Pittsburgh Project 2010

Romania 2010

Monday, August 3, 2009

Hi everyone. Today we rode in the rain (even me!). Then we came back to camp for lunch. We had a crew go to the church to finish painting and another crew go to Hiawatha Camp to do some work. At Hiawatha Camp, we moved brush to make the camp look nicer. Afterwards, we were allowed to swim at their beach because we had 2 certified lifeguards with us. We had a lot of fun on the blog at their beach. Then back to camp for supper and campfire. John and Judy, our hosts, have really blessed us with yummy meals, despite what jokes the students have been making. We will be back tomorrow about 5:00 pm.

This picture is one of the areas we cleaned the brush out of.

I got in a crazy bike accident today, and it was SWEET!!! Except That I have so much stupid gauze tapish stuff that I can barely move. I just made the sweetest fire in the history of fires!!! It was like art or something. We had this amazing food tonight and then brownies!! I FEEL A LITTLE WACKED OUT RIGHT NOW. Ooops. Stupid caps lock. If mi Madre can give me a ride from RBC tomorrow then I should be there around 5 P.M. And if she can’t she should talk to my Aunt Shannon. Just thought I would throw that out there. Everybody, pplleeelaaassseeee pray for clear sky’s tonight. I miss yaaallllllllllllll. Caleb

Hey heyyy. I am having a fantastic time here…. at fat camp. But sssssssssshhhhhhh that’s confidential if-i-told-you-I’d-have-to-kill-you material… if they find out that we figured out their top secret plot to thin us out, they’ll probably reduce our 100 calorie packs of cheez-its to 50 cals. They already taunt us by dangling pizza in front of our face while we are forced to split a fiber bar four ways. Not to mention the fact that we kill 70 bazillionjilliongillion calories per bike ride. But okay peeps so for shizzle dizzle here’s the low down on our starvage: There was no mission trip – this was just a ruse to make us bike our lives away and tend to their every whim. They purposefully wait for it to rain, and then send us on our way in a torrential downpour. The other day while we were biking a 10000000 mile bike ride, I witnessed my very close and a-week-ago-sane friend fight for his life over a half of a road-killed seagull. This is serious business folks. The same night, after trying my hardest to stuff myself with next-to-none calorie food and coca cola *zero*, I managed to escape my highly guarded tent with my mates and hunt our dinner with my newly found machete (also known as a 10 dollar pocket knife) named Junior. We ate good that night… fruit bat. Yummmmyyy. I’ve heard rumors that if we don’t burn another gazillion cals tonight during a grueling game of capture the flag, they’ll “accidentally” sabotage the bus so it breaks on the way home, and make us bike back to RBC. Of course by that time I’m sure we’ll have thrown ourselves to the massive killer bears to put us out of our misery…so it’s all good.

Peace out cub scouts.


I’ve got a feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night…That tonight’s gonna be a good night…That tonight’s gonna be a good, good night. I feel it. Woohoo.


Say “hello” to Seattle for me.


Nikki asked me a few days ago if I wanted to write something on the blog. I told her that I didn’t have anything to blog yet and kinda went on with what I was doing. The truth was that I had no clue why I was even still here.

This past march I was in a car accident. I was on my way to practice for a play I was in when a biker swerved in front of me and I hit him. Three days later he died, he was 12 years old. After that I struggled with so many things, but one was that I had planned on coming on this missions trip, and hadn’t even learned to bike yet. For a while I just assumed that God wouldn’t want me to come, since even the thought of getting on a bike brought back pictures and sounds that I never wanted to remember. But God had a better plan. After talking to a counselor (and practically begging my wonderfully protective parents), I decided to start training to come here.

For the first few days of the trip I struggled. I rode along with everyone else (well maybe a tad bit slower…) but still felt lost, like I wasn’t quite sure what God was trying to teach me, or why I couldn’t have just worked through things at home. Today I got my reason for coming.

