Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Back to Home Base

Posted by: Erika

It is with very mixed emotions that I make this last post. The Juniors are back in the Eastern Standard Time Zone, and better yet, Boca Raton! Today has been strictly a traveling day, beginning at 8:30 PST this morning and ending just now, close to midnight EST. Luckily, most of us never accustomed to the time change, so it should be easy to get back on Eastern Standard Time. We left our hotel in Flagstaff around 8:30 this morning and drove almost three hours back to Phoenix. We returned the rental cars and got a lift to the airport from the rental company, then checked in ourselves and our baggage and headed to the gate. Our first flight from Phoenix to our connection in Atlanta was about three hours in length and landed us back in EST, fast forwarding us ahead three hours. We had a very short connection, during which we got lunch from the vast array of restaurants offered by the Atlanta airport, Chik Fil A being the favorite. Our final flight from Atlanta to Ft. Lauderdale was almost two hours, comparably shorter than the previous one. We picked up our luggage at the baggage claim, then Mr. Jobst picked us up in the school bus and took us back to BRCS. It is very bittersweet to be back home. On one hand, it will be nice to get back to our own beds and our families. But at the same time, we will miss our friends made at the Dream Center and the raw majesty of God's Creation in the beautiful Arizona landscape. This was a truly blessed trip, and we thank God for the opportunity to touch people's lives and have ours touched by them.

Freshmen at HEART

Posted by: Mr. White & Mrs. McD.

Day 3 at HEART

Posted by Ashley:
Today’s funniest moment was when Morgan ran out of the shower screaming because a frog was attacking her. The whole camp heard her, and Jenna came to the rescue while we all laughed our heads off.

Posted by Cristina:
Everyone has been working extra hard through all the cuts and bruises because we’re experiencing what it is like for people in less privileged countries. I appreciate how blessed I am a LOT more (air conditioning, showers, the food that I like, clean houses, etc.).

Posted by Morgan:
I’m starting to talk to people in my class that I didn’t know well before. We’re developing close friendships. I also liked the games today, even though we lost twice to the staff here. The cactus chili was really interesting at lunch. It was actually tasty, even though it was very slimy.

Posted by Mr. White:
I was pleasantly surprised at how the freshmen jumped in and did their chores without complaining. They got to experience a lot of different tasks that they probably have never done before, such as milking goats, planting trees, building compost piles, taking down old fencing and posts. They seemed to get the hang of it quickly, and I think they did an excellent job at every task they were given. The class must be commended. The staff here is also tremendous. They are well versed in the overall operations at HEART and were able to communicate very well with the students. The students have found out first-hand how most people in the world live day by day. Hopefully, they will leave with a greater appreciation for what they have, and also a desire to help needy people in other areas of the world. I miss my wife and children, but I’ve enjoyed this experience and hope to return someday.

Posted by Collin:
Everyone enjoyed drinking goat milk straight from the utter.

Posted by Sebastian:
I cut down a fence, ate cactus, Chester the goat wanted to eat my shirt, and another goat table-topped me.

Posted by Olivia:
I’m having so much fun with my classmates. We played a “fun” game of tug-o-war across a filthy pond, and of course, my team lost!

Posted by Mrs. McDaniel:
We just concluded a blessed time of praise and worship around the campfire. I am swinging on the hammock while I type, and there is a beautiful pair of cardinals a few feet away from me. It has been a blessing to see our kids grow closer to each other and be more spiritually minded in the last couple of days. We are praying for eternal fruit in these precious young lives. Although I miss my children terribly, I feel like the mother of 20 teenagers. I lost count of the times I’ve had to clean scratches, apply ointment, band aids, and aloe on sunburns, remind, encourage, and admonish. I have grown to love them very much!

Posted by Louis:
I don’t know what to say. Shout out to Gabby A., Andrew B., and Cameron H.

Posted by Brad:
I’m really sunburned! I’m having lots of fun!

