Egypt Trip Day 3

This morning we enjoyed an incredible breakfast at our hotel then we checked out as we are staying at a different hotel for the remainder of the week. The bus arrived and took us to the school where we were helping with the Wellspring day camp. We were assigned to different teams to serve over 330 children attending this week. It was a day of adjustment getting used the camp and how things run as well as the culture and language differences, but by the end of the day we were getting the hang of it and connecting with the kids. Dr. Santhosh was paired up with his counterpart at the camp and they got to help kids with their bumps and scrapes and supposed stomach aches [when they did not want to play a particular game lol!]. We worked until 3:30pm when the campers were picked up, and we are excited to go back tomorrow and build on the relationships that were begun yesterday. After checking into our new hotel and a quick change we had the honor of experiencing almost 2 hours of Cairo traffic. What an experience! Some of us were able to catch a little nap, while others were busy just trying to keep their lunch inside of their bodies. All of us were relieved when we finally reached our destination, a boat ride on the Nile River. We very much enjoyed recovering from the van ride as it was a beautiful evening and we had pizza for dinner and just hung out together. We took some time to debrief our day before driving back home, which, thankfully, did not take as long as the ride there. We had a quick 10 minute team pow-wow, then headed to our rooms. We’re about to turn in for the night. Other than a little car sickness for one of our team members we are all doing well. Thanks for your continued prayers.

Egypt Trip Days 1 and 2

After a 2 hour delay at JFK due to weather we finally got in the air about 8:30pm on Friday. Our flight was 10 hours, and for most of us was comprised of trying to get some sleep. We landed around 12:30pm Cairo time. Got all of our luggage and were through customs fine. We were met by Wellspring staff who loaded us onto the buses and we went to the office for a delicious lunch and orientation. We headed to our hotel at 4:30pm and were settling into our rooms by 5:15pm. We had a couple of hours to rest before being picked up at 8pm and heading out for dinner outside of the local mall. We were treated to Lebanese food. It just kept coming and coming and coming. When we were stuffed they said, “And now the main course.” So we ate more and more. Then they told us, “Make sure you save room for dessert.” So good! Got back to the hotel at 10:30pm, had a quick pow wow, and now preparing for bed. Got to get up early tomorrow.

“Who Am I?” A Poem

I am beautiful
I am mysterious
I dance
I enchant

I invite
I welcome
I comfort
I destroy

I strike fear
I bring peace
I draw men in
I make men flee

I give light
I mesmerize
I warm
I preserve

I produce
I consume
I rage
I calm

I distract
I bring into focus
I show the way
I speak into darkness

I see tears
I hear laughter
I listen to stories
I encourage relationships

I capture love
I make men ponder
I center
I give hope

I make noise silent
I ease tension
I still the soul
I am fire

Books I Read in 2016

  1. A Community Called Taize by Jason Brian Santos
  2. All is Grace by Brennan Manning
  3. A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson
  4. A Survivor’s Guide to Ministry by Rob McCord
  5. Half Time by Bob Buford
  6. Executing Grace by Shane Claiborne
  7. Hero by Derwin Gray
  8. I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
  9. Living the Dream by James Krechnyak
  10. Making Small Groups Work by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
  11. Multi-Site Churches by Scott McConnell
  12. Parent’s Guide to Sex and Dating by Mark Ostreicher and Joel Mayward
  13. Parent’s Guide to Social Media by Mark Oestreicher and Adam McLane
  14. Parent’s Guide to Understanding Teenage Brains by Mark Oestreicher
  15. Parent’s Guide to Understanding Teenage Girls by Mark Oestreicher and Brooklyn Lindsey
  16. Parent’s Guide to Understanding Teenage Guys by Mark Oestreicher and Brock Morgan
  17. Pure Desire by Ted Roberts and Steve Arterburn
  18. Refractions by Makoto Fujimura
  19. Revelation for Everyone by N.T. Wright
  20. Right Here Right Now by Alan Hirsch and Lance Ford
  21. Seeing Through the Fog by Ed Dobson
  22. See Through Life Book for Girls by Craig Gross with Rachel Ceballos
  23. See Through Life Book for Guys by Craig Gross with Adam Palmer
  24. Thanks for the Feedback by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen
  25. The Best Story of Your Life by Joseph Anfuso
  26. The Divine Hours by Phyllis Tickle
  27. The Faith of Leap by Michael Frost and Allen Hirsch
  28. The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne (Reading as a family)
  29. The Mentor Leader by Tony Dungy
  30. The Mind Changers by EM Griffin
  31. The Skinny on Communication by Jeff White
  32. The Skinny on Discipleship by Katie Edwards
  33. The Skinny on Outreach by Greg Stier
  34. The Skinny on Parents by Mark Oestreicher
  35. The Skinny on Service by Tony Myles
  36. The Skinny on Volunteers by Jonathan McKee
  37. Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News? by Philip Yanceybookstack4

Before You Sign Up

Author and Parents Coach Tim Smith offers these Questions to Ask Before You Sign Your Child Up:

  1. How does the activity affect all family members? 
  2. Will it interfere with meals, bedtimes, vacations, religious observations, holidays, and family commitments? 
  3. Is it about winning or having fun? 
  4. What are the benefits of participating now and in the future?
  5. Are there apt to be unanticipated costs or time commitments? 
  6. How much time in the car will it require? 
  7. What are my obligations as a parent?
  8. How can I support the adult leader’s efforts? 
  9. Whom can I call with my questions?

Jamaica Mission Day 6 

Today Natalia, Ren, and Ana led us in devotions, then we enjoyed a wonderful and much-deserved day off. We went to the market for a little shopping, then we went on a glass-bottom boat and did some snorkeling over a reef. We saw lots of beautiful fish and other sea life. We had lunch and enjoyed swimming, snorkeling, and lounging at the beach. This evening we had our closing service with some amazing worship. Tyler went out into the hallway and invited kids from the other church group staying in the hotel to join us, and several did. I then shared on how we can continue living out our faith when we get home. After small group time we gathered together and shared things we saw in one another this week, then took time to share memories about our graduates.