Friday, August 3, 2018

Final day of ministry:: Anna Just

Hello Friends, Anna here,

            My week here in Detroit has been absolutely wonderful. God has shown himself to me in so many different ways and I am so thankful for all those opportunities.  He has answered my prayers, along with the team. He has spoken to me through other people that I prayed for in Cass Park or in my Big A small group.  I have studied His Word during devos working through the book of Nehemiah. I am so very thankful for those opportunities and the people that I experienced them along with. 
            Today was Friday, our last full day in Detroit. If I could put a definition on the word bittersweet, it would be today, especially during Big A.  I just feel like when we drive home tomorrow, I will be leaving a piece of my heart here in Detroit with these sweet kiddos that I came to know this week. It is bittersweet because I am sad that I won’t be able to see these kids again for at least another year, but I am happy knowing that we all shared the gospel with them and showed them as much love as we could in one week. I bet, if we had a nickel for the every hug that someone on our team gave out to a kid at Big A, we could buy all those kiddos a candy bar. (: 
            I am just so thankful for this trip and the relationships that it has built and the change that it has and will make in my life. I can’t wait to go back next year.
            Signing off now because I can’t be late for my favorite game of Murder in the Dark. (oooooohh spooky) I’ll see you all tomorrow!
            Love, Anna

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Elena and Kenzie telling about Thursday from their eyes and hearts

            Today we went on a prayer walk around the Detroit neighborhood and while we were walking we would start praying about things we saw along the way. Something that stuck out to me was a burned out school that we passed and as we prayed for the kids that had gone there, we talked about the parents of the kids, how their families struggled to find jobs and how now the parents who didn’t have collage degrees had to compete with the kids, who are not even out of high school, for jobs at local fast food places. After hearing that it really put into perspective for me how different Detroit is from the Brainerd Lakes Area.
            During Big A, a lot of my group hasn’t been coming everyday so it has been hard to get a good relationship going with them. Although the last two days my group has had the same people and we have really been able to have good deep conversations. I was able to answer questions they had about the bible and they would answer in length the questions I had for them about the skit.
            I have less then 48 hours left in Detroit and I am sad to leave but glad in knowing that I left an impact in the people I met. 

            Today I was blessed with the opportunity to buy supplies for a girl named Alexis (who we met at church), who is going to college TOMORROW.  She was accepted into a college and told her to come a month early, therefore she did not have anything.  And it was just really awesome how God lead us to Alexis, and allowed us to do this wonderful thing for her.  
            I have seen God in some many different ways since I have been here in Detroit.  And it is just so crazy how much joy God can bring to an area like Detroit.  One of the most special ways that I have seen God in action has been at Big A (or VBS).   At the beginning of the week I was struggling with the kids.  The kids just weren’t grasping the concepts that we were trying to teach them in the skit.  So I was just praying about it and asking God to open the kids hearts, ears, and minds, that they could understand the significance of what we are teaching them. And the past two days have been amazing, especially today.  My kids all participated in small group time, and answered all of the questions, and asked me some pretty amazing questions.  Questions that I would’ve never expected them to ask.  And then at the very end of group time two of some of my “harder kids” asked me if it was ok to pray with our small group. And I was like “Of Course!” It was just so cool to see how God has been changing the hearts of the kids here in Detroit. 
            I have had such an amazing time here in Detroit, I wish I could stay here longer, and just love on the kids just a little bit longer, and I am not excited for my final goodbyes at Big A tomorrow L  

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Emma Benson and Summer Hardy tell all about Wednesday!

  It is already day 3 of ministry and it is going by so fast! This week has been filled with a lot of God moments for me, and I will share a few with you that I have had today J
  Being in the book of Nehemiah this week has opened my eyes a lot. It seems like whenever I open my bible (which isn’t enough) I tend to go to the New Testament.  This has helped me to realize that I need to explore the bible a little more.  Anyways, learning about how Nehemiah was a leader for God has got me thinking a lot. He was so strong in his faith during all of his troubles and it makes me want to be more like Nehemiah.  
  Today we also prayer walked in Cass Park, which is a place in Detroit with lots of poverty and homeless people.  Even though we didn’t pray for a whole lot of people, Roderick was one of the four people we prayed for.  When we approached him he was very open to us.  God called us over to him so he could talk.  The power of listening was acknowledged during this time.  What he really needed was to have people listen to him and genuinely care for him and God allowed us to do that for him today.
  Big A has been filled with God this week also.  I’m with 7-10 year old kids and I enjoy loving on them so much.  All the hugs, high-fives, and hands I’ve held have allowed me to show the kids love and that someone does care about them.  Throughout this week sometimes the kids seem like they don’t care and don’t seem to be listening, and then they remember everything about the skit and things they’ve learned.  They are testing, but it is the best reward to know that God is using us to show love for these kids.
  The team has been getting along so well and coming back has made me realize how much I love this trip and this city! ~Emma

Hey All!
            Tonight the words that are going through my head are overwhelming joy and love. This week has once again been an amazing experience. God is so here on this trip! 
            Today my team had servant evangelism. We struggled in the beginning to nail down what we wanted to work on, but finally settled on creating care packages for the daycare workers at Big A. Every day they work so hard to keep the kids happy and entertained and we wanted to give back to them. It is so interesting to strive to give up our own agendas and completely dedicate the day to God and ask Him to show us what he desires. 
            Big A is where I have really seen God this week. I am in the 7-10 group and have had quite the growing experience, in the best way! Most of the kids I have were kids that I didn’t know from last year, which was something rather unexpected for me, but has worked out in the best way.  The last two days have been a struggle with some of the boys in my group, but today was an incredible God experience. I was able to connect with some of my girls from last year, which filled my heart with joy, but I also have a fantastic small group discussion where we got to really focus on Jesus and his gift of salvation. It was so encouraging to see that they wanted to engage with the gospel!
            There is so much more that I could write, but this will be the end for tonight. Please continue to pray for our team and all of the wonderful experiences that we have been having!  