Posted by Mr. Calder:
So thankful for the work of the Spirit in many of the students’ hearts. One student shared that they believe Christ is calling them to foreign missions and several more spoke of a growing thankfulness to God for the many blessings that they now realize they have in their lives. Each day has been filled with lots of hard manual labor by our students, and I am pleased to say that very few complaints have accompanied the effort. We are looking forward to conquering THE WALL tomorrow and beyond that …..very much looking forward to getting home to our families. Please continue to pray for us!

So long, Long View

Posted by: Mrs. Poole

We're saying good-bye to Long View Ranch this morning! It has been an amazing time, and we will all miss this place very much!

The journey home begins...we'll see you all Thursday afternoon!

Be Bold

Posted by: Katie and Erika

With the mission part of the trip over, today was all play and no work. We woke up and enjoyed the complimentary continental breakfast served by the La Quinta we’re staying at, then commenced the journey to the Grand Canyon. The drive was about two hours in length, but the time flew by with the help of music, movies, and beautiful scenery. Once inside the Grand Canyon National Park, we went to the visitor’s center and watched a short documentary about the canyon. We completed our tourist agenda by then going to an overlook of the canyon, one of many views we got of the magnificent landmark. We shifted our position about the canyon for access to Bright Angel trail, a path down to the floor of the canyon. Grand Canyon is one mile deep, vertically. However, because of zigzagging back and forth to reach the bottom, the trail is quite a bit longer and takes around eight hours to complete. It was also littered with ice, mud, and mule droppings, so the few who went the furthest still decided to turn back early. After hiking, we stopped at the canyon gift shop, then went on to Desert View, home of the Watchtower. The Watchtower was exactly that- a large tower, though now used primarily as a gift shop and mini museum for Native American artifacts. Our last stop along the Grand Canyon was another overlook. It offered a splendidly different view of the canyon, along with a bit of the Colorado River. We left the Grand Canyon, our memory cards teeming with rocks, and stopped at a giant curio shop filled with all sorts of trinkets, Indian jewelry and weapons, toys, and everything else an Arizona gift shop may have. From there we began the long drive back to Flagstaff, where we ate dinner at Chili’s and complimentary birthday desserts were given to Caleb and Hope. Our wonderful mission trip is coming to a close, but we are all ready to be back home. Thank you so much for your prayers, and please pray for traveling mercies for us tomorrow as we make the long trek back to Florida.

Goodbye, Pura Vida

Posted by: Mrs. Barnhill

Today started out like most of the others, with a delicious breakfast prepared by Karla, Ingrid, and the other wonderful women of Pura Vida Mission. After breakfast, in preparation for TAG time, Albert reminded us that missions is a life, not an event, and that our primary mission field is back home in Florida. He quoted the same verse in Ephesians (6:7-8) that was mentioned in the sophomore blog - we all need to learn to serve wholeheartedly in all we do! We had a wonderful morning with our friends at Linda Vista, a very poor area socioeconomically, but rich in love and joy. It was with great sadness we said goodbye to them following our morning session. We were also sad to say goodbye to Albert, who was heading back to Florida today, but we are hopeful that we will see him from time to time since he lives in the WPB area.

Lunch, including beans and rice, of course, and the MOST delicious fried plantains I've ever had, was followed by packing up and cleaning our rooms in preparation for our drive to Arenal, where we are staying at the stunningly beautiful La Pradera Hotel. Mr. Barnhill was so happy that he saw several hummingbirds within the first several minutes of our being here! We had a couple of hours to relax in our beautiful cabin-rooms, and then we headed off for an evening at the hot springs, where we enjoyed a buffet dinner and swimming in many heated pools with our guides, Marjorie and Natalya. It's been a wonderful day, and we look forward to our ziplining adventure tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Living Our Lives According to God's Grace

Posted by: Mrs. Poole

Since tonight's last game of Manhunt is currently occupying our normal bloggers, I get to represent the sophomores tonight! We had a much easier day of work today, beginning with the best sausage-and-egg biscuits on the planet and a quiet time on Ephesians 6. While most of the team traveled to Mountainview Ministries, 5 girls stayed back with Mrs. Poole to paint the lines on the basketball court in preparation for the summer camps at Long View. 5 rolls of masking tape and 2 coats of paint later, the job was finished, and since there were a few hours left in the afternoon, the girls successfully tackled the most dirty job on campus - cleaning the guy's bathroom.