I was helping to paint the sanctuary in the church we’re partnering with up here (funny enough, the name of this church is “the church”), and, because there were so many of us working, I had run out of things to paint. So I wandered around for a while trying to find something else to help with, and ended up finding a few of the other students talking with the pastor of “the church”, Joe, and his wife Kay. After talking for a while the accident came up, and I told Kay about what had happened.

Kay and Joe have been through their share of hard times as well, including Joe suffering from PTSD and having panic attacks bad enough to put him in the hospital, and just hearing that someone understood some of the pain I’m feeling brought me to tears of relief. Kay went on to talk to me about God’s plan, and how everyone has an appointed time to die. She told me that God wouldn’t have put me in a situation like that if he didn’t know I was strong enough to get through it (with his help of course). She talked about turning to God in times of need and how important it was that I stay in the word and keep my eyes on Him. The last thing she told me was that whenever Joe started having a hard time he would read Philippians, and thought that maybe that would help me.

So on the bus ride back to camp I took out my bible and started to read Philippians. I discovered another person who understood.

Paul, writing from his jail cell, talks about suffering for Christ. He talks about life and death, and how he almost longs for death just so he can finally be with his savior. But then he talks about Jesus. He reminds us of the example that Jesus gave us, of serving one another and suffering for the faith so that others might believe. Finally he concludes the passage by charging the Philippians to continue to push forward in their faith and to go on with out complaining or arguing or focusing on themselves.

This trip has given me a kick in the pants. To know that no matter what you’re going through or how hard things get, the big picture is not about me. Yeah there are times when I need to heal, and I need to be alone with my God, but those times should not consume my life. My reason for living has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with a loving God who wants to use me to show his love to those he’s created. So, as I start a new chapter of my life, heading off to college and becoming an adult, I am challenged to live not for myself, but for God’s Glory.

- Kieron

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Reina being funny, Emily being serious

Psss! This is Reina. We’re not allowed to have contact with the outside world, so I’ve got to make this snappy quick. Simply put, I am very much looking forward to being in the solitude of my home. It’s not safe here. Every time I leave my tent I must carve a path through the fog of mosquitoes with my machete. If I fail to cover absolutely every inch of my body when I leave the indoors, I can expect to be attacked by the flying beasts and discover multiple bug-battling wounds the next morning. We do not have regular meals here (wherever “here” is…) They force us to eat while we are riding, and we only get to rest from biking every 45.5 miles. When we sag, they punish us by taking away our meal-on-the-go for the next 2 days. When we aren’t biking, we’re serving in some way, of course, but there is a twist… We are not permitted to use our hands. Instead, we must do the deed with our feet, or whatever is most useful at the time. By doing this, they say, we are giving them some sort of entertainment while we are out in the middle of nowhere. Oh my goodness, they’re coming! I gotta go. Hopefully I’ll get in touch with you again soon. Over and out.

p.s. The previous message was completely false and inaccurate. Please someone pass along the message to Scott Ryan Forslund that Beilby is safe…but my mission to take pictures of his U.P. adventures has failed. (I forgot to charge my camera’s battery before I left and it totally died on the second day. I was seriously bummed.) Thanks and goodbye.


So…this is Emily Smeed. This is my second year going on this trip and God has taught me new and exciting things from last time! Last year I learned to enjoy God’s creation and that some times I put too much in my life and that sometime I just needed to “stop and smell the roses” in this case stop and look at the starts. Which in the U.P are completely and utterly remarkable. However this year even though the stars are still gorgeous and the rest of the wilderness is still brilliant God is teaching me something new. He’s teaching me that sometimes what I want for my life is not necessarily what He has in store for me. And what he has in store for me is so much bigger than I could ever have planned for myself. Emily Stadt has an amazing story about this that all of you should ask her to tell you. God is doing big and wonderful things through us each and every day. I’m so excited I got to go on both the D.C and the U.P mission trips this summer. And now I’m even more excited to go off to college and see what else God has planned for the rest of my life.

