Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day 7 What a Great Week!

Posted by:7th Day
What an exciting week!
We can hardly believe it has been one week. There are a few things that we miss (hot showers, air conditioning, parents) but definitely a few that we would like to take home with us (Norma's cooking, the ocean (minus the sea urchins), the cute kids, and our puppy friend, Stevie). The cooking has been fabulous and the people have been great! Today was a very interesting day; we started out early to drive to a Haitian village in the countryside. Boca Christian had visited there 2 years ago. Once there, we began to pass out tennis balls to the children but ended up having to culminate the task and leave because we were overrun by a multitude of disobedient kids. Then we headed on our way to get some lunch at a restaurant. We were originally supposed to get there by horse, but the discomfort of horseback riding with sunburn prevented many to desire the experience, so only four of us ended up horseback riding while the rest of us walked. Lunch consisted of homemade rice, beans, chicken, pork, potato salad, and yucca. We then headed to the market, where we had previously visited within the first few days in the country. This allowed us to buy a few more souvenirs if we so desired. We then left the market to visit Freddy's (our amazing bus driver) home, where we had the opportunity to meet his wife and beloved 6 month daughter, Samira. He showed us the project his church is working on and the vision the members of the church have for the future. We got to see the room already built (which is now used for Sunday school) and the land they hope to see used for more construction in the future, if it is the Lord's will. This neighborhood was so rundown and poor, but these people are so in love with the Lord and seek to serve Him wholeheartedly. We also went to the supermarket, the only place where we had to convert dollars to pesos. Before heading back to the mission house, we had the opportunity to visit a historic fort, which is the equivalent of the Washington monument in the Dominican. Back "home", we ate Norma's amazing food and had devotion, where we read from James 4: 1-12 and Galatians 2: 20 (you should read it now ;)). We are now relaxing in our rooms and on the balcony, getting ready to sleep pretty soon and get rest for our trip back home.

This has been such an amazing trip, but words cannot describe everything we have experienced. We have fantastic pictures, but once again we send out apologies for the technical difficulties we have had as we have not been able to load them up on the blog. Please come to our mission trip chapel on Friday if you would like to see the pics and hear us share the stories. Thank you again for the prayers, and please continue to pray for the Dominican Republic. To God be the glory!

At the airport

Posted by: Mrs. Barnhill

After an unsuccessful attempt to post in the car, I'm posting to let everyone know that our first group got off just fine, and our second group is getting ready to board.

We had a wonderful day at the Grand Canyon yesterday. After hearing that the weather would be very cold and probably rainy or snowy, it was actually perfect! Sunny and beautiful - great for picture-taking! Everyone enjoyed the beauty, and Stephen even overcame his fear of heights to be in a few pictures! If time permits, I will post a picture before I sign off. We enjoyed several views of the Canyon, then headed home by way of the Cameron Trading Post (overpriced souvenirs - but the sheer size of the store is worth the stop!). Had a delicious dinner at Coco's across the street from the hotel, and then had a wonderful wrap-up session sharing our experiences and reading our "love bombs." It has been an awesome trip and we can't wait to share our stories in chapel Friday!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

DAY 6 Fun Day on a Catamaran One Fish Caught for the Kingdom!

Posted by:Seniors
6th Day
Fun Day on a Catamaran One Fish Caught for the Kingdom!
We had a great day in the sun on a catamaran, snorkeling and relaxing. They did a fish feeding that brought hundreds of fish up close. Mrs. B spent most of the day witnessing to the owner of the company of the catamaran. She accepted Christ. We got back early this afternoon 4PM. This allowed time to relax and search for aloe plants to relieve the sun burn, from the day's fun. Most of us put lotion on multiple times and yet to no avail. Our seniors represented Christ well on this outing. We are all looking forward to visiting the Haitian Village Wednesday. Truly everyone had a great day! Praise God for the soul caught!

Sharing God's Love...with Firewood!

