Like I was saying....

Category: Youth Trips

Is it really good to be back?

Yes, it really is. After a five night stretch of sleeping on wood chips out in the Georgia wilderness and taking cold showers with a waterhose looped over a 2×4, it is. But it really wasn’t that bad. Working with the AIM training camp was truly a blessing. And a humbling thing about it was that the people that we were serving, who were going out to Kenya or Peru or Russian in a matter of days, they kept thanking us over and over and over.

One even went so far as to say that any success they had during their mission trip would be partly because of our service to them.  Wow. How amazing was that? And the last morning, when we were leaving, the Kenya team actual asked us to sit in a circle while they washed our feet as an act of service to us. Very humbling.

I think a lot of the Clinton students were semi envious. Not jealous, but when they’re seeing these guys and girls, young men and women not any different from them getting the opportunity to travel abroad to serve God’s people in a special way…there is a “Man, I wish I was going” feeling that wells up. But the truth is that there is just as much need and hurt and emptiness in our own neighborhoods and communities. And that fact hit hard today.

After being gone to BigStuf for 5 days and then being home for about 3 before heading to the Training Camp for 6, I was ready to kick back and not worry about too much today. So I cleaned the UHaul trailer out, sprayed it off and returned it. But I also found out that a 15 year old girl took her own life last night here in town. That makes the 2nd student from that grade to take their own life in the last 6 or 7 months. It’s obvious that there are hurts and pain and confusion even in our own little suburbia.

So although it wasn’t a plane ride to the other side of the world. It was a drive back to Mississippi w/ a stop off at Six Flags. But there is much, much ministry to be done right here in our own back yard.

So if you think of it, please pray for the Mosley family. And also pray for Clinton, MS as a whole. It, and we, need lots and lots of prayer.

Just north of HOTlanta

And it’s hot here too!

We arrived here in Gainseville Thursday afternoon. After seeing where we sleep, I was amazed. It’s like a huge green Army tent that was about 189 degrees inside. Wood chips on the ground w/ a bit of a tarp to rest our heads on. Good stuff. So we get situated and then throw the frisbee for a while. The actual mission teams aren’t supposed to come til the next day, so we were able to kick back a bit.

Then we took a trip to CiCi’s Pizza. Arguably one of the best pizza buffets around, IMHO. Then a Target run for another frisbee and other necessities (the other one had already broken). Worship that night w/ the team leaders was different but good. But there were some experiential worship stations and some accoustic worship.

Following that was bed time. And we guys were in the big tent that was now cooled off a bit. There actually was a big fan in there, but it seemed to move hot air around. But it was night and cooler so it was bearable. But we had some fun. We call it…Shadow Puppett Theater. We made shadow puppets on the ceiling of the tent for at least 45 minutes. Classic. Then we went to sleep. And we woke up FREEZING. Don’t know why it was so cold. But it was. I mean unbearablly freezing.

Most of the Mississippi team goes to the airport while 3 guys stay behind w/ me and we mow/weedeat/patch tents/shuck corn/fill Tiki torches, fill water, wash dishes, etc. Then missionaries start to arrive. Again,  this is a training camp for them before they go out to Kenya, Russia, or Peru. So they’re being trained, we’re serving them a bit and being trained a bit. But it’s a good mix of folks. Basically aged 15-22.

I’ll try to get some pics of where we’re staying and how everything is laid out soon. Camera was out of batteries, but got some new ones.  It’s hot. There’s no AC, and I’m going minimal on the showers. Life is good!

Off again…

I’m done packing. Now I need to get to sleeping.

I should pull out of town tomorrow morning to go to Gainesville, GA to participate in an Adventures in Mission training camp. When AIM sends missionaries to diff parts of the country and world, they come for training first. Well, we’re going to be serving the missionaries. Serving food and cleaning after them and various stuff like that. But out group will get to participate in the Mission Trainging as well. So it’s a good deal for us. We get to give AND get!

One thing about Gainesville is that it is 37 miles from Northpoint Community Church. I’ve always wanted to check it out. Never been to a mega church before. And I really dig Andy Stanley. Not saying a megachurch is my thing. But dunno. Never been there.

But we’ll be sleeping in tents, using “home made” showers, and roughing it. Probably a contrast from BigStuf last week. But I should have net access of some sort, so I hope to have some updates and photos!