Meanwhile, the rest of the team went to Mountain View, where the guys helped with maintenance around the property and the girls sorted a small warehouse filled with clothes. Although the work was not difficult, the team kept a positive attitude and did their best to bless the brothers and sisters in Christ who spread God's love to the poor and disadvantaged living in the mountains. Even though the students might have been tempted to have a bad attitude or question the tasks they were asked to do, they lived out a verse they had just read this morning in Ephesians 6 - "Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does..." (v. 7-8)

Upon the group's return, the whole class participated in the Trust Fall, which involved falling backwards off of the edge of a 4-foot platform, into the arms of one's classmates. Mr. Widmaier led us through several preparatory exercises before we attempted the big challenge - sending every single student safely off of the edge of the platform. As a teacher who went on the H.E.A.R.T. Institute trip with this same class last year (and watched them all scale the 15-ft wall), I already knew how strong of a bond these students have with each other, what amazing leaders are among them, and how willing and excited they are to support and encourage one another. I was not surprised when every single one of them did the trust fall, with hardly a wince or hesitation. It was a great experience!

After dinner (which included the famous potato chip-topped cheesy potatoes), the class successfully recited Ephesians 1-4 from memory!!! With each student assigned a passage of 2-3 verses, this has been a project we've been working on all week, and it was so exciting to see these students (and chaperones) step up to the plate and all work together to accomplish the goal! We're really looking forward to reciting at least part of it for chapel on Friday. (By the way, we hope you come! Missions chapel is at 11:30!) Then, we broke up into groups and came up with titles for each of the six chapters. Everyone shared their ideas with the rest of the class, and after MUCH deliberation and heated discussion (we have a bunch of future lawyers in this group), we all voted for the best title for each chapter. We followed the same process to find a title for the entire book of Ephesians, which was finally decided upon: "Living our lives according to God's grace." It was a great feeling of accomplishment to have studied a book so thoroughly! My prayer is that the students will take what they have learned about inductive Bible study, and continue developing their relationship with God by spending daily time in His Word.

Tomorrow begins the journey home. Thank you for your continued prayers for our safety, encouragement, and spiritual growth!

Day 2 at HEART Institute

Posted by: Mrs. McD. & various students

Thank you so much for your continued prayers for our group. The Lord is blessing our time at HEART above and beyond our expectations. We have enjoyed safety, health, fellowship, and many important life lessons. We began the day with our service assignments followed by a breakfast of corn mush Haitian style (cornmeal with greens we picked from the garden, tomatoes, onions, & no seasoning). The kids worked very hard in the gardens, with the farm animals, and doing special work projects around the property. When asked about the best part of their day, these students answered:
KJ-planting trees
Sebastian-getting to know my friends more
Mitchell-cutting trees with a machete
Chris-milking the goats
Amanda-people to come closer as a class
Casey-the basketball court made of sand
We are going finish the day singing praises around the bonfire with Collin, Morgan, and Jenna leading us in worship.

May Jesus Christ be praised!

Tearing Down the Walls - photos

Posted by: Mrs. Poole

Mr. Hood wanted me to post photos of our demolition project yesterday, when all 11 guys + 5 girls helped strip and gut a tornado-damaged house that was going to be burnt down. They spent hours ripping off siding with crow bars and removing insulation. And here are the photos to prove it!

