Tuesday, August 3, 2010
The Pittsburgh Project Team has arrived safely! They got to Pittsburgh around 2 pm on Sunday and have been hard at work ever since. Our students have been been paired up and are serving some of the 20 different teams that are serving this week. Gary and the other leaders are hard at work leading different sites. I just got off the phone with some of the leaders and they wanted me to pass along some highlights to you.
Kathy Reifert's group has gone the extra mile to buy pink paint for a 5 year old girl who really wanted her bedroom to be pink. So Kathy went out and made it happen. Way to go Kathy!
Elizabeth Anderson has been hanging drywall all week. She loves being able to work on a ladder! (side note...no injuries to report! Praise God!)
Our shier students have been coming out of their shells more and more.
Another great sign of encouragement for our leaders on this trip has been seeing the student get up at 6:45 in the morning and go to the devotional times. And the whole group was blessed last night by receiving ice cream as a late night snack!
Overall, the kingdom of God is being advanced. God is using our team to serve others and bring glory to His name. Praise God!
We will keep you all updated as much as possible. Be sure to leave comments for your students to see while on the trip. Peter will update his Facebook everytime a new blog is posted.
Monday, July 19, 2010
It's almost 1am here in Munich. Everyone is headed off to bed. Our hotel is awesome. It's about 20 miles outside of Munich, so the taxi fares are a little steep, but we almost have the entire building to ourselves. We ventured into the city center tonight and ate at the famous Haufbrau House (sp?). By the time we got done, all of the shops were closed, so we walked around and looked at some of the most amazing buildings and churches for a couple of hours. We got back late, and everyone pretty much headed to bed immediately. We are going to finish our encouragement time in the morning before we head back to the airport. I finally got this video done for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!
Update ... I'm sitting in the Munich airport about to board. I'm having trouble getting this video to load. It might be there in a few hours. Just click on one of the other YouTube videos and see if there is one called Romania Team Week 2 under our account.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
It’s been several days since we’ve been able to blog, so we’re going to give you a lot to read. We arrived at camp on Monday evening. It’s been a blur. We arrived and it became apparent that the camp directors didn’t really understand why we were there. They were excited to have us, but I think they thought were there just to be a part of the camp, not to serve. After several conversations with them, we were able to express to them our desire to be servants at the camp. We have had students share testimonies at all of the morning and evening services. Several of the students have played along with the Romanian worship team to lead worship. We have led games during the services and during the organized rec times. I don’t think they have ever experienced dodge ball, volleyball with a 5’ ball, or four way tug-o-war. It’s been fun to introduce them to new activities.
This camp is filled with high schoolers--peers to our group. God is stirring in a special way, both in the hearts of our team and in the hearts of the Romanians. It’s evident that not all of the Romanians have a personal relationship with Jesus, and we are praying for open doors for the Holy Spirit to do a miraculous work in their hearts. Last night was my night to preach. It was difficult to preach with passion through a translator, and I’m sure some of my humor was lost in translation, but the Romanians were the quietest last night that they have been all week.
Each day, we have filled our afternoons with service projects around the camp. They have such a deep set heart for hospitality, that it’s difficult for them to accept our desire to come along side of them and work. They expect that we would just come and relax. We have collected fire wood, cut carpet, cleaned rooms, cleaned the dining hall after each meal, made archery targets with potato sacks and hay (we got to color the targets on them, and got a little creative on some of the pictures), and we’ve finally convinced them that we can paint with some degree of competency. : )
It has been challenging at times to continually be in an attitude of service and mission, and we challenged each other to that end in a team meeting last night. The girls decided to have an impromptu worship time in their room last night that lasted over an hour. I fell asleep to their voices echoing through the building after 1am. It was a holy moment. This morning, our worship continued as the team got together with the back drop of the mountains and river. We worshipped, prayed, and read scripture together for over an hour. Most of us could have continued all day.
Now we are on our way to see the castle for a sight seeing experience. It should be a good afternoon to laugh and enjoy each other. I’m sure we’ll have some good pictures.
Please pray for health. We have had a stomach bug winding its way through our team. almost half of our team has gotten it so far, and we wake up each morning wondering who has been vomiting through the night. Luckily, it is short lived. Pray that we could be done with it, and that no one gets it during our travel (that would be awful). Thank you for your faithful prayers. We love and miss you all!
