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We’re Home

We are home! Thank you so much to everyone who supported us, prayed for us, and encouraged us throughout our planning and time spent in Volcan. It was truly an amazing experience, and we all feel blessed to be the “guinea pigs” of CCA mission trips. We can’t wait to tell you guys more stories in person!

Today’s God story: We were all on stage this morning at church because the pastor, Roger, wanted us to share a little bit about our work in Volcan with the church. He then shared how a group had come to Volcan when he was only 16 years old. A young man on that group encouraged him and helped him to grow during his time with him. Now, years later, the pastor was able to meet that young man’s daughter, Daniela. We all thought this story was SO COOL. Several years ago God started planting a seed in Roger’s heart to do ministry and Daniela’s dad was a part of encouraging that. This week, we witnessed what became of that tiny seed planted. SUPER COOL.

Once again, we want to thank you for following us through this journey. Until the next mission trip, adios! 🙂 

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Day 3

Fulfilling
Eye-opening
Insightful
Encouraging

Faithful
Packed
Good
Impacting
Beautiful
Bonding

These are words our team used to describe our mission trip. Our time here is quickly coming to an end, and we are pretty bummed… BUT we miss our mommas. 😉

Today was our “free day.” We slept in (sorta) and had some banana pancakes. Throughout our free time today, the guys were building some neon green soccer goals for the church we worked with here.
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Building soccer goals 

We spent some time privately with God this morning and then a little group worship session. After all this, we headed over to Cerro Punta and got STRAWBERRIES. We hung out at a river and went horseback riding, then headed home to clean up and get ready for youth group. We took some pretty cute group pictures, just saying. 

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Our lovely ladies

Youth group was a small group of kids ranging from 9-17ish. We played a game, did some worship, and shared about the armor of God (Ephesians 6). Smores were a lovely way to end the night. 
I just want to brag on my team a little bit here if I may. They ROCKED tonight. It was awesome…. for reals.

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Worship at Youth Group

Tomorrow morning, we are sharing a little bit at the church service here and then hopping in the van for the long bus ride home. Please be praying for our safety and the ministries that we have worked with here to continue what they’re doing. It’s been AWESOME and we are already excited to come back next year. Who’s ready to come with us??? 🙂 

 

Day 2

It’s 12 at night, and we are exhausted. I have LOTS to tell you. I’m not sure where to begin, and all this might be major word vomit, but I’m gonna just try to put into words what we did today.

We spent a practical day at the church this morning. At the beginning of the planning for this trip, some of our group expressed that they wanted to do something tangible while we were here. For about two hours, we were digging up some pretty big rocks out from under the field on the property to try and make the ground softer for the kids who play soccer. We cranked some music up and got busy digging up these big rocks and raking little ones of the way. Everyone kind of pitched in where they could and we got the job done. Ryan broke two sledgehammers. There are battle wounds from fighting these rocks, dudes. You can see a picture of Ryan and Coach’s hands on the last post.

After going back to where we were staying for a quick lunch and change of socks, we headed to the orphanage/juvenile detention center. It was almost nothing like we were anticipating. I’m not sure how we got the term detention center, but it was much more like a boys home. Pepper said he was so relieved because he was expecting thugs X_x Many of the youth are there just because their parents can’t take care of them for reasons such as mental disabilities or just not being able to provide. Since it was an all guys group, the dudes of our team took charge and led. Jonathan and Trinity led the group in some songs. Jonathan taught the guys some clapping rhythms and we rocked it out. Then, we did a skit and the guys split up into small groups. Those of us who weren’t leading a small group were sitting together praying for our guys and that God would speak through them into these boys’ lives. Daniela was also over to the side praying with a young guy, which we got the sweetest picture ever of.

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After the orphanage/boy’s home/detention center thing, we went to a trash dump. When we were told that we were going to a trash dump, I don’t think many of us knew exactly what that meant. Some of us thought it was just a really run down part of the town here. It was legit trash. It was the place where all the dump trucks go and dump their trash…. and inside of this dump, people had built tiny shacks out of whatever they could find by digging through the trash. It took us a 15 minute walk from where we had parked up into the dump. Our mission was to go there, talk to the people, and give them some juice and a sandwich. During our debriefing session, Michael shared with us that there was a lady in the dump there who was thankful for the food, but made sure he knew that the Word of God was much more important to bring to the people there. Trinity shared about a man her group talked to named Raul who was the original “Person of Peace” (translation: the person who was key into the OM team first starting this ministry there in the dump). Daniela shared about a lady who had 3 daughters that were taken away from here because she couldn’t care of them.

