Hi Ya’ll…we arrived in New Orleans after cruising through check-in and security. We were blessed to be prayed over not only once by Mike Swank but twice by Pastor Rob who they allowed through security to pray for us before departure. After arriving in ATL, we were pleasantly surprised to see that our next gate was directly across from where we arrived! Phew! That sure made it easier and the kids were happy that they could then run down the terminal for a refreshment and bathroom break. Once we boarded we were informed that T-storms would delay us briefly. We sat on the tarmac for about a half hour…there were only 29 planes ahead of us for take-off but no one seemed too concern as they were enjoying spending time together. Upon arriving in NOLA, I received three compliments from exiting passengers about what wonderful students they are…one lady said that Martha and Alissa were definitely “God’s girls!” YAY! A great way to start a week of ministry. Everyone’s luggage arrived safely and our 15 passenger vans were ready for us. The mountain of luggage was unbelievable. Within an hour we were on our way to Gentilly Baptist Church.
Our home for the next week is wonderful. Bunkbeds and showers with AC! What more could we ask for? We were asleep around 1:30 am and up at 7 this morning. Our team worshipped at a charismatic Baptist Church with absolutely wonderful, vibrant singing and blessing of the Lord! Lots of smiles ☺ A visiting bishop from Atlanta gave the message and even busted a few dance moves. His message was good but it became quickly apparent that we were about to be exposed to things that most have never seen before. That being a “healing” service. This was not planned nor expected by the pastor of the church nor our Adventures in Mission coordinator. Needless to say, we were able to have some great conversation about what the Scriptures teach on this subject. I am sure the discussion is not over. In my opinion, I am happy for this experience because it challenges them to think about what they do believe and to investigate what God’s Word says. The church members were beautiful and gracious, welcoming us as family. This particular church had been severely damaged by Katrina and has since been rebuilt.
This afternoon we were blessed to visit each of the various ministry sites that we will be serving on this week. Along the way we were able to see much of New Orleans, including Jackson Square, the French Quarter, Superdome & the infamous bridges that were highly televised post-hurricane. Briefly, we will be involved in serving meals to the homeless, light work projects, prayer walks, visiting with homeless in order to hear their “stories” and share ours as well. We will also be participating in Bible Studies and prayer meetings that go on at various community ministries.
Your children are spectacular! I love them so much. Other than some minor grumbling about not enough food, they are doing great. Everyone seems to be in great spirits and super psyched for what God has planned for us this week. As I write this, I am listening to the sounds of rambunctious card games, kan jam in the gym, one team preparing to serve dinner and great conversation. Tonight we look forward to worship, teaching and a proper orientation from the AIM staff, and of course, a good nights sleep (please pray for this!)
Time willing, our hope is to have a different student blog each day from here on out. Please pray for servant hearts, humbleness, sensitivity to God and fruitful ministry. We are grateful for your prayers and support. Feel free to leave comments for the students and we will try to share them at night before bed. It will be like you are tucking them in ;) CHECK BACK FOR PICTURES LATER!
All for Jesus!