Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Week One - Dayton, OH

Week One of LeaderTreks is done. Finished. Completed. Etc.

And it was incredibly awesome! Our partners in Dayton are really fantastic. The church we stayed at in Kettering is called Emmanuel Lutheran and the youth pastor there is like in love with LeaderTreks and practically begged them to set up a site in Dayton so that we could stay at their church. They even built a shower for the teams to use in their basement. It's a lot nicer than I just made it sound. We spent our days building a basketball court and doing VBS at a church called Christ the King on the north side of Dayton. The church has been planning on building a basketball court for a long time but just never had the resources to do so, and so LeaderTreks is partnering with them this summer to build it. The purpose of this basketball court is so that the school that is operated at Christ the King has a court to use but also for the community to use as well. This church is backed up by a neighborhood of African refugees. There are a ton of refugees from the Congo, Eritrea, Berundi, and other countries that were placed in Dayton. We had the awesome opportunity to do VBS with these children and they were so so so full of energy and life and it was a blessing to work with them.

The group of students that came this week were from a small town in Central Illinois. They jumped right in to the work project and were really enthusiastic about serving the kids through VBS. It was really fun getting to know them and finding ways to challenge them whether on the worksite, at VBS, in the kitchen or through the Bible Study. My intern partner, Alex, and I were constantly asking questions such as "What did you learn in your Bible study today?" What are some goals that we can set before we leave the worksite today?" "Do you think there's a better way to do that?" "How do you want this experience and what you've learned this week to affect you once you go home?" and so on and so forth. It is a real challenge to constantly be asking questions and making sure that you're pushing students above and beyond where they are. We want students to take ownership of these projects and learn that they have influence in everything that they do.

This week we studied various passages about the prophet Elisha. My favorite story to discuss with the students on the trip was the story of the woman and the jars of oil in 2 Kings 4. The story really makes us think of what faith is and how the woman in the story demonstrated that she had faith God would provide. It made me think of the ways that God has provided in the past and how I need to not be afraid to ask big things of God and expect him to answer. It was fun to discuss with the students how faith is something that we have and believe but it also requires us to be obedient and to take action.

So now we leave for Honduras tomorrow! Pray for safe travels and that our teams would also arrive safely. Pray for a clear understanding of God's word so that I can discuss it well with the students and also that their hearts and minds would be open to see how God is working in themselves and in the other students.

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