Posted by: Pamela Saavedra and Gordon Stemper (Nicholas Casanova is our photographer and Mr. Hood is our advisor)

The day started out cold and sleepy. The class was moving more slowly this morning as we boarded the LVR bus in order to get to the Thousand Oaks Church. On arrival at the church, Mr. Widmaier shared that we would be cutting more wood for needy families who the church helps during the winter. We would also be clearing some of the land the church owns as we cut up the trees that are felled for logs. With Mr. Hood, Dave Widmaier and Pastor Dennis running the chain saws, wood chips started flying. Unfortunately for us, the temperature had fallen into the high 30's and it was damp out - this made working out in the woods very difficult for many of us. However, the teamwork of the class prevailed and before we knew it we had cleared a bunch of land and created some large piles of firewood. Pastor Dennis shared a touching story about one of the families up in the mountains that they help with firewood. We were again reminded of the importance of the work we were doing. It was time for a lunch break and then another hour of working. Before long we were on the bus heading back to LVR - rejoicing that our final day of work was completed!!

On arriving back to camp we were given free time. Thankfully the weather began to change and by 3:00 pm it was an enjoyable 50 degrees and absolutely perfect out - the proverbial "not a cloud in the sky" afternoon! Before the dinner bell rang, many of the students gathered on the porch of the dining hall to get a perfect "long view" of the beautiful Smoky Mountains. When dinner began, all of the hard working students ran in for our final delicious dinner at Long View Ranch - grilled chicken covered with bacon and cheese, mixed veggies, baked potato, salad and the famous rolls with homemade raspberry jam!

Following dinner our last labor task was to move the benches back into the dining hall after the final paint on the floor had dried. We also took a class picture next to the fence with the Smoky Mountains in the background. Our final night of devotions was filled with our quotation (or reading) of all four chapters of Philippians and then an opportunity to write an encouraging note to each of our classmates. It was a fun time filled with great fellowship of brothers and sisters in Christ. This has been an amazing trip - where we have worked hard, played hard, grown closer to each other and grown closer to our Lord and Savior. Thank you for all the prayers many of you sent up for us - we have seen God answer in a big way.

This is the SBS (Sophomore Blogging Staff) signing off for the final night from Tennessee.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Posted by: Mrs. Barnhill
Papago Park!

5th Day Ministry Day

Posted by:
Ministry Day at Escuela Cristiana de Jacagua

The day started early to prepare for the 2 hour-drive along the interstate. Mrs. B showed us her moves as our class met the senior class of Escuela Cristiana de Jacagua (Christian school in Santiago). Each of the members of both classes introduced themselves, what they like to do, and future plans. A few of our classmates were a huge hit with their seniors; one was even serenaded (sorry Jamie). Charles and Matt were a hit with the girls in the senior class. The girls all wanted to take pictures with them. One girl really liked Charles and loved the picture she took with him. One girl said that if we left Matt there, he would be married in 3 days. We distributed Christian books and 2009 Serve-A-Thon shirts. The shirts were a big hit with the seniors. We ate lunch and then left the school campus. Mrs. B introduced us to a few neighbors, and we had the opportunity to pray with each of them. The students also passed out tennis balls to the boys, stickers, and temporary tattoos to the girls in the afternoon classes. Benji and Charlie played catch with some of the boys. Kids were cool to get to know. All of the seniors enjoyed spending time with one another. It was a 2 hour-drive back to Puerto Plata. We had another awesome meal cooked by Norma. Tonight we looked at some of the prophecies that are fulfilled in the New Testament, all pointing to the realization of what Jesus Christ was then and is to us now. We took a casual walk under the stars on the beach. We are all looking forward to a great day snorkeling off a catamaran.

Boca Christian Sophomore Trip 2010

Snow Day!!!

Posted by: Pamela Saavedra & Gordon Stemper (Nicholas Casanova is our freelance Photographer & Mr. Hood is our Advisor )

The camp awoke to a "late " start and at 8:00 am we were all rushing to breakfast. After breakfast the class practiced memorizing Philippians chapter 3, and had a quiet time for prayer. Once devotions were finished, work started up immediately. The Long View Ranch needed a lot of stuff done: the dinning room floor painted, the horse's saddles polished, and the windows scrubbed. The class with an eager heart to serve, began to work.