Back and forth

So last week we were at BigStuf. Fantastic week. This is my 10th summer to go there. I went one summer while in college as a “leader”, and then this was my 9th summer to take a group. So obviously I’m a believer in the quality of this place! BigStuf is always good stuff.

The trip started off w/ a bang…literally. It was only about 30 miles down the road before we had a blowout. But after a fairly quick tire change at a local tire store along the way, we were back on track.

Louie Giglio, Stuart Hall, and Jared Herd were the speakers for the week. Stuart was good, but had a few things in his talk that some of my kids thought were distracting. Some little jokes that probably keep middle school students on track were bumping some of my high school students off track it seemed. And a comment or two was taken wrong. In no way do I think that Stuart’s heart or intent was anything but pure, but it was something worth mentioning.

Jared Herd I’d heard before. In that time I thought he was almost a “Louie-lite” meaning he gave a message very similar to one I’d heard Louie give before and seemed to have a lot of the same mannerism and all. Not that that was a bad thing, but it seemed to be not his own stuff. This time I came away really enjoying Jared’s messages.

And of course Louie was speaking w/ impact again. Talked about being Wired for Worship and being Wired for This World. Pretty convicting stuff when he talked about how we all have responisibilities as Christians to minister to and support and help those in our world who seem hopeless.

Worship was as great as always. Started a little slower for some reason, but as the week went on, it seemed to grab me more. It deff was a production. More on that later, but they can really create an environment that is packed w/ the “Wow factor”.

All in all, it was a fantastic trip. There were no squabbles or fights that I know of between our students. And some funny stories as well. Maybe I’ll get the volleyball tourney story in or the motorcycle gang story up soon. Some are funny at the time, some are funny to look back on.

Costa Rica Part II?

I’m really thinking of going back to Costa Rica this summer. Today is another meeting. But here is the cool part, I think The Wife is going to come along too! We’ve not worked out the details of where the girls will be yet, but looking to go late July/early August to Liberia, Costa Rica again on a mission trip.

Looking forward to the hot days, hard work, hot nights, great fellowship, interesting church services, and feeling exhausted knowing you did some work for God.

Me and Pastor Carlos This is me and Pastor Carlos of the church where we work, eat, and sleep pretty much all day. Outstanding man of God.

For more pictures of our trip last year to Costa Rica you can check out this Flickr Set.

Back again!

Back from Colorado. It was one of the best snow conditions I’ve ever experienced on a ski trip. Lots of good snow just before we got there and the first 2 days of skiing we were dumped on even more. The only thing someone might could complain about is that the temperatures were absolutely freezing. Or below freezing. In the mornings, the windchill was actually below ZERO!

I skiied like an experienced skier. But my skill level was let down by my legs. For some reason my thighs would burn like liquid fire after a while. And I even tried to do some exercises a while before I went on the trip. I didn’t attempt to snowboard again. Though I was humbled. There were people who tried it w/ no lesson and got the hang of it quite well. Now I want to do it again, but don’t want to waste any time.

Our nightly church meetings were great. Greg Taylor was our “speaker” and brought God’s word to us quite effectively. The rooms were good, as expected. The kids were fantastic. No problems. No over the top crankiness. No disrespect. No complaints. Everyone got along really well.

All in all, a fantastic trip to Copper Mountain, Colorado. I would definately do it again. Might look at another mountain, but it’d have to be a great deal to sway me from Copper.

Copper Mountain Ski Trip

Man, I’m so juiced!

Less than a month to go. And we’ll be heading out to Copper Mountain, CO for some incredible times on the slopes. I’ll go back to skiing again since my last expereince on the ole SnowBoard didn’t work out as well as skis. If I went more than 3 days every 2 years, I’d probably give boarding more time. But I want to rip it up with all the time I’ve got!

We’ll be taking about 40 people up there and have some great times of worship, teaching, and community building as well. Started out as a YOUTH trip, but looks like we’ll have quite a few of our college students going as well. I’m looking to take the laptop with me and hopefully get some internet coverage while there somewhere. If not in the condo, then with some WiFi at a restaurant or lounge. That way I can have pics and updates straight from the point of interest!

