Hello blog!! It has been a while! Well let me say it has been that way for good reason! As said in the previous entry we are runnin' and gunnin' going here, there, and yonder with our youth! And let me tell you what an awesome youth we have! I could not be more impressed by or excited about the kids that are in the youth group. Each and every one of them are so special, add in part to the dynamic of the group, and are just all around good kids.
We went to youth camp first and had a blast. It was a good time to get to know all the students and for them to get to interact with us even more and really to just be thrown into it so to speak. God really spoke to a lot of the kids, and kicked off the summer in an amazing way. I really believe it helped set things up for World Changers and the upcoming school year. One thing that was really cool from the week was the way God spoke to many of the students about foreign missions. We had around 3 students within the course of one night come up and tell us at different times they felt God saying they/the youth needs to go on a foriegn mission trip. To my knowledge the church has never been on a foriegn mission trip, and Mark and I had discussed earlier how cool it would be to take the youth on one about a month before camp happened.
Then there was a week in between the day we got back and the day we left for World Changers. If you don't know what World Changers is, it is an organization through the North American Mission Board in which churches can bring the youth group up to work on houses in various cities around the nation. There was actually one going on in Longview the same week we were gone. The kids (and adults) can do anything from roofing a house, building a deck, putting up vinyl siding, painting, just anout whatever you could possibly think of. While they are doing this, they also go on walks around the neighborhood, telling others what they are doing, asking if they need prayer, and talking to them about Christ. It is a long and hard week that has your days begin at 6 AM with breakfast, and out the door by 7 and at your jobsite from then until 4 (and you aren't allowed to come back earlier). You are put into "crews" usually with someone from your church and people from other churches. It is fun, stretching, and completely something that a youth group needs.
I was put on a crew with no one else from Harleton on it at all. Everyone had atleast one other person they knew, except for me. Hwoever, I could not ask for a better crew. I had prayed about it real hard a few days before we were actually there, just that I would be on the crew God had for me, that group dynamics would be good, etc. He answered my prayer above and beyond, and for that I am grateful. I couldn't jabe asked for better people to be with all week. We were in Henderson, Kentucky, where the weather is a little more bearable, and not so stinking muggy! Mark and I once again got to learn a lot about some of our youth, God continued to reveal the desire in some to go on a foriegn mission trip, and just worked all around. One of our students didn't get put on a crew with any other high schoolers from Harleton, and was in fact the oldest student in her crew by a good two years. She was bummed the first day, and frustrated becuase she felt that way because she knew "God has a reason for it." It was really cool to talk to her on the next to last day and hear her say, that "Even though I didn't get what I wanted and some other people did, I got exactly what I needed." God works in awesome ways and I am so excited to be serving Him right now.
Tomorrow Mark and I head out again for another camp where Cliftones are the band. This one is in Quaw Paw, OK at a Sky Ranch camp. The church that will be there is Macedonia, where Mark used to work, so it will be exciting to see some familiar faces we haven't had the chance to see in a while. Please pray for us that it would be a good trip, that God would continue to move and speak to us, and that we would be open and listening to what that is. It is the end of a long stretch, so pray for strength, patience, and understanding for us as well. We are tired, but in a good way.
Well until later. . .