Monthly Archives: March, 2013

Oceanside: Day 7

75034_4801426953846_778717332_n“Today was the last day of work on my first mission trip!  The experience I have had in Oceanside has been amazing.  God showed His love through each of us in different ways to truly impact the people of Oceanside that were linked to Generation church.  The work I did at Jennifer’s house seemed to never get done, but today, when we finally finished, it all came together as a beautiful home.  To see her house completely clean from dirt and unneeded items, as well as, repainted inside and out was an indescribable feeling of accomplishment.  It took team work and patience, but the Lord gave us strength to persevere and get the job done.  Jennifer’s house is nothing like it was when we got there the first day which is exactly what we came to do, but definitely not the only thing.  We got to spread the word of the Lord and to see His light shine through a broken home which was our main goal at the end of the day.  We accomplished great things this week and I am so glad I got to spend my spring break on this mission!” – as remembered by Caitlyn Buttram

“Today – Thursday, March the 15th, was the last day of #Oceanside2k13.  I can’t begin to say how thankful I am for the people who have made it possible for me to come here and participate in missions, my love and calling, but also an unconditional thank you to my Father, God for his never-ending love and grace.  On my last day, I stayed at Generation Church and did lots of jobs with my fellow bros and sistahs in Christ: Jah-rod, Sarah, Macey, Cade, and Amy.  We did lots of small jobs cleaning the church and making it a more beautiful place.  We were faced with a few obstacles, such as having to move every single girl’s air mattress, suitcases, clothes, etc., and I complained about it a lot through the week, but we knocked it out in a few hours and got back to work.  It was also hard because our group was so big that it was hard not to keep interrupting the daily work of the church staff, but I kept asking God to help keep my heart in the right place and not get frustrated by that . . . and He did. Throughout this entire week God placed me at different sites to teach me a lesson, and thinking back on my week, I couldn’t be more thankful.  This week truly showed me how thankful I was for just being able to live in a safe town and God also just humbled me every day with different experiences.  I know God brought me here to Oceanside, California to not only help change the community of Oceanside, but to also change me.  I think the theme of this week was: “Love God, Love People; Serve God, Serve People”.  And that’s what probably helped me the most this week when things became difficult.  I could never imagine myself doing anything besides serving for my Spring Break and I’m so incredibly thankful that I was able to come.  I can’t wait to use what I’ve learned this week back in my own community.” – as remembered by Rikki Blue

“This morning it dawned on me how much we as a group have done this week.  We have all faced different challenges throughout the week and have successfully overcome them.  Not everything happened exactly how we wanted it to, but when does it ever?  I spent three days working in the special education classroom with 10 absolutely amazing children and adults.  Listening to the teachers stories about why they work with special needs kids and their childhoods made waking up way before anyone else worthwhile for me.  Each of the kids I worked with had completely different needs and abilities.  I was absolutely amazed by how much they knew.  They taught me that just because they take longer to learn, to talk, read, or do math, doesn’t mean they are all that different from us.  I learned that they want to make friends and that they just wanted to be like everyone else.  This morning the office staff provided breakfast for the FBCGT students that have been working in the school.  Watching their face light up when we gave them the new coffee maker (the fancy one that makes one cup at a time) brightened my day.  The special education teachers provided pizza for our lunch to show their appreciation for our help and the students made us a chocolate cake.  During share time Brett asked us what we thought the theme of the week was and my answer to that question is hope.  Seeing the ecstatic faces of all the people we impacted this week  and the excitement in the kids eyes when I worked with them made every effort I put into this trip worth it.  Now I’m going back to filling the 7,000 Easter eggs that we’re closing out our night with.” – as remembered by Chastity Slevin


