Friday, July 21, 2017

Last Day in Detroit

Hey guys, it’s Summer Mills. The last day of Big A went well! We learned about Abigail and how she saved Nabal from David’s anger. The kids seemed to enjoy the story, and my group was very interested in the questions. They were disappointed when we said that we had gone through them all! The relationships formed over the week were very sweet, and I almost started crying as they walked out the door. All the kids loved us with their whole hearts and showed us that with hugs, laughter, and smiles.
Earlier today, for morning ministries, we got to choose between prayer walking and serving evangelism. My group, which consisted of Katie, Chad, and Samuel, chose to prayer walk downtown and in Heart Plaza. A few people said no, and some got angry, but that didn’t stop us! I saw God in a man who we prayed for twice. When we first walked into Heart Plaza we saw this man sleeping. Samuel, Chad, and I stood a few feet away and prayed over him. After we walked away, the people we asked all said no to prayer, so we were a bit discouraged. This man, however, was awake as we left. We asked him if he would like to pray with us and he happily said yes! We prayed and I walked away with a smile on my face, knowing that God had been there in that situation.
One thing that has surprised me throughout the week is the joy in this city. Like I said, the children love you with their whole hearts, even when they have practically nothing. Another man we prayed for was all smiles and laughter as we talked to him. In a place that I expected to be full of sadness and anger, there was more joy than I thought possible in the conditions these people live in!
We are all super tired and looking forward to sleeping in the car. I don’t know if anyone wrote about the podcast, but we definitely won’t be listening to it for a little while. Please pray for our travels home tomorrow, that we will be safe and will last another 12 or more hours in the car!
See you soon!

Hey everyone, Katie here.  To say this was an amazing week is an understatement.  It’s so cool to see God at work not only in our students, but in the lives of the kids in Detroit and the people we encountered in our ministry each day!  Today was our last day of Big A!  I am in with the Preschool kids and let me tell you, we were outnumbered today, but in all the craziness the kids were taught another story about God’s faithfulness and love for us.  

Something cool that happened this week that has really impacted me is our snack time.  Yep.  I know.  God shows up in areas where we least expect Him!  Amanda and I talked about snack many months ago and decided we wanted to give kids nutritional snacks that they help prepare.  We thought for sure the staff at Detroit Love would think we are crazy.  We told Kevin and Justin about our ideas and they were super stoked!  Justin had just been learning about how kids don’t get the right nutrients and it delays their brain development.  I wish you could all have seen the preschool kids eating strawberries, blueberries and yogurt today!!  And most days the snack was one of the areas where the kids were most well behaved!  So incredible to see God at work in the smallest details that I normally leave Him out of because I don’t think He’d care about it!  As always He showed up big time this week!  I’m off to bed so I can drive tomorrow!  See you all soon!  Thanks for praying for us all week and continuing to pray as we readjust to our normal schedules this week!

Day 4 of Big A

Hey everyone this is Brionna. Detroit is so awesome. So, today well our group did serving evangelism. Which is where we go out and do work without getting anything back. Anyway, we met two people through that. One person was named Doris. We drove by her house and we all waved. She waved back. Doris had a great big smile on her face, so we stopped to talk to her.  Her brother came out and he was in a wheel chair. It was very hard to understand him. ( also like me sometimes.) anyway her brothers name is Fred, he has some problems. He showed us some of his art work and it was so good!

We talked to Doris and Fred for like 30 to 45 min.  They were just so happy.  The next house we stopped at we saw three cute little grils playing outside.  We went over to talk to them.  Sorry, I am going to back up a little bit . (So I felt like God was telling me to slow down and let the Holy Spirit do the work to show us where God wanted us to be.) Anyway, we got out and walked to the side walk and there was an older person and a younger person in the car.  The younger person asked us if we where going to take the kids and we were like nope.

The dad came out and one of the members in the group said, "Can we help you fix anything?  The guy is like yeah”.  So today we went back to the guys house and fixed the steps. Today there were two little girls there and I got to hang out with them. They are so cute.  

One more cool thing that I am going to tell you, God gave me the chance to meet Diamond and we are great friends. She is so fun to be around!

Thanks and have a great night. Thank you all for your support. Thank you all for your prayers. Brionna Haag

Hey Y’all, as the people of Detroit would say, my name is C.J.. Today was another great day serving God in the city. We had a full day as always starting with daily devotions, then prayer walking our neighborhood, then putting on VBS for the kids of the neighborhood. 

