Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday - WHERE IS THAT IN NE?

Random Camp Photo - Michael King of BreatheDeep

1). Song of the day: ♫ More than enough when you need it ♫

2). Blog Entry:

Unfortunately, we don't have a winner from Tuesday's Trivia so once again, our question will carry over into next week.

We've been planning an awesome PK (pastors kid) campout for next weekend in Burwell, NE. Do you know who the pastor as the AG church in Burwell is?

A. Michael Sullivan
B. Tom Burkholder
C. Dave Busch
D. Gary Graesser
E. Tim Rust

3). Link of the day: East Harbor State Park

Here's a link to the beach where I was at this past week.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thursday - Testimonies

Random Camp Photo - Bellevue Master's Commission

1) Song of the day: ♫Cry out to Jesus - Third Day ♫

2) Blog Entry:

I was interacting with one of my junior high students from years ago. He is now a young adult. He told me that he qualified for a chaplains assistant in the military. I also interacted with another DYD. He told me a great testimony about a deaf student at his camp. God touched her and she began to hear. She immediately called her mother on a cell phone and heard her mom's voice for the first time in her life.

3) Link of the day: Food on the Table

A website helping families plan grocery lists based on food preferences and health goals

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wednesday - Leader's Corner

Random Camp Photo - Camp Champs, Youth Camp 1

1). Song of the day: ♫ Remember, you're not alone (Downhere) ♫

2). Blog Entry:

1 Timothy 1:15 - Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners - of whom I am the worst

This is a statement by Paul, one of the greatest apostles in the history of the world. If he looked at himself this way, how can we consider ourselves any better than he? It's always good to remember where God has brought us from; who we used to be. Sometimes, we start to enjoy all the compliments and awards we receive from others. It's better to be humble and realize that God is responsible for anything good that comes from me. A humble leader is willing to give anyone a chance because they remember that God gave them a chance when they didn't deserve it. Recently, I retweeted a statement posted by one of our children's evangelists at camp two years ago - (paraphrased) 'We shouldn't look down on others for struggling with sins that are different from our own.' Wow.

People who have forgot where God brought them from could struggle with being humble. They might look down on others who don't measure up to their standards. They might think that they can do it better than anyone else. They might think that they are too busy to call someone back or meet with someone that isn't in their circle of friends. They might try to do everything on their own rather than partner with someone else in ministry.

Ouch! I find myself in some of these statements - do you? If so, maybe we've forgotten where we've come from. It might be good to remember God's forgiveness in my life. We are all basically the same, just on different levels of redemption as a part of God's plan.


3). Link of the day: Free Music

A website that will give you 50 free songs for signing up for their service.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesday - Bible Trivia

Random Camp Photo - Worship

1). Song of the day: ♫ Walking on the Stars - Group 1 Crew ♫

2). Blog Entry:

Congratulations to LARISSA for once again being the correct comment chosen at random as our winner from Friday's Trivia. I don't know how she knew it, but BAYARD was the correct answer. Not even Brian himself got in on this one. She is now up to $38 in prize earnings. Way to go

Today, I am taking a road trip to a beach house for a family vacation. I'm looking forward to having a great time. Can you tell a story in the Bible where anyone took a 'road trip'?

3). Link of the day: Safe Passwords

Many of us have had our social accounts hacked before, sending out informercials to everyone in our friends list. Here's a site to check and see how secure your password really is

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday - Life Lessons

Random Camp Photo - Worship

1). Song of the day: ♫ Jesus Saves - Jeremy Camp ♫

2). Blog Entry:

Did you meet Levi? This past week, I went back to the campgrounds to finish out our business there from summer camps. I had to meet with the director and finalize our bill, tear down our 7 project sound and video system, organize the rec storage area, lock up my cabin, and grab some supplies for an upcoming PK campout. I didn't have much time, so I asked Levi to help. He quickly came to my side and supported me in the work I needed to do, cutting down my time in half. He went to make some support cushions for packing some lights because the originals were mishandled. He brought me back two waters because it was very hot in the tabernacle. He found some tools to take apart some difficult contraptions in our equipment. And he did it all with a smile and a good attitude.

