1MISSION Spring Break Build Trip, March, 2016

Last school year our IMPACT Student Ministry helped to raise funds to build a home for a family in Mexico through 1MISSION. We heard about 1MISSION at a couple of youth conferences and decided to partner with them by raising funds.

Next year, over Spring Break (March 28 – April 1, 2016) we are planning to take a group to go on site and help build a home in Mexico. We are excited about the possibility of working hand in hand with 1MISSION to provide safe housing for those in need.

An information packet is available for our IMPACT students and families. We are still working on nailing down final costs for the trip, primarily in the area of travel. Once we are on the field, 1MISSION provides housing, meals and construction tools and materials for the project.

A 1MISSION provides a video overview and more information on their website.

More information will be coming and we look forward to taking a group to help build a home.

Here’s a peek into what the process looks like:

Syd in Honduras – an update in pictures

I’m away this week at church camp, but have been keeping up with Syd through her social media feed – primarily Facebook and Instagram.  She posted some cool pictures on Instagram and it seems like she is relating well with the people there, despite the language barrier.  Not sure how much Spanish she knows as she took French in high school.

I screen shot these from her Instagram account.  Looks like she is fairing pretty well.  Thanks everyone for continued prayers.

Syd Honduras 3

This was captioned “Honduran church service”

The caption for this one was "the ninos loved seeing their pictures"

The caption for this one was “the ninos loved seeing their pictures”

This caption was in Spanish - "nuevos amigos en todas partes vamos"

This caption was in Spanish – “nuevos amigos en todas partes vamos”

Syd in Honduras – a quick update

11060451_1015270278484515_1434173119522110603_nMy last post about Syd’s trip generated quite a bit of traffic, so I thought I’d share a quick update. The group has occasional WiFi connection, so Syd has put a little bit on her Facebook and Instagram.

They arrived safely after a few flight delays. Syd posted a pic and a video on her Instagram which showed some of the kids they have served through the shoe ministry. The picture to the left was sent through email giving a quick update on the group. The message said they were celebrating one of the group member’s birthdays. Looks like all is well!

Thanks to all who have been praying for the group. Below is a group pic.

IMG_2561

Syd in Honduras – a “risky trip”

For most of the summer Syd has been on campus at Louisville taking classes, working out and doing rehab on her knee. She took a break this week to go on a mission trip to Honduras with her mother’s church. They will be doing construction work and providing a shoe ministry.

The Courier-Journal, a newspaper in Louisville, ran an article on her trip. I thought that was great that they would take the time to promote Syd and her fellow travellers in this ways – until I looked at the title of said article – Sydney takes “a risky ministry trip.” Not the thing that parents want to read about.

This is a good opportunity for her and I know she is excited to be able to participate. Here’s the text of the article. I’m sure all those who are taking part in the trip and their family members back at home would appreciate prayers while they serve in Honduras.

At the time of year most teammates are on campus and focused on basketball, Louisville women’s player Sydney Brackemyre on Friday left for a city often referred to as the murder capital of the world.

The Ohio native’s home church raised $10,000 to build a worship space in a small town outside of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and with it the group took hundreds of shoes for children in the impoverished Central America nation.

“My family has just always been about service, and it’s something really important to me,” said Brackemyre, who redshirted her freshman season at U of L after suffering a preseason knee injury. “In high school, I was always so busy and working hard. I never got to go outside the country. So when this came up through my home church…I really just couldn’t turn it down.

“Coach (Jeff) Walz has been amazing letting me go because this is the time everybody is getting better. But he’s letting me go and get off campus, so I’m really grateful for that.”

Brackemyre’s trip will tally nine to 10 days, with a week in Honduras bookended by lengthy travel there. Inspired by her grandfather, who has ministered in South America and Asia, the 6-foot-1 forward said her group from Countryside Church of the Nazarene will construct the first such facility in the area.

“It’s somwhere where they really need a church,” she said. “We want to show them love and compassion — reach out to them and know this church will be available to them.”

Mostly, Brackemyre plans to work with area children, who attend a half day of school and will then open up their days to the Countryside Church group. That’s where the 500 or so pairs of shoes come in. Brackemyre and other ministers will wash kids’ feet and gift what, for some, my be their first pieces of proper footwear.

She also has planned games and activities, one in which the former five-star recruit may get to show off a bit.

“My goal is to do a sort of basketball camp,” Brackemyre said. “We’re going to take a ball and see if there’s a rim or court around there. I’d love to show the kids and teach them. I know resources are slim, but that’s something I’d love to do.”

Brackemyre still has an eye on the upcoming season. She passed a number of clearance tests the last two weeks toward a return to full playing strength back from a torn ACL and meniscus in her left knee.

“My trainers have done a really good job making sure I’m equipped to go and won’t be losing anything while I’m over there,” she said. “When I come back, I should be ready to go.”

