Wednesday, June 30, 2010

'Seriously..." behind the scene part 3

behind the scenes - Campfires!

there are two things that many don't realize about campfire:
  • it's probably the most spiritually transforming aspect of the trip
  • they are not planned before the trip
So much happens in such a little amount of time around the campfire each night of our trip. There is always a time of worship with music (led this year by Josh) and then a message that come from our theme/daily theme - and something that often happens is a time of sharing.

Over the past few trips we've in some capacity opened the fire up for the youth to share. This year the parameters we gave the youth for sharing was that it had to be something that in some way fit back into what we were talking about with our themes this year. Boy have we had some amazing times of sharing - the youth know this is a safe environment and have opened up and as Jeff would say 'shared out of their brokenness.'

As for the planning - well it goes without saying that God is in charge of all of the trip - however the amount of planning & preparation that goes into every other hour of the day does not compare. One might think that if this is the most transformational time that we would put a majority of our pre-trip planning into this time frame. However, we've found it doesn't work.

What does work is Jeff and I sitting down sometime late afternoon and start with a blank piece of paper. We write the daily theme across the top along with the Scripture and we start talking and writing. Sometimes it takes 20 minutes sometimes it's closer to an hour --but either way whatever is said at campfire was not planned more than 5 hours prior.

The fun part is when we plan a bit in the afternoon and then God comes in before 'showtime' and changes it up a bit. This process of planning one of our favorite parts of the trip allows us to 'feel' the mood of the trip, to adjust things as needed for what's happening within our group and to allow God a lot of room (and help us build our dependence & trust in Him) to make it work!

So, there you have it - behind the scenes on how we make campfires work here on the trip. As I type this it's about time to go get to planning for tonight.

Seriously His,

'Seriously..." behind the scene part 2

...a day in the life of us..

5:55am wake up
6:00 am wake up call for the youth rooms
7:00 am breakfast
8:00 am All Team Devo, Morning Report, make lunches
8:45-9 am Depart for work site
9-3 work sites (break at noon for lunch, if there is errands to run - ie food to shop for, forgotten things to pick up we usually leave the work site a bit before the youth and get those picked up and back to camp0
3-5pm Free Time for the youth! For us it's time to plan campfire (see behind the scene part 3)
5:15 Dinner
6:00 pm Small Groups
7:00 pm Evening Activity (Volleyball, Kickball, Game night, Basketball, Worship planning, Talent Share)
8:45 pm Campfire
10:30 pm Head back to rooms/ready for bed
11:00 pm Lights Out (for the youth)
(often times there is something to do for us - a challenge to work through, conversation with a youth following campfire, or whatever else gets thrown our way!)

And that's a day (as typical as it can get) in the life of a leader on the Mission Trip.

Stay tuned for part 3 - how campfire comes together.

& remember if there is something you'd like to know a question answered, etc. just post in the comment and we'll be happy to respond.


A new saying...

A handful of the youth went hiking yesterday for their Sabbath - when they returned they brought a few things back with them -- two of which were
  • A new saying "Man Stuff"
  • & this picture:

I'm not quite sure how the phrase came up 'man stuff' but they asked if I'd post about it an put their picture on the blog. You'll have to ask some of the guys about this one - but from what we've heard so far here is a few examples of man stuff:
  • picking flowers
  • crafts
  • scrap booking
  • poetry reading
  • using fruity scented shampoo
for all it's worth - they're all having a good time and laughing quite often


Wed Seriously Update

It's been a great day here in Estes!

We headed over to the local middle school this morning for day 3 of work projects. We helped do a lot of 'end-of-year' and deep cleaning of classrooms, lockers and the auditorium.

After our lunch break we got to spend about 45 mins with a PIO (Public Information Officer) from the Incident Command Center. The middle school is the staging ground/HQ for the Cow Creek Fire - currently burning at over 900 acres. They have taken over the entire first floor of the school and have a very smooth running operation.

There is a special catering company from Arizona that has several trailers, refrigeration units and other support to fee the nearly 300 staff fighting this fire. The firefighters on the line have to have a minimum of 9,000 calories/day - so this operation comes in with all they need to stay nourished.

The Cache has all the supplies they could need for their job - tools, tents, sleeping bags, clothes, you name it they probably have it. What I found really interesting was when an incident occurs a team can be on the ground and completely operational within 24-48 hours. There is a primary cache located in Boise ID that orders are placed and needed supplies/equipment can be put on a plane for an emergency flight into the impacted area.

These guys & gals mean business - I hope you'll take the time to ask the youth about their experience learning about the fire operations. Oh, and next time you think prices are high on printer ink - try $1,500 for the six cartridges it takes to print the maps the teams need for briefings and getting things under control.

The kids are off at free time and then to dinner - we'll then have some small group time, a basketball tournament and our campfire.

More later...


Seriously...Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to Garrett (6/30) & Dustin (7/4). We surprised the two birthday boys with a cake and ice cream last night before our evening activity.

After the bday celebration we moved to our evening activity - Volleyball Tournament - the kids played well and had a great time.