Blessed by God
Emily A. Smeed
Hey everyone. I mentioned that we cut some wood yesterday. Well the pastor of the church that we went to this morning is the one that hauled the wood to her house. Each time he went, he took four of our group with him. He read this note in church this morning.

All words I can think of are inadequate to express my sincere appreciation to everyone for all of their hard work yesterday. So much firewood!!! It should keep me toasty-warm all winter. Thank you.
I also would like to say how much I enjoyed meeting all of the young ladies and gentlemen with the beautiful smiles and lovely attitudes. All of their parents should feel great pride.
Again, I thank you all for your generosity and caring.
Most sincerely, Betty Hall

This is a woman who does not attend church, but this church loves on her and prays for her. Our group showed her God's love in a physical way and she was touched.

Today we are doing some projects around A Solitary Place and doing some painting at the church we went to this morning. So, more later.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Hi everyone. This is a picture of our group weeding yesterday.

I forgot to mention that yesterday was Michael and Mandy's 10th wedding anniversary. Michael bought 10 roses and had 10 boys bring them in one at a time to her. Here's a picture of Drew handing her a rose. OK the picture is actually Drew and Mandy hugging after he handed her the rose. By the way, their anniversary dinner was at the VFW fish fry!

These next two pictures are before pictures of the piles of wood we cut.

The next two pictures show the wood is gone....56 cords of wood!

Group picture with Chris sitting on the last piece of wood that needed to be split. The wood is going to different families and a widow. The man whose yard we were in still had a pile on the otherside of the drive and another pile in the woods.

5th day, served again

HI!!! So today we split wood ALL DAY and it was really exhausting. We split most likely a whole forest…not kidding. I thought hauling at the Jenkins was hardcore….no this was HARDCORE. We took the wood to this old widow, and some of her family was there to help us unload. She was so happy just to have us deliver the wood and she brought us out drinks and you could just see in her face that she was thrilled to see it! This trip has been so amazing and I’ve made so many deeper relationships with people I would least expect. I’ve had a couple hardships like our tent filling with water and then it getting holes and the tarp not keeping water out, my air mattress ripping, and all our stuff getting soaked. BUT it made the trip that more exciting and it makes me appreciate civilization so much more. I’m having a blast and I don’t want to leave because I have a new found passion for splitting wood and hauling it but I guess that being home will be nice and maybe I’ll help dad with some of the wood now (: I even split a piece with a real axe and it came in half!
Love you all, except Nash.
See you in a couple days. Mom and dad you better be ready to have me back!!!
Ps. Bri got a knife and I have to sleep with her so I’m a little scared I might not come home in one piece.

Now I’m sitting on a porch looking down over a valley with a couple people playing guitar a few feet away and singing, the sun isn’t setting yet, but it is framed by these clouds and it looks so amazing!!! A bunch of tents blew over today and the canopy thing over the showers. But God was good and nothing got sucked up into like a hurricane or anything. We didn’t do any riding today because we were chopping wood and it was so cool. But I almost hit several different people with an axe, but if I had, it only would have been their ankles so it’s all good. We had the awesomest ice cream with like pieces of brownies and apples and stuff on it. I have to go now but bye everybody!! I love you everybody in my family and I will see you Tuesday!! Caleb

Friday, July 31, 2009

4th day, we served

Hi everyone! I won't have pics today....we're back late and I need to collect pictures from other people. We slept in this morning and then went and served at a Crisis Pregnancy Center. We hung cabinets, painted inside and out, weeded their flower beds and the hair place across the road, hung shades and washed windows. We were also able to bless them with some supplies. Then we had some awesome fish at a VFW fish fry! Yum! So that's all for today.


Here are some students…..