Oceanside: Day 6

“Today I worked at Jennifer’s house and all week my project has been her daughter Jenna’s room.  I took all of the stuff out of it and cleaned it up on Saturday, I painted on Monday, and on Tuesday I finished it by moving the furniture back in.  I felt so accomplished when I left her house on Tuesday because I thought I had completed Jenna’s room.  Today when I got to the house I decided to go look at Jenna’s room, I expected it to be a little dirty because it’s an eight year old girl’s room.  It was a DISASTER!  It looked like the room I walked into on Saturday with a different color on the walls.  I was very frustrated and I felt like giving up.  Until I realized God was just testing my patience.  I have been praying all week for God to help me with patience because I am a very impatient person.  Once I calmed down I went back to Jenna’s room and organized it again.  I have no doubt in my mind that tomorrow when I go back it will be a disaster again, but this time I’m going to be patient and kind instead of getting frustrated.  God has really shown me a lot this week and it has been such a blessing getting to work at Jennifer’s house.” – as remembered by Haley Frias

“Today I continued to paint the youth center.  We began to detail the walls that we had painted the last two days, and I could began to envision what the final project is going to look like.  I began to get pretty tired towards noon, and as soon as that happened I received about 10 different text messages from people at home giving me encouragement.  It was such a God thing, and I knew that this was His way of telling me to keep pushing through the sleepiness.  Everyone around me had such an amazing attitude.  I was able to finish all of the jobs I had started, as well as, help out others with theirs.  Overall it was a pretty fabulous day.  Even though I wasn’t witnessing people’s lives being changed instantly, I know that the youth center will change many lives in the days to come.” – as remembered by Macey Hampton

“Today I went to the school to work with children with special needs.  This was my second day at the school working with them, and I really enjoyed getting to know a lot of these kids!  I know I’m supposed to be blogging about today, but yesterday I worked with a girl named Fatima, and she was in a wheelchair.  One of my jobs was to play with her on an iPad to try to get her to respond and interact with the sounds.  When she would touch the iPad, she would occasionally look at me and tried to speak, but couldn’t generate any words.  It made me realize how lucky I am that I can do things as simple as speaking, and using my hands.  On a brighter note, I met some nice girls in the bathroom, and I was able to talk to them about why I was on a mission trip for Spring Break instead of on vacation.  Even though most of our conversation was through a bathroom stall (which was extremely awkward), I feel like I really planted a seed.  Today I met some different girls outside of the same bathroom and got to talk with them briefly as well!  I also got to know a little boy with Down Syndrome named Andrew, and I had a lot of fun helping him this week!  It has been a blast in California, but I miss Texas!  Hope my last day is as good as these past days have been!” – as remembered by Sarah Ward

“Today I was able to work in a small group around the church.  I was ready to work hard because I felt like it would be something that we could give back to the church.  We shared great conversations and I loved spending time together and getting a job accomplished with such a small group!  Brett quickly got us in the van and brought us to our next job.  We were given huge stacks of door hangers to walk around the neighborhood with and put on each door.  It was fun walking around and seeing the everyday life of the “Californians,” until I was innocently placing a hanger on the gate and a giant pit bull jumped up and was barking at me.  I was able to practice my 100 meter dash in that moment of time, and quite frankly burned a few calories.  We finished that mission, and were placed at Jennifer’s house to paint a fence.  It was great to go to several different locations, because I felt like I was a part of something so much bigger than I can even imagine.  Even though exhaustion set in, I cannot think of any other way I would rather spend my Spring Break than serving God, and sharing his love with other people.  I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me tomorrow and how I can bring back what I have learned to Georgetown!!” – as remembered by Margo McEntire

“Today was an interesting day.  It started as all the guys waking up and getting ready for work.  Cole, Andrew, Chris, Marshall, and I went back to the “cement house” to dig  wheelbarrows full of dirt.  When we got to the truck a few steps away we realized that the truck that we were going to fill had a flat tire.  We had to stop and go to an auto parts store to get a new tire.  While we were at the auto part store we started to come up with names for the youth center and Chris came up with the idea to name it the shack.  After we discussed the name and told a few jokes, we went to Jack in the Box for a snack.  After an hour or so we got the truck and went back to the work site.  We filled up the truck and went to dig some more.  Once we filled up the truck, Andrew and I went to dump off all of the dirt. After that we went to Jennifer’s house to pick up all of the trash and to take it to the dump.  We loaded up all of the trash and a lot of old  carpet in the truck and Cade and Devin joined us.  After two runs of that we dropped of Cade and Devin.  Andrew, Chris, and I went back to the work site to find that all of the concrete was set and the lady bought us almost a dozen pizzas.  We brought some back to other workers and we were finished for the day.  The rest of the day we ate goofed off and played sports.” – as remembered by Garrett Alton

