Wednesday, July 28, 2010
On Friday Morning - July 30th - at 5am, 27 of us will be heading to the airport for our flight to Belize. If its possible, I will be updating this blog for that trip as well. The organization will also be blogging about us. You can check their blog out at http://www.prayingpelicanmissions.org/journals.cfm Look for the link for Calvary Assembly of God Church. Below is a list of our Prayer request for our trip!
Pray for safety - Fights, from sicknesses, malaria, Hepatitis, Typhod, food, any evil people who might try and hurt us.
Pray for travel mercy - all flights are on time, that we have no issues with customs – that we don’t miss flights. That no one gets sick on the plan. That the plane rides are smooth, etc. That no one looses their passport.
Pray for the Leaders, Barry, Wayne, Beth, Dave, Sid, Bob L, Myself, Joe and Casey... Also my wife – God made a way for her to Go. Please pray for her and for our kids as we leave them for 8 days! Pray that He would give all the Leaders amazing Strength and endurance on this trip and leading up to the trip!
Pray for the other students - girls - Daniella, Emily, Tina, Victoria, Jacky, Jasel, Cierra, Marcia, Joanne, Timae/ Boys - Micah, James, Elie, Kory, Andrew B, Erik, Josh, Michael O.
Pray that he would use each one of us in a unique way and that we would all be in his purpose!!!!
Pray for divine connections - The people we meet. The kids, the youth, the adults, the people in the nursing homes, the hospital, the orphans, the church members!
Pray for the other youth group that we are working with. - From New Covenant in California. Youth Pastor's name is Sonny Martini. Pray for them as they prepare. Pray that God would unify us. Pray that it wouldn't be our team and their team, but that God would mold us together and we would form the body of Christ.
Pray for the Belize Church - West Side Assembly of God - and for their church congregation. Pray that we would encourage them refresh them, and be used to help spread the gospel. Pray that we would be unified with the pastor and the vision of the church and be a blessing to them.
Pray for the Praying Pelican Leaders (or missions organization). They have been leading trips all summer. Pray that God refreshes them and that he would use them as they lead and guide us.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Wendi and Talia at the VBS on Saturday
First and foremost I was amazed and blown away by our group, we had a younger group and they came through. The tasks at times were a stretch for seasoned Christians, the ability today in these times to walk up to complete strangers and not only just say hello but, ask them where they stand with the Lord Jesus, it just blew me away. The acts were sincere and the compassion was so clearly visible.
I had so many God sightings to try and put into words I would have to write a book, and, I may someday.
That being said, Our Leader, Our Pastor -the Love and desire to change these kids is so evident in everything he did and said. His example, he walks the walk and he does in a way that is silent, strong and steady.
I have to say being born into a Christian home and being the daughter of a Southern Baptist Deacon I can forget and be humbled by the lesson God provides, but, let me tell you my heart grew, my Love for God grew and I will be forever changed. I can only hope and pray that this will continue for, well - forever.
My prayer for the next mission’s trip – Belize, I pray for Safety first and foremost, I pray for open hearts because he is with you, and I pray you have the most awesome experience ever. Believe and you will see.
Tuesday’s Living Bread tells us that “Grace is what our holy God gives that we as sinful people don’t deserve.
Thank God for his Grace.
My testimony for the N.Y.C. mission trip quite simply is that I saw myself and the whole team stretched. For me personally that means God enabled me to let go of my pride and allow Him to use me His way. I was so blessed by our worship that every night I’d go to sleep singing and wake up singing-and that was a huge encouragement because waking up at 5:45 a.m. for kitchen duty is no joke, it helped me stay focus and keep away from complaining.
One thing that blessed me most was to see how God stretched and used the students. They got up EARLY for kitchen duty with no complaints, worked with tenacity and joy. While some of us adults were ready to drop from fatigue, the students kept us going with their never ending source of energy.
