Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Misphah and Shen. He named it Ebenezar, saying , "Thus far the Lord has helped us." 1 Samuel 7:12

Friday, July 31, 2009

The People

Why would 28 high school students and 13 adults take a week off of work and pay $675 each to travel to inner city Detroit on a mission trip?

For several reasons.
One of them being:
The People.

41 people is a large group so we were broken down into smaller groups of 2 adults and 5 or so students. Each day we woke early and had a tight schedule to keep. One of our "assignments" was called Servant Evangelism.

Servant Evangelism is one of my favorite parts of our missions trip, it's pretty simple each team is given X amount of dollars and have to spend it on someone, some group or some place. The point is to serve with no strings attached, because that is what Christ has called us to do.
Mark 10:45 says: For even the Son of Man did not come to serve, but to serve,
and give his life as a ransom for many."

Our small group had Servant Evangelism right out of the gate on Monday morning. At first we were stumped, only 3 of the 7 of us had been to Detroit before and our first leads on people to serve ended in dead ends. Sunday evening we got together and prayed, we trusted that the Lord would make clear our path on Monday morning.

Monday morning came and we felt a peace about heading out to a day care we knew about even though we couldn't get a hold of anyone there. After arriving we were let in and you can imagine their surprise when we said we were there to buy them any supplies they needed. The students in our group immediately began to connect with and play with the day care kids and I talked with the teachers and made a list of needed supplies.

-a real basketball
-jump ropes
-coloring books
-food for their play kitchen
-toys for children under 12 months (they had none, I hope you heard that: this day care had NO toys for children under 1 year of age)

After making our list we headed out to Wal-Mart and began to gather the supplies on the list. When we checked out we were thrilled to learn that we not only got everything on their list but we came in .48 cents under budget!!

This was the grocery cart with food we got to go along with their kitchen.

One of the many balls we purchased.

Christy and this little girl connected right away.

James played basketball with this little guy. The smiles. I hope you notice the smiles!

Even the older kids loved the under 12 months toys.

Mary sat in that spot playing with the kids for what seemed like forever.

Each afternoon we ran a Big A or Vacation Bible school for the kids. We held it in Cass Park, a neat park that has neatly planted trees and paths that once were magnificent I'm sure. The park now is home to many homeless people who either sit on the benches all day or lay in the grass on blankets. Trash covers the ground, shattered bottles and a broken light pole remains untouched. I have no pictures of the homeless because we did not want to treat them as tourist attractions and the days we had face to face contact with them we left our cameras so not to tempt them. When you're homeless anything of value is worth getting.

The largest Masonic Temple in the world towers over the area, you can see it in this picture.

The bus rides to and from the park were a blast! See the smiles!
I let the kids use my phone to take pictures and they had a blast!

Playing games in the park.
Each Florida students was instructed to find a Detroit student, the one-to-one was great! Each day you'd hear the yell, "Find your Florida friend, find your Detroit friend." Many of the students exchanged addresses with plans to bless these kids throughout the year with correspondence.

Another aspect of the people is the homeless. I mentioned their presence in the park and they lined 3rd Street as if a parade was getting ready to start. Their blankets draped over fences and abandoned playgrounds. Each night one of our groups joined forces with the Detroit Rescue Mission in serving a free meal. Our group ended our trip on Friday night with this privilege. We served 238 meals during the 5:30pm serving.

The man who runs the kitchen, "Q", allowed the guys to go out in the dining room and seat the people and serve them their food. For safety reasons the girls had to stay in the kitchen. I scooped the rice, Taylor the hollandaise sauce, Christie the chicken and Mary the bread. It was an amazing opportunity to serve these people.

Before we started we were allowed to try a piece of chicken, it was quite tasty I must say!
So the People.

The People are one of the reasons why we travelled 1,100 miles and paid close to $700 of our own money.

The people are the reason we'll go back.

