Thursday, July 7, 2011

New Orleans Day 4

I am on team Bomb-Diggity along with Eric and today we did our prayer walk in the morning. We broke up into two groups and devoted two hours to walk around the neighborhood to pray for the people and any houses we felt compelled to pray for. My group of six met this one lady named Miss Veil (or Mama Veil, which she preferred) as one of the first few people that we met. She was so full of joy and passion that it inspired us all in the beginning and gave us the mindset we needed in order to carry out what God wanted this morning. We encountered others with alcohol and various health problems and continued to pray over them. It was humbling to walk through a neighborhood and trying to imagine it under water from the devastation of Katrina. Although there were a few homes with the markings still on the doors from inspections right after the hurricane, it was amazing to see that the city is healing and God is doing his work even still.

After the prayer walk, we enjoyed an absolutely amazing lunch at Johnny’s Po-Boys where a downpour began. When it was time to move on to our next site, which was Living Water where we would go down to the river and hand out water bottles to people and engage in conversations. The rain made us hesitant about whether it would be worth it to go. After our leader Matt called one of the AIM staff, he made the call for all of us to sit on the curb and pray about what God wanted us to do next. We all were called to try out Living Water. So we walked over to a park along the river. I was partnered with Matt and we met Indio, a man who grew up in New Orleans. He is from Aztec decent and his background gave him the beliefs in Mother Nature who works along side of God, because God is “too busy” to take care of everything himself. Indio spent a lot of time talking continuously about this and made a point that it is a bad idea to test your faith because you will end up getting hurt in the end. As difficult as it was to hear that what is so crucial to my faith is a horrible idea, it only made me feel stronger because ironically, it was a test of my faith. As always. God held me and reminded me that he is only in control and reinforced everything that I stand for.

Thank you for your continued prayers- we all appreciate them. Pray that God’s plans will be carried out tomorrow as we get to pick our ministries.

-Carly Swieringa

I am on Team F, aka the Crawdaddy Crew! We have been blessed with some truly amazing experiences over the past couple of days. Our team is very willing to serve and it has been an honor to work with them.

Today we went to Mama Jan’s for a bible study and worship. Afterwards we went to one of the homes that she runs for recovering addicts to assist with some maintenance. It was very Flower City Work Camp-esque: we scrubbed floors, cleared out trash, did gardening, cleaned bathrooms, etc. It was nice to get on our hands and knees and do some physical labor for the Lord! We met a man named Tommy who also had a house for people in need like Mama Jan. He was kind and had an awesome testimony. We got the chance to clean up his house too.

The AIM staff is somewhat unorthodox in the fact that they rarely give us sermons or talks. Instead they lift us up in prayer and encouragement with each other. Tonight we did two exercises with them. In the first one we all sat (about 100 people) in a big circle and took turns reading aloud verses that God had set on our hearts. It was awesome to lift each other up in scripture like that. The second exercise we did was one where we split the group into two and went on opposite sides of the gym. One side would close their eyes while the other walked over and put their hand on one person’s shoulder. The person with their eyes closed asked the Lord for the words to speak and then began to pray aloud for the person who was touching their shoulder. We found that even though the people with their eyes closed had no idea who they were praying for, God gave them the words that that person needed to hear. I have never been on a missions trip with so much commradery and love amongst the team. You would be so proud of your kids if you could have seen them in this room, wholeheartedly and lovingly lifting up their brothers and sisters in Christ.

Thank you for your prayers. We can definitely feel them.

-Claire Stack


  1. It is wonderful to learn how you are all stretching yourselves and growing spiritually for it. The Lord is truly using you to serve Him in amazing ways. We continue to pray for everyone on the trip and the people you are meeting daily. God bless you!

    John & Louise Giallombardo

  2. So great to hear what God is teaching you all -- Hunter, we miss you and we're praying for you everyday!!!!! Love you Hunty-poopy. XOXO Kris and Al.

  3. Wow! It sounds like the Lord put you all in just the right spot in New Orleans. So happy to hear how God is using you. Enjoy your last day, away from to what God has in store for you. Praying for safe traveling
    Tim & Susan Beck

    Hunter , can't wait to have you home. See you Saturday
    Mom & Dad