What I took from this trip is that God is ready, able, and willing to do the impossible in us and through us if we step aside and let him. I learned that its never about me or my story but God-and his unfailing grace, love, and kindness. I learned that praise before during and after a test/storm, or a scary experience is the best way to go through that experience. I don’t think I will ever forget this mission trip (which happened to be my first). I saw God move in ways I’ve only heard other people talk about.
My God moments on the Missions Trip were during everything that happened. But I think the greatest was during the sub-way evangelism. For me, it was overcoming a fear of talking one-on-one with a new person and not being afraid to stand out in public (like dancing to “Father Abraham” while the train was moving). For others, I think it was the fact that there were young people willing to lend an open ear to hear what they would like to say for a chance.
My heroes on the trip have to be Charles and Angel. Charles because he was able to make it through five days of controlling teenagers in a different state and getting them through everything with no trouble. Before the trip he was saying how being a leader like that would be something new to him and I think he did a great job at it ☺. Angel because he was always so willing to be used in whatever way God needed. On the sub-way and feeding the homeless, the two most nerve racking experiences, he was always the first one that I saw find someone and just begin a conversation. For all I knew, he could have been the most nervous person to do it, but from what I saw, he was the one with the most courage.
This trip was an AMAZING experience and I’m glad I did it with the group I was with. It was definitely one of the high points in my life.
Joanne At VBS on Saturday
One god sighting that I saw on the trip was when I was out doing subway and homeless ministry. For the subway ministry, I was too nervous. I could hardly stand still. I was afraid that I wouldn’t know what to say or if I did say something, it would be completely wrong. Practically all of the team told me it would be all right, but I didn’t really believe them. We got on the train and Pastor Devin started us off with a few songs. As we were singing, I thought to myself, if I can sing in front of all these people and not feel awkward, why to I have to be afraid of talking to them. As soon as we finished I started looking around for someone to talk to. No one really stood out to me because they were usually with someone else. Finally this one lady boarded. Something about her seemed to remind me of myself. I think maybe because she was really quite and just had this shy look about her. I felt like a complete fool talking to her because I would just randomly stop talking. Thank God for that thought because I started talking about how shy I was, and when she had left, she turned back and told me that I had encouraged her to talk to her running buddies more often. I just felt uplifted. Unfortunately, I only talked to one other person after her but I was so much more confident. I thank God for that one encounter. The confidence followed me as we headed out for homeless ministry. I honestly wasn’t nervous at all. On one of our last stops, I met this wonderful man named Wolfgang. He was from Britain and he had gone homeless 4 years ago. We talked for about an ½ an hour and at the end, when we asked if he wanted to know Jesus, he told us he didn’t know. He was too confused. However as we started praying, he started agreeing with us, and he seemed so much more open to it. I hope that it moved him to find Jesus and live for him.
For the heroes, I would have to say the entire team. They did the work that they were supposed to do without complaint and did it with so much heart. Also, I have to say all of the leaders. They poured out so much for us. They bought us things we wanted and some of the time needed. They would stay up late with us to talk, play games. They counted us so many times I cant remember as we went to ministry sites and just explored New York. They were always there and they were such a blessing for me.
Some of the things I learned on this trips were when we’re at our weakest, God is at his strongest. I had gotten, I guess you could call it sick, and because of the late nights, I was exhausted. Because of God, I still managed to keep up with everybody else, putting my all into the work. Another thing was that people are so much more nicer than we assume. Like for instance on the subway and at the homeless sites. Of course there were some people that would shut you down, but the majority of the people would let you explain yourself and if they still weren’t interested, they would say so. But through these ministries, I conquered some of my fear of talking to and in front of people.
John working at the Soup Kitchen on Friday Am
I can honestly say that God has done amazing things in my life. I can also say that I forgot about some of those things. Coming to this trip opened my eyes to so much. From homeless ministry to talking on the subway, I've seen things I can do for Christ that I never knew I could do. And I just don't want this to be the end of it, I want to continue doing these different things and use everything that God has to offer me. I appreciate everything He has done, what He is doing, and what He will do in my life. This is a weird feeling that I have never felt before, but I love it. I'm just happy to be saved and happy I have others around me who can say the same. However, I want the world to have this passion I have for Christ. I know I can't do it, but with my faith in the lord, anything can happen.
