Thursday, July 12, 2012

Almost home!

YAY GOD!!  The team has landed in Newark!!  :)  Can't wait to welcome them home this afternoon!! :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Estamos en Lima

We made it into Lima yesterday and spent our last day in ministry.  We joined the Alianza Cristiana Misionera for fellowship last night and several of the students sang, rapped, and did a skit.  Jessie and David tore up the mic with an amazing rendition of ¨Got Paper¨ along with team INCA.  Two performers surprised me last night, because I didn´t know they sang:  Andrew Fortney and Molly Luger.  I gave a gospel presentation last night and heard about several great conversations that followed.  All in All it was a great end to the ministry portion of our trip.  Today we are going to go out in style, in a double decker bus, to go sight seeing.  We are going to the catacombs which is what I am most excited to see and than to the Inca Market.

The students are doing well with the exception of some stomach junk and that virus that is going around.  Praise the Lord for Nancy and her hard work on this trip.  We will spend the next two days living it up in Lima and then we will board a plane to Newark.

Prayer Requests:

1.  Pray for continued health.
2.  Pray for life change in the students after having spent a whole week in ministry.
3.  Pray for life change in the leaders.
4.  Pray that Browncroft would leave and indelible mark on Peru that reflects the love of Christ.
5.  Pray that the Peruvians we came into contact with would have a different picture of what American culture looks like.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Peru update from Nancy

A note from Nancy regarding students health:
"As Patrick already said, this is a 24/48 hour bug. Symptoms include fever, headache, chills and body aches, but those who have gotten sick have recovered nicely. Some students did not effectively drink fluids as instructed and required extra fluids by intravenous. These are the following students: Katie Seeger, Alyssa Irish, Megan Farrell. There are several other students that have the typical travelers diarrhea, but are doing well with pepto bismal. I can talk further with you when we arrive home, but be assured everyone is doing well." ~ Nancy
If anyone has questions, please feel free to contact Heather at 817-575-7401 as she has been talking with Patrick.
Please bear with the team. The internet is very, very spotty. Patrick is updating as often as best he can. The team is currently on the bus to Lima and will be arriving there this evening.

Travel Update

We just made it to Lima. We should be at the hotel in about a half hour. Students are doing well. The students who had to get fluids have all recovered nicely. Thank you for your prayers. If you have any direct questions please email me at I will check my email this afternoon.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Prayer Request

There seems to be a bug going through the group and a few students have gotten sick.  It seems to be a 24hr bug, but we would appreciate everybody's prayers.  Nancy thinks she might have picked something up from the plane ride.  Thanks for your prayers and we will continue to keep you all posted.


A Student Blog - Pt. 2

The first half of the mission trip has been more amazing than I ever thought it would be.  God has been working in us and through us in ways that are completely indescribable.  A couple of days ago I was given the opportunity to go to Sister Rosa's AIDS experience that I will NEVER forget.  When we arrived at her home, there were little kids running around outside waving at us and I could immediately tell that God was going to shine through us while we spent time with the kids.  The pure joy that was radiating from the children (who had next to nothing by the way) truly humbled me and made me think about everything I take for granted.  We played volleyball in the street with a group of girls for while and I wondered how that really was going to make their day better.  I came to find out that we were the first people to play with them and pay attention to them in a very long time.  They were practically in tears when we had to pack up our vans and leave and I wish we could have done more for them.  I was also able to play catch with a very young boy named Arno, who was so precious and thankful that my friends and I were spending time with him.  He'll never know how much of an impact his contentment with having so little had on me.  I'm so glad I am on this mission trip and I can't wait to see what else God has in store for us.