I’m sitting in front of an awesome fire with so many different layers of anti mosquito stuff that it’s crazy. It’s really hard to type and swat mosquito’s at the same time. And I’m loving this spell check thing. I miss my family like crazy but I’m having an awesome time and the food is so amazing. I think we have ridden like a hundred and fifty miles and I couldn’t have done it without God’s help. We are in the the most beautiful part of the world right now and its so cool!! This morning I woke up and it was so beautiful with this crazy fog. I love everybody in my family and I will see you all soon!! Caleb.

This week has been…an experience. Going back to the very first day, I accomplished my first ever 40 something mile ride (and trust me when I say I was DEAD at the end of the ride) but God helped me through it the whole way. The verse I chose to put on my bike was Isaiah 40:31; “But those who hope in the Lord will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” This verse is definitely one of my favorites. It just brings me so much comfort and encouragement to know that I don’t need energy bars or a full night of sleep to reach my full potential on the road; all I need is Jesus. I pray daily that God will continue to give me the energy and the drive He promises me as I strive to put all my hope and trust in Him.

Love you, Mom, “Pop,” and Maxxie!

Reina 

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hi momma, dad, uncle rob, and grandma. So this trip has been AMAZING so far. Right now we’re all just hanging out around the house and tenting area because we had a huge ride today. I did all the extra riding that only a few of the “serious guys” did and one other girl and it felt great. It was about 75 miles and I had to rely on God so much. There were times when I wanted to just quit and get in a sag vehicle but whoever I was riding with encouraged me. I’ve learned a lot of new terms like drafting or whatever and it really taught me something. When you draft you get right behind someone and they break all the wind for you and it makes the traveling a lot easier. I applied this to my spiritual life because when you’re riding the Christian walk with other Christians then it makes the ride and walk a lot easier. So I’m really tired right now because I’ve done over 100 some miles so far on the trip but even though I’m dead tired and I’m feelin like I can’t go anymore I know tomorrow God’s gonna give me strength to make it. AND I’m making a ton new relationships with people. I miss you momma and daddy and grandma. I don’t miss Nash….(: Hi Sam hope you’re having a great time without me…if that’s even possible(; Save some fun for when I get home. I’m gonna ride way more than you!

Ps. DON’T drink two large monsters before going to a bike ride. You get an awful crash.

P.s.s.s. this is John… I pretty sure I just saw a wild bear cub turn a corner down a path today!

3rd day, 3rd ride

Hello everyone! Today was Courtney Fry's birthday! We sang to her at Whitefish Point Lighthouse, Tahquamenon Falls, and of course meals!

Last night, after I blogged, the students repainted our hosts picnic table.

Birthday girl riding!

This is our tent city....Only a few tents!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Second Day, 2nd ride

Hello! Thank you for your prayers! Please continue to pray for health. Today we rode in the morning. The following picture is the view from the porch of the cabin. I'll post pictures of our "tent city" tomorrow.

The next picture is at our lunch sag stop. We had a prior sag stop after about 7 miles and this was at 18 miles, I think!

We then finished with some riders doing an extra loop giving them 37 miles, while the rest rode 30 miles. Then we stopped at Oswalt Bear Ranch. Here's a picture of the Fernihoughs petting the bear cub that was born in January.

Then we went back to camp for supper and relax time. More riding tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

1st ride

They are on their first ride! Pray for health. Solitary place is beautiful.

Bus ride

Hi everyone! The bus ride is going fine! Cutthroat Catch Phrase going on in the back. We are about two hours from the bridge. Keep praying!

U P trip

We lost our air conditioner..ugh!
Sent from my iPhone

U.P. Trip on our way!

We're on our way! Check back here for daily updates on our trip. We already stopped for breakfast and a few kids stocked up on Mt. Dew and Monsters. At about 3:00, we'll arrive in Trout Lake and ride our first 20-25 miles. Follow us throughout the day on Dennis' or Michael's Facebook or Twitter!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The End of the Road

We are currently loading the bus and ready to head home...we should be leaving shortly. Hopefully there will be a chance for us to get more pictures and a recap of the past few days soon! See you all this evening!