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Tuesday from Brecken!

Hi guys! Today was a very busy day, but filled with tons of fun things. My team went prayer walking today in Cass park. In the beginning of the walk many of the people would say hello and would go back to what they were doing.  We kept walking down the sidewalk and I felt that God was calling us to pray for some people that I saw in a park. We ended up talking to a homeless lady who just lost her best friend to an overdose and was struggling with grief. We prayed for her and while she was in tears she expressed to us about how grateful she was that we prayed for her. 
When we got back we did our team chores and prepared for Big A. This week I’m with the preschoolers (they’re VERY cute J). Today we did stations including coloring, tons of play-doh and red solo cup towers. After they wore off some energy in the gym, we did a bible skit. Many of the girls wanted to braid my hair but it was more like hair knotting. After Big A, we ate dinner, worshiped and told stories of how we saw God work today. Now it’s 10:50 and we’re getting ready for bed. Thank you for all of your prayers and support! -Brecken

BONUS POST:: From the heart of Joy Walter

Prayer walking is what our Detroit team did this morning.  We walked the neighborhood around Detroit Love. Here is where I found a Detroit that is not what I expected and completely what I needed.  Everyone needs a wake - up call in their life. Where “true hard life” pops you on the side of the head and you have to respond. Today, was the day.  
We walked among vacant lots, burned out houses, that had once been homes, closed businesses and a shuttered school.  Life closed down and hope slipping away.
Praying for families, children, schools, jobs, people, government, educators, safety, good healthy food, health care…and the heartfelt – God heard prayers went on.  
Then, we walked down a street…a wrong turn and in front of us was a row of shoes.  Not a row like ones lined up in your closet or like by the back door.
One that was wide and long.  One that wound around the grass and trees.  Shoes dumped and discarded. The path was rough, bumpy, uneven, hard to keep your balance.  It was not a place you would choose to walk.
I was cool with the walk until I had a gentle God nudge in my heart after I glanced down and saw a white pair of baby shoes.  All of sudden, eyes open. These shoes represented lives. The lives of people in this Detroit area, this neighborhood and the neighborhoods around.  
I could step off this path anytime and walk in the smooth easy swaying grass and not stumble.  And yet the people who make the Detroit neighborhoods and projects don’t get to “step off” the path of their lives.    
For them - there isn’t an out.  This is their home and underneath they are people…just like you and me.  People who want to be heard, people with hearts that hurt, bodies that deal with addiction and don’t work, and circumstances that are overwhelming them. Their eyes tell stories.  Eyes that beg you to listen, understand, to pause, and take the precious gift of time and invest…
I challenge whoever reads this blog to join us in prayer for the people in Detroit.  The lives represented in this path of shoes. We serve a big personal God. He is working here in Detroit.  He knows the needs of each and every person. Pray for God to intersect and in their lives. Pray for Him to intersect in the path of their lives.    

Monday, July 30, 2018

First full day of ministry from the eyes of Gracie and Bryce!

From Gracie and Bryce 

 Hello Minnesota, long time no contact. Today we all woke up rather early after going to bed rather late (for me at least), so were all kind of tired but it’s the happy and slaphappy tired not the crabby tired yet so don’t worry.  After breakfast we did our morning devos in the book of Nehemiah and prayed for what we were about to go do- prayer walking and service evangelism. We split up into our four groups of four people and two groups prayer walked and the other two groups did some service evangelism. My group walked around the neighborhood and prayed for buildings and people, & the service evangelism teams did some neat things, you can hear from them sometime soon. Then we had lunch and an hour or so of rest time. After that we had our first day of Big A (VBS)! I’m with preschoolers & they’re quite a handful but they’re so precious. All right I’ll let Bryce do some talking now, adios amigos. 


            Hey everybody! Miss everybody back home, but having a blast here in Detroit, MI. Today I woke up early to get ready for the day, breakfast followed by devos with the book of Nehemiah and then prayer walking around the neighborhood. We prayed for many buildings and Churches and schools, after we came back for Big A preparations. I have the 7-10 year olds this week and boy I hope I wasn’t that full of energy when I was that young! I was challenged to many games of 1v1 and each new and different child made all of them interesting. After the teaching kids went off to small groups and then later games and crafts. I have been having an absolute blast here as I get to see God work in so many new and fascinating ways. Love everybody and miss everybody back home!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Sunday through the eyes of Emily Moore

Hello to Minnesota! It is Sunday night and today has been full of many new experiences and adventures. We all woke up bright and early at 7 and began the day with breakfast and devotionals. This week we will be studying the book of Nehemiah and will be learning about becoming the leaders God wants us to be.  Afterward it was time to get dressed up for church and off we went! The service was about two hours long and we were all astounded by the church’s love for Christ. We were all welcomed with love and joy by the members and enjoyed the lively music and shouts of praise (and an occasional tambourine applause). After church was over we headed back to eat lunch and do a few chores, which included cleaning bathrooms, floors, bedrooms, etc. Once we were finished, our group headed out with the Detroit Love team to explore the city of Detroit and get a feel for the new atmosphere we were in. We saw many cool sites, such as the Detroit Tigers baseball stadium and Canada across the river. It was also interesting to see how Detroit culture varies throughout different parts of the city. After lots of walking around, we came back to our home base and began preparing for our busy week of VBS. It’s going to be an exciting next few days and we are all looking forward to seeing God at work in this city that He loves.