Oceanside 2013: Day 5

“Today I worked for the third time at the concrete site.  We were able to finish the foundation and level out the dirt that will go underneath the concrete.  We also laid down two yards worth of dirt over the ground and piping to smooth it out.  Tomorrow we will finally be ready and prepped to pour the final new concrete for Elizabeth’s kids.  It was cool to see all of our hard work come together and begin the final stages of the project.  I have had a great time serving at this site and look forward to hear about how it all comes out.” – as remembered by Brock Drummond

“Today I went to the Youth Center for the first time on this trip to paint.  When we arrived, we moved all of the furniture and supplies out of the building to prepare for the painting.  Most of the ceiling was already finished, but there was a lot of detailing work that needed to be finished.  I faced my fear of ladders and heights and went up to help finish painting the black ceiling.  We then moved on to painting the walls and detailing the bathroom and kitchen.  Chris Martinez brought us a speaker that we plugged our phones into to listen to music, so we were jamming all day long as we painted.  We also began to scrape up the paint from the floor towards the end.  We were all continually reminded that we were working for Jesus throughout the day, and that we were making a difference for some teenagers in the future.  It was such an amazing day, and I am so blessed to get to help out at the center.” – as remembered by Alison Plueckhahn

“I went to Jennifer’s House for the first time on this trip so help clean out her house.  While there, everybody had all different kinds of jobs.  Some people were painting, others were cleaning the kitchen, and the rest were helping Jennifer figure out what she wants to keep, donate, or even throw away.  The great thing was as I was talking to Jennifer one-on-one she told me before she knew that we were coming that she told Chris Martinez, joking around, that she needed someone to paint her house.  Chris Martinez told her about how our group was coming on a mission trip and that’s how we came upon to being at Jennifer’s.  It is such a blessing to be here today helping Jennifer with everything because I know she thinks it’s such a blessing.  No matter how tired we all get, we know we are all continually reminding ourselves that we are all working for Jesus.” – as remembered by Ryanne Gipson

Oceanside 2013: Day 4

“Today I was in the group that was working on the new youth center.  We started off the morning by moving furniture and stuff outside that was left in the building by the previous owners.  We had to look through it and decide what was in good enough condition to keep.   The next thing we did was prayer walk through the building and we wrote verses that were important to us on the walls.  Then we painted the ceiling black.  Painting the ceiling took all day for the group to do.  I worked on one part of the ceiling then traded with someone else and moved into the kitchen.  The colors that we used for the youth center are tan, blue, and black. Most of the painting that I did today was detail work.” – as remembered by Chastity Slevin

“Today my group and I went to Jennifer’s house and painted.  We started off the day with four of us painting the outside of her house which took the first half of the day because there were a lot of crevasses to fill.  The other two people were inside touching up in the bedrooms.  After lunch we all went inside and finished the day painting Jennifer’s hallway and bathroom two really pretty colors. Mrs. Downs spent the entire day cleaning her kitchen and it looks REALLY good but she still has to finish it up tomorrow. It was an awesome day and we accomplished a ton!” – as remembered by Ana Moorhead

“We started off the day at promptly 6:00am.  I ate a quick breakfast and then headed to the vans for our third day on the trip.  Jenna and Jared were our group leaders (parents for the day) and Jenna let everybody know what we would be doing throughout the day.  Ryanne and I had 6th grade math tutoring and a few others picked up trash.  I felt we did a fantastic job with helping the kids and teaching them the best of our ability.  After lunch break, the both of us assisted the special needs group and helped them spell words and sound them out.  I felt blessed to have that opportunity, and I was happy I got to spend the day at the school.  Today the group felt accomplished.  We were tired, but pushing through and asking God for strength is a main priority.  Many of us have grown on this trip already, and I cannot wait to see what else the Lord has in store for us!” – as remembered by Micah Downs