Michael and Ryan then connected both of our ministries. We got to see both sides of a story. The kids in the orphanage were wanting out and kept saying that they didn’t belong there, where as the parents in the trash dump were working hard to try and provide for their children so they didn’t have to be taken away from them and sent to places like the orphanage. Some of the women who lived there had children that they would hide so that they wouldn’t be taken away from them. 


The people we met who work at this trash dump are not employed. They are there living off of whatever the dump trucks bring in and sell the stuff they find to gain money. They were very thankful for someone to chat with and for a little bit of food and drink during the hot day today. 



For our last ministry event of the day, we put on a program for the kids that go to “Joy Ministry.” Joy Ministry is set up for the kids of the neighborhood surrounding the trash dump and for the kids of the parents who work there. We did some songs and colored a lot because these kiddos were super young. 

After a long, hard, and heavy day, we went out to dinner as a team along with our OM friends at some Mexican restaurant that was amazing even though we all SMELL. Then, we went back to our base for a quick time of debrief and encouragement for one another. God is doing amazing things here in Volcan, and we are constantly being reminded of how powerful and wonderful HE is. Please continue to pray for us as we finish up our time here. 



TODAY’S QUOTES:

“Coach, watching you at the orphanage and trash dump, I see you as cute and cuddly.” – Daniela

“Machu picchu”

*Talking about when guys whistle or honk at girls* “Yea. That happens to me a lot!” *INSERT UNCONTROLLABLE LAUGHTER* “… when I’m walking with my mom.” – Pepper

Person1: “She’s like 65 years old.”
Person 2: “When ya got it, ya got it.”

God Story

Cool God story real quick:

A few years ago, OM (the organization we are working with) went into a public elementary school here in Volcan and helped reorganize/build a bookshelf. They hadn’t worked in the school since then. The other day, the leader of OM here called that school and said he had a program to put on for the kids. No questions were asked. We went into a public school yesterday and sang songs all about Jesus and how strong our God is. We gave a lesson on how we are suppose to obey and that Jesus can help us. We prayed out loud for all these kids.
It was a huge reminder that the seeds we plant now are going to grow. Years ago a seed was planted by someone going in and fixing a bookcase, and now, because of that connection, we were able to love on some kiddos and share Jesus in a public school.

 

Day 1

I forgot to tell you guys this, but Miss Morgan’s cookies are sent from Heaven. Seriously, those things didn’t even make it to Volcan because we were chowing down (Or so we thought until we discovered the guys had their own secret stash…).

As a team, we decided to start our mornings with a group devotional. Today, Jonathan was in charge and he shared on 2 Peter 1:3-11. Super Jesus conversations were happening again this morning and it is just awesome to watch how God has put us each together in this group.

We got ready and went to the church that we are partnering with here in Volcan. Before we started the rest of the day, we took a walk through the neighboring streets to see the houses of the people in this community. These houses are constructed out of whatever is accessable. They are built along a road on property that isn’t theirs and they live with the threat that one day they may be kicked out of their home. Many of the kids wake up in the mornings with fungi on their faces because they sleep on the dirt floors. The church shared with us that they have gone into some of these houses and built floors for them.

The church is very practical in their ideas and visions for their community and building. They are working on developing a second story to be able to rent out to mission teams that come and stay there. Tomorrow, we get to do some work around the church to help them reach some of their visions for this property that God has blessed them with.

Then, we worked in a “soup kitchen” program called Pan de Vida. It’s a new ministry the church we are partnering with has, and it is super well oraganized. Kids come and line up and are fed lunch. Then, there is a little program put on afterwards. Today, we were in the charge of the program. Trin did music for the kids and Pepper helped her with motions. Then Paulina had organized a few skits for us to do. Basically, it was about doing things that are right and not disobeying God. The other one was about putting on the armor of God so that we are ready for whatever battle comes our way. After the skits, we played a group game led by Michael and Jonathan.

