Rockport 2019 – Tuesday

Our final day of work was a nice conclusion to our week. We all slowly crawled out of bed feeling the soreness from yesterday. Thankfully we woke to another nicely made breakfast. The leaders met and tried to figure out the most effective way to finish prior jobs as well as a handful of new ones. We loaded up on the bus and prepared for our last work day.

Group D left to go finish chopping down a tree from a work site yesterday. Meanwhile, Groups A, B, & C met at a job site that Group A had worked on yesterday to load up some late bits of debris. We were only there for about 20 minutes before we moved on to the first job site from Sunday. There we loaded up the large pieces of metal that were left behind. After another 20 minutes we were ready to go to the job that Group C left unfinished yesterday. The three groups spent until about noon cleaning up last bits of brush and branches as well as chopping down another tree. Group A had separated to go begin work at a new job site, however.

After the split Group A spent the remainder of their day at a new job site loading up a mountain of tires on an eighteen-wheeler. They redefined what it means to get your hands dirty as they were all covered in sludge and grime from the old dirty tires. Group D was also able to go to a new job site after finishing up the tree and handing their chainsaw off to Group B & C. At Group D’s third site they would also be working with tires but were fortunate enough to keep their clothes clean.

After lunch, Groups B & C were finished with all three of the old sites and so moved on to a new one. There we were tasked with removing a tree in between two houses. Unfortunately we were unable to remove the whole tree. We could only cut on limb off because the removal of the others could possibly result in damage to one of the houses. So after doing what we could at that site we were off to our final project of the day. The homeowner tasked us with removing a tree, trimming some weeds, clearing a small pile of trash, and moving some old outside furniture. Since we had two groups at that site we were able to finish it all rather quickly.

After having completed three old cases and five new cases, all four groups returned to the church to wash up and prepare for going out. This evening, after a long week at work we took the bus down to the beach for the students to enjoy some fun and relaxation. The Domino’s pizza made it all the better. Afterwards we returned to the church for worship and share time.

Our group share time ended great. Loads of encouragements were shared between others. We found out there that one of our teams was on the local news. It was pleasing to know that each students that was interviewed gave the glory to God and that their reason for being there was for Jesus. Praise the Lord for such amazing kids. Please pray for quick healing for the minor injuries. Also pray for each home that we were able to serve. Finally, pray for our bus driver, that she is able to get enough sleep to take us back to Garland tomorrow

Here is the link to the news video: News Video

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Rockport 2019 – Monday

Thank you all for your continued prayers. Today was a long day for everyone. After struggling to get out of the comfy cots we slept in we had another delicious breakfast served by the church. We all loaded up on the bus around 8am ready to head our job sites. We would spend most of the day separated into our four groups.

For many of our groups, God was teaching us patience as we had to wait for trailers to become available so we could haul off all the debris we we piled up. When we weren’t waiting we were all active and eager to get some work done. Groups A and D had the opportunity to cleanup another lady’s property and take down an entire shed. After that they split up to two different homes where they were able to tackle more tasks. Group B was able to return to the second property we visited yesterday in order to load up the last bits of debris that we piled up. By the time Group B left, her property was spotless of any and all trash (minus the boat wedged in the ground). Group C was sent to a property with a large pile of garbage that had been dumped by the curb that seemed to be untouched since the initial cleaning following the hurricane. After uncovering the mattresses at the top of the pile they found it to all be placed on a massive ant pile. Afterwards they went to a second property where they were tasked with cleaning up a town of dead brush and plants around the edges of her property. They were even able to serve her neighbor while they were there.

Please continue to pray for our students, that they can continue to serve by giving their all. They are not only putting their back into it, they are putting their heart into it as well. It continues to be refreshing to see them encourage and root for one another as tackle each task handed to them. Also continue to pray for safety. Praise the Lord that nobody has been injured beyond a simple scratch or bruise. Praise the Lord that we haven’t encountered a snake and that spiders bit anyone. Finally, pray that the Lord will continue to protect and guide our team so that we may continue to serve and bless others.

After the service projects we returned to the church to enjoy dinner, worship with the Hardcastles, and hear the amazing testimony of Jamie Blankenship. We spent some time sharing with each other more encouragements and highlights of the day. We were all exhausted at the end of it all but we still seemed to have enough energy to relax and play a few card and board games before getting ready for bed.

“Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” -Colossians 3:17

Rockport 2019 – Sunday

The first struggle of the day: getting out of bed. But praise the Lord that we were given the strength to get up. The breakfast served by the church was a nice incentive. After eating breakfast, preparing our lunches, and getting ready for the day we were ready for worship. We had the privilege of going to the traditional service at the church and listening to some classic hymns.

After the deacon-led service was over we grabbed our backpacks and lunches and loaded up on the bus for our first service project. Our entire team spent a couple hours there as we separated steel, wood, and garbage to take to the dump. Two full large trailers later we were finished and enjoying the lunches we packed.

