Monday, July 20, 2009

Tidal Impact 2009

This is our team with the Hillcrest team from Saint John with the food we collected on our food drive. There was a total of 25,000 lbs. of food gathered in Saint John and Moncton.

There is something empowering about being with youth for a week and running on their energy and enthusiasm. Being part of the Tidal Impact team that set off for a short term mission in Saint John, NB was not part of my plans for the summer. However, I believe God had other plans for me for this week and with much uncertainty I stepped into this unknown territory. The only experience I have ever had in working with youth was raising my own children and I knew this trip would be completely out of my comfort zone. There are some observations that I made during the week and I will share some of that here.
For our youth, I would encourage you in your journey - stay true to God and yourselves. You are an amazing group and God will use you in ways you never thought possible. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of seeing you in action- giving your time and abilities freely in the different outreaches that we were a part of.
For our youth leaders, what can I say, but I really admire your stamina to guide and build relationships with these kids week after week. What a reward it must be to watch these youth grow and mature into young adults serving God.
Last, but not least, to our NMBC congregation, thank-you for your prayers this past week. We were challenged and stretched. Continue to support and encourage our youth. You are the largest cheering squad they have. Also, if any of you are given the opportunity to step outside your comfort zone and into 'new' ministry, try it, you may just enjoy yourself!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Youth 101

Hi everyone!
I can't believe that it has been 2 weeks since I have blogged anything. We arrived in Saint John around 5 pm on Saturday and had pizza at the church and then an ice breaker with the Hillcrest youth. We actually had a fairly quiet van load of girls and Laura and I got to know one another a bit better. It has been interesting to say the least, so far. We ended up sleeping on the floor in the basement of the church on Saturday night and we transported van loads of kids to several homes nearby for their showers before church on Sunday - that was really interesting. We ended up having several discussions about billets on Sunday and found out from their youth pastor that there were some folks in church on Sunday that offered their homes up for billets. We had enough for the girls to go and have a bed for the remainder of the week and the guys were content to stay at the church. Initially Laura and I were hesitant to take this on, but after a long day, it was a go. Sunday was church in the am, delivering flyers to homes in the neighborhood informing them of the major food drive that we were doing. Last night was the kick-off rally for Tidal Impact which was held at the arena in Sussex. The worship band was very good and I can't remember the name. Rob Nylen spoke and was very clear in his message and using the gifts that we have been given. It was a great evening. We arrived back around 9:30 pm and proceeded to pack up the girls things for our unknown destination. I had Jessica and Caitlyn C., Anna and Sharayah with me and I think we were all pleasantly surprised. Our hosts were very welcoming and I got my OWN room (PTL)!!!
Monday (I can't believe it is only Monday!) we started our week of ministry with our host church - they have what they call Park Day every morning and our youth are helping out with that (games, crafts, etc. similar to VBC but held in the park). In the afternoon we went and collected the food from the homes that we were in contact with on Sunday. It was very successful and we then delivered it to the local food bank. We then had supper at the church and headed off for our first rally with all of the Saint John crew (about 400) to Quispamsis. The rally was at the Wesleyan church and the kids seemed to enjoy it all. I will try and post some pictures tomorrow. 
Being stretched and losing sleep!!! Coveting your prayers.  

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day!
Here we are at the beginning of July and hopefully 2 months (or more!) of sunshine. It 
sure isn't starting out very well with the amount of rain that we've had. Strawberries are full on and I am about halfway through making our jam for the year.
I am venturing into unknown territory in about a week and a half. I will be transporting youth to Saint John for a short term mission adventure called 'Tidal Impact' which is run through our Atlantic Baptist Convention. I have very mixed feelings about this and I think mainly because it is something that I have never done before. So, not much new news on the home front. I will hopefully be able to do some blogging when I'm away. We are looking forward to a couple of weeks at our camp on Harvey Lake in NB in August and visiting with our oldest daughter and her family and some extended family.