Friday, June 29, 2007

3 Team Wrap Up

It has been a while since I have posted a blog entry, I am sorry. But let me tell you about the excitement these past few weeks. We have been having a great time with several Short Term Teams that have come down from The US. They are being used by God and blessing this ministry big time. It can be busy and chaotic but at the end of the day the accomplishments more than make up for our tiredness.

In the last three weeks we have finished several “projects.” We built a playground in the community for preschool kids. It is so cool to see the relationships increase as we increase our image in the community. People are really starting to know who we are and what we are “about.” We also built a barbeque at the property which was then used for feeding all those who attended a skate competition. We had at last 70 people show up for food, skating and hanging out. So many cool relationships are being built around that Barbeque. I love it! We also did a Vacation Bible School at our Children’s church program that brought even MORE kids to children’s church. We have over 50 kids attending now, when we got here there were only around 25, and that’s even big for this area. Shannon is being stretched and blessed by that ministry and I know God is using her. I love hearing about it every Sunday afternoon as she speaks with an exhausted excitement about kids being taught about the love God has for them even if they don’t get loved at home. The team that is here this week is doing ESL classes at the High School. They are having some great success and again, relationships are being built. We have already had several students show up to the skate park that have not been before. The big on-going project is finishing the Music CafĂ©. There in now a beautiful mural on the wall upstairs that one of the Short Term Team members painted. It is amazing! It’s been really neat to see who God brings down here. There is a lot more happening but this post is getting to long, I’ve probably lost half the readers already.

As far as me personally, I have been taking on a stronger role in the Youth Ministry and am now the designated “speaker” on Friday Nights. I feel like I got a promotion. :) It’s a lot of fun preparing and trying to be creative. Last week I spoke about purity of heart and defined it simply as, “living the way God planned for us to live.” I “advertised” that we were digging a grave that night in which we placed a self disclosed list of impurities we wanted to bury and “put to death.” It was a powerful illustration of what Christ can do and the youth gave a very positive response later to other staff. I was encouraged when it got back to me. It’s amazing how simple demonstrations that we are maybe use to seeing in the states can be so effective here. I shared from Rom 12:1-2 and 2Tim. 2:22.

Well that’s a quick wrap up. We will be heading to Bocas del Toro on Sunday to renew our Visa’s. After 4 weeks of teams, we are looking forward to a little time off to recharge before the next wave.

Also… Check out
Barrett Cruce’s web site for more stories and info about what is going on.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

We're Still Here

I am sorry that is has been a while since we have posted. It definitely is not because there is a lack of blogging fodder. Our internet has been a little sketchy this past month but I think the worst is over now. Also as mentioned in our email update, we have started our Short Term Team season and boy does that get busy. It is basically a week of 15 hour days. We have three teams back to back coming up. It will be exciting, intense, and probably a little frustrating, but we are looking forward to the challenge.

Great news! Shannon and I are celebrating our 3rd year anniversary on Tuesday. I can't believe it's going to be 3 years. I feel like this woman is so a part of me that I wasn't really living 5 years ago, before I met her. It has been an amazing three years and I can say I am a better person today than I was three years ago.