We made it to our second job site with our entire team still together. In the same neighborhood of our project we could see a house that some of our team had worked at last year when we came and served. We took a moment to look at it and noticed that the work we had done was still in good condition. It was reassuring to see our prior work be maintained and used. At our second job site we did some of the same tasks of separating steel, wood, and garbage but had a couple additional things to do. There was a decent sized shed available for us to empty and tear down – the interesting part is that it was upside down. The winds had been so bad from Harvey that the shed had been flipped. Not only that but a boat was lodged in the ground in her yard. After we had cleared everything on her property (except the boat) we had team members go through and work on removing weeds, filling in holes, leveling mounds, and mowing the lawn. We had spent the rest of the afternoon at her property and there was a clear night and day difference.

The homeowner at our second job site told us a bit of her story. She was in Austin when she heard Hurricane Harvey was getting larger and heading for the Texas Coast and so she drove home to load up her SUV with valuables and her pet dog and duck. Although she wasn’t in the area when the hurricane hit she had a daughter and granddaughter who she was unable to get a hold of. A few days after the hurricane had passed she went home and found her family to be ok but her home wasn’t. Although she was unable to stay in her own home she still spent every moment after the hurricane driving around and delivering supplies to all those that were rebuilding. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that she finally had a working full bathroom in her house again. In fact the county was a few weeks away from claiming her property because of the poor condition it was in. Without a group as large as ours to come by and help she would be left without a home. It is a major blessing and honor to be able to serve someone in need like that.

Please continue to pray for her, however, as her son is currently in the icu with a rare blood condition. Also pray for her neighbor who came out and donated some supplies and his hands to help with her property. Because of our numbers we were also able to serve him and remove a massive stone table that he never had the manpower for. He and his wife have only been here in Rockport since November and it has been a long rough road for them. Pray for continued outreach to the neighbors as they were not followers of Jesus but it was such an encouragement for them to see such a large group of high schoolers devote their time to drive down and serve their community.

After we had finished there we went back to the church to eat dinner and refresh before leaving for a small trip to Walmart. After returning with some snacks we spent some time worshiping and recounting the day. Many of our students gave encouragement to others for their hard work and dedication to serving others. It was encouraging for the staff and sponsors to see a group of students lifting each other up throughout the day. Please pray for our students that they may continue to finish the week with the same desire to serve and lift each other up. Also continue to pray for the continued safety of our students throughout the rest of our time here. Now we off to bed to recharge after an exhausting but happy day. Thank you for you all for your prayers.

“Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” -Colossians 3:17

Rockport 2019 – High School Spring Break Mission Trip

Thank you all for your prayers regarding our safe travels! The morning started out a little rough with downpour and hail but it was nice and sunny by the time we set out on the road. There was a bit of traffic along the road to slow us down but after a couple hours we made it to Waco for our lunch stop. There we faced our most difficult decision on our mission thus far: where do we eat? Although we stopped at an area with several options, the super majority of our group decided to go with a Texas favorite: Whataburger.

Once on the road again we began to watch a great movie that some of our students had not yet seen. We watched The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Although some slept, it was very enjoyable for others. Not too long after finishing the movie we had made it to our second stop, Bucee’s. Believe it or not, but it was the first time a couple of our students had ever been to a Bucee’s! We didn’t spend too long there before loading back on the bus for the final stretch.

Around 5:30 we had finally made it to First Baptist Church of Rockport, Texas. Once at the church we unloaded and settled in our sleeping areas. The guys have the privilege of sleeping in the choir room. In the same room last year was a large gaping hole in the wall left from the natural disasters that struck Rockport since Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

After claiming the cots we would sleeping on for the next few nights we gathered together for a bit of worship and share time. We focused on Mark 4:26-41 to get our minds set and ready to serve over the next few days. Please join with us in praying for the families here in Rockport, that they would be open and accepting of our help and that we can use these opportunities to share the Gospel with them. Pray that hope can found by those who were devastated by the hurricane, tornadoes, and floods. And also pray for our students that they may finish this mission trip with the desire to continue serving others, whether in Garland, Rockport, or outside the state. Lastly, pray for our team of 42 that they all make it through the week without any injuries.

Tomorrow we will hit the ground running after church as we go to our first projects. We are tired after the long drive and although we are losing an hour of sleep to daylights savings, we are excited for what God has prepared in advance for us to do tomorrow.

“Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” -Colossians 3:17

Jordan Mission Trip Day 5

We had a great day today with great weather and good company. Today we were able to make our trip to Mt. Nebo – where Moses stood and looked into the Promise Land. IMG_0552 copyIMG_6316 copy

After Mt. Nebo, we went down to the Dead Sea and rode some camels. Even Pastor Hanna joined in on the fun! We walked down to the water and put our hands in and were able to see a little bit of Israel.

Today has been wonderful & witnessing all that God has created has been breathtaking. We are all so grateful for the opportunity to come here and serve. We are leaving with new friends, new memories, and new things to pray for. Thank you Jesus for this week in Jordan.

It is 10:00 p.m. here and we are leaving our hotel at 4 a.m. to head back to Dallas so please pray for safe travels. Pray for Pastor Jack as he plans to preach on Sunday and continuous prayer for Pastor Hanna as he takes in extra reading glasses to Gaza on Thursday – that he would be able to get in and out safely and quickly with the glasses.