Another Great Week of Camp

Camp pic 2I spent last week at Butler Springs Christian Camp leading the Basketball 2 week (for students going into 5-8 grades). This was my 10th summer leading this particular week. Some of the things have changed – like those who serve on faculty and of course those who attend.  The facilities and grounds continue to be upgraded, but there are a number of things that stay the same.

One of the highlights of the week was the number of students who responded to the invitation to become a follower of Jesus. Since we spend about 5 days together, we offer a formal invitation at the end of the week and encourage the students to be in conversations with their family leaders about what it means to follow Jesus.  I knew a handful of our campers were doing that, but didn’t expect 16 students to come forward.  We had 11 baptisms take place before we left the camp and several were planning to be baptized at home churches.

One of our high school students baptized a girl from her camp family.  One grandpa who served during the week had the privilege of baptizing his granddaughter.  It was a great way to end the week.

photo

Another highlight was the faculty with which I served.  Several of my faculty members have been doing camp as long (or longer) than I have.  Many of us have served multiple summers together and they are such a benefit to the week.  One of the couples who serve with me didn’t have kids when we first worked together.  Now they have four kids and their two older boys were part of the week.  Some of the faculty are teens who used to be campers a few years ago and have now come back to serve.  I’m so grateful for the time and energy they give to the students throughout the week.

I think this year more than ever the hearts of our adults were touched by the campers we got to know.  There were a few students who came from some difficult backgrounds.  While we didn’t know a lot about what home was like, we saw enough to know that these students needed love, compassion and attention paid to them.  I’m so grateful for the adults who came alongside those students, encouraged them, became a friend to them and showed them the love of Jesus.  Even when our patience was tested, our faculty continued to lovingly serve.

I know that God was working before our week of camp ever started and He is working now.  He simply gives us the opportunity to come alongside what He is doing and for five days interact with the campers He brings.  I’m thankful for that chance.

 

Motives

question marksWhy do you do what you do? If you go to visit a friend in the hospital or sign the book at a funeral visitation or prepare a meal for someone, do you stop long enough to ask yourself why you are doing it?

In preparing for this Sunday’s lesson in our high school class, I came across this quote – “People are always motivated by at least two reasons: the one they tell you about and a secret one.” (O.A. Battista)

I’ve had to think through that a few times. Granted, there are times that we do something for other people out of the kindness of our hearts. They have a need that we are able to meet and we are moved to meet whatever that need is.

But I think there are also times where we might do something without the purest of motives. We may offer to meet that need knowing that we are supposed to do that or it presents a good image of who we are. We want people to think we are generous or selfless or compassionate so we do something for others that helps create that image.

In Matthew 6, Jesus talks about our motives when we give or when we pray or when we fast. Those are all good things, but Jesus warns against doing them to be seen by men.

I think the hardest work God has to do is in the human heart. I know I sometimes do what I know I should, even when my motives aren’t the purest. God not only needs to work on our behavior, but especially on the motives behind the behavior. I think that’s why God is so concerned with the heart. He keeps coming back to our motives. Some days it feels like we have a long way to go.

Master Provisions 2013

MP 1 2013Yesterday we took what has become our annual trip to work with Master Provisions. I’ve posted about previous trips in 2011 and 2012 and it was another good experience working with a great ministry.

Our tasks this year included sorting and packing winter coats, gloves, hats and scarves to be used for local outreach. After we finished that, we sorted summer clothes (headed for Africa at some point) and winter clothes. The summer clothes were packed for shipping while with winter clothes were put on cars to be packed later.

It has been great to see how Master Provisions has grown, which has included hiring more staff and acquiring their own warehouse and office space. It feels like the times we go to help, we make such a small dent in the work that needs to be done. It is an ongoing ministry of collecting, sorting, packing and shipping clothing while also raising funds for costs associated with shipping and actually going to the various countries they serve. The people who serve there have a heart for what they do.

Serving at the warehouse is a great experience for any able-bodied person. Our group had a good day and we look forward to going back again.

Great Week of Camp

Last week I had the privilege of leading a week of camp at Butler Springs.  This was my 7th year of leading the basketball camp.  We combined with a karate, science, cheer leading and Kids Cafe (cooking) camp to make one big week of nearly 200 people.  The week was made up of about 140 junior high students plus the adult faculty.  It was a super week.

One of the downers of the week were the number of injuries we had.  We actually had two students go to the hospital, which was definitely not in the plans for the week.  Other than a few hurt knees, wrists and elbows, the rest of us managed to survive the week pretty well.

One of the highlights  of the week were the decisions that were made.  We had seven students that came forward to be baptized; 6 of them we baptized in the camp pool before we left on Thursday and the other was to be baptized at home.  We also had a student come forward to recommit herself to walk more closely with Jesus.

 

I have the great opportunity to work with some adults who love working with kids and they are some of my favorite people.  Some of the faculty have been with me all 7 years I have led and a few of them pre-date me.  It’s a great group of people.

We put together a highlight video of the week.  Not a great video by production standards, but it does provide a peek into the week.

Thanks to all who were a part of it!