The People are the reason I ask all of you to pray for Detroit.

Each person in the pictures above has a story.

They all have a future ahead of them that may not be as opportune as we think all Americans have. The children of this area of Detroit have a 62% chance of dropping out of high school.
62%, that means they have a better chance of not getting a high school education than getting one. Many students know no one who has a high school diploma.

So I ask you to pray for the people of Detroit.

Stayed tuned for more posts on this amazing trip.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


We survived!
We thrived!
I have the awesome privilege of spending last week in Detroit along with 40 other people serving the people of Cass Corridor.

Cass Corridor is a notorious section of Detroit—known for rampant prostitution, drugs and violence. The people who live down here lament that, “The police have given up on this place.” The women and men who make this area “home” welcomed a few us from our church and college where I teach. They invited us into their space with love, acceptance, and genuine hospitality.

Cass Park is within a few stone’s throw of mighty Ford Field and Comerica Park, home to two professional sports teams: the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Lions . . . okay, one and a half professional sports teams. These two super-sized stadiums, and the millions of dollars they represent in profits each year, cast a long dark shadow over this area the locals call “Jurassic Park,” referring to the violence and chaos often
experienced by her inhabitants.

I wish I had more time to write but unfortunately I'm just posting a few pics.
One of the things we did was run a Big A (Vacation Bible School) club for the kids. Each day we drove to three different housing projects and brought kids to the park for a few hours of fun! here are a few pics from Big A.

and please pray for Detroit.
Pray for Cass Corridor.
Pray for the homeless, the jobless, the parentless.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Old Hat

I have this hat.
It's a ball cap with a half a daisy on the front and a blue bill.

I still remember buying that hat; we were living on an Air Force base in Oklahoma and a neighborhood kid was selling stuff for a school fundraiser. When I saw that hat I knew it was made for me.

12 years have passed and I still have that old hat.
It sits on a self in my closet and I can't remember when it made it's last debut.
The shirt I once had that matched it perfectly has long since been gone and the freshness of the hat has long since worn off.

This last week the space shuttle launched from it's pad here in central Florida.
Anyone who has ever been in the area when the shuttle goes off knows what an incredible moment it is.
The power.
The beauty.
The sound.
How we send such a large craft full of people into the atmosphere surrounding planet earth still baffles me to this day.

When it took off this last week I happened to be in my home with my whole family.
I had forgotten it was taking off and when the rumble of the jets began to shake my house I first asked myself "is that a tornado?", then I realized what we'd missed.

I peaked out my front window and saw the spiral trail of smoke already left behind.
I was the only one who even peaked out the window.
I was the only one who even stood up.

Apparently the space shuttle and all it's glory is old hat around here.

Got me thinking.
What else in my life do I treat as an old hat.
What glorious, wonderful, amazing things surround me. What things are in my life that don't even get me out of my chair to glance at?
To be thankful for?
To marvel at?

God clothes the flowers so beautifully and gives unique chirps to each bird in the air.
He blesses me with a loving, hard-working husband, two children who still rock my world and friends that love me despit me.
But do I see them for what they are?
Is my perspective tweaked?
Am I sitting in a chair as the marvelous happens and not even take a peak to see the glory let alone marvel at it?

Have I taken the everyday wonders and reduced them to a self in my closet?
O' how I do not desire to be that way.
I want to see the glory that surrounds me, near and far, and marvel in it.
I want to be in a constant state of thankfulness and graciousness for the wonders God has blessed me with.

That is the perspective change my heart desires.
How about you? Any old hats sitting in your closet?

Monday, July 13, 2009


Doing well today.
I love a new day.
A new start.
I love that God gives that!

Today my "Thursday night girls" came over. We watched our last video in the first half of the Daniel study by Beth Moore.

It has been a unique group each week.
I have enjoyed seeing these girls press through this book!
It is not easy and yet they have one week of homework left!