“Today I went to the concrete house.  There was a lot of preparation for Wednesday – when the concrete will actually be poured. Jorge, one of Chris’ neighbors helped out a ton and knew exactly what to do.  While Garrett and Cade cleaned out A LOT of brush and Alyssa and Clara hoed the dirt for the garden, the others took out old drainage pipes and replaced them with much better pipes.  Jorge and Chris led the work.  We moved dirt and rocks to clear out space for the pipes. With a couple of days left, we are very close to being able to pour the concrete and finish.  Please pray that the work is completed smoothly and thoroughly and that GOD speaks to the hearts of Jorge and the lady and her kids that we are helping out.  Also, two people on their Mormon mission came to our house and while they were going to talk to us about their faith, they ended up asking questions about ours and we were able to tell them that we were doing this for JESUS CHRIST! It was really awesome!”

Oceanside 2013: Day 3

“This morning we started off helping Generations North set up all the chairs and table for their church service.  We got to spend our morning worshiping with them and listening to the message.  We also got to do communion. The people at Generations were so welcoming and made us realize that we need to be much more welcoming at our church back home.  After that we headed to In-N-Out burgers.  It was delicious and I think we need one in Georgetown.  After our tasty meal, we loaded up in the vans and went to the harbor.  I was really nervous about getting sick while whale watching, but it turns out that I was fine.  I just ended up sleeping for an hour and felt much better after that.  We got to see lots of dolphins and I even got a few pictures!!  Some of the pale people got a little red (Brett and MaryBeth) hahaha.  MaryBeth’s isn’t too bad but Brett on the other hand looks like a raccoon!!  For dinner we went over to John and Jacque’s house.  They made us yummy lasagna, garlic bread, caesar salad and brownies.  They were so sweet to invite all 41 one of us Texans into their home.  Now we are back at the church just getting ready to go out and work tomorrow.  Please be praying for us to have patience with each other and to not get stressed out.” – as remembered by Kiersten Gonzales

“Today was our second day in California and it was our free day.  We started off the morning helping the setup crew at Generations North.  We spent the morning worshiping and communicating with the people among the church. nIt was such a friendly environment and I am very blessed to be a part of it.  After church we ate at In-N-Out Burger and it was delicious and very cheap.  Whale watching was my favorite part of the day, but most people do not agree with me.  There were only 9 of us that stayed at the front of the boat looking for whales and dolphins the whole 2 hours.  We call ourselves the “Nautical 9” and everyone else are the “Lame 32.”  We were getting a little discouraged at the end because we weren’t finding any whales, so we brought out our whale and dolphin calls (we sounded like Dory in Finding Nemo but 10x better).  Five minutes later we saw hundreds of dolphins swimming in a pack leading our boat.  It was incredible to see these beautiful animals that God created and I am so glad I stayed out there the whole time to experience it.  For dinner we went to a family’s house at the church who provided dinner for all 41 of us.  It was delicious and they were so generous for sharing their home and food with a bunch of youth.  Overall, today was an amazing day and I am so excited to see what God has in store for us with our projects.” – as remembered by MaryBeth Brue

Oceanside 2013: Day 2

“Today was our first work day in Oceanside.  I went to the youth center and for the first half of the day gave out food.  Generations, the church we are with, was hosting a food drive.  They put out potatoes, yams, green vegetables, fruits, and bread for people to pick up.  It was a lot of fun to talk to the customers and see how happy they were for the food.  After lunch we went and worked on the youth center, picking out nails, sanding the walls and cleaning it out to get it ready for painting.  Halfway through we stopped working to go prayer walking.  My group walked up a never-ending hill and found a ledge that looked over the city.  Sitting there listening to worship music and praying was absolutely amazing.  The view was breath taking and it was awesome just taking in one of God’s creations.  I felt truly blessed.” – as remembered by Alyssa Melikian