Saleem at VBS on Saturday Am
The time that i KNEW God was Doing something in my life was when we were on the train and the i had to give my testimony. i was immensely scared but right when i said my first word i felt something that i NEVER felt before and as i was going on i was able to say the right stuff and i was able to speak more forceful becasue He honored me by putting some of His holy sprit in me in order to talk the way i did. i wanna give props to joanne becasue she was proberbly even more scared than i was but she overcame that and did God's calling to her by talking to people :-)
I learned that...we shouldnt complain bout our lifes because we could have been like those homeless people but were not because he gave us a great amount of mercy
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Central Park on Sunday!!!!
I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to all those who supported us and prayed for this trip. There are so many of you out there. Church family, friends, relatives, other students in Remix.....THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU. I also want to thank the leadership of the NYC team. As the person who is overall responsible for this trip, I can honestly say that I can not do it by myself. I would crumble under the pressure of all the needs of a trip this size without the many supporters and leaders who took time, energy resources love and finances and gave to make this trip happen. Again...Thank you!!!
My Experience and My Testimony from NYC. I saw God work in so many ways. I think the biggest way was to see the students overcome there fears, and in that moment see God work through them. We have been quoting and trusting in the verse in 2 Timothy 1:7 - "God did not give us a Spirit of Fear, but of Power, Love, and Self Discipline". But to see our team stand on it - and put it into action, - and come out on the other side is truly a faith building thing. My "God Sighting" on the trip was when I was nervous about talking to someone on the subway when we first got on. The first person I talked to was a college student who was studying to be an accountant. When I shared I was a CPA his face light up. It was a confirmation to me I was right were I needed to be. My hero was all the Leaders.....Why? They served we humbly all week, giving up there comforts, and constantly poured into the kids. From Sophia playing games with the girls to 2 am, to Christian loving on the boys and giving it to them when they needed it, to Wendi being the Loving mom that everyone loves and draws energy from, to Taryn leading worship when no one else could, or to Charles and his complete servant attitude with amazing care for the boys! Love you guys and couldn't have done it without them!
Thanks again everyone!
Thankful to the Lord most of all!!!
Monday, July 19, 2010
VBS outreach Saturday AM
Our team in Central Park
Touring around NYC!
The NYC Missions team arrived back at the church last night at around 10:30pm. Yesterday was our "down" day, and so we spent time touring around NYC and we had the opportunity to visit the Brooklyn Tabernacle for church. Besides getting on the subway in the wrong direction once, we had a great day of fellowship and refreshing!
I never blogged about our Saturday Mission. As you can guess, God was good! It was a little difficult to push through the fatigue that everyone was feeling, but we did. 12 members of the team went out and lead a VBS. However when they showed up they realized it wasn't a VBS but a block party. So the team had to improvise very quickly, however everything went great and it was a great time of ministering to the children.
The other Team that night went to Brooklyn and worked with the "Relief Bus". The Relief bus travels to different locations providing soup, bread and drinks to the community where it parks for the day. It also allows the workers and volunteers to talk with the people who come and share their faith and pray for the individuals. I must say, the joy in serving food to people on the street was something that isn't experienced any where else!
Saturday night we headed out to the staten Island ferry. We traveled across the ferry and back, with the goal of finding people to talk with, share our faith with, and pray for. This was a little bit more difficult than on the Subway, mainly due to the fact it was saturday night, we got there late, and most people on the ferry were heading off to have a good time in the City. However God still provided some "God Ordained' encounters where we got to minister his word.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Its 6:35am on Saturday morning. Yesterday was a full day of ministry from the morning we woke up around 6pm, till we return to NYSUM after midnight. Unfortuntely I had no time to blog!
