Thursday, July 29, 2010

Stories from Atlanta

Finally got all of my school work caught up from last week! That was a challenge!
So much happened in Atlanta last week, it was an amazing experience. As I shared before, Monday was spent in the city, working with the homeless. Coming from a rural area, homelessness like we saw in Atlanta is completely outside of our realm of experience. I was so impressed with the members of our youth group, who gladly chatted with the men and shared the Good News with them.
Two of our days were spent at an apartment complex outside of the city. Nestled in a suburban area, back a little road, and you were deposited into an entirely different world. You see, this complex is entirely populated by refugees from 19 different countries - the most war torn areas of the world. The children mobbed us! Some of the kids did not speak English, but all of them knew the language of play. Our job was to spend time playing with the children and getting to know them. What a joy that was! It was completely impossible to tire those kids out, and a few of them actually climbed on the bus with us. When we lovingly removed them from the bus, they stood on the back bumper determined that they were not going to lose us. It was heart wrenching leaving that place as the kids ran alongside us, waving and asking us to come back. I'll not easily forget the time we spent there.
The apartments and their occupants are served by a wonderful man of God, Mr. Bennett. Mr. Bennett is a missionary from Nigeria. His deepest desire is to see souls won for Christ. Talking to him was absolutely amazing! He had such insight into the plight of these refugees and had such love for these kids and their parents.
More to follow tomorrow.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mission Atlanta 2010

Well, we made it home to Pennsylvania yesterday! I had no Internet access (other than the few hours I camped out at Starbucks), so I have lots of stories from Atlanta ready to go for this week. I'll post them throughout the week. God blessed our youth group abundantly! The whole week was amazing.
To start off the week, I thought I would post a quick slideshow with some of the pictures from our mission trip.

Now for a story from Monday:

We navigated the treacherous seven lane highway into Atlanta and reached SafeHouse, a kind of drop in center for the homeless. There, we prepared and served a free pancake and coffee brunch and spent time getting to know our guests. The men that came for the meal were very friendly and loved getting to visit with the teens. After the meal and clean up were complete, we walked to a park in the city to eat our lunch. The kids and leaders were eager to share their lunches with the homeless in the park, but were dismayed to find that there was a fine for doing so. As we talked with the people we met, we shared our hope in Jesus Christ with them. It was so exciting to see some of our kids share their faith for the very first time!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Smorgasbord of Thoughts

Greetings from South Carolina!
Smorgasbord of thoughts sounds much better than "A Jumble of Things Rattling Around in My Head", doesn't it?
Today started early and involved a lot of traveling. Around 10 hours on the road and two or so distributed between meals and pit stops.
Since I have the apparently rare ability to read in a moving vehicle, I put my travel time to good use. I started and finished the book "To Save A Life", which was adapted from the movie soon to be released on DVD. I cannot say enough good things about this book. It's absolutely excellent and here is a trailer for the movie:

I also am halfway through The Life You Always Wanted by John Ortberg and I am loving it. If only I had not misread the syllabus and started the incorrect book. Unfortunately, Mr. Ortberg's fine book will be laid aside while I catch up on this week's book, Ordering Your Private Life. Rats. Reading instructions was never my strong suit. Oh well, we still have at least two hours driving time tomorrow.
Excitement is abounding for this week! I just cannot wait to see what God has in store for our gang! We have an awesome God, so I'm expecting an awesome week!
Please keep us in your prayers as we prepare to share the Word!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


This week is going to fly by. I just know it.
In four days, my girl and I will be leaving for Atlanta, Georgia where we will be serving on a mission trip with our youth group. This week will be full of packing and planning and tying up loose ends.
Also, in six days I officially begin online classes at Lancaster Bible College! My books are all received, I am ready to go!
Busy, Busy, Busy!
Have a blessed day, everyone!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

As the deer. . .

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.
Psalm 42:1 NIV
This verse was on my mind as we waded along the creek bed this weekend. It's been hot. Really, really hot. And dry. The creek we enjoyed has been known to spectacularly flood during especially rainy times, but for now, it is very shallow - barely ankle deep in spots. During drier spells, when water sources on higher ground become undependable, creatures draw near to life giving water ways that do not easily give out. Deer are especially beautiful, and are often seen in the evenings as they venture into fields to graze and to streams to drink. Their red brown coats gleam in the setting summer sun as they gracefully weave in and out of the tree line.
A deer does not need a weather report to tell it that the weather is miserably hot. It probably doesn't read the newspaper either, so it didn't see the headlines bemoaning the low level of our water ways. It knows simply that it needs hydration to live and where to go to find nourishment. Psalm 42:1 describes our very souls panting for God as a deer pants for water. Our souls need God, in fact they were created to be connected to Him. When we neglect to spend time with our Creator, our souls cry out for Him. I'm so thankful that, like the deer, we can go to the Lord and He will meet our needs and give us life!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Free Smiles!

Anyone else like to smile?
Here are some suggestions sure to make you grin:
  • Go for a creek walk (make sure you pronounce it correctly - crick walk). Scream like a little girl when a lobster size* crayfish bumps your toe. Giggle like an idiot when you reach the bank and notice your audience laughing their heads off.
  • Watch your husband do the same (minus the screaming) when he sees a water snake.
  • Dance with a baby. Make sure you spin and dip!
  • Hang a toddler upside down and tickle his belly. If those chuckles don't make you smile - check your pulse!
  • Watch a crowd of children squeal when the fireworks put on a show.
  • Paint a room your favorite color (GREEN!)
  • Beat the heat by cuddling in the air conditioning with a sweet pup.

Needless to say, it was a very happy weekend!

*This may be a slight exaggeration.