Following the chores, we retired to the bunks and game room to enjoy some free time after a job well done. Once lunch was ready the class met in the dinning room, and enjoyed another excellent meal. During lunch we were informed paintball or horseback riding would have to be done today, instead of the proposed day, Tuesday. On the way to our cabins to get ready for our activities someone yelled out "snow!" We all looked up and realized it was snowing (something that is somewhat uncommon in Florida). However, it was a flurry that would never stay on the ground; it melted on contact. After a few more minutes of taking in the spectacle, we continued to get ready for the upcoming activities. The group separated for either horseback riding or paintball, but before the fun began we got some bittersweet news. Pop Pop Nelson, Mrs. Widmaier's father, who had just served us dinner last night, had passed away this morning -peacefully sitting in his chair with his coffee cup at his side. The activities were momentarily halted in sadness from the news. However, Pop Pop Nelson was a believer and he is now with the Lord in heaven also with his wife who went before him and for that knowledge we are grateful.

The snow was still falling during our activities and and many playing paintball found it hard to grip the metal gun in the snow, but overall paintball was exciting. The horseback riders also felt the chill of the snow, with their frozen hands and wet trails, but luckily the horses didn't seem to mind it at all. Once the paintballers ran out of gas, paintballs, and places to get shot the game was over. Also once the horseback riders were done with the trails they to retired back to the cabins to warm up and get ready for dinner. A wonderful dinner of smoked ham, potato casserole, warm rolls, and beans was served. Following dinner a collection of desserts from ice cream cake to cookies were also given to the enjoyment of the class.

After dinner we held a devotional time starting with Mrs. Widmaier's testimony of how her father came to Christ and how truly life could be changed. We followed that with music and then a group activity/ talking time. There we all shared our ideas and hurts were made known that were hidden before. The time together was truly a time for our class to grow stronger spiritually.
We can't believe it is our final day of work tomorrow. We have been incredibly blessed to be here at LVR.

SBS signing off.

Car Blog

Posted by: Cole Strandberg, Alicia Feldi, Kimberly Higgins, Shannon Lee, William Hood III, and Mrs. Barnhill

Sorry we haven' blogged much,but we have been very busy and extremely blessed. We have been doing outreaches throughout the week. For example, Saturday night, we did a kids outreach and an outreach with the homeless. It definitely opened up our eyes and helped us see how blessed we truly are. After hearing the stories of some of the homeless, we came to the realization that these people have the same needs and emotions as everyone else. Afterwards, we had a great discussion about what we had experienced that day, and how God has impacted us on the trip so far. Sunday, after a lively church service, we all went to another homeless outreach, in which two people accepted Christ. Praise the Lor! Later in the day, we all went hiking and mountain climbing at South Mountain Park. Shortly afterward, we enjoyed an authentic Mexican dinner, where we celebrated the birthday of, yours truly, Cole Strandberg. This morning, many of the guys worked off last nights meal at 4:30, while others went to a homeless outreach where they served breakfast. Many of the girls also held an impactful homeless women's bible study. Currently, we are on the way to Happy Trails RV Resort to square dance, followed by some hiking in Sedona. We will keep you updated as best as possible.

God is good, all the time!
All the time, God is good!

So many adventures with little time to blog!

Sorry to the blog followers as we have been having such a wonderful time enjoying God"s creation that blogging has not been a priority.

Saturday we went off campus to the Lake Wales Care Center where we sorted many items and packed them into boxes that will be shipped to Haiti. It was humbling to know that what we did in a mere hour and a half would impact hundreds of people that have lost everything due to the earthquake.

After attending the Haitian Church on Sunday to worship, even the rain did not have an effect on the students' desire to play football and horse around.
As the evening rolled around, the rain let up and the students cleaned up, and we were able to attend Infusion which is a college worship service. We were invited to join them after service for a meal and strawberry shortcake! YUM! Indoor plumbing was also a real treat.

