As told by Samantha Acuna
Hello, my name is Samantha Acuna and I’m going to be a freshman at East View High school. I would like to point out how life changing this mission trip experience is not just for me, but for many students. I was working with the 3rd & 4th graders during VBS and just seeing how much they wanted to be there, learn more about God, and Jesus Christ and what they did, and how they wanted to get out into the world and serve just left me speechless. Out of all the kids I have met, there’s this young girl who I got very close to named Gabriella. When we were sitting at lunch yesterday, I had asked her how close she felt with God and the more we talked the deeper the conversation went and eventually we had shared our testimonies with each other. At some point I just had to ask her “Gabriella, would you share your testimony again?” and when she said “of course I would” it made me realize how God brought me on this mission trip to step out of my comfort zone and share my faith with others of all ages and to make a difference in these kids’ lives. Since tomorrow is our last day, I automatically know it will be hard to leave, but at least I know that we didn’t leave not doing something. This was a great week with a lot of friendly faces and I can’t wait for the next trip we take.
Prayers: We get enough energy and strength to give it our all of our last day of VBS and we have a safe trip home.
Shout outs to: Brett, and everyone who came to help serve the lord and others.
As told by Grace Inman
Hello, my name is Grace Inman. I am going to share with you what I did today. Today, I was on the paint crew. This week we have been painting a house for a family of five that has been living in a two person trailer. We worked on finishing the trim of the house and working on the fence. Today was my first day being on the paint crew and I loved it! It was an amazing experience and it really opened my eyes to how blessed I am and how many things I take for granted every day. After we finished painting and everyone else finished VBS, we went to Schlitterbahn. It was so much fun and we also went to the beach. All in all, it was such a great trip and am so thankful for everything I have learned this trip. I think one of the things that God showed me this week is not only how blessed we are, but how much of an impact we can have on one familiy’s life or one kid’s life just in a week. I encourage you all to pray for us tomorrow as some of us teach VBS, and some of us finish up painting. Also, I ask that you pray for a safe trip home and that we take the things we learned on this mission trip and apply it to our lives at home. That we continue to serve people every day whether it’s on another mission trip or just at school. Thank you all for all the support, prayers, and love you have shown us this week. We are very grateful.
I would like to give a shout out to Matti Palmer.
As told by Blair Ferguson
Today in the 3rd and 4th grade room, we had about 17 kids come, which was more than yesterday. We started out by having them play the game Ships and Sailors, which was where we taught the kids some simple motions, and whenever we said certain words and phrases, they repeated the movements. It was by far their favorite thing of the day – and so far, the week – and asked us the rest of the day if we could play again. I played with a young girl named Kayla, whom I’d met the day before, and she continued to open up to me about her family and relationships. We spent most of the day together, even in Rec and Music.
During the craft, Kayla began talking more and more, and it felt so great to know that she trusted me enough to share with me these things. In Rec, she always wanted to be by me and play the games with me, and tetherball always got her to laugh and smile. It just so happened I had to go in early to help with serving lunch, and when I told Kayla, she spent the rest of her Rec time begging to go with me. It showed me that she really loved me and didn’t want to be without me, and that was the kind of relationship I’d been hoping for.
At lunch, her face brightened when she saw me, and she didn’t eat until I’d sat down with my own food. When music time came along, she got all into the motions, and although she didn’t sing, it was obvious she was having a great time dancing with me. The puppets were her favorite thing – she laughed at everything they said, and during some of the songs, she’d ask, “When are the puppets going to come out?”
When it came time to leave, she looked up and me and said, “You’re going to come back tomorrow.” It wasn’t a question; it was a statement. She wanted me to come back tomorrow because she wanted to see me, to play with me, and to dance with me. It made my day to know that I’d established a relationship with her so strongly that she dreaded leaving and pretty much made me come back the next day. It’s been the most amazing thing about the trip so far, and I can never wait to see her again the next day.