Good morning from Long View

Posted by: Mrs. Poole

Just wanted to give a quick good morning to you! Thank you so much for your continued prayers for our spiritual well-being and our safety! So far, Mr. Hood has been the only one who has had to go and get a tetanus shot after stepping on a nail. Today is our last full day of work here, and most of us will be going out to Mountain View ministries to help sort clothes, do yardwork, and help in other ways..
"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the almighty." - Psalm 91:1

Bounce Back

Posted By: Hope and Erika

Saturday, March 24
Saturday, we were up bright and early for a prayer march around the Dream Center! The guys and girls split up and carried a cross around the center praying and chanting. After that, we did even more walking! We had the opportunity to do an outreach called Glen Rosa, which was the name of the street the outreach was on. Our class walked about a mile to Glen Rosa Avenue carrying crosses and standing on the street corners singing and waving. We walked with one of the pastors from Church on the Street, Pastor Jesse, a man very fired up for the Lord. While we were standing on one of the street corners, a gentleman was getting ready to cross the street on his bike and Pastor Jesse just walked up to him and said, “Hey man, how are you? Can we pray for you?” and started praying for him right then and there. He was just so passionate about the Lord and so bold about his faith. When we reached the park, the worship team played some songs while the rest of us were entertaining the kids or helping serve food! When we got back to our hotel, we had a little down time before we headed out to another outreach, Ocotillo. It was Hope’s birthday that day, so the class surprised her with cupcakes! Ocotillo is a small apartment complex in a dangerous area. About 20 kids or so came to an opening in the parking lot for food, face painting, skits and songs. Seeing these kids really broke our hearts. They were at the age range from 4-16. Most of us have grown up hearing the Gospel and about Jesus and learning from the Bible our whole lives, and these kids were hearing it for the first time, and some didn’t even understand what was going on. You could tell that these kids wanted love and affection, and that’s what we were there to do. There was a girl there who was turning 17 three days later, and she was getting ready to have a baby. This outreach really had a special affect because it enforced the fact of how blessed we are for growing up the way we did and for the opportunities that we have. Later that night we had the Rescue Project. The Rescue Project is an outreach that ministers to those involved with sex-trafficking. We were split up into groups and piled into vans and hit the road. We handed out roses to the prostitutes on the street with a card attached with a number to call if they needed help. It was rather intimidating at first, but our group was really excited. We told the girls that they are beautiful and that they are made in the image of God and that if they wanted or needed help, they could get it. It was crazy to see these women out on the streets. It was real. You hear the statistics about human trafficking, but actually seeing it is another thing. We were out late doing this, but it was such a blessing and worth it. God is really working in the lives of us here at the Dream Center!

Sunday, March 25
Though the Rescue Project was an amazing and blessed experience, it provided for a very late night. Thankfully, we were able to sleep in and still be in time for church at 10:30 PST. The pastor taught about bouncing back from sin and horrible circumstances, even when you think all hope is lost. He was very enigmatic and enthusiastic about his message, and we would like more preachers in Florida to be like him! After church, we ate lunch and changed quickly to go to Chicken Park, where we served hot dogs, passed out Resurrection Eggs, sang worship songs, and performed a skit. At the end of our time there, the pastor who spoke called up anyone who wanted to pray or become saved, and many of the attendees of the outreach went up. It was an amazing time. Once we were done at Chicken Park, we made our way to South Mountain, where we split up into groups and hiked a few different trails. The effect of following up God’s spirit moving in the community of Phoenix with immersion in His Creation was awe-inspiring. After hiking, we ate dinner at a local Mexican restaurant, then returned to the Dream Center, yet again entirely spent but entirely amazed by the Lord.