Another evening of great sharing (as Jeff says: out of their brokenness) at campfire. We talked about the twine that is holding us back from what God has called us. After a restful Sabbath day the youth are ready to hit the work sites again today.

See you this afternoon!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

'Seriously..." behind the scene part 1

I'm not sure why, but I love behind the scenes types of things. How big productions work, what goes into making something happen, become a success etc.

So, I thought a few 'behind the scenes' points on this mission trip might be of interest to a few. (Feel free to comment on the post with any questions you might have on how a trip like this comes together.)

THEME: Our theme this year is 'Seriously...' and was taken from Micah 6:8 (The Message translation). The theme was actually selected even before the 2009 trip departed - I think it was close to 2 months before the trip. Jeff and I had been in a planning session for last years trip when God just handed us the theme - the fun part is we had scheduled a meeting to work on planning the theme for 2010 about 3 weeks later. God definitely works in amazing ways.

...stay tuned for Part 2 - with more behind the scenes of our trip!


Walkin' humbly

We talked tonight about 'walking humbly with your God.'

The analogy we used was that of a car dash (Temp gauge, Fuel gauge & the RPMs) and how those are really gauges in our lives. We tackled the fact that all of us are told by society to live in the red (think RPMs) eventually going at that pace we are going to burn out our engine.

We had some good sharing at campfire and are really looking forward to a great nights sleep and our Sabbath (day of rest) tomorrow. Pray that the youth will have a time of rest and true connection with God during this time.

Seriously His,

Monday, June 28, 2010

catchin' up

the Internet is back up and running, so here is a bit of a recap:

Yesterday (Sun) we headed out early to the Victim's Advocacy center - an emergency shelter for women and children. Over the past year they've been very busy with serving over 30 clients/families and have had to turn some away. The youth managed to knock out an entire to-do list provided by the staff. Together they managed to clean the inside of the house (vacuum, scrub floors, etc.) and stained a fence and handicap walkway as well as a lot of landscaping work.

The shelter staff was amazed at how quickly the list was checked off and we even had to get more supplies to keep everyone busy. Although we're tight on our budget we felt we needed to purchase and donate the supplies - they were more than appreciative for our generosity.

Campfire last night was indoors due to the rain - but it was probably one of the most moving campfires I've ever been a part of. At the end of the fire we felt led to present the Gospel and we were completely amazed at the response by many of the youth.

Today we headed to the area fair grounds to work on some projects there. Once again our group nailed the projects even though there was some rough patches in getting through the day. The youth got back to camp and are now out having their free time - some are down the hall playing games, some at the crafts center painting and still more are getting a nap in.

Tonight we'll be playing a game of Ultimate Frisbee before we head to our third campfire.

Please continue to pray for:
  • fire/firefighters
  • relationships being built
  • a few 'minor' challenges being faced within the group
  • rest for all - tomorrow (Tue) is our Sabbath day - a time for the youth to rest and reflect on God.
Until next time,

Day 2

we just checked and we now have internet....not much time we're headed out the door to our second day of work.

more later on how yesterday went...but overall things are rockin' away!


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Show Time

We've safely arrived in Estes, unloaded, checked in, had dinner, gone to a concert and just wrapped our opening campfire. an amazing campfire - Josh's first time leading worship with us and it was, well amazing - a great time of worship.

Everyone is settling in well. There is only about 50 minutes until lights out - and I can't wait. I am looking forward to a full nights sleep.

FIRE UPDATE: we passed several emergency responders on our trip through Estes Valley this afternoon. word is that as of earlier today the fire had spread from 200 acres last night to at least 1500. The winds today didn't help the situation much. Please continue to pray for rain, and for safety for the firefighters.

lastly for tonight in all my years bringing groups to the YMCA camp this was the best year for check in - everything went smoothly.

stay tuned tomorrow for more updates - we have our first day of work beginning at 9am.


'Seriously...' the wheels on the bus...

And we're off.

The bags have been packed & loaded. All the final touches (those that we thought of) have been added and we're headed West.

We'll open our week and theme 'Seriously...' based on Micah 6:8 tonight at campfire and really dive into things Sunday with our first day of work.

We ask that you keep our team in your prayers & also continue to pray for those working the active fire in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Keep tuned here for all the insider look at our trip this week.


Friday, June 25, 2010

'Seriously...' Pray for Rain!

Usually my first blog post about the mission trip goes live as the bus pulls out of the parking lot. However - something different this year.

It's 11:30 the night before departure and as we put some final touches on things (aka packing) some news has come our way about the Estes Valley area.

Remember this evening when I said to pray for no rain this week - well I take that back. We learned this evening of a wildfire burning in Rocky Mountain National Park. The picture in this article is taken from the golf course in Estes Park.

Word from our point person at YMCA Camp says that there isn't danger of the fire coming towards the camp - but it's close enough to see and smell.

Before we even depart we're asking you to pray for:
  • the firefighters working the fire
  • Park Rangers & staff
  • all those impacted by this fire
  • those impacted by the additional fire in Southern CO (near Royal Gorge)