What God has been teaching us...

We asked each of the students to share in a sentence or two what God has been teaching them...
  • I learned that sometimes you have to sacrifice your own wants for your friends. ~Elizabeth Anderson
  • I have learned a lot about humility and I've realized that I have a passion for leading and serving. ~Chelsea Chamberlain
  • I learned how to humble myself. ~Jordan Chamberlain
  • I've learned that we all think we have a hard life but looking at these kids made me realize that we have it good. :) I have learned so much from this trip! ~Mei Dietrich
  • God is love. He is an amazing provider and He can take the worst of things (thank you Baltimore) and create miracles and prayer is so powerful! ~Jamie Fleury
  • It is almost impossible to put a trip like this into words and even harder to condense it into just a few lines. But this trip has completely broken my heart and created a great passion and love for the struggles that these inner city kids encounter. ~Scott Forslund
  • I have learned to always be content with what I have, because others have less than me. ~Sam Jenkins
  • "Sometimes the most important things in life are invisible." One thing I've learned is the best things we could give these kids are not material. Those things are our undivided attention and unconditional love. ~Katrina Kukor
  • God has really showed me some new eye opening things. I now know how bad the world can be but together we can change it. ~Sonya Kukor
  • Everyone needs love, no matter what that persons situation is. ~Katelyn Nuyen
  • I learned to appreciate everything I have and to show God's love through my actions. ~Kylie Oakes
  • This trip God has really opened my eyes and given me a heart for inner city Baltimore. ~Tyler Ohman
  • One of the many things God showed me this week is that even the smallest encouragement or hug went a long way in the lives of these kids and the team! :) Thanks for all the prayers! ~Ashton Palella
  • I learned that prayer is very powerful if it is for the benefit of God. ~Sam Peters
  • I learned that God places certain people in our lives for a reason. ~Courtney Schloesser
  • Prayer and relentless love can soften the hardest heart. ~Taylor Schultz
  • I was so encouraged by the people who live and serve here. They have such amazing hearts for God and are so faithful. I think God was showing me how I need to have a passionate heart for him. ~Alexa Sheets
  • I learned to become a hot cup of coffee and go full out for God and not just be lukewarm and only talk the talk but not walk the walk. ~Austin Sherwood
  • Anything is possible with God. ~Emily Smeed
  • I learned that you shouldn't complain about the gifts and food you get because the kids in Baltimore don't get much. ~Kyle Smith
  • You don't have to like someone to love them and a little love goes a long way. ~Eric Thompson
  • How ungrateful I am and how powerful God is. ~Nick Thompson
  • I learned that I am good at serving and I hope that never changes. ~Nadja VanPelt
  • Be-Love-Serve-Repeat. ~Michael Wiltshire
  • A spiritual fire is better than a spiritual high. ~Wil Witters
  • I learned how much prayer and love works in ways only God can imagine. Also how much hurt is out there and people don't really open their eyes long enough to see it. I am broken and I know God has more for me to learn from this. ~Ashton Wolcott

Friday, July 17, 2009

International Fair

The above pictures are from the International Fair the students help put on for the kids who have been attending day camp here at Charm City Church. For the past four weeks, the kids have been studying four different countries: Israel, Ghana, China, and Mexico. They have learned about the culture of each country. It was a neat night...there was food and activities that dealt with each of the countries they learned about. It was a night that was for the kids to bring their parents to show them what they have been learning. Upstairs we had all different kinds of games for the kids to play with their parents...if you even need a person to read out Bingo numbers, Emily Reifert is your girl!

Student Scripts (7/17/09)

From Paula Humphries:

Hey everyone! Today has been a really emotional day for me. This morning our group went out prayer walking. We walked around the neighborhood and prayed at three sites where shooting and murders had taken place. All of the victims were young kids or teenagers. Two of the three victims died.

