Sunday, June 30, 2013

Nebraska AIM 2013: Day 6.2

Quick update tonight.  Today, we attended Cornerstone City Church!  Pastor Brian Somerville spoke on the temptation of Christ from Luke 4.  He challenged us with the following three thoughts:

1. You are what you eat. (Luke 4:1-4). What you feed on spiritually will determine what you look like spiritually.  Who you trust spiritually will determine what you do physically.  Is what you're eating good, or is it keeping you from God?

2. You are what you worship. (Luke 4:5-8).  The closer you are to God, the closer you are to who He has created you to be.  Your connection to the fine is vital.  Our prayer should be, "Make me a better follower!"  The devil tried to get Jesus to compromise His calling.  Everyday, you have the opportunity to become more of what God wants you to be, or become less than what God wants you to be.

3. You are what you follow.  Lord Halifax, a former foreign secretary of Great Britain, once shared a railway compartment with two prim-looking spinsters.  A few moments before reaching his destination, the train passed through a tunnel.  In the utter darkness, Halifax kissed the back of his hand noisily several times.  When the train drew into the station, he rose, lifted his hat, and in a gentlemanly way said, "May I thank whichever one of you two ladies I am indebted to for the charming incident in the tunnel."  He then made a hasty retreat, leaving the two ladies glaring at each other.  In the darkness, seeds of doubt are sown.  Sin grows in the dark, but Christians are called to live in the light. Evil men seek the secrecy of the darkness of night, but those seeking God must come out into the light.  If you need a carnival to catch them, you'll need a carnival to keep them.  Instead of jumping with the devil, how about standing with God?!  (Luke 4:9-13)

After lunch, each team had a two hour practice for kids week, then about three hours of free time before dinner.  After dinner, we came back to the Halls for a couple of hours of final preparations for Kids Week!

Prayer Requests:
- One of our leaders and one of our students became ill this evening.  Please pray for their complete healing.  (In a way, I hesitate to even put that as I know each of you will now worry about whether or not it's your child or loved one.  For privacy purposes, I will not post names here.  Rest assured, we are taking very good care of them.  It is just a simple case of the stomach flu or something they ate that did not agree with them.  Your prayers, some additional rest and lots of fluids should do the trick.)
- A member of another American team found out a grandparent died unexpectedly today.  Please pray for peace and comfort for her and her family.
- Continue to pray that the building acquisition will go smoothly on Monday and that the keys to the new building can be handed over by Friday!
- Pray for us as we begin Kids Week tomorrow.  Tomorrow is critical to how well the rest of the week will go.

Nebraska AIM 2013: Day 6.1

Here are a few pictures!  Uploading pictures is a bit of a challenge, but I'll try to post a few throughout the trip.  I'll post a full update from our day later tonight.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Nebraska AIM 2013: Day 5

Today we train.  Today is about survival.  If you get blasted, you're dead.  Today is about teamwork! The Hideous Zippleback is extra tricky.  Quick!   What's the first thing you're going to need?!  Okay, so we didn't learn how to train our dragons, but we did learn all we needed to do to be ready do Kids Week next week!

We started the day with devotions from Pastor Brian Somerville, of Cornerstone City Church, here in Derry.  He personalized Isaiah 40:9, "You who bring good news to Derry, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good news to Derry, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the town of Derry, “Here is your God!”  He also challenged us with the following two thoughts:
  1. You are part of God's plan for Derry.  You have been called to leave something behind.  You have been called to bring the culture of Heaven to earth, release it, and let it prevail over/colonize the culture of Derry.  What do you want to leave behind in Derry?  A great memory, or a bunch of mistakes?  What memories do you want to go home with?
  2. Derry is part of God's plan for you.  God is always broadcasting - all the time.  Trouble is, we're not always receiving.  Listen to the heart of God.
Lunch consisted of a chicken salad sandwich or wrap, a bag of potato chips (called crisps here), a piece of fruit, a chocolate bar, and water.  We will have the exact same thing for lunch every day we're here. Note: Chicken salad sandwiches, regardless of how much we love them, probably won't be a menu item we'll choose the week we get home!

After lunch, we split into four teams.  In previous years, Kids Week (similar to Vacation Bible School) has been three days, held at one location, with kids being bussed in from all over the city.  This year, Kids Week will be presented five days, at three locations, simultaneously!  Each Kids Week program will include a comedy sketch, fun games and activities, praise and worship songs, a devotion, an object lesson, a memory verse, a drama about David, and elective activities, like dance, arts and crafts and soccer (called football here)!  It's high energy and a massive undertaking!  The fourth team will construct a playground in the city.

This evening, we had dinner at the Food Court in the mall.  (I had "Chinese" - steak fries (called chips here), topped with hot and spicy chicken, sweet and sour chicken, and curry sauce.  So yummy!)  Like lunch, this will be what we do for our evening meal each night.