The day started the same as everyday of the week were we spend a couple of hours studying God's word and answering the tough questions that we find in scripture. We have such great discussion in this time and the students and leaders find themselves working together to interpret what God is calling us to do. After daily devotions we move into our time of morning ministry and today for our team it was prayer walking the neighborhood. Our team set out from the building and walked toward a park nearby, we met a woman there named Annette who was so willing to pray alongside of us. After praying for her we headed down a street that we had served the year prior and God was definitely calling us to go back down it and check it out. As we were walking down the street we were approached by someone named Joe that I recognized from last year that was somewhat of a distraction for our team so I was somewhat hesitant to make contact with him but our whole team felt led to talk to him and pray for him, we had a great moment praying with him and hearing him talk about his neighborhood.

After our prayer walk we moved into our time of VBS with the kids of the community, and it is sad that our time with these kids is winding down. Today's VBS went really well and the kids had a great time learning about what Jesus did for them when He went to the cross to wash away their sins. They are really catching on to the bible verse “If God is with me who can be against me”. David and I played a really fun game with them where they had to run and drop a bandana in a giant tic tac toe board that we made with hoola hoops, I really think they enjoyed that. All in all VBS was a great success today.

Thank you all for your continued prayer and support from back home, we are anxious to get back and tell the rest of the stories but at the same time I don’t think anyone really is ready to leave this place. God bless you all.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Day 3 of Big A

Today was a bit of an adventure.  It all started at around midnight. We were all up playing four on a couch, (if you don’t know what that is Google it) and someone decided to prank Will (William Just) because he was already asleep. The prank was to tell him that it was morning (which I suppose it was.) So we brought out all the cereal and milk and juice and got everyone on board.  The prank was preformed semi-flawlessly and Will was pranked. Now there are some conflicting reports on whether he was playing along or he truly thought it was morning, but in my opinion we got him; we got him good.  

When it actually became time to get up we went about our normal schedule of breakfast, devos, (devotions) and then off to serving evangelism or prayer walking (I was apart of prayer walking at a place called Cass Corridor.) we met a lot of people and we prayed for a lot of people as well. The most amazing God moment I had during that time was when we approached a man (his name we did not get) and asked him if he wanted to be prayed for. The whole group that I was with felt that he needed prayer, but when we asked he said no. Now the God moment was when he and I made eye contact and I could feel in my heart his sorrow.

After prayer walking we ate lunch and then a couple hours later we had to set up for Big A (which is a vacation Bible school that is held in the area.) I have the sweetest, spunkiest, 7-10 year old girls…..they are just amazing.  Yes, they WILL test every fiber of your being, but they are so cool that I can’t complain. I love seeing how God is growing in them and how great they’ll be when they’re older. I will continue to pray for them and pray for the situations that they have been dealt.

This is all I have to say,
Jannah Hall is signing off

Hey everyone!

I can’t tell you how amazing it is here. So, first and foremost, please grab one of us from the Detroit Team when we get home so we can share with you some of our experiences. And we will all have a different story to tell because God has changed each us in a different way.

I have been out and about prayer walking with my team on Monday and Tuesday and today we went out for service evangelism.  For starters, the prayer walking was an amazing experience on finding ways to pray for the city, the people, and everything in between. Today though, we went out for a drive on the streets of Detroit looking for where God was at work so that we could join Him. We prayed to pull our preconceived ideas for what we wanted out of our hearts and for God to fill us in on where He was. After driving around for a couple hours and stopping to talk with a couple people for a while, we drove past three little girls playing on the sidewalk. We went around the block and stopped at their place. After chatting with their father, we found out that he lived there with his 7 daughters! Just the fact that their father was in their life, the daughters were blessed more than most kids in Detroit. The father told us that they were in need of new stairs leading up to the door, a leak on the roof fixed, and to help him mow his neighbor’s yard. So, tomorrow, we will be on our way to see how much we can get done.