“So…..first day of work and I can honestly say that I am completely exhausted.  I was in a group that was hauling out concrete slabs of a person’s backyard in order to pour new concrete to make a basketball court for their children.  Assisting us were 3 guys from Beach City Building, a company within Oceanside, and they were volunteering with us on this project.  The first hour of the day consisted of breaking up 3 large slabs of concrete and putting the pieces into a large trailer so it could be hauled to a concrete recycling plant.  After the concrete was taken, we dug out and evened up the dirt so we could pour the concrete into the space in a few days.  All in all, we filled up 3 trailer loads of both concrete and dirt.  Tim, one of the guys we were working with, said that each load weighed about 2 tons, so all in all, we probably moved 12,000 pounds of material.  Safe to say, after our intensive work day, I’m utterly wiped, but, we did get a lot of work done and it feel’s great to be helping people who need it.” – as remembered by Andrew Hill

“Today we awoke early in the morning to begin our day of work in Oceanside.  Although yesterday was a long and exhausting day of travel, I woke up refreshed and eager to work today.  Last night we were able to tour all of the projects we would be working on throughout the week so we already had a pretty good idea of what we would be working on.  I was assigned to work on the house of a woman in a wheelchair (Jennifer), who also had a young daughter.  It was a little chilly in the morning and Jennifer began explaining to us the things that she needed help with; she wanted her and her daughter’s room painted, the stucco and exterior trim painted, a bathroom painted, the back and side yards to be cleaned which included pulling weeds, and she wanted someone to play with her daughter.  We were a bit overwhelmed when we first heard everything we would be doing, but quickly got to work.  We had to wait a little bit on getting some paint to match the existing paint already on the walls, so most of the group began to tape the trim and doors in preparation for paint.  A few us also began on the yard work outside.  We pulled weeds out of flower beds, and later another team helped us get the grass cut.  We were all working on several projects; I mainly painted outside the house and was able to finish all of the trim.  We accomplished organizing and painting Jennifer’s daughter’s room, as well as painting the outside of the home, and Jennifer’s bedroom.  The day ended quickly and we felt very proud of the work we did.  We were all very exhausted but happy that we are able to be serving a family in need.  We will continue working with Jennifer throughout the week to finish the remaining projects.  We are confident that with Jesus’ help we will be able to finish the house before the week is over and will be able to start other projects.” – as remembered by Joseph Babin

Oceanside 2013: Day 1

“Yesterday was a long day of travel for the students here at FBCgT.  It started with all of us meeting at the church at 6:15 in the morning.  Then we loaded the luggage into the vans, took attendance, and prayed for the day of travel ahead of us and the week to come.  Once we got to the airport we assembled into our family groups and passed through security without any problems.  After security we got to the gate and waited till our flight arrived at 10:00. We then proceeded to board the airplane for San Diego.  During the flight we had one big event that happened.  Micah Downs came over the loudspeaker on the plane and asked Kiersten Gonzales to the prom.  We landed in San Diego after a three hour flight and proceeded into old town to eat lunch.”   – as remembered by Cole Elliott

“When we finally made our arrival to Old Town, California, everyone split into groups
and ate lunch.  Lunch was highly anticipated by everyone since we ate lunch at 3:00 (central time) or 1:00 California time.  After lunch, we explored Old Time by shopping in tourist shops.  You could definitely feel the Hispanic heritage within Old Town restaurants and shops.  With tired legs, we made it to the church and Chris Martinez, the church pastor, gave us a tour of the sites we will be working at throughout the week.  Once we were through looking at the sites, we all worked as a team to buy food for us for the following day. Poor Walmart . . . Once we had all of our food, we made it back to the church and blew up mattress and prepared for the night. It was an exhausting day!” – as remembered by Cammie Cantu