Levi was a wonderful camp staff person this summer. Hopefully, he will stay around longer too. I enjoyed working with him at our camps and he is a true servant. Did you get a chance to meet Levi? If not, too bad - he's a great guy. Who can you be a 'Levi' to today?

3). Link of the day: Safe WiFi

With so many of us working in public settings, here's some tips on staying safe when using WiFi

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday - WHERE IS THAT IN NE?

Random Camp Photo - Rec Games during the Blitz

1). Song of the day: ♫ Human - Natalie Grant ♫

2). Blog Entry:

Congratulations to RYAN BURBANK for having the correct comment chosen at random as our winner from Tuesday's Trivia. He is now up to $2 in prize earnings. Way to go.

Brian and Julie Korell are our Youth Alive Directors in Nebraska. They are preparing to move to Grand Island from Gering, where they have been youth and children's pastors the last few years. Where is Brian's hometown?

A. Bayard
B. Kimball
C. Chadron
D. Rapid City, SD
E. Cheyenne, WY

3). Link of the day: Colorblind?

A website that shows what it's like to deal with this sight condition

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thursday - Testimonies

Random Camp Photo - Pyramids during afternoon rec

1). Song of the day: ♫ Dear X - Disciple ♫

2). Blog Entry:

Testimonies are amazing. I heard about a girl at an Indiana camp that was born with a disease in her legs and could never run. God healed her and she wouldn't stop running whenever she got excited in worship. They called her the female Forrest Gump. Also, heard about a youth alive missionary that had a serious case of Crone's Disease. On the morning of his scheduled surgery, he was on his way to the doctor and he felt like something was different. The doctors looked to prep him, and they couldn't find any signs of the disease. He was completely healed. Finally, I met with our camp director and he told me that they have had about 4 different events filling up the weekends at camp the rest of the summer, increasing our revenue in our budget by several thousands.

3). Link of the day: Homemade Projector

Can't afford a new projection system at the church or home? No worries - try this other cheaper alternative.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wednesday - Leaders Corner

Random Camp Photo - My wife and I at Youth Camp 1

1). Song of the day: ♫ Third Day - Lift up your Face ♫

2). Blog Entry:

2 Samuel 24:8 - After they had gone through the entire land, they came back to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twelve days.

David has asked Joab to take a census of all the fighting men in the nation of Israel. Though Joab had disagreed, he still carried out the order, which deployed him and the soldiers helping him for the better part of a year. It was a long, tough process, and they counted over a million men in both Israel and Judah together. That's a lot of counting!

As leaders, there will be times when we will be asked to do things we'd rather not do. Our attitude in those moments will be important. Joab had a history of going against David's commands for his own interests. Yet in this moment, though David asked him to do something that was wrong, he still gave it his best effort and worked hard at it. When God calls us to serve under certain leaders, we should always give it our best effort, even if it is a long, hard process, and even if we would have done things different ourselves.

Recently, I just heard about one of my former junior high students that graduated from North Central University. He is now in South America studying Spanish to become an international evangelist. What an awesome adventure that he is set to take for God, yet I remember him as an energetic young jr. higher. A long hard process brought him to a great place where God wants Him to be. Don't ignore the process - God has a plan to take you somewhere special in His time.

3). Link of the day: Hot Cal

An online tool to help you keep track of your calories and maintain your fitness goals.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesday - Bible Trivia

Random Camp Photo - Jeff, promoting NCU

1). Song of the day: ♫ New #1 - Out of my Hands ♫

2). Blog Entry:

Congratulations to LARISSA for being the correct comment chosen at random as our winner from Friday's Trivia. By my count, she is now up to $36 in prize earnings (Larissa, let me know if that's right?) Way to go!

Last week, I gave this trivia but no one answered. That night I was speaking at a junior high camp in New Jersey. My message was centered around the story of the Rich Young Ruler. Can you tell me what chapter of the Bible that story can be found in?