The whole thing was a very eye-opening experience for me. To stand in the very places where teens like me were killed really made me think. It woke me up to how much evil and pain and suffering there really is in this world. When I go home, I want to remember this. I don't want to just forget and go back to my daily life. I want to take what I've seen and experienced and do something with it. This city is full of people crying out for help. This is a place that needs Jesus so bad. I'm very, very thankful to have had the opportunity to come here and serve. This has been the best week of my life. God bless!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Student Scripts

  • Dear Mom, Dad, Grandmother, Granddad, Noelle, Gabi, and Isaac, Hey you guys! I miss ya'll tons! It's been a crazy trip here. Thank you for all of your prayers I really appreciate them and they are needed! Your sweet, sweet letters were so encouraging. I'm looking forward to coming home and seeing all of you again! This trip has been good, but I am ready to make up my own shower schedule! Thanks for being such a wonderful family. I think of ya'll!! Love you tons, Dani
  • Hey Mom and Dad! I miss you guys so much! Sorry I haven't been blogging that much but I promise I will write something everyday for the rest of the trip. I miss your hugs mom and I miss your smile Dad. I love you guys so much and can't wait to see you guys when I get home. God has changed me in so many ways over this trip and I can't wait to share my awesome stories with you. Tell Gracie I say hi and mom I won't forget to do the thing you wrote in my note :) I love you guys so much! Love, Chels
  • Hey mom, I love and miss you so much. I thought about you tonight because we had bbq (Reina helped me spell it). Tell Noah and Dad I love them. I will tell you more later (AKA when I get home) because I am to tired tonight. Love, Emily R.
  • Hey mom! So I'm learning lots of new skills here such as how to sharpen pencils with scissors and how to get severely mugged. Jaykay on that last one. But just keep in mind how much worse that'd be than say, spraining my ankle again or something. Anyway, tell Alyssa that Michael's twitter status was a complete lie-I definitely won. Kay that's all. Love you, Bri
  • Hi to everyone at home. Mom, Papa, Rachel, Caleb, and Lydia. We miss you and can't wait to see you soon. By the way, it's still Caleb and Lydia's fault. --Sam and Isaac From Sam only: Hey Brooke, hope your keeping busy as always even though I know your just sitting at the computer waiting for new blog posts. Say hey to nash for me. See you in a bit --Sammm

Student Scenarios

From Taylor Schultz:

On our prayer walk I talked to an 18 year old guy named Ryan. At first I didn't even bring up anything about Jesus; I just got to know him. After that he asked me if I had a "babygirl" which means girlfriend and I said no and asked him if he had a girlfriend. He told me no and that he likes his women like his candy. I like making analogies so I asked him what his favorite candy was. It was skittles. So then I asked him, "What if you have candy everyday for the rest of your life, won't you get sick of it?" He said, " *explicit* yeah!" I then said, "If candy is like women to you, pretty soon you're going to get sick of that lifestyle." I told him that women deserve to be treated with respect and not like an object. Though he was drunk, I could see in his eyes that something changed. The best part was that I could feel the Holy Spirit with me the whole time. God works in amazing ways so who knows what Ryan will do with his life. I'm just so thankful the Lord's plan was for me to go on this trip! I love you, family, and keep it real Rachel!

From Reina Wicklund:

My first week in DC/Baltimore has been...very "eventful." First of all, let me start by saying thank you so much for all of the prayer. I'm glad my day of teaching is over but I can say with a smile that it was an extremely profitable experience for me. Thanks, Wiltshire, for sticking it out with me through all the frustration and being an amazing teacher and role model. I can't even begin to explain how emotional this week has been for me. There has been anger, tears, heart-to-heart talks at midnight and more tears! But there is also the showing of unconditional love which I have really struggled with and taken to heart these past few days. It gives me so much joy to serve these kids in Baltimore. Thanks to all of you for your love, support and prayer. P.S. I guess I need to give a shout out to my fam or my mom will be disappointed...so I love you guys and I miss all of you so much.