Rachel Theodorou

Johnstown Trip - Days 6/7 (Thursday and Friday)

     Our time in both of the programs (Basketball Camp and Adventure Camp) ended Thursday, but we're all in a state of both agreement and excitement about what's next for our kids. We were given just three days to know, love, and speak truth to them, and it was such a demonstration of God's ability to get things done despite limitations. At the morning basketball camp that my own team ran, we were happy to see a few new faces. Our basketball drills turned into a game of kickball. Watching them connect with the kids as they played, I was so impressed by the talent that some of the people in this group have for sports ministry. Over at the Roc Salvation basketball site, the team got the chance to present the Gospel by way of the "flipper flappers," and the kids understood and opened themselves to the message, some even sharing things they already knew about Jesus. The team was so thrilled to see how well some of them already knew their stuff! I'm glad to know that New Day will be running the program all summer, providing the opportunity for continuing growth.
     Rheeme Zayed, Claudia Masters, and I had become friends with a girl our age named Elizabeth at Adventure Camp, and Wednesday brought the opportunity to answer some complicated questions she had, resulting in a great discussion. After learning that she didn't have access to a Bible, I promised to get one to her, so, during the lunch time in between camps on Thursday, I went to a local Christian bookstore with Erica Schiller and Emily Fonseca to pick one out. We found the perfect one for Lizzy, and it meant so much to her. It brought Claudia, Rheeme, and I so much joy to see the work that was started in her, but on a larger scale, I'm amazed at what was started in all of the other kids during this one-on-one buddy time. Where they lacked love, God filled the need. If they felt like laughing, singing, running around, or talking, then they were free to do it. When they were confused, Kaitlin Barnello was armed with an ingenious comparison of the Trinity to Transformers.  By the end, the kids even began to connect with each other. The stories of how people were impacted on the Roc Salvation side were so similar to ours that it's boosted my hope for what comes next: different teams will come in and out, but whoever they are, there's no question that God will carry the process through to perfection. Before they went home for the day, we invited everybody to the "Thursday Night Lights" weekly basketball scrimmage at New Day. Man, were some of those little kids unbelievably skilled! Back at the church, we had a great worship time, discussed this week and the future, and prayed over our wonderful AIM leaders, who did the same for us. It wouldn't properly be one of our trips without dance parties or serenading on the last night, so we did plenty of both. 
     Cleaning and goodbyes this morning were so tough. We got Crucified Ministries back in order, and after lots of pictures and hugs, Beka, Rae, Larry, and Steve (the AIM leaders) waved and danced on the sidewalk as we drove away and left Johnstown for our cultural day in Pittsburgh. We went to an outdoor mall where we shopped and ate, rode up an inclined plane and saw the view from a balcony, checked in at our hotel, and went to the PNC Park for a Pirates game. Such a busy, fun day! It was great to bond with the entire PA team one last time, and a perfect send-off for our time here... even with the excessive heat, humidity, and sweat we got to enjoy. What a blessing and a surprise it's been to see how God has chosen to use each of us.


A Students Blog!

Hi Everyone!

A bijillion miles south of where you are at this moment the Peru team is having a blast! Our team (Andrea and Paul) spent Monday and Tuesday teaching at the Montessori school to kids around our age.  The students spoke very good English and we thought it was very easy for the non-Spanish speakers to interact and build relationships.  When our team found out we were going to the Robert Fuller school on Wednesday and Thursday we were a little disappointed.  The kids we taught spoke little to no English and our team spoke little to no Spanish.  However, when we arrived at Robert Fuller on Wednesday morning (bright and early) both of us were blown away by what happened:  God broke through the language barrier the second we walked into the classroom and words no longer seemed to matter.  We were able to show God's love through our actions.  When we left the classrooms we were overwhelmed by the impact we had on the kids.  It seemed like there was always a child in our arms.  It was amazing how quickly relationships were built, when we could only write one word "hola."  This is only one example of how God has erased the fear we had in our hearts.  Thank you everyone for your prayers and support.  It has made this trip possible.  Not only have they impacted the lives of the children and people of Piura, Peru; it has also impacted our lives.

Kisses on the cheeks heading your way!