3). Link of the day: Book Note Tabs

A great way to mark your place, check notes, and keep track of important items while reading

Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday - Life Lessons

Random Camp Photo - Basketball in the Gym

1). Song of the day - ♫ Dancing in the Minefields - #1 song ♫

2). Blog entry

I had an interesting moment at the altar during a night service at the New Jersey Jr. High Camp last week. It was the third night of camp. Many students were at the altars, praying and seeking God. It went on so long, that we cancelled our late night activities and let them stay and pray through that time. Finally, the DYD Fabian got up to close the service. He felt like it was time to go, but there was a group of girls praying off to the side that were still praying very loud and intense. He asked them to quiet down, but they couldn't hear him. He motioned to some of his leaders to help them quiet down. They gathered around the girls and began to whisper to them to try and calm down because Fabian was moving on.
It was a cute moment. I looked at the situation and smiled at the sincerity of the girls and their passion. Then God whispered something to me - 'When was the last time you had to be asked to quiet down because of your passion and sincerity' Wow.

3). Link of the day: Mouse Art

A website that tracks your mouse movements and makes art out of it. Kind of cool!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday - Bible Trivia

1). Song of the day: My favorite song from the service last night, Holy Spirit, Burn on the Inside - Jared Anderson

2). Blog Entry:

Unfortunately, we don't have a winner from this past Tuesday's Bible Trivia. The question will carry over again to next week on Tuesday.

In our staff meeting this morning, my last day at New Jersey Jr. High Camp, I told people about some of the things our campgrounds are known for. What city is our campgrounds located in?

A. North Platte
B. Kearney
C. Lexington
D. Grand Island



Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thursday - Testimonies

1). Song of the Day:Favorite song from Night 2 of NJ JH Camp, ♫ Our God is Love ♫

2). Blog Entry:

Last night, we had a powerful service at our camp in New Jersey. Some of my family from Philadelphia was able to come out and participate in service. I sang one of my personal songs from my own devotional life. I prayed with one student to be set free from Lyme Disease, and with another for healing for his grandparent in Argentina. After we dismissed, I talked with a student in the bathroom at the sinks about his struggle with sin and gave him some suggestions on being strong and resisting. It was a great night!

3). Online Vendor - Create your own online store with your personal items

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wednesday - Leader's Corner

1). Song of the day: ♫ Favorite song for Night one at Jr. High Camp in New Jersey ♫

2). Blog Entry:

We had a great camp season this summer. Here's some stats from our youth and kids camps:
1st time salvations - 49
Recommitments - 196
Filled with the Spirit - 68
Refilled - 132
Healed - 76
Called to ministry - 27

Thanks for your prayers and support.

3). Our NE PK (pastors kids) Campout is rapidly approaching. Go here for more details


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tuesday - Bible Trivia

1). Song of the day: ♫ Happy to be at New Jersey's Jr. High Camp! ♫

2). Blog Entry:

Welcome back! I hope you've had a great summer. We're ready to begin our regular schedule of blogs. Here's the entry for today's Bible Trivia:

Tonight I'm speaking at a junior high camp in New Jersey. My message is centered around the story of the Rich Young Ruler. Can you tell me what chapter of the Bible that story can be found in?

Also, if you used any prize money at camps, please let me know so we can update the totals.


3). Link of the day: 40 Days for Life

A great anti abortion campaign to be involved in this fall.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ireland AIM Update - Day 14

We're back in the states! We are in Chicago now getting ready to depart for Dallas and then on to Omaha. Should be into Omaha about 11:15pm!

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Ireland AIM Update - Day 12

Updated pictures are HERE! (NOTE: There have been significant portions of our ministry times, especially the "Kids Week" and "Street Pastors" events, that we were unable to take pictures...)

Yesterday was an exhausting day of ministry!

It began with morning devotions where we were challenged with the question of whether Jesus is your Master or your Lord. When Jesus is your Master, you do what He says. When He's your Lord, you do what He does! He's not looking for slaves, he's looking for sons! Such a powerful thought!

