The team is getting packed and ready as we are excited for our upcoming trip. Join the students and their families in the 9:30 east service this Sunday as Pastor Marcus will be praying for us. The group will be traveling after the service to Ocala for the night, before arriving in Panama City Monday. Please keep the team in your prayers as we get ready to go!
We had our first session of worship and teaching and we are in for some awesome, encouraging and challenging messages this week! Shannon Chapman spoke about imagine; grace. He talked about how grace comes through Jesus, is free, resistible, and limitless. Although Shannon walked us through many verses, tonight’s focus was 2 Cor. 12:9 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
The theme this week is all about “Imagine” with different focuses each night. The challenge is for us to even try to imagine all the things God wants to do through us and for us. The theme verse is Ephesians 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”
We found out we’ll be doing our work starting tomorrow at a local orphanage with various projects to help better the ministry and to love on the children there.
Here are a few more pictures from today…
Today was our first day of work and we had a variety of work projects at the Anchorage Children’s home, a local orphanage specializing in keeping siblings together. We weeded and flattened the ground around and under their playground set and began to lay mulch there. We also weeded a smaller garden walkway area and will be laying the mulch for that tomorrow. Lots of students took turns pressure washing the carport and drive way and we’ll finish the washing of the basketball court and and sides of the house tomorrow. We also did some repairs to areas of their fence that were loosening up and beginning to come un done. A few students worked on cleaning out the gutters that were filled with debris.
We’ll be returning tomorrow to finish our projects and add on a few more to help improve the house for the kids.
Tonight’s teaching by Frank Clark was imagine: hope. Frank spoke about having our hope in Jesus and anchoring our lives to that hope. He really pushed us to dream big and imagine with God, and that if we dream with God and he wants us to do something then he’ll help us do it. And to not dream or imagine small but to dream BIG with God.
Frank expanded on the weeks verse into Ephesians 3:20-21 and highlighted how God works with his power, for HIS glory, and he has been there for generations before us and will continue after us. We also looked at Hebrews 6:19 “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,” and spoke about Jesus, the curtain, being our anchor of hope.
We learned a cool picture of the word “imagine” that if you look at it like imag[in]e and move the “in” to the front you get [in image], and we are created in God’s image to dream big.
The students had great small group times sharing what we put our hope in, and how and why to start putting our hope in Jesus.
Here’s a picture of Frank from teaching tonight and of the kids playing a game of knockout basketball.
We finished our projects today at the children’s home and what an amazing difference! Our students worked so hard and completed all our scheduled tasks- mulching the playground, pressure cleaning, mulching the garden, painting a picnic table and bench, cleaning the gutters, and planting flowers. Here are some final pictures from our work today.
Tonight’s message was imagining love given by Danny Hesterly. He spoke about how God created us with a purpose and mission, to connect with him on the deepest, most intimate level.
We heard about how God’s love for us is not based on anything we do but on who God is. Danny showed us a great illustration of not just being filled with God’s love,but how as we are filled with his love and passion we become compassionate and it pours out to others.
The students were given an opportunity to pray with us, Brad and Jill, for either Jesus, passion or both. It was an amazing opportunity that we had when every single student came up to us for prayer for either one or the other or both.
Pray for the students who prayed for Jesus for either the first time or for just more of Jesus in their lives. Pray that they continue to seek and find more of Jesus and their personal relationship with God grows. Also pray for those students who need more passion in their lives to live for God. It was a great night and our prayer is that it doesn’t just end with tonight but continues as we go home and all of us seek for more Jesus and more passion.
Today was our third and final day of work. We went to a different campus of the Anchorage Children’s Home today, one that focuses on ages 12-17 with the capability of transitional living for 16-22 years old. A few of our group worked in the morning hours to help clear out some over grown bushes and such that we’re blocking a drainage ditch. The remainder of our group interacted with the students that were there through sports, games, and just talking, getting to know them. Because of confidentiality and safety for the kids that live there we were not allowed to take pictures of them. Here are a few from the bush clearing and just of our students hanging.
The students had an opportunity to visit glocal (global + local) prayer and interactive room tonight. There were stations set up for various causes and awareness for the students to read and learn about and pray for those affected. They had a chance to bring in their donated school supplies and read about the kids receiving them and pray for them. They learned about street kids who dig through garbage to find plastic bottles to sell at a recycling area to get money to feed themselves. There were stations educating them of other oppressed children in the world and they were given a chance to pray for them as well. The students finished by having their own prayer time of writing a request on a card and hanging it for others to pray for them. In addition, they could read the requests put up by other students through out all the weeks of illuminate summer camp.