So now that I have a couple precious minutes, let me go through the day. Please forgive any typing or grammer mistakes. I am not fully functional yet! lol
We all wake up around 6 or 6:30. Every meal, half our team helps with the food cooking and washing dishes to help the NYSUM staff. That starts at 6:30am (Currently we have 6 young men doing it as I type).
After B-fast our team split into 2 smaller groups. One group had the opportunity to go to "House of Hope" soup kitchen. It was a free kitchen for those in need. We arrived, worked to set up the tables and serving area's, Tyler E. and Adam B. took cooking duty and cooked up some yummy salmon. Before we feed the individuals, we let a 45min service, where our team sang songs and shared their testimonies. A minister from the area came in and shared a powerful word for the congregation.
Our other group also went to another soup kitchen called "Love Kitchen". The formate was pretty similar. Cooking, setting up, serving, talking with those who are being served. Ronald and John P shared powerful testimonies to the people and many appreciated hearing what God had did in there life.
In both places the students worked very hard and us leaders came back praising God for the work they did through the students..
After dinner, we started prepping to go out to reach the homeless in NYC. Before going out, we had a worship service in their chapel to get our hearts right, seek God's Spirit, and pray for His Guidance. Around 9pm we then hopped in the vans with sandwiches, water, bibles, and toiletry kits for those in need. We split our group within smaller groups of 3's and 4's with a leader and each group and drove down to Manhattan. The reason we wait till 9pm, is cause usually if people are still out, they are homeless, or that is the time they start laying down.
It was a very humbling and touching experience to come up to those who have nothing, ask them if we can sit down next to them, and engage in conversation as we gave them what we had. Many were extremely friendly and thankful to have company. Many shared with us why they were in the situations they were in, and spoke into our lives! Almost all the people the students encountered allowed them to pray for them.
We all came back very somber and excited at the same time. People we walk by and get annoyed with or forget about when we are down town, are human's too, with a loving heart, and a need for a Savior.
Please pray for us TODAY!!! Saturday AM. I know all the students are feeling it today physically. 12 members of our team is going out to lead a VBS for 50-75 kids! Wendi and Christian will be leading that with the help of 9 other students! The rest are going out with the "Relief Bus" It is a traveling soup kitchen which reaches out to all who need relief. Tonight we will be doing ministry on the "Staten Island Ferry". Again, we need God's strength and endurance for today!!!
We are so thankful for the ways you support us. If you want to email me any messages, I will be sure to pass them on!
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Waiting on the Subway in Manhattan - Ready to Go back to queens
P. Dev and Joanne Leading everyone in song on the Subway
Got back tonight at 10pm from reaching people on the Subways of NYC. Around 7:30pm we walked to the local Subway and caught the "R" train to Manhattan. Instead of sitting and talking, and counting the stops till we got there, we decided to engage the people riding with the love of Jesus. There were many fears we shared in sharing our faith on the subway of NYC, but we stood on the Word that we heard at our commissioning service...."God didn't give us a spirit of Fear, but of power, love, and self discipline" (2 Timothy 1:7)
So we met new people, shared our faith, I brought my guitar and we sang worships songs. Some people clapped, some turned the other way, some wanted to talk, some didn't. But we did everything with God's Love, and with His Story. And it was amazing how fast the time went by. When we got down there, we took the uptown train going back and did the same thing. It was also amazing - the different stories we heard when we got back as to how we reached so many who needed to hear it tonight. Also the boldness of all the students, and how they opened themselves up to the leading of the Holy Spirit!
Here is a story from one of our students. - TRUST ME - THERE ARE MANY MORE STORIES!
Today in the subway i was going to talk to a man to share my faith i sat down and said "hi" he looked at me and turned around. I got up and as I was walking away I said, that's OK i love you and so does God. He turned around and said why do you love me i replayed and said God wants us to love everybody. So he starts talking about how he was a christian and how he started to lose faith, and how he said God didn't love him anymore. i replied well if you try to runaway he will always find you and try to fill your empty heart again. The conversation went on and on, and I was able to remind him of God's Amazing love. So after a few minutes of talking he pulls out a cross out from his pocket, and puts it around his neck and says "thank you" and i say "for what" he replays for putting God back in my life. I was so shocked. And all I can do now is keep praying for him! - Angel Melendez
Please keep praying for us! Tomorrow AM we are going to split up and will be going to two different soup kitchens. We will be serving food, but we will be also sharing our faith, sharing our testimonies, praying for people, and singing to them! Pray that God gives us a good work ethic, and his words to speak!!!