The morning was pretty much the same as Wednesday and Thursday. It was followed by our final "Kids Week" program. After the kids program, our entire team was invited to meet the Mayor, Colum Eastwood, in the City Council chambers at The Guildhall. At that meeting, he officially welcomed us to the City on behalf of the Council and thanked us for all of the work we've done throughout the week. On behalf of Nebraska Governor David Heineman, we thanked the City for having us and presented Mayor Eastwood a Nebraska State Flag which had been flown over the capital building during our training week. What a momentous occasion!

Following our meeting with the Mayor, we distributed 500 additional bags of food in conjunction with Convoy of Hope Europe, to one of the areas we worked in this week.

Last evening, our entire team hit the streets of Derry to participate in a "Street Pastors" outreach where we reached out to the bar crowd until about 2:45am. There were hundreds of people we were able to offer a cup of coffee or tea and a cup of soup, share Jesus with and pray for as they came and went from the local bars in Derry. This really stretched many of our students, but also became a highlight of our trip.

Because of the late night, today's activities didn't start until about noon. After lunch, we did some more "Street Pastor" ministry outside of the Mall and in Guildhall Square. This evening, the team had a BBQ at Barrontop Fun Farm in Donemana.

We're winding down! Less than two days to go!

Pray for us on our final day tomorrow and prepare to depart in the wee hours of the morning on Monday!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Ireland AIM Update - Day 11

It's currently 3:38am here and we just finished 19 hours of ministry..."all is well" but the details will have to wait until tomorrow!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ireland AIM Update - Day 10

OK, so, here's the craic!

First, new pictures may be foud HERE!

Tuesday wasn't much different from Monday. Team A, the portion of our team that is primarily focusing on "Kids Week" this week did flyering in the morning and rehearsal for the kids program in the afternoon. The whole of our ministry this week is called "I Heart Derry." Within that umbrella, we are doing a Vacation Bible School kind of outreach, called "Kids Week" in one of the local community centers. The "Kids Week" portion of the outreach is being done Wednesday through Friday.

Teams B and C continued to do clean up in two other neighborhoods, partnering with local community centers. Clean up has consisted of of revitalizing a local daycare playground, picking up trash, mowing, weed-eating, painting, etc.

The prayer team on Tuesday were able to pray with six people, I believe, that accepted Christ! Praise the Lord!

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, our entire team met an at at a local restaurant where we were able to enjoy some amazing food, including ham and eggs, fish and chips, lasagna, spaghetti and bolognese sauce, sweet chili noodles, and five bean chili. The food was amazing!

Tuesday evening, our team was able to sponsor a worship concert in the heart of Derry with a band from Northern Ireland called Bluetree! You may be familiar with a song they wrote called, "God of This City." If you aren't familiar with the story behind the song, you can check it out HERE! The message of that song alone defines why we're here and what we're doing. This is the first time we've ever been able to do such a thing on an AIM Trip and the response was brilliant.

Wednesday, the schedule was the same, with the exception of launching "Kids Week" in the afternoon. We had 140 kids show up! Praise the Lord! Wednesday morning, Pastor Bruce spoke to our team, as well as the local team, during our morning devotions. Pastor Tim spoke in our mid-week service Wednesday evening.

This morning, Pastor Cory Demmel spoke for our morning devos inspiring us to be GREAT! He really was spot on when he referenced the quote, "I will never know how to be a servant until I am treated like one." That further defines why we are here this week. Many of our team have been doing nothing but serving local community centers by doing clean up all week; something we really didn't expect. However, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." We're into areas that no one wants to go into and doing things that no one wants to do, and that communicates the love of Christ like no other! In fact, 8-10 years ago, the police wouldn't even come into some of the areas we're working in! In one of our community centers, some of our leaders were able to pray with about 25 older ladies because of the door that was opened as a result of the work we are doing. In addition, we've seen guys stand and talk with each other that were fighting against each other just a few years ago. It's hilarious the God moments we've had this week! God has a great sense of humor!