From Wil Witters:
It's amazing how god can take what seems like a waste of $13 and turn it into an amazing story. Our first day at Union Station, Michael W., Scott F., and I purchased our very own bff (best friends forever) necklaces. But they were not any old necklaces. These were heart shaped and each had its own word on it. Live, Laugh, and Love. We thought long and hard on who should get which necklace. Reina decided that for us. Michael got live, Scott got laugh, and I got love. I'll never forget the crazy look I got from the cashier, and how stupid we all felt. We wore them everyday of the conference.
On Tuesday night we went on a prayer walk. But this prayer walk was different than any I'd ever been on. We carried signs that asked serious questions such as: "Are you sure?" or "Ready?" or "Need Prayer?" Most felt slightly uncomfortable walking down the rough streets of Baltimore with a sign that asked "Need prayer?" So our small band of six put it at our side at first. As we walked down the street we would greet people, but no more than a, "Hello, how are you?" But as we walked past a man sitting on his doorstep God moved. You see Donald has failing eyesight and that impairs his reading. But as we walked by, God allowed him to read our sign. We were about a block away when we heard Donald yelling for us to come back. When he reached us, he explained he saw the sign and needed some serious prayer. Donald told us that he had been born Baptist but he did not know much about religion now. When he was seven, he was the only person in his 14 person family to survive a car accident. He lived alone under a bridge and by age 50 has never experienced a real Christmas. He also revealed that he had cancer in both lungs and the doctors gave him til Christmas, ironic huh? The streets have been so hard on Donald. He has been stabbed 5 or 6 times and shot once. But all of the pale in comparison to what he said next. He told us that he has never been loved. He had no family, no friends, so he had no love. So, eventually after talking for a while we prayed with Donald. We prayed that God would open his eyes so he would know that God loves Donald. As we prayed I felt God speak to me in a way I have not seen in a while but it was something I'd been praying for. So when our prayer ended and everyone had hugged him, I unclasped my "love necklace" and gave it to him. As I handed him the necklace to Donald I explained to him why I was giving it to him. I want him to be reminded every time he look at it that God loves him and always will. He said thank you and we watched the tears well up in his eyes. He quickly walked away. I will never forget him. And I believe that those $13 were some of the best I've ever spent.

From Samuel Jenkins:
This past week has been one of the most physically, spiritually, and mentally demanding week of my life. Which could be either good or pathetic. God has taught me so many things that I will never forget. Seeing the living conditions of inner city Baltimore has made me so much more content with what I have. I wish I could stay here longer and continue serving the people.

This is for you, Eric Van Pelt!!! :)

The Van Pelt's took great care of the Fernihough boys for some of the time that we have been here in DC, and they were great at posting pictures for them to look at on Facebook. Well, here are some pictures of their student on the trip...we just wanted to be fair and all! :)

Random Fun Times!

For some reason, everyone wants to look like Mandy....or maybe they just ate too much!?!?!

Reina is a girl full of amazing talents...including being able to balance a bottle of Mountain Dew on her head while traveling up an escalator.

Apparently Eric likes oranges...

The Fun Still Continues!

On Wednesday night we helped Colleen and her team with the Metrokidz Ministry. It started at 6:45 and we played with the kids in the empty lot across the street and then cooked hot dogs and such for dinner. It was a fun night with lots of kids!

This morning our students split up into four groups and were sent out into the community to show random acts of kindness. One group of students baked cookies and made cards to encourage the officers and brought them for the local police department. The department was so appreciative of the students thoughtfulness that they gave them a tour of the police department.

On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday some of our students went to Samuel Morris Elementary School, this is the school that most of our VBS kids attend. Each day ten students helped paint two bathrooms and a classroom. The teachers and the students were extremely appreciative to see our students hard at work at their school!