Greetings everyone! It’s Monday morning about 11:15 am and I have finally found a few minutes to sit down and update you on our adventures. I do not have Internet access where we are staying, so I have to wait until we go to Pastor Lenny’s house or the church to get online. OK, I’ll try to be brief but thorough.
Saturday …
No problems at the airport. Everyone got through security fine, our plane was on time, and we had a nice flight. We had the opportunity to talk to a few people about what we were up to, so that is always good in terms of letting our light shine. Anthony brought along a copy of my book, and he and Mike used it the entire flight. So cool! They said that it made the flight feel like 5 minutes. Yes, that was a shameless sales pitch. Ha Ha! When we arrived at the airport we met up with Pastor Lenny & Jackie, picked up our rental, and after about an hour were on the road headed toward Toccoa. We stopped at Wendy’s and everyone got dinner. I got to talk to a young man named Jeff who was inquiring about our group, and gave him one of my cards. We got to out camp around 10:30 pm and everyone was stoked to be there. John Long was waiting for us with donuts and hot chocolate! After a brief team meeting we took our luggage to our rooms, and the worship team did a bit of a rehearsal. Lights out was at midnight, but in reality everyone fell asleep around 1:30.

Sunday …
No time to sleep in! We had to be on the vans heading to Athens, GA (about an hour away) at 6:00 am, so wake up time was at 5 am. I was awakened by the sound of boys talking, and showers and sinks running. I thought: did I oversleep? I looked at my clock and saw that it was only 4:25 am. Why in the world were all of the guys awake? Too much adrenaline. We hushed and shushed them until about 5:15 am, but it was no use, we could not fall back to sleep. At 5:45 we all grabbed bags with muffins and water bottles. We were supposed to have fruit too, but the walk-in refrigerator had frozen up during the night, so that was out. The kids wolfed down their continental breakfasts and we pulled out at 6 am. After a quick stop at the WalMart to get some supplies we drove the hour to Athens where we did the church service for over 200 men at The Potter’s House – a Christian recovery center. They packed out the chapel and about 20 guys had to stand out in the foyer. It was a great service! The team did really great! Mike played guitar, James played drums, and Stan and Laura led worship vocally. The men sang with all of their might, and it was a glorious sound! Stan shared a powerful testimony that was very moving and challenging to the guys. Justin & Jeff shared their testimonies as well. We performed two of our dramas/dances and I preached, followed by the kids praying for dozens of the men at the altar and more worship. After the service we shared some refreshments with the guys, chatting with them before heading back to Toccoa.

After lunch we enjoyed some free time driving an hour to Hellen, GA. Pastor Lenny took us to a cool little mill where we saw them making different grain foods the old fashioned way – the entire thing powered by water from the river behind the mill. Really neat! After that we all played mini golf which was a lot of fun. Then we drove to see Ruby falls, but when we got there, the scenic overlook was closed for two weeks for construction. We did not have time to hike back to see it, so instead we spent a few minutes in Hellen, a very cute German-style town. We got back to camp at 7:30 pm. After dinner Brendon led devotions, we talked through some logistical stuff, had a time of prayer, and then we went to our cabins and lights were out by 10:30 pm. We had been going on 3 hours of sleep, and as much as they wouldn’t admit it, everyone was exhausted and fell asleep quickly.
Monday Morning …
This morning I got up at 6 am, and the only other guy awake was Anthony, our resident morning guy. I got up early so I could go for a great run in the mountains on this beautiful, crisp Georgia morning. I jogged about 3 miles including some good hills. When I returned, Anthony and I walked down to the lake and had a good time talking and praying together. After that everyone was getting up and around and we had John Long pancakes for breakfast. Today is Matt Moreo’s 18th birthday, so we sang “Happy Birthday” to him, and he happened to be on devotions this morning, so he challenged us with a good word and we prayed together. At 9 am we went to The Peer Center, which is a home for the mentally ill. We recognized many friends from lat year, and it was a joy to be with them. After our dramas, Bianca, Emily, Alexis, James, Gary, and Mike all gave their testimonies – all doing a fantastic job! Following our presentation all of the kids spread out and prayed for the residence. Beautiful Jesus-style ministry!
We are now at the church. The team is sorting out and packing food boxes for many people who will be arriving soon to them up. When we are done here we will be going back to camp for lunch, and this afternoon we will be going to a horse farm to help a lady who uses horses to minister to and provide therapy to mentally handicap people. We will be doing whatever is necessary, including, yes!, cleaning stalls! The dorms might smell a little gamy tonight! lol
Thanks for your continued love and support!

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