Where we all brushed our teeth...
Washed up before and after meals and chores...

Below is a picture of us outside the Haitian Church. The picture is minus Sam as he stayed behind with Mrs. D because he was a little under the weather. We are happy to report that he has rebounded and is back with the group and all the activities!!

Posted by: Your Freshmen Class!

Today we will depart for home, of course after THE WALL!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Day 4 Sunday Drive

Posted by: Seniors
" Not just your average Sunday Drive to Church"
We started the day early with a one hour and 45 minute- ride through the lush and scenic mountains. The drive is not the typical Sunday drive. There seems to be a lot of driving suggestions rather than laws. For example, it is a law to wear a helmet in the Dominican Republic; however, of the thousands of motorcycles we have seen, only about ten passengers have worn helmets. Three or four people on a motorcycle are not uncommon. There are interesting passing suggestions as well. Our driver, Freddy, is a Christian and is an excellent driver. We were not surprised to see a car that had hit an electric line on the highway. It was a reminder of the blessing of protection that has been on us. We sang a couple of songs in Iglesia Biblica Cienfuegos, the church in Santiago. The church pastor, Gumercindo, spoke on marriage and protecting it. After church we were able to give out toys, clothes, and hygiene items to all the kids in the church. They said that the church was missing about 25% of the congregation due to illnesses, colds, and the flu. A couple of hours later the youth group arrived back to church for a car wash to raise funds for a camping outing planned in a couple of weeks. Some of us helped and others went a block over to hand out tennis balls in a park and play basketball with some kids from the neighborhood. Some of our Spanish speaking students were able to talk and sing there as well. Sorry we could not upload any pictures, but we are using a broadband mobile phone and have been having a few difficulties with sharing the pictures. We had a long ride back to the mission house, but we were thankful for a great day, and the Lord's continued hand of protection that is on us! Tomorrow, we will be back to Santiago to work with the Christian school where Pastor Gumercindo is also the principal.

Day 3

Posted by: Seniors
Third Day - (Sorry the internet is shaky at best)
"Then sings my soul, my Savior Lord to Thee, how great Thou art, how great Thou art". The location of our experiences today made me think of those words. Elvis (yes, like the singer), our Dominican tour guide, spoke perfect English, and all of us felt very comfortable with him from the moment we met him. He remembered our group from last year and asked about certain people. Since today was a "fun day", we headed to the Damajagua waterfalls, a touristic place well known for its 27 waterfalls. However, Elvis first took us to Mama Dora, a sixty four year-old woman, who makes coffee and chocolate in a firewood stove. She and her family (fourteen children) plant, pick the coffee and cocoa beans, and toast and smash them in a giant grind stone with a heavy wood stick (come to our mission chapel to see the photos). From there, we stopped in a stone sculpture depot, where we could observe men making beautiful sculptures from the native Dominican rocks and stones. We had a traditional lunch in a beautiful open area, where we had a certain vegetable that most Americans have never eaten, called "taiota" (in Mexico is known as "chayote"). Finally, we arrived at the waterfalls. The lush green forestry and the turquoise water surrounded by majestic rocks and mountains gave us a sense of refreshment and excitement. Mr. Smith gave a "Happy Birthday" banner for Devyn to wear since she celebrated her 18th birthday today. Finally, after a day of new experiences, we arrived home, where Norma and Oscar cooked a delicious fish dinner, with carrots, beets, and taiota (again!) After dinner, Norma surprised Devyn with a birthday cake, which was devoured in a matter of minutes. Before heading to bed, a few of us decided to play "chubby bunny". For those of you who don't know how the game works, two people take a marshmallow one at a time and say, "chubby bunny". The one who cannot fit anymore marshmallows in his/her mouth or cannot understandably say "chubby bunny" loses the game. We got a good laugh out of that, and then headed to sleep. ¡Hasta mañana!

Don't You Trust Me?

