Saturday, June 25, 2005

This is all the funny happenings on the WV trip.

Pepper: OK. My youth group alone KILLED two pepper shakers. One of our people was just holding it, and the bottom just fell out of it, along with all of the pepper. The same thing happened the next day. It was SOOO FUNNY!!!!!

John Claude: One of the girls from my Youth group painted a frog!! We named it John Claude.

Smurfs: We had a carrier on top of our van and it kept bonking against the top of the van. So we were all like, "SMURFS ARE ON THE ROOF!!!!!!!!!" It sounded like little tiny hammers, and it was HILARIOUS.

Bunk: I fell off of my bunk the last day...and I had the very top bunk (they were stacked three high). I was trying to get down asap and I thought I had gone down the ladder so I stepped off into thin air. I fell down about six feet and over about three feet, knocked over a fan, and about killed my chin. It was funny.

Steve: We met this totally awesome guy on the trip!! He had so many cool jokes!! "Have you heard about the birds and the bees? Birds'll poop on you, bees'll sting you." He was awesome.

Natives: One of the girls in my group kept calling the people from WV "Natives". It was soooo funny!!!

Accent: Tony, one of our leaders, picked up the WV accent!! :rofl: It was soo funny. He would like pray and stuff in that accent...:rofl:

Honk if....: Have you ever seen a "Honk if..." sign? Well, we had a "Honk if...." war on the way back. The first sign they had was "Honk if you need to eat crap." We called them and told them they were immature. (They being the boys. The boys and the girls were in separate vans.) And it just kinda went downhill from there. The funniest ones were "Honk if we're still immature." Todd, our leader, was driving, and he honked for about a minute. And then they had "Honk if Karen is hot." Karen is Todd's wife. Todd honked for FIVE MINUTES STRAIGHT. And then there was the "Honk if you love us" (which Todd honked for against our will) and then "We love you" and then "XOXO" which got the boys in trouble because there aren't supposed to be public displays of affection. But it was SOOOO FUNNY!!!! We laughed the entire time back. Eventually, the girl van got fed up with the guys so we tried to escape them by pretending to stop at a rest stop but not pulling off. Unfortunately, Tony who was driving the other van, is a RECKLESS DRIVER so he went over the little diagonal line bit right before it turned into grass and got back onto the interstate. It was soo funny.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

This is the story of how I connected with God during the recent missions trip.

Tuesday: During listening prayer time, God told me to pray for Damon (project leader). I did, and he said it was perfect. I believe that that was the first time God ever spoke to me.

Wednesday: I went to a nursing home in the afternoon (after devotians and worship and listening prayer), and while I was there I asked God for a scripture for one of the ladies. I got Psalm 123, and I read it to her. That was the first time God ever gave me a scripture for someone. I still have no clue what it meant for her, but I read it to her anyways.

In the evening, I did covering prayer, and God just kept giving me scriptures. By the end of the time, God had given me about nine different verses, which was a lot for me. So that was exciting.

We had debrief at the church we were partnering with that night. On our way back to the base from debrief, one of the girls in our van, Claire, had an asthma attack. She would have died if Damon hadn't said team time in vans and if Todd (youth group leader) hadn't said girls in this van, boys in that van. Her mom had her inhaler and she wouldn't have been in the same van as her mom if those two decisions hadn't been made. I was praying the entire ride back to base, and then our whole youth group plus two people from Don's youth group (Don was another leader) made a prayer circle and we just prayed for Claire. Then we did a different one and we were just praying the entire night and God kept giving me verses for Claire.

Then I noticed that a girl named Amanda and a guy named Jacob (remember both of them, they're important) were in a corner and Amanda was crying and everything. Amanda and I had connected from the moment she walked into the dorm room, so I went over and stayed with them for a while. God gave me Amos 7:5, which I had no clue what it meant then. We prayed, talked, and read the Bible until 11:30 (at which point Claire had been stuck in the freezer, then fainted, then had an oxygen mask, then gotten better and was up and walking around). Then I couldn't sleep -- I prayed all night.


Thursday was ask the Lord day, and I got that I was supposed to do covering prayer again. So I said that I was going to do that, and Jacob came up and asked me to pray for him because he was going out in the share your faith group and he wasn't sure that he would be able to say the right things. So he was the first person I prayed for, and I opened my Bible and it just happened to fall open to Exodus 4. I was really drawn to Exodus 4:13, so I decided that that verse was meant for Jacob. Then I prayed for Amanda, and I got Jeremiah 4:19.

When they got back, I gave them their respective verses. Amanda had no clue what hers meant at that point. Jacob didn't read his until debrief, and then he just fell apart. That's the way I can describe it. It turns out that he had been having a problem for a really long time and that verse had just brought it out into the open so that he could deal with it. I had just met him the previous day, and God spoke through me to change his life.

Well, I ended up falling apart because I felt like it was my fault that he was hurting so much. We had to do VBS because it was our day to do it, and so we had to go to the church. It was torture, because Jacob and Amanda were the last people to arrive, and I wasn't going to be good for anything until I was able to talk to the two of them. So I did that, and they reassured me. Then we had to figure out what Jacob's problem was, because all that he knew about it was that he did have a problem. He didn't know what it was. So we prayed about it, and Amanda read her Jeremiah 4:19 again, and she was able to understand what God was telling her through that because of what Jacob had just gone through. Then she left to go eat, and Jacob managed to figure out his problem and tell me what it was. It ended up that he felt like he was failing, and worse than that, that he wasn't really even trying because he knew he would fail. So then all we had to do was come up with a solution. Jacob and I ended up spending the rest of the evening just talking.

FRIDAY: I had told Jacob that I would meet him in the gym at base at 6:00 AM to discuss the solution. Well, I kinda overslept and I actually woke up at 6:41. So I fell off my bunk -- the third one up -- and got dressed in five minutes. I ended up getting to the gym at 6:49, which is a record for me.

We weren't able to come up with a solution, but I gave Jacob a scripture that told Jacob that God wasn't going to leave Jacob alone about the problem until it was fixed. So we spent a good hour trying to figure out a solution, and we weren't able to get any closer to one. Then we had to clean base, and have team time, and picture time, and then leave. Before we left, though, God gave me the lyrics to a song for Jacob, and I think that they really reached him. And that's it.

The sad part is, Jacob lives two states away. I'm probably never going to see him again. But he says that he DID find a solution. Which is cool.

But the entire thing kinda freaked me out...I mean, I had met him the day before I got that verse, and the entire thing wouldn't have worked if it weren't for about five things that had to be exactly right, like the difference between the versions of the Bible we were using, and other stuff like that. It was rather odd.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

I'm back from a recent missions trip that I went on. Let me tell you, it changed my life forever. It was amazingly cool but now that I'm home I feel...lost. I feel like Haggai 1:4 -- "Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies desolate?" That's how I feel right now. The conditions in West Virginia (that was where we went, obviously) were really bad for the people living there. And even sort of for us. We were in this school that if it was where I live now, it would have been torn down. Where the people lived was like a mobile home park only about ten times more decrepit than it would be here. One lady lived in a rat infested house which most of my youth group had to clean. They said that they literally had to shovel dirt off the kitchen floor. They found a dead rat in a can of jelly. The conditions there are really bad. And here I am. I live in what is a mansion compared to the nicest of the houses over there -- it's really not that big or even that clean, compared to the rest of the houses in my neighbourhood. I can eat whatever I want -- people there have to get food from a food bank (I should know; I worked there)and they really don't get much. It's just so sad...