I also was given the opportunity to share my testimony with Kayla. We were walking back to the classroom from a trip to wash our hands, and I asked her if she knew how to get to heaven. Her first response was “When people die, they go to Heaven,” and I started to explain to her that accepting Christ as our Lord and Savior was the way into Heaven, she made no response and kept walking. I tried again a couple other times, but she just changed the subject. I was a bit disappointed at first, but I realize now that she just wasn’t ready to accept Him yet, and I had to respect that. I’ll keep trying tomorrow and the day after, and hopefully God will open her heart to hear his good news and that He’ll use me to guide her and help her start her relationship with Him.
As told by Colleen Dundas
Today was our second day of VBS. We have had a great group of kids all week and I really feel like they have learned a lot, in only two days. This week I have seen the kids running, jumping, playing, and learning about Jesus. Today we taught about Noah’s ark in third and fourth grade. At the end of our Bible story we asked the question “What would you do if God asked you to do a really big job?” At first we got pretty basic answers and like, “I would say yes!” And then one student raised his hand and had an amazing answer. He said “I would say yes because God has done a lot for me. He saved my family and he saved me from my sin, so I owe him this.” I was astounded by that answer and it hit me, wow, this kid really gets this. After a fun day of VBS we went to Gabe’s house for THE BEST FOOD EVER!!!! We ate and swam and had really good talks about the VBS. I really enjoyed hearing the stories about other groups and how God was moving in their lives this week. Overall VBS has been so wonderful and I am thankful for this experience.
As told by Drew Boyd
So today was our first very successful day of Vacation Bible School! We had 73 kids registered today and we talked about Jesus , ate snacks, played games , and got to know the kids. I am in recreation and we played a lot of games with the kids like dodgeball, soccer, bubbles, chalk, and many more fun games with the kids. When all the kids left we had a dodgeball tournament and the 8th grade beat everybody. When we finished we all headed to Main Event to bowl, eat, play laser tag, and play games. It was nice to chill and reflect back on our day. So all in all it was a really successful first day at Vacation Bible School and we will probably reach 90 kids by tomorrow!
As told by AnnMarie Walling
“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were the Lord, not people.” (Ephesians 6:7) Why is it so much easier to serve someone better than you; they aren’t the ones in need of it. Why is it so much easier to serve the Lord rather than people you see with your own eyes, people you feel with your own hands. It can’t be because those people serve you, otherwise us kids would be living to serve our parents.
This week, even just one day into it, has been so special and enlightening because we all found the drive to serve everyone one around us, treating them like children of God, not children of the Earth as we all often do. Today, while many of us were building relationships with the kids and singing in the air conditioned gym, a few out of the middle school youth were drafted to paint a house in the heat of the day without breaking. Want to hear the most amazing part of that? Those drafted kids were excited to paint for hours in the heat of the day! On a good day we would all roll out of bed, grunting to do that work, for pay. That’s the power of enthusiasm when we accept the GIFT of service from Christ, that’s the power of a community wanting to serve. Even more, that’s the power of perspective when you realize service is a gift, not an obligation. God’s purpose for us isn’t to make bright area’s brighter, it’s to illuminate the darkness with the heart of Christ and service that glows in us, if we allow it to. We were all reminded of that important lesson in the service on Sunday, and I’ve allowed it to illuminate my time here, and any darkness inside of me felt so powerless because of it.
I was in charge of the lesson today for my group (6th – 8th grade kids). We talked about how God loves you because He created you. Then I explained the formation sin, and then salvation. Adam and Eve brought sin into the world, but we keep it in the world. That’s what God put on my heart to share to these youth and it humbled me so much. But what humbled me even more was when a certain kid in my group shared with me that they have had struggles with blaming sin on Adam and Eve and even other people in their life, and that what I had said cleared them of a lot of anger. They told me thank you and that my words really impacted their life, and I said if they liked my words they should start talking to God more, because I give all the credit for those words to God. That moment in my life blew to pieces the darkness inside me, and showed me that service is a gift that actually reaps rewards; double threat. And it inspired me to continue with passion for the day and week. I hope that we all come home and remember these hearts of ours right now, as they are hearts of God, so that we may plant, water, or harvest a seed in the kingdom of God. It’s crazy how much you can learn from teaching others, and how much you can gain from giving a piece of you. Remember that; hold it tightly to your heart like God holds us tightly to his, it means more than words can express. It’s easy to know these things on a level that doesn’t challenge you, but you can’t comprehend them until you put them to the test in your own life, and you should, everyday.