Today was day two for "Kids Week". We only had about 120 kids, but we are not discouraged! We're not dwelling on the past, we're looking forward to what God has in store for our future. Along those lines, a large shipping container behind one of the community centers we're been working in all week was destroyed by arson last night. It was nearly full of toys, clothes, diapers, vitamins, baby wipes, candy, and various other supplies that were being collected for an orphanage in Romania. While a bit angry, again, we were not discouraged. Instead, it gave us an opportunity to continue to show Christ's love to that community by cleaning up the mess. In addition, the incident was covered by the local radio station, local TV news station and the BBC, providing great local coverage our team and it's mission! (Coverage begins around the 12:15 mark.)

Partnering with Convoy of Hope and Michael McNamee, founder of Convoy of Hope Europe in 2003, we handed out 500 bags of groceries today! We'll do another 500 bags tomorrow!

Tonight, following dinner at the we ended a bit early with a "Sports Night" back at our residence! Tomorrow's a day! We go from 9am to 3am! Please pray for us!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Ireland AIM Update - Day 9

Another day, another late night, another SHORT update...here it is in a nutshell. The last couple of days have been pretty much the same as I described in my last update. Again, "all is well"...I will continue to hope to find time to get a better update out tomorrow, we've just been EXTREMELY busy with really long days. Thanks for your prayers!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ireland AIM Update - Day 8

Just a quick note to say, "ALL IS WELL!" Due to the latency of the hour (it's 2:20am here), I won't be posting an update tonight...there's only so much you can do in a 19 hour day!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Ireland AIM Update - Day 7

Our first full ministry day is behind us, and boy are we knackered (i.e. tired)!

This morning, we began the day with a wee bit of worship and devotions with our local team. Afterwards, we split into five smaller groups and were taken to various areas of Derry for ministry.

Team A went to an area where we plan to do some children's ministry in later in the week and did some "flyering" (i.e. handing out fliers) and some clean up (picking up litter and other rubbish, pulling weeds, etc.)

Team B and Team C went into other areas of Derry and did some clean up all day!

About 15 of our team went into the town square and set up a portable football field (i.e. soccer) and played football and various other carnival games - face painting, balloon animals, football kick, a clown, skipping ropes (i.e. jump ropes), hula-hoops, and a giant parachute - with kids and passersby. It was a lot of hard work, but the response and turnout was amazing as today was the first full day for children's summer break. Let me also say that the kids here are BRILLIANT football players!

Another portion of our team did some "street pastoring" and targeted prayer walks within the city. They did an amazing job taking advantage of some God-ordained opportunities to share Christ and His love for the people of Derry. One of our girls, who prayed to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit the other night, said she had an opportunity to speak to a number of individuals today about Christ in a way she never experienced before. For the first time, she felt empowered! She plugged into the source and something happened!

Tonight, after dinner, the entire team went back into the are where Team A had been working all day and just hung out and played and loved on some local kids. There were probably 50 or so that showed up. These kids are hungry for some attention as many of them don't get it at home, and they love Americans and our accents, which means we have a real opportunity there! Our team was able to perform their dance there tonight, and had the kids join them in dance afterwards! It was a craic! (i.e. "crack" - fun, entertainment, and enjoyable conversation, etc.)

PS - Yous may 'av noticed dat oi used sum Oirish lingo in me post the-day...don't be gobsmacked if yisser kids cum 'um blatherin' loike dis too!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Ireland AIM Update - Day 6

Thanks for your patience…here’s the full report from yesterday! I called it Day 6, even though it begins on Day 4… :-)

As promised, HERE are some pictures from the last couple of days! More to come!
Our travel day was pretty uneventful, except for the 90 minute delay for the second leg of our trip. Due to mechanical issues on our scheduled aircraft, we had to move to another plane, at another terminal. Aside from the logistics of moving 43 people through an international airport, the unknowns about when we were really going to leave was the most difficult aspect of this delay.

Our long flight over was pretty unpleasant for most of our team, as they sat in the very back of the plane where bumps and even minor turbulence seem to be magnified. We exited North America off the coast of Newfoundland, continued north towards Greenland, then back south, flying across Ireland, looping around over the Irish Sea, before landing in Dublin.