Big A (VBS) has a ton of fun. I am leading games with CJ so we don’t get to build the in depth relationships that the leaders get to build, but we still have plenty of opportunities to bond. In fact, I am one of the drivers that picks up the kids and drops them off before and after in the various projects. This gave me anxiety in the beginning of the week, because I had no idea what to expect. Well, it took less than 2 minutes in the first project, and I was having a handstand contest with a couple of the kids. Needless to say, I have fallen in love with these kids and this city. God is here and we have joined Him. I want to tell you so much more, but this would be way too long, so please, ask me, us, and anyone about our stories. In fact, let’s grab coffee so we can dive in!

Oh, and of course, I have enjoyed hanging out and getting to know Diamond so much more!

See you all soon! God Bless!


2nd Day of Big A

Today was our second day of prayer walking for my group and the second day of VBS. Today I saw God in so many different places and it was so evident that he was working in our lives and the lives of the people around us. My group went prater walking in Cass Park today we and got to have so many meaningful interactions. People were so willing to stop and talk with us whether it was just for a second or to tell us about their lives. I really felt the Holy Spirit moving in me and giving me the words to say and what the pray over the people.
Our second day at VBS at was a little more hectic than the first day. There were a lot of young men that I got to interact with today and it was great. I got to reconnect with some of the guys that I met last year and it was a great to get to see them again

Kyle Hoffman

Monday, July 17, 2017

First Day of Big A

 From the heart of Emma

            Today was the first day of Big A (VBS).  We also started our actual ministry today and saw God a lot too!  My group this morning was doing service of evangelism and we weren’t very successful at first.  My team and I drove around Detroit for roughly an hour, and as we were driving, we saw a lady on her slanted steps leading up to her porch but something told CJ and I to go back there.  We ended up driving by her house about 3-4 time (creepers, right) and we got out and chatted with her for about half an hour.  At first, she was slightly rude and was apprehensive to talk to us.  Once she was comfortable around us and we shared why we were there, we had a great conversation.  Tomorrow, we are actually going to go back to her home and will be fixing the staircase leading up to her front porch and entrance.  I’m so excited to see where God will take our conversations and how he is going to work through us tomorrow while we are with her.
            Big A was super fun today too.  I’m with the 11-14 year old girls and really psyched to see what the rest of the week will bring.  Meeting all the kids, big and small, brought me so much joy.  You wouldn’t believe all the girls that wanted to braid my hair too.  Definitely will be bringing my brush and a few more ponytail holders for tomorrow.  Something this trip is making me realize how different life is in the Brainerd Lakes Area now that I’m here and experience the culture of Detroit.

From the heart of Chad

            Today was the first day of actually getting to work.  Let me tell you before I get going even though we are in the same country as you back home, the culture here is way different.  Ok now, started today with a cold breakfast that was great.  I feel like a kid again mixing cereal up in the same bowl to taste what is made of it all.  Some of the students are having some struggles to get to thing on time but they are trying to get better.  Then after breakfast we had a time of devotion, which was real good for all of us.  We learned about how Jesus is and what he does for us.  Plus we learned how Jesus blends his judgment and grace to all of us.  The real cool thing all of us did in the workbook was write are own Psalm to Jesus from our hearts.  The students are so engaged in the discussion that they are out on the patio right now still having that discussion from this morning.  God is really working on the students and the leaders.  After devo’s we split into group and half went prayer walking.  Then half of the groups went out to serving. 

My group was one of the groups out servicing the people.  As a group we drove for about two hours around Detroit to find what we can do to serve the people.   We prayed as we drove then we got two ideas.   But God had another plan.  We talked to Kevin about the one thing we would like to do and you know what happen?  God used Kevin to unveil the group’s eyes about what serving really is.  It’s not about going and building something or cleaning some thing.  It’s about doing something to start a relationship with someone that is longing for someone to be kind to him or her and that wants to listen.  This was the big highlight of my day.  To watch the group action, it was like a light bulb moment.   After that the group found what we are going to do to serve in 15 minutes.  So tomorrow we will going to Cass Park and clean up all the trash in the park.  Then we will serve them a solid meal and talk with who ever want to talk.  

VBS started today.  Like the first day for everything it was a little rocking but over all it was good.  The kids where engaged in everything we asked them to do.  Which was great to see.  All the Timberwood youth did a great job keeping the kids moving and engaged.  It was just a awesome first day of the team to really watch and learn how to see what God is doing here. 

Thanks to all you back home supporting us and praying for us here in Detroit.  God bless you all for that.