Thursday, July 14, 2011

After resting for a bit.

It's been a bit since I last updated, but I feel as if I'm finally rested
enough to function correctly. For those who might not know, I spent the
past week serving with our Sr. High Mission team in Chicago. What an
amazing experience. But I'll get into that in a second.

This week of recuperation has been rough. I thought it wouldn't be so bad,
after all camp is what I did for 10 weeks last summer! Yesterday was the
first day I felt normal again :) It was awesome to come home to family, and
Corey came home from camp too, which is a story for another day. This
week, we have been blessed with a visit from Steph, Nate, and Jayden (our
family from NC). So much fun catching up with them and seeing little 5
month old Jayden!

And before I talk about Chicago, God has blessed be with so many wonderful
people, one of them being the Hoover family. I like to spend the evenings
with them every once in a while and enjoy good conversations and good food.
I went there yesterday, only to leave something behind at their house.
Returning there to pick it up near lunch time today, I was welcomed in with
open arms and taken care of. So thankful!

Onto Chicago...

We (as in the 5 adults) took 23 high school students to Chicago to serve
with Inner City Impact - known as ICI (check out their website here). We
got the opportunity to run their day camp program from noon-5 all week, as
well as Jr. High, k-2 and 3-5 club Tuesday - Thursday night. The youth
that went with us either led an age/gender specific group or they ran game
time, crafts, tutoring, snack time, Bible story time, and a time they
called group gifts. They had some help from the adults, but they
definitely deserve the credit there. Somehow between what we had planned,
and our groups wonderful ability to fly by the seat of our pants, we had an
extremely successful week. We got to build some wonderful relationships
with the kids, the staff, and definitely each other.

The culture of where we stayed is definitely different than the one we are
used to here out in Northeast Ohio, but it was one that I fell in love with
(something I honestly thought wouldn't happen). The Lord calms all fears
when you choose to give it to Him. Going to Chicago I know definitly made
me fearful (and I'm sure the parents of the youth were thinking the same
thing), but once we left the church, it was gone. God is good. The only
time it may have come back is when we were trying to get 26 of us to
downtown.... but that was more anxiety than fear :) [to be clear, we all
made it and had a blast downtown!!!]

The group got to have a lot of fun during our 'downtime,' which to be
honest, wasn't very plentiful, but we made use of every minute. We got to
play some fun games (Screaming Viking, carpet ball, Saul, David and
Goliath, and many more), get a little bit of rest, have great
conversations, wonderful worship time, and just some awesome fellowship.

I'm so proud of all the youth that went on this trip. I don't think there
was a single person this trip that didn't get stretched in some way shape
or form. It was long days, with little to no breaks. The group meshed
well, and even when we offered them a chance to get home earlier and sleep
in their own bed faster, the guys and gals protested because they wanted to
serve even more and stay longer on Saturday. God's got some great things
planned for all of them, and I can't wait to see where that is.

If you think of it, prayers for ICI are needed. There is so much need and
they are going where God leads them, but the life there is not easy. Which
Christ told us it wasn't going to be easy to follow Him. The kids we
served said that being a Christian in Ohio is easy, and after spending the
week with k-5th graders where gang activity was just normal, plus
everything else there, I will definitely agree with them. It's definitely a
challenge to my faith, making me question how much am I really living for
God, would I really be willing to put my life on the line like some of them
have been called to do in Chicago (and in other parts of the world)? Makes
the fire want to burn brighter, I'll tell you that. So inspired by the
kids, and by the Sr. High group. Amazing.

I'd love to tell you more about it, like the little things that added up,
the Walgreens store that was a lifesaver, and then kind of a let down
Friday night, the amazing couple that started ICI, the staff at ICI, Thad,
the amazing-ness that surrounds the Ellington and Lau clans, what God did
throughout the week, the changes of heart that were so great and visible
and amazing. The gals and guys that I can't wait to see continue to grow in
Christ. If you want to hear more, I'm always up for a phone call, a trip
for coffee (though I'll drink tea), or any type of food is also a great
option , just let me know!

Note to self: Pictures to come!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds awesome! God IS good!


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