Thursday, July 10, 2008

Blog Slacking Again!

Hopefully you have been tracking what we're up to on the Summer Academy blog instead of this one so you're not totally in the dark. We've had some amazing times here this summer and its hard to believe there's only a few weeks left. It's gone so fast...probably because we're so busy we can't even think straight. That being said, we'd like to make a public apology for all our loved ones we've been ignoring since May. We know we haven't been good keeping in touch with family and friends. Honestly, I don't see how we could've done it any differently, but I'm sure you don't know that. It's been pretty difficult here to even grab a few minutes alone for quiet time, forget about talking t people outside the ministry here! Please know that we do miss you and would love to be talking to you all if we could...a few weeks from now we look forward to catching up witha ll of you and filling you in on all you've been praying for...just know your prayers are felt and its been amazing!

Readers Digest version of our summer so far...

Brazil was great. The first half boys and girls were separated and did ministry in different cities. It was a great chance for me to get in deep with the girls and have some quality time before the boys came in and distracted them all (which was inevitable). Aaron had the same with the guys. In fact, we all loved that time apart so much we didn't want to reunite in Rio! While we were excited to see each other, we loved the places we had been at and didn't want to leave. With that, some people got in a funk in Rio and had a hard time adjusting. It was still a great time but it felt a little different. By the end of the trip, it was good to have spent time in multiple cities and do really different ministry in all three areas. The people there are wonderful and we were well taken care of!

We got back and had a few days rest and preparation for camp season. We had one week of inner city camp an then team week with no camp. Inner city camp was interesting because its the most unorganized thing we do. The neighborhoods and churches involved just operate under different life principles than we're used to in middle class suburbia. It was a great week overall and I think it was good for everyone to get a taste of what some people live like. One campsite was across the street from homeless shelter and had some drug paraphenalia present along with the homeless people sleeping onthe benches next to our field. Quite the picture of a different life than we know.

Team week was a great recharging time after that. We camped out on the dunes of lake Michigan for two days and had a great time of games, worship, campfires, devo's, beachtime, mission clarification, etc. Most of us didn't want to go home! Later on in the week we celebrated the 4th. People really do it up here. We held our own "amazing race" down in Chicago on the 3rd (which is when they do all their festivities). The race was a blast! It was basically like the tv show in that we were split in 5 teams and were given a scavenger hunt list of things to do and video's/pictures to take in front of various places downtown. So all 30-something of us were running all over chicago for about 3 hours taking random pictures and making rediclous videos, using people on the street to complete out lists. We followed the race with devo's by the lake and then the city firework show.

This week we're back to camp. Half of us are down town again and the other half are in a wealthy suburb up north. Both camps are going well and the staff is loving it! It's been so much fun to be living downtown. We're staying in the Moody college dorms which is right downtown. So after camp we walk down stairs and walk around the city to see the lake or get dinner. Good times!

Last night we all met up in the middle at the lake again and had small groups and worship. This small group was different in that Aaron and I were put on the relationship "hot seat". Our relationship has been on display for all to see this summer and it has been a major source of questions and discussion for all the students (both to us and behind our backs!). So we decided to put it all out there and let them ask whatever they want all together. It was actually a really great time to share all together and encourage them to seek God's best in relationships. They are all so concerned with this topic at this point in their lives and has probably been our greatest ministry to them.

Next week we go straight up to Wisconsin for two more camps and the following week we're back in Wheaton for the last week of camp. Then it's making the trek back to reality! Some notable moments to mention...Brett came by to visit for a few days and it was great to see him! The Sanfords have also been here and were a wonderful encouragement to us. Even though we're so tired, and haven't been alone in months, I can still say this is exactly where God has us this summer. Its been so much fun to serve side by side.

Looking forward to catching up with you all soon! Sorry I don't have pictures up here...I need to perform a mass picture steal from everyone and show you another time.

1 comment:

sarah said...

been following along. looks like things went well on your mission trip to brazil. thats where Josh went last year. he enjoyed looking at the pics too. looks like you are really being used by the Lord there. God bless you guys!

welcome to the whirlwind we call our lives!