Remember with us…

Here are some specific prayer requests we would ask you to remember with us…

  • Friends at the halfway house
  • Thankfulness for James Lewis and his testimony of gratitude.
  • The high school guys who received Christ this week: Trevor, Marcello, Jordan, & Mason
  • Our friends from the halfway house who rededicated their lives to Christ, or gave their life to Jesus for the first time: Zeke and Lucky (Jennifer)
  • Joshua who is seeking peace and restoration
  • Red….for safety and for healing.
  • Larry that somehow he will beat his addictions and find some measure of peace.
  • Hailey and Cameron… that they would feel God’s reality in their lives.
  • Donny… That God would protect and provide for his band.
  • The people we encountered that were challenged and touched by what we had to share with them, but still remain living in their old ways.
  • All the Christians we were able to meet and spur on together in truth
  • Rest for our team as we adjust from this trip back into our busy school and work schedules
  • Wisdom as we share our experiences from this trip with others in order to encourage, edify, and challenge.
  • Safety as we drive the 1000+ miles home!

Easter

It’s Easter….and as we watch the sunrise, we are reminded that this is the day and the reason that brought us to Daytona. The opportunity and privilege of telling the people of Daytona that the world, while dark, is not hopeless. That the Son has risen. And with Him, hope and redemption has come.

Sunrise Service

Sunrise Service

As we pack up our three white vans and begin the long journey home, we leave behind some good friends along with some new brothers and sisters. We take with us a reminder that in the darkness, Christ love shines brightest. Pray with us that those who have come to know the savior will find fellowship and opportunities for discipleship. For those who are considering the message, they will not be able to rest until they make the decision to call out to the Lord. Remember our beautiful friends at Ocean View…and the homeless we’ve come to know and love. For protection, peace and the knowledge that they are loved and not forgotten by God. We will try to do one more post with more specific prayer requests that you (and we) can remember.

A little R&R

Sorry, I’ve been a little behind on the blogging. We’ve had some technical difficulties.

Thursday, we went to the beach with the children of a family that Back2Back works with. Even though these children live only about ten minutes from the beach, they rarely go. For some of them it had been months and for others it had been about an entire year since they had last been. It is not uncommon for children in the area to have never even seen the ocean. We were each assigned a child to take care of for the day at the beach. We splashed around in the waves, built sandcastles, caught fish, and buried each other in the sand.

It was a really neat experience to be able to go to the beach in Cancun during spring break to serve kids, instead of simply for a vacation. Some of our team members and their little buddies for the day really hit it off and we all dreaded returning them home.

After shopping at the market, we came back to the house and ate a delicious authentic Mexican meal. Following the meal, we had team time including worship, sharing about our fun experiences with the children, and discussing our plan for action after the trip.

We have absolutely loved the experiences we have had here and how we have grown together as a team. God has worked in so many amazing ways on this trip so far, breaking our hearts and teaching us to believe in His incredible power.

Friday, we returned to Rosie’s house to finish the wall we had begun earlier in the week. We played with some of the kids – painting, playing soccer, and just having a great time. We then bought some jewelry from Rosie that she had made. It was really neat to see that because of the jewelry we bought, she was able to pay for something she had needed money for. She has an incredible faith that God will provide.

After our time at Rosie’s, we packed up our stuff in the van and drove to the hotel as our time at Back2back came to a close. We are so thankful for the family that the staff at Back2Back became to us. They were truly a part of our team.

Today, we had a nice day off at the beach, which we spent with a few of the teenagers who volunteer with Back2back. They were incredibly hospitable, showing us our way around Cancun. As we were dropped off in the touristy area of Cancun, we experienced a bit of culture shock; it felt like a different world. It was heartbreaking to realize that the glitzy area of Cancun is just minutes away from the poverty stricken areas we had been ministering in. After a fun day at the beach, we went to a local mall to get a great deal on some Mexican food, including quesadillas and churros. When we returned to the hotel, we had a great debrief, reflection, and encouragement time. It was so nice to have a day to just get reenergized, reflect on what has happened on this trip, and prepare our hearts to return to Taylor.

Surfs Up!

Today our team went to the beach. We were all able to relax and enjoy God’s creation.  The bus ride there took us through winding roads.  Far off in the distance we could see a group of mountains and an enormous volcano.  It seemed to follow us as we zoomed through the hills.  Cows, stray dogs, and other cars flew by in the blur of countryside that swept across the window.

We spent the afternoon riding waves and collecting sea shells. On the beach there were gazebos with hammocks. In short it was paradise. Words can’t describe how restful this was for the team.  Lunch found us in the shade eating lasagna shrimp, grilled fish and chicken, seasoned rice and all kinds of tropical drinks.  Later as the tide rolled in we attempted to play soccer on the sand.  We had more trouble keeping it from the waves than from the other team.

Our team had a great time of bonding today and we have a nickname for almost everyone.

Djamina – Young Djamizee

Celeste – Bobby

Julia – Jafavey

Bre – BB

David Lew – David the Hulk Lew

Casey – Pillowcase

Glen – Glenomie

Elizabeth – Drama mama

Kelsey – Galadriel

Jazmin – Sasquatch/Argentina

David Neel – Bandido

Julie – Jamocha

Anila – unknown/TBA

Abi – Abidrenaline

Crystal – the unbreakable crystal

Right now we’re practicing another skit for tomorrow’s service by Life House called the everything skit. We are all so excited for Easter tomorrow. Thank you for the prayers and support.  We’re so blessed by your donations! _MG_0078 _MG_0082 _MG_0100 _MG_0109

Anila and Djamina

Anila and Djamina

Grilled fish for lunch

Grilled fish for lunch

Glenomie

Glenomie

Smiles

Smiles

Casey

Casey

Sleeping David Neel

Sleeping David Neel

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Thinking about eating the fish head

Thinking about eating the fish head

Bre!