Side note: just another example of God’s faithfulness. Our house is set to close on August 3! Mandy and I have been waiting to see how God would provide in this way, and it’s a little scary to wait and see. I have had a sense since the beginning that God’s timing would be perfect. We move on August 4. I don’t think God’s timing could be any more perfect. He is so faithful, so far beyond what we can expect or comprehend.
Hey friends, it’s Eric again,
A lot has happened in the past few days since I blogged. So to start, I had high hopes for what would happen Sunday after my last blog. Unfortunately for me, those hopes didn’t end up happening. I ended up spending all Sunday morning attempting to sleep on the bathroom floor because I kept throwing up. Not fun. So I spent the day throwing up and sleeping. Fortunately the real sickness only lasted a day and it was gone on Monday. Unfortunately I’ve still been feeling slightly sick these past few days, with an incredibly sore throat. Monday we traveled up to the camp in the mountains, and that was a fun experience. The Romanian countryside is absolutely amazing, I wish you could all see it. Tuesday was spent serving the camp by gathering wood for campfires. Then Wednesday came around. I was feeling disconnected from God the entire day, and I finally decided to do something about it. So I grabbed my Bible and headed down to the river to spend some quality time with God. I ended up spending a total of about 45 minutes just sitting in the Lord’s presence, and what an amazing time it was. I came out of my time feeling totally re-energized and ready to take on whatever was thrown at me. I have a feeling that God is starting to do something really big in this camp, and I’m extremely excited to see where He’s taking our group. Until next time,
Buna ziua!!(good day!!),
This is my first time blogging throughout the entire trip so please forgive me if it is a bit lengthy. I must say that God has been revealing himself to me more and more as the days have gone by. In the village of Nitchidorf, God taught me to really appreciate his creation. As we were playing with the kids in the local soccer field I just took a second to take in my surroundings. It was amazing, you could see for miles around in every direction. Now we are in a camp in the mountains and it is even more stunning. It’s just amazing to know that the same God that created the mountains and the plains created us! The other day some friends and I decided to climb up part of a mountain. We only stopped when it became too steep to climb any further. The team has been doing service projects in the camp throughout the week. Some of these have included gathering wood, cleaning the dining room after meals, painting, and moving supplies around the camp. During the service projects in the camp and in the village God has been teaching me patience and humility. We are being flexible with are schedule and open to whatever opportunities God sends our way. The language difference can be an issue sometimes but it is easy to overcome. We have all been very thankful for translators who have been a big help for getting us over the language barrier. We have been going through the book of 2 Timothy during our group sessions and we have been discussing it in our small groups. I am very excited to see where God will lead the team in the days to come!
A fellow believer in Christ,
P.S. to my family,
Hope you are doing well and I just wanted to tell you that I’m excited to see you all again. Love you all!
heyyy it’s bri. basically this trip is amazing. i’m in the car and rather carsick sooo i’m not gonna elaborate too much...but i will say God is kind of really blowing me away.
mandy: i had planned on telling you to tell drew happy birthday for me two days ago, buuut we didn’t have internet access. so tell him if i had a time machine and a teleportation device, i would go back to two days ago and teleport myself to texas to say happy birthday and play king and watch star wars. oh and i know i nagged you about not coming but i decided you wouldn’t be surviving, seeing how half our team has been puking up the wazoo and you would probably never use the bathroom due to the layer of grime. lauren and i decided you would spend most of your time taking cover in the van. iiii miss you.
Momma (brooke): please call my blood mother and beg her to drag you along to the airport, because your children are lost without you.
blood mom: please say yes if brooke follows those intructions. oh and i’m trying to find a cool rock for you but it turns out romanian rocks look similar to american rocks...i’ll get one anyway though.
alyssa: i just took a picture of a gypsy house for you. on my super savvy disposable camera (in other words don’t expect high quality...we were driving by.)
love you allll.
Hi it’s Rachel.
Being at the camp this week has turned this trip into nothing i ever would’ve expected. We have been so challenged in ways that i’ve never been challenged and i’m closer with God than i’ve ever been, i guess worshiping him in the middle of the mountains with no other noise but the river helps. Theres been a huge spiritual battle going on, it’s been so important for our team to stay so focused which has been hard but the results are glorifying God and so that makes it easier. I have looooved meeting new people here at the camp, it’s cool to hang out with teens my own age who are from a completely different culture.