Last time I tried to write by hand, then type it in later…didn’t happen

Copper Mountain '04, Day 1

We had a fantastic time in Colorado as we tore up Copper Mountain. I am going to try and give you a travel log of the trip, but I shift gears from short/consice to long winded and back too much, so I’ll leave a lot fo stuff in the extended entry sections. Click to read of in you want.

Day One

I’m sitting now on a new bus in the middle of Arkansas listening to Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry”. “New” because or old one had difficulties. Everything started out fine. Better than fine, actually. Everyone got to the church in plenty of time, no long Q&A time, and we left a little earlier than I anticipated. I thought we might end up making too good of time on the road. But I should have known better. We’d gone through Memphis and were approaching Little Rock. People were beginning to ask about supper plans. We were nearing some supper places about an hour up the road. All of a sudden a terrible racket happened on the right side of the bus. Bad noise around the wheel. I wondered if someone’s luggage had fallen out and gotten tangled up or something. But it was just a blowout. Two tires were gone. Shredded. What to do, what to do?

Our drivers called back to New Albany and they were going to get a service crew to come from LRock to fix our flats (shreds?) So in the mean time, we sit on the side of the interstate. After close to an hour, they figure out that we’re losing air pressure. My first thought is that this isn’t an airplane, but it had to do with the break lines. That can’t be fixed in a timely fashion. So we have to wait on another bus to take a 3-hour trip to get us. So we sit. And we sit and sit and sit. After about 30 minutes it felt like we’d been sitting for about 5 hours. The new bus finally got there and it was a better bus: bigger, nicer, and newer. Now I have a full two seats to myself instead of sitting w/ other people. Not that I don’t like sitting w/ other people, but I can’t sleep on a bus well to begin with, but I’m really uncomfortable trying to sit quietly while everyone else is asleep and I’m just sitting there.

So we’re on our way now. I think most people are asleep. No one’s had an official supper, though lots of people have snacked. We’ll stop at a service station somewhere up the road, but we have to really book it on the road. We have a 5:30 ski fitting time in Copper Mountain. We’ll see if we can make it or not. But that’s been the first ‘day’ of the trip so far. I can now see city lights all around me, but no real clue as to where I am. That’s probably better anyway, right now.

Copper Mountain – 2004 – Day One

I carried our youth group to Copper Mountain last week for a great time of skiing and boarding. I’ll try to give a travel log of it all, but I can go quickly between short and consice to long winded, so I’ll not fill up the front page with paragraph after paragraph of our trip. Click below if you want the extended entry…

DAY ONE
I’m sitting now on a new bus in the middle of Arkansas listening to Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry”. “New” because or old one had difficulties. Everything started out fine. Better than fine, actually. Everyone made it to the church in plenty of time, no long Q&A time, and we left a little earlier than I anticipated. I thought we might end up making too good of time on the road. But I should have known better. We’d gone through Memphis and were approaching Little Rock. People were beginning to ask about supper plans. We were nearing some supper places about an hour up the road. All of a sudden a terrible racket happened on the right side of the bus. Bad noise around the wheel. I wondered if someone’s luggage had fallen out and gotten tangled up or something. But it was just a blowout. Two tires were gone. Shredded. What to do, what to do?

Our drivers called back to New Albany and they were going to get a service crew to come from LRock to fix our flats (shreds?) So in the mean time, we sit on the side of the interstate. After close to an hour, they figure out that we’re losing air pressure. My first thought is that this isn’t an airplane, but it had to do with the break lines. That can’t be fixed in a timely fashion. So we have to wait on another bus to take a 3 hour trip to get us. So we sit. And we sit and sit and sit. After about 30 minutes it felt like we’d been sitting for about 5 hours. The new bus finally got there and it was a better bus: bigger, nicer, and newer. Now I have a full two seats to myself instead of sitting w/ other people. Not that I don’t like sitting w/ other people, but I can’t sleep on a bus well to begin with, but I’m really uncomfortable trying to sit quietly while everyone else is asleep and I’m just sitting there.

So we’re on our way now. I think most people are asleep. No one’s had an official supper, though lots of people have snacked. We’ll stop at a service station somewhere up the road, but we have to really book it on the road. We have a 5:30 ski fitting time in Copper Mountain. We’ll see if we can make it or not. But that’s been the first ‘day’ of the trip so far. I can now see city lights all around me, but no real clue as to where I am. That’s probably better anyway, right now.

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