As told by Macon Boyce
So today we went to PBC Mission and the service was really good. I really liked the worship, and Pastor Eli talked about how it was “a church for everyone” and I thought that was really cool. They showed us the video from 2016 of FBG and PBC painting and making this huge Shopkins world for a girl named Kaitlyn that had cancer. When they brought her name up I immediately remembered last year when Eli told us about Kaitlyn and her condition, but Brett got emotional again this year. We also canvassed today (and it was so hot), but when we got done we went to the Stripes gas station and got slushies. It felt like a little piece of Heaven. This year we didn’t do the party in the parking lot, but we did a block party in the park. We had hot dogs, played Ultimate Frisbee, and lots of other stuff. I got to see a few kids that I was with last year and it was really cool to see how they grew. It was really cool that they remembered me. Well that’s it for my blog, but if you’re wondering it is 10:27pm and Brett and I are fighting about which Oreos are better: mega stuff or thin . . . and just by the way thin Oreos are the best.
As told by Anderson Inman
So today we woke up and got ready for church. We get the opportunity to worship at the same church that we get to help serve at. We worship at Primera Baptist church and the pastor, Eli, preached about what they stand for as a church. Their motto is “a church for everyone”. What this means is it’s a church for Christians and saved people, but just equally as important it’s for sinners. He talked about the history of the church (it’s 97 years old) and how they started out in a little house and slowly grew. Eli talked about this point in the churches history were they became “comfortable”. They stopped being a church for everyone and became a church for Christians. Eli said that, as Christians, we are the light and sinners are the darkness. He said there came a time were the light grew afraid of the darkness. They were having a church service for Christians only. They were trying to cram as much light into a room as they could and there was not enough room for the darkness to even get shown the light. So he felt that God was calling him to move his church into a location where they could go out into the community and be the hands and feet of God to people who don’t know about him. Overall the church service was GREAT! The music was awesome and the message (by Eli the pastor) was outstanding! They showed a video during the service of a girl named Kaitlyn who was battling cancer. Last year we helped convert the gym into a HUGE Shopkins party. Kaitlyn passed away this year, but she got to experience what we thought was a little mini-Heaven on earth party before she got to go home. It was so cool to see how happy she was in the video! After the church service we went out and canvassed the neighborhoods (which is passing out flyers telling the community about our VBS which is going to be AWESOME)! Right after out canvassing we did this giant block-party were Nate, Lance, and I grilled about 250 hotdogs, while everyone else was playing football and Frisbee with the neighborhood kids. We all had a great time and are REALLY excited to get to have the opportunity to share the gospel with kids who may not know about God. If you are reading this and you are not down in Mission with us, your prayers are always wanted!
As told by Jake Moeller
Most of us arrived at the church around 11:30 and instantly began packing up the trailer for our long journey ahead. We went and loaded up the bus for our long drive. Brett sat us down and told us the rules of the drive and what to expect at the camp before we left. We got on the bus and embarked on our adventure. We made one gas and bathroom stop about halfway through the drive. With fifteen minutes of driving left we stopped and ate dinner. Luckily we had a large selection of fast food joints to choose from. After finishing our dinner we loaded the bus and left; happy knowing that we only had about fifteen minutes left. When we arrived we went and found our cabins and dropped off our stuff. With some free time we played football until Brett brought us in and told us the run down on the place we were staying in and the rules for our cabins. We then had an hour of free time until we had to go bed.