach tomorrow night
    • That we will take a chance to be courageous as we experience ministry in new ways
  • We will stay healthy
  • We will grow as a team – caring about one another and seeing each other in a new light
  • We will all fall deeper in love with Jesus

That’s it for now! 

Mrs g

Ready to head to Key West

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Comfortable with Being … Uncomfortable?

Are you comfortable reaching out and serving others? If so, what is it you do to spiritually, mentally and physically prepare to serve others? Can you be ready at a moment’s notice? Is your life at a place where you need to schedule in your service time? That’s okay if it is the season you are in. I believe you can serve in many ways if you know and are at peace with the season you are in. But what if you aren’t comfortable serving, at any time? What if you mess up? What if the receiver doesn’t want your help? What can you to do to push through and learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable?

So, I ask this question: Are you a ‘goer‘ or one of the ‘givers and senders‘ that are crucial in seeing needs met? I think, no matter which one (or more) will be your answer, at any certain time in your life, we can try to be prepared no matter what situation is presented to us. I came across this quote by Robert H. Schuller and it spurred me to think. What is it I do and what is it I still need to do to be prepared to serve?

“Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation.”

Robert H. Schuller

The longer I serve, I find it’s the everyday, and sometimes seemingly unspectacular things we do that can make us the most prepared for any situation that God presents to us. When you are presented with an opportunity, you will find many times you already have and are using skills that are second nature, just like breathing. Being made in his image, I believe we are hardwired to serve in some capacity. My act of service won’t necessarily look like yours, which should be encouraging to us. We each bring a different skill. I need you, you need me. So, what can we do to be prepared for situations God might present to us?

Quiet time

Reading, listening, meditating, sharing! Is your quiet time structured or is it a modge podge of different styles? Years ago, I felt so guilty because I could NOT wake up at 4:30 to have a quiet time and then start the day. My spiritual mom noticed something was up and I shared my frustration with her. She told me when does it work for you? Embarrassed I told her, “It’s never the same.” Sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the middle of the day, sometimes late at night. Late at night is my favorite. She told me, “Read Psalm 55:17. Does God only hear you at a certain time of the day?” “No.” “How about I take the morning shift, and you take the evening shift, and we’ll both jump in in the middle of the day.” she said. That was so freeing. It allowed me to tune in anytime, to listen and meditate on God’s word, listen to a podcast, reflect and then respond. Sometimes I have the time to get one of those 10 pound commentaries out. That’s a really favorite for me. What does that word, passage or chapter really mean? Does my life reflect what I just read or was reminded of? Now I want to share it with others, in lessons that I teach and the way I live. I love it when I’m in a serving or teaching opportunity and all of a sudden I realize God had prepared my heart just minutes, hours or days before for this moment right now.

Being aware

I’ve been reading and listening now it’s time to watch. Our lives can get so busy that we don’t see opportunities that are presented right in front of us. Did I notice the friend’s demeanor? It was off. That student was too quiet today… what’s up? I haven’t heard from _______(fill in the blank) so I should check up on him/her. For example, my granddaughter cares about taking care of the earth. We have over an hour ride together in the morning and the afternoon going to and from school. There’s this cattle guard that you have to slow down and kind of squeeze through. About a week ago, it looked like someone had just dumped their trash there. She cannot stand it. In expressing to me her disgust at people dumping a whole load of trash, it brought to light that when she rides with her mom, they’ll stop and pick up small trash in the ditch. I love that. She is not just becoming aware (looking at something other than her social media on the phone) and being frustrated by the acts of others, she has been choosing to get out of her comfort zone and possibly be seen standing in a ditch picking up the piece of trash. This latest pile is bigger than picking up a can or two or an empty feed sack, etc. So, I went to the store and purchased big trash bags and thick gloves. We’re about to set out and tackle that pile, and I mean pile of trash.

Prepare

One good thing about getting older is you can have experience in many areas that comes in pretty handy. Therefore, sometimes I feel I know exactly what to do in a situation. I feel like I am already prepared. I am also one of those people that it’s just as exciting to me to learn something new, to pick up a new skill. Between the help of friends, YouTube, and miscellaneous tutorials it can be easier to know what to do than it was years ago. I also try to be ready to learn as I go.

Make Yourself Available

Reach out. Offer your help. Sometimes you can plan. Sometimes it is spontaneous. Sometimes you serve anonymously. I find you don’t have to have all the answers. Sometimes, just showing up says, “I’m here” and is the answer.

Philippians 2:3-4 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

NIV

Sacrifice

That brings us to the next thing already mentioned above. Am I willing and ready to give of my time, my money, my support, my expertise, my strength (that means physical too, you know)? It could be anything, small to large, like lifting those boxes, picking up kids, running an errand, you get my drift. This is where it can get really uncomfortable. About 7 years ago, a case worker I had met in Oklahoma on one of our Impact trips called me. He asked if I could find a friend or two and come to Hugo and help a family keep their three kids. The children were always sick because they lived in filth. Both parents were handicapped. We had one to two days to turn their house into a liveable situation. I truly had never seen anything like it. I talked a friend into going. I don’t even know if uncomfortable even covers the experience. However, when we would look at the faces of those three kids, and we taught them what to do when we left, it was worth every bug that crawled on us and every unbelievable cleaning situation we encountered. When we left, the mom and dad cried, the kids cried and the case worker cried. The family got to stay together, and we knew God had actually done more with our time that we thought even possible.

Be Flexible

Warning: Be ready to go to plan B, C, D. I love what Summit’s Headmaster says, “What we learned in the military was, no one was lying… but the truth has changed!” And boy can it change… uncomfortably so!

Comfortable with being Uncomfortable!

Ask God to help you learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable! Then be aware as you prepare. Make yourself available, be willing to sacrifice in unexpected ways and you will be trusted with SPECTACULAR adventures with the Lord you never imagined.

Or… that’s what I’ve found.

Mrs. g

“Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can.”

John Wesley
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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?

.

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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