Jenna & Linnea

P.S.  Please don't plan on any meals consisting of rice, potatoes, chicken, or purple soda for the first several days we're back.  Only good-ole American food would be great!  Gracias!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

El cuarto dia de nuestra mision

As you can imagine we are all very busy and as a result have let our updates fall behind.  I hope to have several students blogs up in the next day or so.  I will also mention that as a result of a bad internet connection we have been unable to upload a ton of pictures and also video, but several of the leaders have uploaded pictures on Facebook.  I will try and get some pictures for you tonight or even tomorrow.

This is a quick log to let you know that we are all doing well.  The students are doing great with their Spanish skills; even the ones that don't have much.  We finished our last day at the schools teaching our ESL classes.  Each group got to go to the AIDS clinic and minister to the families.  We were all brokenhearted, but blessed to have been able to make them smile for just a moment.  The team also made a bunch of cupcakes for our Saturday coffee house.  It has been a very long day.  Mr. Stack (or as one Peruvian Starbucks barista called him "Pool")  is teaching a class this evening.  He is closing out the class that him and I team taught called "Evangelism and Discipleship."

If I haven't said this yet, in the midst of this busy week, these students have blessed me so much.  My team has been amazing and I know from other leaders that their teams have been equally amazing.  I was blessed yesterday as Maggie and Megan sang "You are my Sunshine" to the families at the AIDS clinic.  They sang for over an hour.  I just pray that they would have had a moment break from all the turmoil and that they saw Jesus in our students.

With the exception of a little stomach problems, no one has gotten real sick (sick of chicken and rice perhaps).  We are all healthy.  In the chaos of the Peruvian traffic we have been safe, largely in part to the awesome taxi service that has been driving us around all week.  They even play American music, well that is music from the 80's.  I personally love the music myself.  

Things that you can pray for:
1.  For Joe, Jeremy, Brianna, and Jessie as they teach at a seminar this weekend.  Pray that God would give them the wisdom to teach students about purity.  
2.  For the whole team that we would be given more opportunities to share the gospel.  
3.  For the students at the Montessori School and the Robert Fuller school that would come to the seminars and be encouraged with the truth of God's Word.  
4.  For our on going health, as we are in a different culture.  

Thanks to all who are following this blog.  I am so thankful that you get to catch a glimpse of what God is doing in the lives of our students at Browncroft.  I have been keeping up with the Johnstown team and have been blessed as well.            

Johnstown Trip - Day 5 (Wednesday)

On Wednesday, our groups had the awesome privilege of participating in an activity called "ATL" or "Ask the Lord." The group of thirty kids was split up into two, "Roc Salvation" and "30 feet deep." (These groups are the same that we have been preparing with throughout the year) "ATL" was simply asking the Lord for guidance on the day. We gathered together in prayer for about fifteen minutes and just let the Lord speak to us. The groups had no final destination and no goal to accomplish, we just gave it up to God to direct us and tell us exactly what we should do that day. My group (Roc Salvation) felt that the Lord was telling us to go to a park and to worship and just hand out water bottles. The way in which we came to that conclusion was truly miraculous. God used each one of our team members in different ways to piece together what and where we should be going. In the end, every team member was truly confident that we had the holy spirit living and working through us. So we went to a park and just started off worshiping. The mood at first was awkward and nobody really knew what to do. But eventually, kids started coming outside... and then another and then more after that. My group probably ministered to about twenty kids that day. Our goal wasn't to 'save' people, but rather to show them the love of Christ. If you saw the way the kids reacted to us and just loved spending time with us, you would know that this truly was from God. Caroline became close with a two year old, Meghan played Collin's guitar and sang with children, myself and various other team members played basketball with some kids, and overall we just loved on them. Praise Jesus for the experience my team was blessed with. On "30 feet deep" something truly amazing happened as well. Members of that team felt that they were called to go on a prayer walk. While on the prayer walk, the group went to go talk to/pray for and older gentlemen. In light of Independence Day, the man was hanging up a enormous flag to celebrate our freedom. Well actually, he was attempting to hang the flag but while doing so he discovered the flag was ripped into two. (the blue and stars was totally disconnected from the stripes) Luckily, Jen Wehrle is so awesome and she has amazing sewing abilities. When the group noticed this tear, immediately Jenn volunteered to sew it back up for him. Using only dental floss and extreme amounts of hard work, the flag was restored back to one final piece. God truly is blessing our teams with opportunities and boldness for the Lord. At night, our leaders and AIM staff brought us to see fireworks in the heart of Johnstown. We grew even closer to each other while playing ultimate frisbee, sharing laughs, and most importantly recognizing and honoring our freedoms we share in the United States. It was a July fourth that I and all the other team members will never forget. Praise God!