Posted by: Pamela Saavedra & Gordon Stemper (Mr. Hood is our advisor)

Today began far better than every other day due to the fact wake up time was after 8:00 am! We all hurried to get ready and look presentable in order to be ready for church at 11:00 am. Right before we were going to leave for church our bus broke and reversed over one of Long View Ranch's fences. Fortunately another bus was ready to take us along with Mr. Widmaier's car that stuffed the rest of us inside. The church service was held in Tusculum college and upon arriving we were greeted by many friendly faces. During the service the entire sophomore class recited chapter 1 of Philippians whether it be by memory or reading (some people were nervous and would completely blank in front of a crowd). Also during the service an amazing Praise and Worship band played and Disciple's Point pastor, Pastor Tootie, gave an awe inspiring message of God's love. Following the service a lovely pot luck meal was held where the class was able to meet the congregation over an amazing lunch. We were all able to meet new people and make new friends. Mr. Hood was able to reconnect with some friends from last year's trip - the Shelnutt family whose farm last year's sophomores worked. We also gave the baby clothes to Todd and Barbara who had the new baby last year. (Please pray for Todd as some possible cancer spots have returend) After good byes were said and we drove back to camp. Free time was given where we were able to get out of our church clothes and back into our casual outfits.

Around 4:30 the entire group was called to walk out and meet by the trust fall platform. Instructed by Mr. Widmaier the class began doing trust exercises to prepare us for the ultimate fall. Upon completing the activities, we made our way to the platform. Catchers were placed and an individual would climb up on the 4 ft.tall platform then fall backwards. The faller would have to trust their classmates would safely catch them. One after the other began falling back into their friends arms, without any injuries or dropped people. This activity showed many people they could and should indeed put their trust in others. The dinner bell was ringing and we all ran to the dinning room to chow down.

However after dinner we all had a major bonding time. It truly was an experience. The boys and girls split up and we had a time to grow closer together. Many new things were learned about each other during this time. We learned that we aren't alone in struggles and that there are people who are here for us as friends and chaperones. We grew closer together and that is just going to make us a stronger class. God is working in a mighty way here thanks to much prayer on your end.

Continue to keep the missions trips in prayer. God is moving here. SBS signing off.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Posted by: Pamela Saavedra & Gordon Stemper (Mr. Hood is our Advisor)

The camp awoke to a beautiful, but extremely early day with the Smoky Mountains fully visible as well as our breath. After difficultly waking up and getting ready the class jumped on a bus heading over to Greeneville, TN(the birthplace of Andrew Johnson the 17th president) in order to first eat a hearty breakfast with the group from Disciple's Point, except one problem we had to figure out which church was holding the firewood chopping party.

After breakfast Dave Widmaier shared the impact we would have on the needy families of the area by supplying them with firewood to maintain the warmth in their homes during the winter when they couldn't provide it for themselves. The bus then took us through the hills of Tennessee, into the deep forest. Army trucks, owned by Disciple's Point,were brought in, and the wood began flying! Workers from the Greeneville Fire Department used chainsaws cutting up large pieces of firewood. The sophomore class then organized into lines, and using team work lifted large and heavy logs onto the trucks. After the truck was completely filled (16 ft high and 12 ft deep) to the top, The trucks would drive over to a warehouse where the larger logs were chopped into 4 sections, then stacked. The smaller logs would be tossed on to a massive pile, where they would be used as kindling.

After loading for a few hours we were treated to Papa John's pizza and free ice cream. After our gracious lunch, the class fully loaded up two more trucks for a total of six truck loads of firewood. Following this a class picture was taken in front of one of the trucks. It was then off to Walmart and then back to Long View. The class enjoyed two hours of much deserved relaxing free time before dinner. Dinner was Long View Ranch's famous Roadkill Roundup ("possum and squirrel"), mashed potatoes, broccoli and cheese casserole, their famous warm rolls accompanied by homemade raspberry jam- YUMMY!
The evening ended with a sharing time around the bonfire a conclusion to another awesome day on this missions trip. Looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow! We will be at church with Disciple's Point.
SBS signing off and dropping off to sleep!(We are exhausted)