For His Glory and Kingdom (HE IS SO GOOD!)
This morning our team split up to accomplish two work projects. One half of our team stayed at NYSUM to help in there pantry and prepare supplies for homeless outreach. The pantry needed lots of organiztion, but our team got right in there and organizated and cleaned the storage area for NYSUM. When they finished that, they helped stuff bags for homeless outreach. Tolietries, shampoo, toothbrushes, and bible tracks so that they are ready for the homeless outreach!
The other team went to a Cerebral Palsy Group Home on a work Project. They had a huge garden that needed to be weeded, and they purchased some new herbs to plant in the garden. Again, it was quite the task, but look at the pictures above. The students worked very hard and when we were done, the garden looked completely different. When we stopped to eat our bagged lunch (ham sandwich and water) the Group home surprised us with juice, soda, and some delicious Chicken!!! We were so excited for the food!
Please pray for us tonight. We will be traveling out on the subway to do evangelism. We will be singing songs, handing out bibles and tracks, sharing testimonies and hoping to share Jesus' love.
Until later tonight,
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
There are about 10 other Church groups staying at NYSUM, and almost ever bed is filled here!
Tonight we had a service, were we worshiped for a while, and took time studying Ephesians 2. Why are we doing what we are doing on this Trip? it is only because of God's Grace in our life....That when we were dead in our transgressions, Christ raised us to life. We are saved by grace alone. And because of his Grace we go and tell!!! We took time at the end to pray for more of God's Spirit to empower us and prayed for our individual projects!
Please pray that God would strengthen us as we start our missions tomorrow Moreing!! Thank you again for your prayers, support, and love!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
With the help of friends, relatives, church members, parents, and hard work at our car wash and yard sale, We were able to raise all the necessary funds for our Trip. Our budget for the 20 of us was 9,000, and the last bit of money came in yesterday. I am so humbled and amazed by God's provision and faithfulness. He always provides. The students are also to see God's provision and it gives us a Boost to know we are in the Lords will. Thank you again to all who have supported us!!!
From June 21st throug June 25th, our NYC Missios team traveled to Honey Brook PA for Hopewell Summer Camp. There the students had lots of fun playing sports, learning archery, riding horses, etc. But each day we amazing times of growing in our faith and having our hearts "stirred" for the passion Jesus has for others and for his kingdom. We were taught that we need not wait for others to cry out and seek God, but we can start on our own, and God longs to use us for his Kingdom.
Also each day we spent time as a missions team working on focus, team building and leadership skills. Some of the meetings were fustrating, trying to overcome "challenges" that were in our way. But with dedication and focus, and God's help we pushed through. It taught us a lot about what we will need for our mission ahead of us!
Wednesday, July 14th
· Travel to NYC
· Ministry Preparation Service that Night. Pray for God to fill them with his Spirit and give His Vision to them
Thursday, July 15th
· Morning – Cerebral Palsy Work Day.
· Evening – Homeless Ministry
o Handing sandwiches and water to homeless
o Praying and talking with them, sharing God’s love
Friday, July 16th
· Morning, Team 1 – House of Hope Soup Kitchen
· Morning, Team 2 – Love Kitchen Soup Kitchen
o Various students giving testimonies
o Leading in Song
o 2 adults sharing a message
o Serving Food
· Evening – The Gate Youth Service at Times Square Church
Saturday, July 17th
· Morning, Team 1 – The Relief Bus
o Evangelistic outreach and food service
· Morning, Team 2 – Universal Baptist Church
o VBS – 50-75 kids
o Students leading games, crafts, songs, and bible story