Once on the ground, we made our way through the Garda National Immigration Bureau, where we had our passports stamped. We retrieved our luggage and were on our way without any issues or problems.

After collecting our luggage, we met Steph and Andy, Ministry Associates for the church we’re partnering with. They did a wonderful job of making us feel welcome, and provided our first taste of one of the coolest accents in the entire world!

We boarded a tour bus for the three hour ride to Derry (pronounced Dairy). The trip began on what we may identify as a four-lane divided highway, before switching to a two-lane country road. The Irish countryside consists of many grass-covered, rolling hills, and lush vegetation, much like you might find in the pacific northwest. The climate here is quite similar to the Oregon/Washington area, with lots of clouds and a nearly steady drizzle much of the time. We saw lots of farmhouses, a few that even looked like small castles, and a number of cattle and sheep ranches. We passed through a number of small towns, all with narrow streets and round-a-bouts.

Upon arrival, we were met by a number of church leaders as we unpacked the bus and moved into the Halls of Residence (dorm) at the University of Ulster. Our living conditions could not be more perfect! There are four flats (apartments) situated on three floors. Each flat has five individual bedrooms with a twin bed, desk, wardrobe, and sink. Each flat also includes a communal bathroom, living room and kitchen. It really is wonderful for each team member to be able to have their own space!

After unloading our stuff, we took off for a tour of the walled portion of the city. The Walls vary in width, between 12 and 35 feet, and serve as the only remaining completely intact city walls in all of Ireland, and one of the finest examples of a walled city in all of Europe. Chris, a fellow American who moved to Ireland 23 years ago and an adult volunteer from the church, served as our tour guide. This tour really helped solidify with the team how divided this city remains to this day.

Today, modern Derry extends considerably north and west of the city walls and east of the river. The half of the city the west of the Foyle is known as the Cityside and the area east is called the Waterside. On the Waterside, the population of Derry is fairly evenly split between Catholics and Protestants. However, on the Cityside, the population of Derry is nearly 100% Catholic. Some neighborhoods fly the Union Jack flag, associating themselves with England and the United Kingdom (and the term Londonderry), others fly the Republic of Ireland flag, wanting to disassociate themselves with England and the United Kingdom and proclaim their independence. A very divided city indeed.

We concluded our tour of the Walls near Foyleside Mall where we had dinner at the Food Court. One of the local ministry associates recommended we try the “chicken box”, which several of our team members did; our first taste of “Irish cuisine”. The chicken box consisted of chips (french-fries), topped a chili sauce, garlic sauce and cheese sauce, topped with a pile of shredded chicken and a scoop of coleslaw. Even the locals say it sounds gross, but it was AMAZING!

After dinner and some brief shopping at the mall, we met and hung out Claudes, a local coffee shop, with more of our newfound church friends, before heading back the Halls for some much needed sleep and rest.

Today, Sunday, Day 6, we attended Cornerstone City Church, and the Millennium Forum Theater in Derry. The service was great, almost camp or convention like, inspiring us to consider the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 18, where against all odds he faced off with the prophets of Baal because he had an altered mind, an altered image and an altered ego. Like Elijah, we must recognize that we can do anything at anytime against any odds when we simply recognize that “the Lord is God.”

After church, it was back to the mall to eat at the Food Court. This afternoon, we had “I Heart Derry” training with local volunteers, where we learned a bit more about things that are different here, culturally and terminology wise. We also got a brief overview of our week.
We took about an hour to go through all of our ministry routines (dance, human videos, etc.) we learned last week, before reconvening for a special commissioning service, where it was emphasized that God reaches down, empowering us with the Holy Spirit, before we can reach out to the world around us.

We ended our day with pizza from Domino’s at the Halls!

