Several months ago I asked my staff members to dream a God-sized dream. I asked them what they would like to do this year and said I wanted to get behind them to make their dream a reality. Peter Ladenheim came to me a few days later and said his dream was to run our own summer youth camp. Today was history in the making! Camp Dynamis Year 1, Day 1! I am so proud of him and excited for what God is going to do this week!
This morning Peter led our team in devotions during breakfast, then we headed out and caught the train over to The Legacy Center in Brooklyn. We helped sweep and clean the sidewalks around the building then worked in the warehouse sorting and organizing donations of school supplies. When we finished working, Diana, one of the LC staff members asked the students about their hopes and dreams, then shared about how the LC works to help people and how our contributions were helping them to be able to minister to their friends in the community. We then gathered around the LC staff and the students prayed over their ministry. We left at 2pm and took the train back to Living Waters. We had lunch, prepared 75 bag lunches, had a little downtime, then the team went to Manhattan and walked over the Brooklyn Bridge into Brooklyn where they had pizza at the famous Grimaldi’s Pizzeria. While the team had dinner I went to Manhattan where I had the joy of reuniting with my youth pastors from when I was growing up. They were in town from Florida, and we were able to have dinner together. It was the first time we had seen each other in some 23-24 years! What a privilege! They were a major influence on my life as a teenager, and a big reason why I went into youth ministry. It was so great being able to have dinner with them while two of my former students, Rebekah and Peter, now on staff with me, were leading my current students. They are an extension of the legacy that was passed on to me by Bill and Carla Clark. After dinner we all met back up at Living Waters. At 9pm we prayed over the 75 bag lunches we had prepared, and for the people who would be receiving them, then we headed down to the park and gave them out to people. Within about 30 minutes we had given them all away with a smile and in the name of Jesus. We came back to the church and had a good time of debriefing and sharing.
Here’s a little glimpse of our incredible weekend in Pennsylvania for Youth Winter Fest 2017! I want to say a very special Thank you to our amazing team who worked so hard and tirelessly to put this event together and made it possible for students to come and have an encounter with Jesus. Also, a big shout our to Josh Griffin for coming as our speaker, Dan Bremnes for leading us in worship, and John Branyan and the Nubian Gents for blessing us with their gifts and talents. Let’s continue working with Jesus as He is building His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. #YWF17
Would love for you to join us! Contact me to bring your youth group!
This morning we talked about what it means to be a servant leader and did some team building. At noon took the train up to Hunts Point in the Bronx to serve with Real Life Church. We were met by Clay, the youth pastor from the church and we spent over an hour on the plaza, handing out invitations to the church and praying with people who were passing by. We then stopped by the Point community center to see were Real Life meets, then we went to their storage unit which we emptied, organized, and repacked. We got back to Brooklyn about 5:30pm and had dinner. At 8pm we made up 60 bags with water bottles, the sandwiches we made Sunday night, and a bag of chips and headed to Manhattan where we gave them to homeless people all around the Penn Station area. It was awesome and the students did a great job! We then walked up to Times Square, hung out, and got some ice cream before heading back to Brooklyn. We arrived back at the church at 11:15pm.
Today our team went to the Bowery Mission in lower Manhattan to serve. The Bowery Mission is the third oldest mission in the United States. It has been serving the homeless and needy since 1879. We sorted donated food, cleaned, prepared and served lunch to 270 people. It was a wonderful experience and the team did a great job. Afterward we took the kids to Chinatown to do a little shopping, and then had dinner in Little Italy. This evening we had a time of debriefing our day, worship, and prayer. There are two other teams staying here at Living Waters with us, and the team from Canada returned from their out reach while we were in worship, and it was awesome to see them jump in with us. We had a wonderful time singing together.
Today was day 1 of our Jr. High Mission trip to New York City. Our team lead worship for the church service at Living Waters Fellowship, the church that is hosting us, and I preached. After lunch we had time to unpack and settle in. After dinner we had an orientation, Natalia shared a devotional, we took down the chairs in the sanctuary, then went to dinner. This evening we made approximately 60 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches which we will be distributing to the homeless. Before heading up to our rooms for bed we had some ice cream, sharing, worship, and prayer. Excited for a great week of serving Jesus!
From 4/6/16: Kerri Ann is a resident at West Haven home for the developmentally disabled in Jamaica. She just exides Jesus! Mission Discovery knows her well from their years of visits. She told us she wanted a Bible, and yesterday Hannah told her she would give her her Bible! Today she delivered it and you should have seen the smile on her face. She has also been asking to be baptized for quite some time. Unfortunately her church would not baptize her because of their insistence that it must be by immersion, which is impossible for this young lady. Jen and Scott approached the director and asked if we might be able to baptize her today, and he agreed! We asked her if she wanted to be baptized today, and she lit up. When we gave her the news that she could, she had no words and simply covered her mouth and cried tears of joy. Nathan from MD drove up, and we all gathered under the shade of a tree where she professed her love for Jesus, and Jen, Nathan, and I had the tremendous joy of pouring a bottle of water over her head to baptize her. It was one of the most sacred thigs I have ever witnessed or been a part of!
Today Annie and Tyler led us in team devos then we headed off to our ministry sights. One group went to an orphanage called Blosson Garden and started 3 murals in the children’s rooms and hallway. After lunch we held babies and played with the children. (No pictures were allowed of the children (sad face).) The other group went to the Jamaican Christian School for the Deaf. They worked on constructing cabinets, transported gravel for the cement work we will be doing, dug a hole for an outhouse, and spent time interacting with the kids. It is hot and sweaty, and other than a couple of kids temporarily dealing with the heat, everyone is well. We have been having some amazing worship, sharing, and discussion times. Tonight Hannah and Olga shared their devos and did so great. Thanks for your prayers and support.
We arrived safely in Jamaca at noon today. After lunch we got settled into our rooms, enjoyed a quick dip in the pool, then had dinner, orientation, worship and sharing. Matt and Tabitha both shared devotions with our team, then we got into small groups to discuss our hopes for the trip and pray for each other. Tomorrow our service begins! We will be serving at three locations this week. Thanks for your prayers. Everyone is in good spirits.