Bre!

Crystal and Jazmin

Crystal and Jazmin

Julia and Celeste sipping soda

Julia and Celeste sipping soda

Good Friday

It’s Friday evening and we are finished with VBS and construction. As I said before our two construction sites consist of building a house and fixing up another. Today we put up two walls in the house we are fixing up. It was a hot day of mixing cement, heaving buckets of concrete, and stacking bricks, but we all cherished each moment of today knowing it was our last day of work.

Due to the wide age range of kids at VBS the bible lesson team had to come up with some new skits.  Surprisingly we managed not only to throw together three new bible stories, but we aslo found scripture memory verses to go with them. The crafts team did a great job of creating crafts that relate to the bible lesson.  After crafts the kids always come running into the church sanctuary wanting to show us and explain what they did. We ended up with about 40 to 50 kids, which was great.

Good Friday is a big day in El Salvador. After construction work today, a few of us were able to walk along the streets and look at the tapestries.  People decorate the streets with flowers and sand, paints, leaves and anything colorful.  Their creation tells the story of Christ’s work on this earth, and his death.  A large crowd of people mobbed the streets silently walking.  At the front they carried statues of Jesus, Mary, and other figures. It was a mournful but beautiful sight.

Fireworks burst in the distance like loud cannons in the night.  The people are celebrating. Our team sits out in the courtyard porch journaling.  We have really come together like a family.  For dinner today the Hawks took us up to a beautiful garden on a hill.  The picnic area gave a gorgeous view of the surrounding mountains. Here we ate and talked and had a good time of fellowship.  God has been so good to us throughout our week here. We are all excited for the next two days to celebrate Easter here.  Thank you for praying. IMG_2450

fun pictures after working  hard!

fun pictures after working hard

Here is the team that helped build the house

Here is the team that helped build the house

Bre's birthday crystal rock from the family

Bre’s birthday crystal rock from the family

Baby Stephen

Baby Stephen

Hungry Bre

Hungry Bre

Julia and Timmy carrying bread

Julia and Timmy carrying bread

Celeste Bre and Jazmin at the garden dinner .

Celeste Bre and Jazmin at the garden dinner .

Crystal and Kika

Crystal and Kika

Jazmin and little Johnny

Jazmin and little Johnny

Djamina and Casey sifting sand.

Djamina and Casey sifting sand.

Street tapestry for Good Friday

Street tapestry for Good Friday

David Lew and his boys

David Lew and his boys

David Neel and little Johnny

David Neel and little Johnny

Julia playing hand games

Julia playing hand games

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David Neel and Crystal doing cement.

David Neel and Crystal doing cement.

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Here is the team who helped fix up a house

Here is the team who helped fix up a house

worship with VBS

worship with VBS

Breakfast!

Breakfast!

Elizabeth and Gabby

Elizabeth and Gabby

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Playing soccer

Playing soccer

Singing with the kids

Singing with the kids

Casey and the baby

Casey and the baby

Jazmin and Wendy

Jazmin and Wendy

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Dinner in the garden

Dinner in the garden

SBINDY

SBINDY

We left Shepherd with a rainbow of colors. We so enjoyed our time here and feel like we really were able to take some stress off of the staff. We piled into the vans and waved goodbye. Shepherd is an amazingministry! Against all odds, they have stayed in a neighborhood that was taking bets on how soon they would leave. They’ve built relationships and are trusted in the community. We were honored to serve the staff and do anything that would free their time to deepen the ministry that they already have in place.

It really has been a Good Friday! To God be the glory.

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A Good Friday

The last 48 hours have been wonderful days to end the week. On Thursday we had another colder day at the beach but God was clearly active. We saw another young man enter the kingdom and had remarkable conversations with a wide variety of God’s children. Homeless, schizophrenic, single moms, college and high school students, retirees…we have engaged God’s most precious creation in so many diverse forms. And in each we encountered the inherent image of God. The day included on of our favorite things to do…worship with the beautiful residents if Ocean View.

Thursday night most of the team went downtown to share Christ with people (this is a normal part of the week for the team). Throughout the week, team members have had remarkable opportunities to share Christ and to encounter the beauty and the brokenness in the people of Daytona.

Worship

Morning Team Worship

Today (Friday) we woke up to a picture perfect Florida day (70 sunny with a slight wind). The beach was full (for the first time). Some started at the park as we visited with our homeless friends. It was both a great and hard time. It was great to pray with and love on these beloved… But hard to hear the struggles they are daily dealing with. (Violence,rejection, addictions). We will continue to pray for safety and healing for them.

On the beach we continued to have conversations with new visitors to the area, as well as continued conversations with those we have come to know (saw our friend Lucky give her life to The Lord)

Beach Prayer

Toward the end of the afternoon we began to say goodbye to those we see each year…which is always difficult to do. We are especially heartbroken to say goodbye to the residents of Ocean View and our homeless friends who the world so often treats as an inconvenience or embarrassment…we trust that somehow God will send others to remind then if their value and their beauty…and that He will bring us back together in the next year.Prayer with Homless

The evening ended with another great night downtown as most of the team spent time talking to individuals, sharing the gospel and the message of God’s power for their lives. Two young men from California gave their lives to Christ and a number of others were confronted with the reality of God and are considering the impact that that reality has on their lives going forward. One more day left before we leave on Sunday. Pray with us that God will continue to use us as we prepare to head back north!