I think you will like this!!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Johnstown Trip - Day 4 (Tuesday)

Yesterday was our first day of basketball camp and adventure camp. It was epic to say the least. In the morning we got up and ate breakfast and it was delicious. After breakfast both teams went to basketball camp. At basketball camp we met a bunch of new kids. I met Aamir and i played him in some sweet games of one on one. We did not get many kids, but we are looking forward to getting more kids tomorrow.  After basketball camp we came home and ate some lunch which was filled with nutrition. Next we went to start our Adventure Camp where we met a bunch of awesome kids like Derek and Jordan. We sang songs. played games, and taught the kids memory verses. At these camps we are teaching the kids many new things while growing closer to God and each other. At the end of the day we went to a skate park.  We saw a church service and we watched Adam and Leah dominate skateboarding. During the church service, Josh the Pastor at Crucified Ministries, talked about how many people spend their time worrying about the future and what will happen in 5 to 10 years, when we really should be focusing on the present moment and what God is doing NOW! When we got back to the church we had a worship session. After the worship session we had a talk from Steve (our AIM leader) and it was really good. By around 11 o clock we were all really tired and we went to sleep.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Johnstown Trip - Day 3 (Monday)

Hey everyone! today was our first full day here in Johnstown and it has already been absolutely amazing! Sunday night they cranked the air conditioning and all of us woke up freezing this morning. After we ate breakfast we did our "war cry" to get pumped up for the day and we headed out to New Day family center for a brief training and guidelines then one team (30 feet deep) stayed near the New Day Center to go inviting and the other team (Roc Salvation) went to the west end to go inviting. Both teams walked around their areas for about an hour and a half inviting everyone we saw to our basketball camps. After we went back to the church we're staying at, and had lunch and had some time to relax which we were ALL looking forward to. Then we split into our teams again and went to our Adventure camp locations to invite people to the camp. The adventure camp is like a VBS for kids in the surrounding communities. We invited for about another hour and a half and met so many more amazing people. Then we came back to the church and had a delicious dinner and then we headed off to A GOAT FARM!!! We met the most amazing woman named Dorthy who is an amazing woman of God and had some cool stories. All of us did different jobs, some of us painted boards or the garage, some built a fence, some even cleaned manure out of the barn, and many other jobs. It was an amazing experience to hear Dorthy's stories and she was so happy at the end of the night for all the work that we did. Of course we got to see goats which was pretty awesome. There was even a horse which made me feel right at home, which i loved. Then we all came back for our debrief session, a dance party! and some much needed sleep. I'm so happy to be here in Johnstown and I cant wait to see all the even more amazing things God is going to do through us in this community. Please be praying for our continued safety and that God would bring us lots of kids in the next coming days. Thanks for the prayers and support!