God is stretching me in ways that are hard here. For instance, i shared my testimony during one of the worship services and i was freaked out. I hate talking in front of big groups and my knees were literally shaking and my voice probably sounded like i was on the verge of tears. But i did it, and i was happy when it was done. I’m going to stop now, i would say a lot more but i won’t now. I miss you mom, dad and Nate. Dad, we went to Roman ruins where they had gladiator fights and i thought of you. Love you all!!!!
So I guess I’ve been waiting for something super awesome to blog, but there’s really nothing I can pinpoint. This whole trip has been just simply amazing. I guess I’ll just have to fill you in when I get back home. Basically I miss you, Mom, Dad, and Maxie Poo. (Austin is reading this over my shoulder, and he wants to add that he misses you too, Max. Annddd Bri wants to know if you’ve gotten your tux for prom yet. ;) Momma, if you’re reading this, which of course you are unless for some reason you have no access to internet, I miss you somethin’ awful. Nash, too. I also miss Taco Bell. And YouTube. The end.
Love you all!
The past few days at camp have been interesting. When we first got here, a lot of us were questioning why we were brought here. Now we all know that God brought us here for a reason. All of us raised $2,500 to come to Romania, and a lot of that extra money went to the kids who couldn’t raise all of the money to come to camp. I feel that we have blessed a lot of them because they were able to come to camp. Last night, all of us girls had a worship time from about an hour or so. We all sat in the dark, and Lauren Campbell and Reina Wicklund played the guitars so that we were able to worship. It was AMAZING. I have never felt so close to God as I have in the past couple of days. We finished our worship session around 1:30 A.M. Today, we also had another worship session outside under the gazebo right next to the river. I think all of us can agree that we definantly felt the presence of God there with us. One HUGE moment for me, was when there was a fire going while we were worshiping, and Eric Thompson started talking to us about how he was just sitting there watching the smoke from the fire, and how he saw the smoke coming towards us, but when it got to us, it parted around our group. It reminded me of when Moses parted the Sea. Right now we are driving from camp, into another village to go and see the castle that Dracula was filmed in. I am starting to get sad, because we only have 3 days left in Romania, but I am very excited to see what God still has in store for us, and what AMAZING things he still needs to show us. Michael spoke last night to our group, and to all the Romanians, and He talked about how we need to be like King David in the Bible, and how David just went ALL OUT for God. He just ran out in the street and started dancing and rejoicing and praising God with EVERYTHING that he had in him. He gave to God whole-hearted. This is what we need to do ALL THE TIME as Christians! We need to worship him always and be different from the world! We need to stand out and say “we are NOT ashamed. We love Jesus our Lord, and we will praise him for ETERNITY!”
So I’m blogging… finally. (You’re welcome Mamm!) We only have three days left in Romania and I’m not sure if I’m ready to come home. This trip has been so life changing and came at exactly the right time. When we went to Nitchidorf we did a service project every morning and the first day we were there the little kids came over to the church and would help us chop and stack wood and they just wanted to be held and played with. Although it was so nice for the kids to help with chopping wood it made me really sad that a kindergartener had to chop wood all the time, and was even better then some of the boys in our group.
It made me realize how much I really have and how much I take it for granted. A lot of the little kids had the same clothes on for all three of the day that we were there and hadn’t taken baths for maybe even longer, but they were all so happy to just play games and be loved. Lauren Kilmartin was telling me how a man told her that when we were there it was probably the first time anyone had shown them love, and not even their parents showed them love. It was just sad to know that we were only with them for three days and that the might not ever get that kind of affection again. I just wanted to take them all home with me. It was really hard to leave Nitchidorf, knowing that all of the kids that we had grown so close to had to stay there and there were a lot of teary eyes as we got in the vans and headed back to the house.
While we were doing the VBS there was a family in the village that made us lunch everyday and sometimes even dinner. The Food was absolutely amazing, and don’t think I have ever eaten so much in my life. It was so cool that they just opened up their homes for us with out knowing us and gave us the best of everything they had.
This week we are staying at a camp up in the mountains and it is gorgeous. There is a river right next to the dorms and it’s really cold. Either today or tomorrow I’m going to be getting baptized in the ice cold river and I can’t wait.
I miss you mom and dad and Luke and everyone else and Love you.