Monthly Archives: March 2011

Goo gone and a buzzer beater.

Today was really awesome. Which, at risk of sounding redundant, is awesome. The reason this is so awesome is because Wednesday has potential to be the toughest day. We are pretty worn out at this point and so it can be tough to muster the energy to work hard and love well. I know what you’re thinking, “But wouldn’t you be more tired on Thursday?” Of course we will. The difference is that tomorrow we will be driven by plenty of emotion. The last day tends to have a strange energy driving it.

When we got to BTH this morning they gave us a list of things to do. Most of the things on the list they had decided that morning because the group worked so hard on Tuesday that they got most of Wednesday’s work done as well. That’s right. We divided up into groups to knock out today’s tasks. One group took loads of books and stuff down to the basement while another group deep cleaned an industrial kitchen, and yet another scrubbed the mess out of every table in the classrooms. These are white round table’s and you can imagine what they might look like after sitting in elementary classrooms for months. It took a lot of industrial cleaner and good ol’ fashion elbow grease, but we got it done. Oh yeah, and on top of that, we disinfected every chair. Every. Chair.

Once all the students arrived we got their we greeted them and ate snacks with them. Then, in chapel, Erin, Leslie, Ashlee, and I (Lane) taught the lesson. It was so good and the team rocked it. I was very proud of their work and how seriously they took the task of communicating God’s word. Their is another team of college students (8 or so) volunteering at BTH this week as well. I have been so impressed  with our group. Our group is obviously unbelievable but you don’t realize how unbelievable until you get to contrast them with another group. This college group is doing their best and we are thankful they are here, but they have nothing on the initiative of our group. There’s really no training program for what you do at BTH, you get thrown in and you sink or swim. Our group swims.

After BTH we drove back out to the west suburbs to watch Tray Tray’s basketball game. It was SO much fun and our group was so loud the rest of the gym didn’t know what to do with us. We yelled and cheered then Tray’s team lost by one on a buzzer beater (that we’re not sure beat the buzzer). Such a bummer, but still a fantastic time.

We love you all. Please don’t stop praying for us. See you soon.

-Steve

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Air Hockey, A Penny & Pizza

We are studying James for our morning devo time. This morning was James 2. Wow, what a loaded book. We have lots to think about and lots to do.

Today was our first day at By The Hand. Our students tackled an old air hockey table that needed thrown away. After a long struggle, they had the joy of seeing it scrunched up in the garbage trunk. They took a picture and cheered. Later in the day, Lane and I were on the 19th floor of a condo on Michigan Ave, trying to get a large (and much nicer) air hockey table into a small elevator, down a hallway and into a truck. A taxi driver honked at us when we were blocking his way. Not much you can do when your fingers are about to rip off. But we made it. We were surprised that we didn’t break the table, something in the upscale condo, or one of our bones. You know what I always say, “Sometimes the best way to love someone is to get them a new air hockey table.” The Middle School students at BTH will love it.

We introduced the story of the Widow’s Mite, found in both Mark and Luke, for their chapel. The students did an awesome job. We’ll try to get the video online sometime. The kids were really engaged.

Everyone did a great job of tutoring, helping with students, fixing dinner, and just doing whatever needed to be done. We were really hungry, so Giordano’s hit the spot. The best pizza in the world is right here.

We are getting ready for another day, and then off to bed. Please keep praying. Consider fasting too. Thanks.

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Moving Day

As Steve from FCC said today, “Apparently, the interns who we hire would prefer to not be homeless.” So they wanted to create a living quarters in their building for an intern to live. We helped today by cleaning out stuff from Room A, in order to make room for stuff from Rooms B, C,  and D, so that Rooms B, C & D, could be turned into living quarters. The amount of stuff (treasurers office, crafts, bookshelves & large desks) in those rooms looked about overwhelming. But McKenzie walked past me (Brian) & just started taking stuff off the shelf. We followed suit, and chipped away. Five hours later, we were finished with that project, and knocked out a couple of little ones too. It was great to be able to help them in a practical way. It would be a great place to intern anyway, and now it will even be better.

This evening was the time that we had set aside to let the students see Michigan Avenue and eat at Portillos. Everyone had a great time. Several of us got to see the beautiful views from the Hancock Tower. To see the beauty of Lake Michigan on one side, and the tens of thousands of structures that people have built (using their creative, engineering and artistic abilities, and hard work) is pretty awesome.

We just finished spending the last 3 hours praying over and then working on the lessons/skits/activities that we will lead at By The Hand over the next few days. The text that we are teaching is from Mark 12 and Luke 21 – the story of the Widow’s Gift. What a great teaching moment from Jesus. We have lots to learn about it.

The group is pretty tired. I think the loss of an hour is still hitting everyone in the evening. Thanks for your prayers. Good night.

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Worship and Gutterballs

Sunday in Chicago is always one of my favorite parts of the week. It is so awesome and encouraging to worship with First Christian. Their story is too long for this blog post, but suffice it to say that they are a multi cultural family that loves and cares for each other with the love of Jesus. When we get back on Friday, ask your student about their experience with the First Christian family. Ask them how it was different from HP. Ask them about the people they met.

After church we ate some lunch and then headed to the bowling alley with FCC. We, as a group, are not great bowlers. But we sure are fun! We split up so that there was 1 HP team member and 2-3 FCC members per lane. What better way to get to know people then by encouraging and laughing at each other? We encouraged our students to ask the people they were bowling with about their stories, how they came to FCC, etc… Then they bought us pizza! Another free meal! AMAZING! Unfortunately, we kinda had to hork down the pizza becasue we were in a hurry by that point to get out to the west suburbs to see our dear friends Keewon, Treyvon, and Sarah. We sure do love them. And Wednesday night we get to go to Treyvon’s basketball game!

Ok, I’m super tired. We love you.  Night Night.

-Steve

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Made it!!

Hey everybody!

We made it! And I’m pretty sure we made it in our best time to date. No, it’s not because we were speeding (we weren’t). I’m not entirely sure why actually… although we did make it through St. Louis without any traffic whatsoever so that was pretty sweet.  I have been saying from the beginning how good this team is, and this trip up proved it. They laughed with each other, encouraged each other, and I heard zero complaining. This is going to be a fantastic week.

We had two unexpected blessings already, as well! Last night my cousin Levi called me and said they would love to feed us breakfast if we could stop in Phillipsburg where he is a youth minister. It’s about an hour and a half east of Joplin so we decided it was a no-brainer. When we got there he and his awesome family had cinnamon rolls, coffee, bagels, and fruit waiting for us! It was awesome food aaaannnndddd it was free! 1 less meal we all have to pay for! And then when we were getting in town Steve called us from FCC and told us they had a bunch of food for us from a Youth Rally that was winding down at the church. Booya! 2 meals we don’t have to pay for, and perhaps more importantly, that aren’t McDonalds! Tomorrow we get to worship with our brothers and sisters at FCC, go bowling with them and then go to visit our friends Sarah, Keewon, and Tray Tray at there new home! It’s going to be such an awesome day.

Do not stop praying for us.

Pray that we not grow weary in doing good.

Pray that God would soften the hearts of all those we come in contact with.

Pray that we cease opportunities to share his love with people.

Pray that we worship with our lives and our lips.

Pray that He increase our faith.

Pray that we be kept safe.

But most importantly pray that we reflect God’s infinite worth, glory, majesty, and love to everyone that sees us.

We know that you are praying for us and we are SO thankful for it! We love you!

To Him be the glory forever and ever.

Lane

 

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