Stephanie DeHond

Monday, July 2, 2012

El primer dia de nuestra mision

Today was our first full day of ministry and it started well.  We spent the morning at the Montessori School teaching English classes.  It was a bit frustrating at first because the teachers didn't even seem to be prepared for our time there.  After a few minutes of figuring things out, though, the group was off and running.  The most notable thing about our time at the school this morning was how the Peruvian students viewed American culture, particularly teen culture.  They imagine that all American teens do is party and eat at McDonalds; apparently they learned everything they needed to from a movie called Project X.  Hopefully in the next several days we can break free from these stereotypes and show these students the love of Christ.   

In the afternoon we went to La Plaza de Armas were we spent two hours sharing the gospel and making balloon animals for children.  We were like rock stars by the end of our time in the plaza.  Everyone was coming out to see the crazy Americanos and their balloon animals (especially Jackson).  We hope that when we return tomorrow we will have more opportunity to share.    

Things to pray for in the coming days:  
1.  To break the American stereotypes with the students at the Montessori School. 
2.  For energy to push forward.  
3.  For the group to be able to step out of their comfort zone and muster up the courage to share the gospel message.  
4.  Specifically pray for Gabe Agostini who is very sick and has not been able to be with the group.  
5.  That we don't get beaten to bad when we play the Peruvians in futbol or at least that we don't take ourselves to seriously.  

Thanks all for the continued prayer and I hope to have some video up soon.  

Johnstown Trip - Ropes Course Pictures

Johnstown Trip - Our first Blog!

Hey everyone!
I apologize that it has taken so long to get this up and running.  Hopefully we will have a good connection from here on out.  

We arrived at Geneva College on Saturday at 3:30 and had just enough time to get our rooms, drop off our stuff and jump back into the car to go to the Ropes Course!  What an awesome night for our group.  We did a few different types of warmup games to get us warmed up (and sweaty).  Our first initiative was to get our group in birthday order on a series of 9 slightly unstable logs.  the only catch was that if anyone fell off of the log while we were doing this, we had to start all over.  
It was a fantastic time of seeing our students work together, listen to and encourage each other.  After a few falls, we were successful!  We did a few more similar initiatives and ended our night back at our rooms with pizza and a time of worship.  What a great way to begin our week!  I have heard a lot of positive feedback from our team who feel a lot closer to one another as we start our week of ministry!


DAY 2  
Today, Sunday, We woke up at Geneva College, and we had a wonderful breakfast of bagels and left over pizza. We packed and headed twords church. The church is called, North Way. It is like a giant version of Browncroft, blue roof and everything. After a great worship service and a sermon on Nehemiah 9, we headed to Johnstown. On our way we stopped at Chipoltle. After a filling lunch, we drove the last 2 hours to Johnstown. In Donna's car we recorded a lip dubed version of  "Jesus Music" and at the same time we went through a toll booth.
At last we pulled into the Crucified Ministries parking lot. The guys are staying in the corner of the basement where we eat and worship. The girls are staying up stairs in the sanctuary (some on pews). The facilities are nice. There are two showers for each gender. and plenty of bathroom space (for the seven guys anyway). The bulding we are in has a service for youth in the community every Sunday at 7. We heard a wonderful testimony of a couple that split up after 19 years of marriage and thanks to Jesus, they are both saved and have had a wonderful last 10 years. After the service, we went down stairs for some more worship and to do devos. The day finished peacefuly after the long car ride and quite a few games of ping-pong ( Robby ruled ).


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Johnstown Trip - We are here!!! update coming soon...when we can get our WiFi working!

Our Journey to Piura

So, at this point we are on our long journey up the coast to Piura.  Everyone is very excited and I know that because the majority of the students keep saying "guess where we're at."  I guess I can get annoyed, but there is no reason to because "guess where we're at!"  Driving down the road looking at the surroundings, I am thankful that God has given these students the opportunity to be apart of such a great missions experience.  Culturally Peru is worlds apart from the United States.  Life is quite a bit different and I hope to convey some of that over the week as I keep everyone updated.  Continue to pray for all of us on this journey.  This is only day two and we haven't even arrived at our destination.  I will continue to post pictures and I will try to put some videos up, as well.