Phoenix Outreaches

Posted by: Monica Sowers and Gabby Alfieri

Hey everyone! Sorry we haven't been keeping you updated ,but we've been very busy here in Phoenix. Yesterday we were able to help out with sorting food at Phoenix Rescue Mission for the homeless. We also helped clean up around Phoenix Dream Center, while others did an outreach at a local nursing home. People here are so thankful for everything! Worship last night was awesome. Everyone was so open to praising God and some of the disciples gave their testimonies. Everyone loved the skit our drama team did - they loved having so much feedback from the audience! The girls then went to an outreach for sex trafficking. One group silently protested strip clubs that are so rampant here in Phoenix. The other group went around the city and passed out roses to girls who are stuck in the prostitution business and were able to provide a hotline number if they wanted help. Today we visited Phoenix First Assembly Church and went door to door inviting people to the church services and an upcoming Easter celebration. We then went to a church service with the kids there. Later tonight we will help feed the homeless. We are so grateful to be here and impacting lives for Christ! Pray for us and those we meet, and we hope that everyone is having a blast on the on the other trips! Talk to you soon!
P.S. Sorry we haven't posted any pictures. Our internet signal is pretty weak and they won't load.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Mission Trip With a H.E.A.R.T.

Posted by: Benji Crane

We arrived safely, but an hour late. This was not a problem; however, it only made us all come to the realization that God is always in control and has a better plan for our lives, no matter how much we think we are in control. When we arrived, we were able to go to our cabins and get settled, and then we were called for lunch. We had a devotion time, and then were given our first assignments. My team washed the dishes and did a kitchen cleanup. After that we were given tours of the facility, and then were given our next assignment. My group went to animal husbandry, where we cleaned out the rabbits’ area and re-mulched it. We then were given free time before our next assignments were given out. My team was sent to the ropes course, where teamwork is crucial. We had to get from one tree to another on a rope (like a tightrope) with three ropes interspersed hanging above it. We also had to get everyone across a certain distance by balancing wooden boards on strategically placed cinder blocks. After dinner we competed in a team challenge. Tonight we played tug-of-war, which, I am happy to say, our team won! We then had a time of group reflection about what everyone learned from today’s experiences. Caleb Hood remarked that, “It is great to have silence, I feel closer to God.” Laura DeSouza commented that she does not need all the technology, in fact, she forgot about her TV! A good verse that came to my mind to illustrate the theme from today was 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” This verse just illustrates how God works through our weakness, and this weekend we are all stepping out of our comfort zones to serve, and I believe that God is going to use this time to speak to us.

A Mustard Seed

Posted by: Andrea Bonorandi and Devyn Horsley

Wow, I don't even know where to start. Today was amazing. Right now, we are all winding down and relaxing in our rooms listening to the rain outside J. The day started off with Mrs. B waking up the floor with the beloved Japanese alarm clock. We had breakfast, which consisted of cornflakes, toast, and fresh papaya. Then we set off to go to MetroWest Caribbean Christian School. We sang and played with the kids. We also did face painting, played some soccer, and made balloon animals. The kids were truly a joy to be with, and they were SO happy to play with us. Afterwards, we headed to the Mustard Seed Orphanage for mentally disabled children. It was truly an eye-opening experience for all of us, and made us all very thankful for our health. Many of us were brought to tears by the condition of the kids. The workers were thankful for the socks, personal hygiene items, and the gifts we were able to bring to them. We then returned to MetroWest for the second school session, which included younger kids (K5 - 2nd grade). The kids had nonstop energy! We then practiced our bargaining skills at the market, and we all did pretty well for our first time. By the end of the day we were exhausted, but it was truly what we would consider a "perfect" mission day. Tomorrow is going to be a fun day at the falls, so keep up with our posts to find out what happens next!

