On Tuesday we drove to Brooklyn and unloaded at Living Waters Church where were staying. After lunch we took the subway into Manhattan where we went up to the top of Freedom Tower. We spent N hour taking in the amazing views. We then went to a park before heading to the Bowery Mission where we led about 100 people in chapel. Caitlin and Natalia sang a few worship songs beautifully, Peter preached, and we all prayed for folks who came forward to share their prayer requests with us. After service we went to Times Square, had dinner outside (so beautiful out!) then Carol Doody surprised us and took us up to her office where we were able to look down on the New Year’s Ball. So cool! We came back to Living Waters, made lunches, then had a very good time of deep sharing about our theme of the day, Compassion.
On Monday our theme was Possibilities. During our drive we watched the movie Miracle about the unlikely upset of the Russian hockey team by the United States during the 1980 Olympics. As soon as the movie ended we arrived in Lake Placid and we visited the very arena in which the upset took place in the Olympic Museum. We also took a ride up Whiteface Mountain on the Cloudsplitter Gondola. Really great! We then spend the night at Community Gospel Church in Albany.
On Sunday we attended service at Love Joy Church, the church which hosted us for the night. After church we drove to the Rochester area and visited Elim Bible Institute where we had a tour and learned the almost 200 year history of a campus as a place that has been devoted to helping people discover God’s will for their lives, our theme for the day. We then went to the local classic Tom Wahl’s for dinner where I had arranged a special surprise for the team … Charles and Julia Chu, who recently moved from Long Island to the area, joined us. So fun reconnecting with them. We then went to New Testament Christian Church for the night and enjoyed hanging out with Pastors Jimmy and Laurie Bolton.
On Saturday we left Long Island and drove to Niagara Falls. Our theme for the day was Wonder and Niagara Falls certainly had us in awe and led to some great conversation building off of the Scriptures we were focusing on.
- Abba’s Child by Brennan Manning
- All In by Mark Batterson
- A New Kind of Leader by Reggie Joiner
- A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by W. Phillip Keller
- Beer in America: The Early Years – 1587-1840 by Gregg Smith
- Better Together by Paul Fleischmann
- Help My Kids Are Hurting: A Survival Guide to Working with Students in Pain by Marv Penner
- Hudson Taylor by J. Hudson Taylor
- It Happens: True Tales from the Trenches of Youth Ministry by Will Penner
- John Pentland Mahaffy: Biography of an Anglo-Irishman by W.B. Stanford
- Linspired: The Remarkable Rise of Jeremy Lin by Mike Yorkey
- Lonely Planet Egypt
- Love Does by Bob Goff
- Make a Difference: 365World-Changing Devotions by Ken Castor
- Not Dead and Not For Sale by Scott Weiland
- Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
- Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul by Howard Schultz
- Raising Wise Children by Mark Matlock
- Ruthless Trust by Brennan Manning
- Street God: The Explosive True Story of a Former Drug Boss on the Run from the Hood–and the Courageous Mission That Drove Him Back by Dimas Salaberrios
- Simple Solutions for Families in the Fast Lane by Timothy Smith
- Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis
- The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two (The History of Middle-Earth, Vol. 2) by JRR Tolkien
- The Lyrics 1961-2012 by Bob Dylan
- The New Breed: Understanding and Equipping The 21st Century Volunteer by Jonathan McKee and Thomas W. McKee
- The State of Youth Ministry by Barna Group
- The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer
- Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom
- Walking With God Through Pain and Suffering by Timothy Keller
- When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert
- Why I Left, Why I Stayed by Tony Campolo and Bart Campolo
- Worlds Apart by Chuck Bomar
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.
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.