Jordan Team 2019

Jordan Mission Trip Day 4

We finished our last day of glasses seeing almost 200 people! We are so thankful to the people here in Jordan who let us serve them. For their patience and grace as we tried to get through as many testings & fittings as possible. It really is neat to see people’s faces light up when they are given a new pair of glasses or even an eyeglass case. Not a single beanie baby or eyeglass case was left behind! High fives all around…

Our team split up into 2 groups today and were at 2 different locations. Here is a view from Team B’s location.

We are so grateful for the opportunity to come to Jordan and be blessed by the people here. A huge thank you to Pastor Hanna and every translator that so willingly helped us. Pray for Pastor Hanna’s church, for Global Hope, and for all of the translators and their families as they try and move to new countries to begin new lives. These are people who are sharing the love of Christ so pray they can do this boldly wherever they go.

Tomorrow we head to the Dead Sea and to Mt. Nebo! Can’t wait to share our experiences with you. Maybe there will be more camel riding this year 😉

Jordan Team 2019

Jordan Mission Trip Day 3

Today was our humanitarian relief day where we went into the homes of many of the families that are involved with Global Hope. We were able to split up into two teams to visit each family and deliver money, a food certificate, and a few small hygiene kits and supplies. As we went into each of the homes to hear each family’s journey to Jordan, our hearts broke hearing the things they have endured.

These people who had homes, communities, and families now in a country without hardly anything all because they are Christians. Most of these people were treated and almost killed because of their faith. They have been pressured to convert and promised that becoming Muslim would secure their home and money. But we know as Christians that there is much more to life than this.

Below are some pictures of some of the families that we ask you to pray for. (We will try and get a list of all of the names out as soon as we can.)

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Pray that these families would be able to immigrate. Most of their families are in Australia, Canada, or the United States but are not being approved to move there. Some have applied 4 times already and have family who is willing to sponsor them but still have not been granted access into these countries. These families are doing everything they can to make it but when you have lost everything you once had, you can imagine how hard it can be to start completely over.

Our team was able to share scripture and lift each family up in prayer and encouragement this afternoon. While it may be hard to comprehend what these families have gone through, there is one way we can support them indefinitely and that is through prayer. Pray for the safety of their family, their home, their finances, their journey, and that through it all they would remain faithful to the Lord.

Also, pray for the unbelievers in this country. That they would recognize their emptiness and loneliness in their “faith”. That they would have people in their lives who point them to the truth.

It’s been a great day but tomorrow we head out for our last full day of eye-glasses. Pray for our teams and each person we encounter.

Jordan Team 2019

Jordan Mission Trip Day 2

Today has been a great day! We completed our second day of glasses with our full team: Jack Schmid, Raleigh Sanford, Ted Buell, David Shaw, Hieu Doan, Lauren Noble, Cindy LaPrade, Denise Terry, Terri Carter, and Robin Sanford. We were able to move quickly and efficiently. Continue to pray for our teams’ stamina and energy as we see another full day of glasses on Thursday.

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Please also be in prayer for the people who come in to be fit for glasses. That they would have patience and understanding while we try and serve as best we can. Thankfully, our team is here to help one another out and everyone has shown that in their own way. Even Pastor Jack as he passed out our water to make sure we were hydrated all day long! 😉

We are SO thankful for our translators who have all been so flexible and willing to help us however they can. We could not do this without them. Pray for them and their families as many of them have hopes and dreams of moving elsewhere to be with family, starting new careers, or going to school or whatever it may be.

Tonight’s car ride to church was the most interesting one yet. It rained a lot this evening making traffic a lot worse than it already is – so you can imagine how the rest of the ride went – especially with Raleigh and Hieu as our drivers. HA! We are thankful we arrived safely and we were blessed again by Pastor Jack’s message.

We just finished dinner – which was another story in itself but let’s just say it was either just really funny or we are just really tired. Either way, we are now getting ready for bed because tomorrow is our humanitarian relief day. We will have lots of prayer requests tomorrow for the refugee families we visit but until then continue praying for Jordan as a country.

Jordan Team 2019

 

Jordan Mission Trip Day 1

“No cop, no stop!” Our new motto for the week coined by Hieu. Going as far as we can while we can without any restrictions! (*For glasses AND driving that is!)

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Today was our first day of glasses and we saw about 80 people – a large group but nothing too overwhelming and we were thankful so we got a little extra time to rest today. We ate a delicious lunch and then packed up and prepared for this evening’s worship service where Pastor Jack preached a powerful message.

We just finished up dinner and reorganizing & repacking everything for the next two days so it’s another late night & short blog but hopefully tomorrow will be full of stories to share with you!

Jordan Team 2019

 

 

Jordan Mission Trip March 2019 Arrival

IMG_0344We arrived safely to Jordan! Thank you for your continuous prayers for safe travel and going through customs. As we began to approach the last security section (where we’ve had troubles in previous years), they waved us through in a matter of seconds and we were on our way. Not a single suit case was opened – meaning all of our glasses and supplies for humanitarian relief made it safely & without question.

We are planning for a big crowd tomorrow and we are all exhausted from travel so more  prayers are appreciated.

Jordan Team 2019