Warming Tennesse One Log at a Time

Posted by: Pamela Saavedra & Gordon Stemper (Mr. Hood is our Advisor)

The sophomore class was awakened before the rooster crowed. An early start was given to our day in order for six members of the class and Mr. Hood to board a bus and arrive promptly to help build a new wheelchair ramp for one of Long View's distant neighbors. After another delicious breakfast the wheelchair work crew jumped on a bus to head out and the rest of the class began clearing land.
The students that stayed on the property jumped right in to work clearing trees and other overgrown plants. A large fire was constructed using the good old boy scout method of a tank of gas and a box matches. The work was challenging, but with the sophomores working together as a team the trees and other vegetation began to be cleared up and burned safely in the fire. Alongside the clearing, firewood was being chopped up for, as they called themselves, "an old retired couple that needed firewood to heat their home" - Mr. and Mrs. Widmaier!
After a few hours of labor a surprise lunch was brought out. Students were given hot dogs and a skewer and were able to cook their own meal over a nice warm fire. Lunch was served along with the unbeatable combination of chips and Dr. Thunder or Sam's Cola. Following lunch more clearing of trees and chopping firewood until free time was given.
The other group selected to help construct the wheel chair ramp had an unexpected challenge before them. Using pick axes, shovels, and hammers they helped a group from Disciple's Point Church dig through the extremely hard and messy Tennessee clay in order to remove a portion of sidewalk which was hindering the wheelchair ramp construction. While the boys were digging, the three girls moved a huge pile of rocks into a rock garden. Our friends from Disciple's Point decided to treat the group to lunch at Wendys.
After a fun lunch and time of fellowship, the group went back to work on the 20ft wheelchair ramp. Much work was accomplished although time didn't allow the ramp to be completed. The people from Disciple's Point plan to finish it in the next two days.
This beautiful day was far from over as the students played in the game room, shot hoops at the basketball court, and some people took advantage of the hills by rolling down them. For dinner we sat by birthday months in order to sit outside the normal group of people. Following dinner, of salad, baked ziti, garlic bread, and banana pudding for dessert, devotions began with a silent time for reflection on the day and time in prayer with God. The day's activities ended with an original sophomore class variation of never have I ever, this helped the class as well as the chaperones get to know each other in a different way.
We have another early morning tomorrow so we desperately need to get some rest.
SBS (or Sophomore Blogging Staff) signing off for now.
Posted by: Mrs. Barnhill

We made it safely to Phoenix after about 11 hours of travel (via Philadelphia!). But we landed early, which was good because it took quite awhile to get all 55 pieces of luggage into the rental bus shuttles, and into the rental cars - with room for students, too! We enjoyed a sunset hike at Papago Park, reveling in God's creation and the differences from Florida. Then dinner and off to the Dream Center, where we were met by Rudy, our host here at the Dream Center. He helped us with our rooms- but it was after 11 when we finally settled in, so we're looking forward to a peaceful sleep and an exciting day of ministry tomorrow. Thanks for your prayers!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Seniors Serving at Home and Abroad 3/18/10

Mrs. Horsley took this picture of the seniors who are serving in a local community service project, as well as the seniors who departed for the DR today.

Click here to view these pictures larger

Sophomores ROCK!

Posted by: Pamela Saavedra & Gordon Stemper (Mr. Hood is our Advisor)

Our eventful day began at the crack of dawn, as we awoke to a smoky(aka foggy) morning in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains. A short walk to the dining hall was rewarded with a delicious meal courtesy of our wonderful hostess Mrs. Widmaier. Our devotions continued with our study of Philippians. We circled up and one by one quoted (or read) the assigned memory verses. At the conclusion of our short study of God's word; we marched out to begin the day's work.
On arriving to the near by forest Mr. Widmaier informs us of his plan to make a fire pit for his upcoming campers in the summer. Our task was to uncover (and we mean uncover) large rocks to help build the fire pit. As you can see we had a bountiful harvest of rocks!

The class was then split into four work teams. One team to clear the trails around Long View Ranch of fallen debris from their stormy winter. Another team reconstructed a fallen fence surrounding the horses. The next team painted the newly built fences to match the existing ones, while the last team built the walls of the newly constructed barn. After a full mornings work, lunch was served, followed by continued work on the projects from the morning.