This afternoon, we arrived at an elementary school to do another program. We originally thought we would have an hour at the school, but were told we had 30 minutes when we got there. Insert a minor stress moment and then once we reorganized ourselves we did kind of the same program as this morning except with Daniela doing some crafts with the kids, and Avery handing out snacks. Super fun times.

Our plan tomorrow is a little busier. We are going to be doing some practical work at the church, working in an orphanage/juvinial detention center, a trash dump, and a ministry called Joy Ministries.

I’m about to give you guys a picture overload so enjoy 🙂 Also, follow our instagram!! (It changed in case I didn’t tell you before to CCAVolcan2014)

I have REALLY awesome pictures I wanna show you guys, but the internet isn’t strong enough to upload them right now. Go look at the instagram and then when we get back we’ll upload pics.

We Made It!

We made it safe and sound to Volcan!

Today was a little crazy. Right after school, the staff prayed over our trip. We then got on the bus for an 8hour+  drive. That’s a LONG time in a bus together… major bonding. Super Jesus conversations were taking place, and we are already pumped to get back to the city to start on our new goals and ideas for the rest of this school year. But, we’re focused on this week right now. Tomorrow, our plan is to wake up and go set up for a soup kitchen. After the soup kitchen, we’ll give a program to a group of about 250 kids at a school. We are very excited, but PLEASE pray for us because that’s as LOT of kids to handle.

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Avery and Trin snuggling

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The back of our shirts. Everyone has a name that we feel describes who they are as a person 🙂 (see last blog for more details in case you can’t read the names)

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Trin passed out

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Avery did Pepper’s hair

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Us

 

Quotes from the day: 

“Is there a bug in my hair?” – Pepper
“I would like to be a dolphin.” – Michael
“That never ending road though.” – Jonathan
“Ahh dang! My butt is itchy.” – A girl who shall not be named
“Are we making this an open burp/fart zone? Because I’m totally in for that.” – *this was followed by a lot of farting…. told you we bonded.*

 

CALLING ALL PRAYER WARRIORS

We leave on Wednesday!! 🙂
Today was our last huge meeting all together. We are more excited than words can express. 
My last post was just bragging about how amazing God is and how HE made it possible for us to raise all the money to fund our trip. I just learned today that one of the leaders had specifically prayed to God the morning we got so much money so quickly. Her prayer was that she trusted God would provide the funds, but she asked that He would do it in a way that we would only explain as HIM. Sure enough, we met our goal and even exceeded our goal! 
At the meeting earlier, we collectively came up with a list of prayer requests we want you guys to be lifting up this week. Please take some time to spend in prayer for us. 

Prayer Requests:
*Patience with each other
*Logistics (traffic, time management… ect.)
*Not our words but God’s 
*Responsibilities that are being left behind 
*Speaking in Spanish 
*Health
*Good stewards with what God has given us (talents, responsibilities, finance..)
*Preparing the hearts of the groups of kids/youth we are working with
*Good rest
*OUR hearts (By name: Michael, Jonathan, Pepper, Avery, Daniela, Paulina, & Trinity)

Praises:
*FULLY FUNDED!!!! 
*Coach Nathan isn’t speaking….(he came up with that himself :P) 

Look how pretty this group is 😉 
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 – Trin

WHOO HOO

God. Is. AMAZING.

Since the first meeting to plan for this trip, we trusted that God was going to cover our cost. We had no doubt that this was His plan for us and so He would make that possible. However, I have to admit I was a little doubtful today.
We had a quick meeting after school discussing that we would close our funding site on Sunday and that the rest of the money would be our own responsibilities. In the back of my head, I knew God could do anything He wanted about raising the money, but I just didn’t really see that happening.

And then we got $1800 in like 5 hours. WHAT EVEN?!?!?!
God is at work. God is moving. God is providing. God is showing us His plan for this trip, and we are SO excited. Thank you SO much to everyone who has given financially and who is supporting us in prayer. – Trin

UPDATE: WE MET OUR GOAL!!!