Prayer Requests:
  • Pray for strength; physically, spiritually and emotionally. The next five days are going to be intense. In our ministry training today, they said not to worry, that we’d only be working “half days”. We found out later that meant 12 hours…half days!
  • Continue to pray for team unity. Teamwork makes the dream work.
  • Pray that we will recognize the “God moments” in our day. Pray that doors will be open and hearts will be changed. Pray that God’s love will shine through us into this community as we love and serve and serve in love.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Ireland AIM Update - Day 5.2

What a day! Due to the latency of the hour and the lack of sleep I’m currently experiencing, this will be shorter on the details than some might like…I’ll give a more complete update tomorrow, including pictures!

Here’s our last 30 hours or so…a three hour bus ride to the airport, our first flight, a layover, which ended up being extended by 90 minutes, our second, very long flight, customs and immigration, baggage, another three hour bus ride, checked into our “flats” – dormitory style housing on a local college campus – a tour of the walled portion of Derry, dinner at the mall, hung out with some church leaders at a local coffee shop, back to our flats for the night!

All are tired, unable to sleep well on the long trip across the pond, and trying to adjust to a six hour time difference…we should feel much better in the morning!

Prayer requests:
  • Pray for this city and the openness of its people this week.
  • Pray that our team sleeps well and can get well rested tonight.
  • I don’t like to necessarily repeat prayer requests, but this one is important. Continue to pray for team unity, and that we become less of a team of individuals and more of an individual team.
  • Please pray that our team will remain guarded about the relationships they form on this trip, especially those of the “romantic variety.”

Ireland AIM Update - Day 5.1

We're here!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Ireland AIM Update - Day 4.2

After a delay in Chicago, we're now on our way...7.3 hrs to go!

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Ireland AIM Update - Day 4.1

Travel Day! This is the day we've been looking forward to since last November! In just under 12 hours, we will be arriving in Dublin, Ireland!

In the form of a brief update, we've successfully navigated through airport security and are currently waiting to board our flight for the first leg of our trip. All has gone smoothly so far, please pray that it continues to do so!

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ireland AIM Update - Day 3

Our final day of training has come and gone! Final preparations have been made, human videos, children’s object lessons, short sermons and dance routines have been done what seems like thousands of times…and there are enough balloon animals floating around here to make Henry Doorly look like a petting zoo!

Here are a couple of HUGE updates!
  1. Pastor Bruce is better! After a pretty rough day yesterday, all is well today! The rest of the team, while tired and a bit worn out from all the work they’ve done the last couple of days, is healthy too! All systems are GO!
  2. The missing passport I requested prayer for yesterday arrived today! This morning we called the consulate in New York who was holding it and they said it was “in the mail.” I called the express carrier to track its whereabouts only to be told they didn’t have it. Late this afternoon, we found it, shipped to the wrong address, halfway across the state! One of our adult leaders took off to meet someone to retrieve it, along with a huge sigh of relief! That we now have it in hand is nothing short of a miracle!
  3. Late yesterday afternoon, we also realized a need we had for some additional supplies that could only be purchased through a publishing house in Missouri. Their cutoff time for ordering and overnight delivery was 11am. After exploring many other avenues, I finally spoke with someone at the publishing house who personally took it upon themselves to see to it that our order went out last night. I got confirmation that it was received by the express carrier at 11pm. After a wild trip through Louisville, KY during the night, our supplies arrived in Lincoln at eight this morning! AMAZING!

Here are today’s prayer requests:

  • Pray for any of our team that are still struggling with questions like, “Am I really supposed to be here? Can I really do this?” Help us to be a “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” team of individuals. Pray that God will confirm it in big ways and in small. Pray that we have a sense of rest in our spirit.
  • Pray against the spirit of guilt and condemnation. The possibility exists that some of our team members did some things prior to this trip that they regret. Help them realize God’s forgiveness, removing that foothold the enemy has in their lives.
  • Pray that we don’t let our guard down. Tomorrow as we travel, pray that we remain in an attitude of intense spiritual preparation and prayer as the battle for spiritual victory continues.
  • Pray for our travels over the next 32 hours or so. Moving this many people by bus and plane over such a great distance presents a whole new level of obstacles/opportunities. Pray that our travels go smoothly and efficiently, with no delays or interruptions.