After the work had been completed and met the high standards of Long View Ranch the class headed back to their rooms for free time. During free time the students decided to use the game room, where Gordon defeated Mr.Spidell for the coveted Long View Ranch ping pong Championship. Others decided to play basketball while some enjoyed relaxing on their bunk beds.

The ringing of the dinner bell signaled the end of free time and our class rushed for a well deserved meal after a hard days work. Dinner was followed by surprise dessert of well loved ice cream cake. Following dinner we began to play a game involving a different variation of musical chairs. After many laughs the game was ended for a time of evening devotions. Individual time was given for prayer and reading of God's word, with an emphasis on the study of Philippians. Mrs. Riter then led the class in a spiritually moving praise and worship session, where we all sang and discussed what it meant to be humble before the Lord. A powerful finishing hymn was sung and students were challenged to focus on the word of the song. After the spiritually rejuvenating time with God the students were given an hour of free time until lights out at 10: 30.

SBS signing off for some well deserved rest after a productive day at Long View Ranch.

Safe Arrival

Posted by:Devyn Horsley and Andrea Bonorandi

We arrived in Puerto Plata safely. We immediately noticed the difference in culture when we walked out of the airplane. Mrs. B had some fun dancing with a bunch of Dominican musicians at the airport. The lush green and forestry in the country is absolutely stunning. We also made a new friend right away. He came walking up to us and followed us around. Our new friend's name is Stephen, the puppy :). We met our cook, Norma, who prepared a delicious dinner for our team. We had rice, beans, chicken, and veggies, followed by chocolate peanut butter brownies. She also made us a native juice using fresh fruit from the area. The mission house where we are staying is walking distance from the beach, and we get a gorgeous view of the ocean from our bedroom window. Tommorow we are going to the Mustard Seed orphanage for mentally disabled kids and MetroWest Caribbean School.

Pictures from Yesterday!!

Posted by: Pamela Saavedra

Late last night we experienced some technical difficulties which caused us to be unable to post pictures with our blog. are a couple of yesterday's pictures!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Out of the Frying Pan into the Freezer!

Posted by: Pamela Saavedra & Gordon Stemper

Our journey began packing the bus in nice and warm Florida. Before we departed on our trip a prayer was given by principal, Mr.Smith and our headmaster Dr. Tennies challenged the sophomore class to use and display strength in the Lord. We had been informed a barn raising would occur, and most assuredly we could use the strength, in order to accomplish this goal. The bus ride was an enjoyable one and we quickly arrived at our terminal. Easily checking our bags we began to make our way to the security line, BUT, Mr. Hood had unfortunatly informed the group of mistakenly forgetting his wallet in his office. Yet fortunatley the speedy Mrs. Hood arrived saving the trip. Thankfully Mrs. Riter and Mr. Spidell led the students to the gate. A few students were unesasy at the thought of flying, yet the Allegiaent staff made us all feel comfortable and at home.

The wait on the tarmac was short, and before the class knew it we were cruising at 44,000 feet towards our destination. An enjoyable smooth hour and a half, some napping, and many prayers form nervous flyers. Then boom our wheels touched down in Tennessee to the relief of many. After retreiving our bags, our small group was first introduced to George Widmaier the founder of Long View Ranch and his son David; who had agreed graciously to drive us to the camp. Once finished packing yet another bus, the class decided to go out and enjoy dinner at a local Knoxville Sonic. (A rariety to us in South Florida.) Following the dinner an easy hour bus ride landed us at the illustrious Long View Ranch.

Unloading the bus we arrived in our rooms settling in, then quickly heading over to the dining hall for our first nights devotions. During devotions the entire class was challenged by Mrs. Riter to collectively memorize the entire book of Phillipians. Tonight we began learning chapter one by memorizing one verse per person. Before closing we sang two praise songs, led by Mrs. Riter on the acoustic guitar.

Free time was given until the lights out at 11:30 PM CENTRAL TIME. We look forward towards the hard but exciting work that will meet us in the morning.

Signing off until tommorow, the Sophomore Blogging Staff or the SBS