The group consists of 7 high school girls and 1 college age.
1-10th grader
4- 11th graders
2- Seniors!!

We went through the first 6-weeks of Daniel, dealing with lives of integrity. Today I found out that a few of the girls are wanting to do the second half of the study.
The part on escatology!

looks like we're doing the second 6 weeks of this study!

Until next time on this subject, be praying please.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Gettin' My Freak On!

I'm freakin' out man!
Sounds like that should be a line from some stoner movie or something.
Anyway it's true for me.

I've worked on getting things off my plate and slimming down to the bare essentials but it just seems my job and my upcoming mission trip are slamming me hard against the wall of life!
Just when I think we've less to do something else gets thrown on the pile.

I know seasons of life come and go and some seasons are just busier than others, but this summer has been off the chain.

Someone, somewhere decided that our calendar for youth ministries should be fairly full.
Then I decided not to do everything on that calendar, then more got added and I found myself roped in. Well, not roped in, I stepped into a few of these last minute calendar additions, mostly out of neccesity.
So as I sit here in my kitchen awake and freaking out to some extent, knowing that today will lead way to 2 major events and that I will have to wait over 2 weeks before I will finally get a quiet spell.

Right now I'm dreaming of a 12-hour stretch (I'd really, really like it to 24 or 28-hour stretch) of time when I don't have anyone under the age of 30 around me. Heck, at this point in time I'd take 30 minutes of that! I'm not sure when or how it will come about, I mean let's face it Steve's job has him busy and working 60+ hours a week, but I am already working on getting a day away.

So as I sit here.
This morning,
I will begin to change my perspective.
For I know what it is to have a busy schedule and I know what it is to have an empty one.
I have learned the secret to be content no matter what my schedule looks like, whether busy or not. I can do everything who him who gives me strength.
So, I will enjoy the 30 minutes of quiet here in my kitchen instead of wishing I had it.

I'm a freak out--- maybe it's the red hair? Maybe it's the genes or my personality? Maybe... I'm just a freak out!
Either way I am freakin' out to God. Dumping all this stress and junk to Him.
Somehow, someway it gives me the strength to move forward.
So on that note.
I'm outta here-
off to to "better" things.

Freakin' Out With Jesus

Friday, July 10, 2009

Turtle Mound

My nephew was visiting from NH for 10 days. We did a variety of things. The beach, eating out, Canaveral National Seashore and just hanging out. I thought I'd share the pics of our trip to Turtle Mound and the National Seashore.

Steve and Justin

Justin and Eric.

Eric and I, with Justin sneaking in the back!
Yep! He's a keeper!

I love the fact that this is in my backyard!!
Life will go back to "normal" once he's gone.
Already looking forward to the next Yankee visit.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Fourth of July Recap

Our 4th of July was full of new life stages as well as old traditions.
Like Vaughan working til 3pm- new life stage
Justin being gone at a friends until 3pm- new life stage
then there were old traditions like:
going to the Fireworks Store!

It's how we start our 4th of July every year, taking stock in our firework supply and seeing what's on sale at the Fireworks Stand!
Here they are making final decisions.

The guys played volleyball by the river.

Justin was the background music.

Here is a great shot of my nephew and my grandmother, his great-grandmother. I love the pimpin' sunglasses Nana!

Vaughan and Caleb headed out in the little dingy, I was convinced they were gonna sink it, but they didn't!

More pictures on by the river.

My camera died after this picture so no pictures of the firework show.
We set off a decent amount early in the evening.
The we watched the local town fireworks then
the neighbors put on their own firework show that was pretty good.

No cars were blown up this and it was a quieter night than usual.

A little old a little new.
God Bless the
Red, White and Blue,



Wow I can't believe I have blogged in awhile. OK so I can believe it- life's been busy! My nephew is in town, I'm nailing down my home school curriculum for the fall and creating a job description for my church job.
Having frustrating fun along the way.
I'll be back, you know it!


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