After dinner, training continued, but this time it got physical!  We went to a local Extreme Fitness/Cross Fit facility and did some cross-training for about an hour!  That went better for some than others....  I'll just leave it at that!

Prayer Requests:
- It's taken several years processing and cutting through a lot of red tape, but Cornerstone City Church  is to sign paperwork on Monday to acquire their first permanent building!  Our team has prayed for this acquisition for the past three years.  When this process started, Pastor Brian was given Deuteronomy 11:10-12, which is hugely significant in moving this church across the River Foyle.  On Monday, it is to become a reality!  Pray that Monday's transaction goes smoothly and that the keys to the building can be turned over by Friday so our team can celebrate with them next weekend!
- Pray for Kids Week.  We still have a lot of things to button up this weekend in preparation for Monday.  We have to being our A game and we have to be ready to bring it first thing Monday morning!  Pray that we're able to do that!  Also, pray for the kids that will attend, that the Holy Spirit would begin preparing their hearts and minds to hear and respond to the presentation on Monday.
- I'm not currently aware of any sickness on the team, but there is a young lady struggling with a sore lower back.  Please pray for her complete healing.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Nebraska AIM 2013: Day 4.2

We have arrived in Derry~Londonderry! Our anticipated schedule has changed a bit, which will allow us to get a bit more rest this evening than we anticipated.  In about 10 minutes, we will leave for a tour of walls that surround the city centre.  That will provide a great foundation for the team to understand some of the history and troubles this city has faced, and in many ways, still faces.  Afterwards, we'll eat at the mall food court.  After dinner, we'll have and event from 7-9pm before returning to the Halls of Residence for the night!  Thanks for all your prayers!

Nebraska AIM 2013: Day 4.1

We have arrived in Dublin! It's about 9am, we're tired and we're in for about an 18 hour day! Next, a 3 hour bus ride to Derry. All is well!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Ireland AIM 2013: Day 3.2

We have arrived in Chicago and have about an hour and a half before we depart for Dublin. All is well!

Ireland AIM 2013: Day 3.1

Off we go! We left Lincoln about 10:20am and are currently on our way to fly out of Kansas City.

Here are a few verses that were particularly meaningful to the team last night:
Proverbs 3:5-6
Matthew 11:28
Psalm 67:1-3
Psalm 44:1-3
Psalm 125:1-2
Zechariah 4:6

Please continue to pray for those who may not be feeling well and those who may be anxious or nervous about flying today.  Additionally, a few individuals admitted last night that they still had doubts about whether this trip was really for them. Please pray that God would confirm His plan for them on this trip even as we travel today.  A few individuals are experiencing high levels of fatigue. Please pray for peace, comfort, sleep and rest, and that the joy of the Lord will be their strength!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ireland AIM 2013: Days 1-2

The 2013 AIM trip to Derry, Northern Ireland is officially underway! 38 individuals from across Nebraska (a few from Iowa, and one from West Monroe, LA) have gathered in Lincoln the last two days to prepare for departure tomorrow.  My name is Tim.  I'm a youth and family pastor from Norfolk, NE, and I will be your blog host for the next 12 days.  Hopefully, I will be able to update you our daily ministry activities, let you know where we're being challenged spiritually, and pass along any prayer requests. I offer no guarantees, but I shall do my best!

The last couple of days have been spent getting to know one another, doing trip orientation and ministry prep.  One of the major advantages to repeating a trip (our fourth) to the same location is we don't spend excess time training and doing ministry prep for things that won't be used when we get there.  Two key things we worked on today were learning to tie balloon animals and learning a choreographed dance routine.  It doesn't sound like much, but we'll use those skills repeatedly in the next 12 days!

In our devotional times, our team has been challenged with two thoughts.  First, from John 15:15-16, that God chose US to participate on this trip, each individually, each for a reason, because of what He wants to accomplish through us in Ireland.  Secondly, from Matthew 18:3-5, that we would have child-like faith, not allowing grown-up attitudes to hinder us: doubt, self-sufficiency, distraction, forgetfulness, independence, etc.

Tonight, we'll join Rock Solid/The Edge for youth, then finalize our packing efforts to prepare for departure tomorrow.  Tomorrow morning, we'll board a bus for Kansas City, fly to Chicago and on to Dublin, Ireland, where we'll arrive Friday morning.  Friday will be a full day of ministry that will conclude about 3AM Saturday morning! So, we'll hit the ground running!

Prayer Requests:
  • For some, tomorrow will include their first airplane flight.  That may bring some fear and anxiety.  Prayer for peace and comfort to those individuals.
  • Pray against any sickness the team may be experiencing.  Pray for complete healing.
I'll try to keep you updated of our travels tomorrow!  Thanks for your continued prayer and support!