Monday, March 26
Monday morning we split up into three groups: the worship team, the rest of the guys, and the rest of the girls. We all woke up early, but the men woke the earliest to join the male disciples for a rigorous work out. Next the worship team went to My Father’s House again, serving the homeless physical and spiritual food. Not long after, the rest of the women joined the female disciples for breakfast and their Bible study and made salvation bracelets with several colored beads to symbolize different aspects of the Resurrection. We joined up again to pack up our things and clean up our rooms at the Dream Center. After a quick goodbye and prayer, we split up into vehicle groups and began the two hour journey to Flagstaff. We stopped in Sedona along the way to eat lunch at Wildflower Bread Company (which is Arizona’s version of Panera Bread) and hike at Cathedral Rock. The rest of the way to Flagstaff brought us through winding mountain roads with beautiful cliffs and trees on both sides. We stopped for a while at a nice little park- and had a snowball fight. By the end, almost everyone’s hands were numb, but it was well worth it. Once in Flagstaff, we checked into our hotel and hung out for a little while before a pizza dinner arrived. We had devotions (during which eyes were very droopy), then went out to a nearby Coldstone Creamery for ice cream, even though the temperature is at least 50˚F, probably lower. We are now back in our hotel, and tomorrow we’re headed for the Grand Canyon!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Day 4 and Day 5

Sunday was a "chill" day. We had the chance to sleep in and enjoy some well needed rest. After eating breakfast, instead of running off to pour into the local children we stayed inside and let God pour into us. Albert, the director, led a simple church service at Pura Vida on character. We learned that character costs us something. After having our own spiritual needs met, we went to the second site, Linda Vista. The children were so happy to see us. We played games and told them about the importance of family. Shortly after that, we went back to PVM and got washed up for dinner. Sunday night, we had the joy of eating out. We had the chance to enjoy the brisk Costa Rican evening weather while bonding with our fellow missionaries.
Monday we returned to our regualr schedule. We went to the first site, Calle Zamora, a local soccer field. When we arrived, a nearby middle school was using the soccer field for PE. We prayed that God would soften the hearts of the PE teachers, so they would let us use a small portion of the field. They did. Unfortunately, the regular VBS children did not arrive until later. However, God knew what part they needed to hear. Sadly, we had to say our last good byes to the children at this site because tomorrow is a half day. We went back to PVM and had lunch. We rested a bit and headed out to the second site. Some of the children had to go to school during the afternoon, so they could not come. After we finished our VBS session, we said our final goodbyes to the children who won't be at that site tomorrow since they'll be at school. Our hearts broke, as these are the kids we have gotten to know for the past four days. We built relationships, we bonded and now we miss each other. Tomorrow we will go to Linda Vista in the morning to visit the other children we did not get to see this afternoon.
All of us here miss our families. We look foward to coming back home and showing off our tans.
PS. Continue to pray for safety and health especially as we start touring Costa Rica.

Thanks to Ashley Keeley and Ashlie Jobst for editing this blog.

Tear Down the Walls

Posted by: Monica, Sarah, and Nicole

The day dawned a little bit colder than the previous, so we all dressed warmly and headed down to a continental breakfast at 8:00. As always, it was scrumptious. The warm chocolate muffins were especially good. Michael decided that he didn’t have any patience and ate them right in line! Today, we had the privilege of studying Ephesians 5. All of the boys (except two) and five girls headed off to a tornado victim’s house to help demolish one that was damaged. The rest of us stayed behind at Long View to help burn fallen logs in the forest and finish painting fence boards. Those who were burning the logs were joined by Pastor Tootie and two other people from Disciple’s Point. After a wonderful lunch of turkey sandwiches, some went to help rid the horse pasture of rocks, clean the couches, or throw an old television in the dumpster. When those at Long View finished their tasks, they got some well deserved rest. Those who helped demolish the house returned soon after.
Dinner consisted of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, and biscuits. I don’t know if you’ve caught on, but the food at Long View is very good! After dinner, Mrs. Poole led us in a discussion on Ephesians 5. Of course we talked about marriage and how wives must submit to their husbands. Naturally none of the girls really liked that at first, but after some helpful words from Mrs. Poole and Mr. Hood, we all understood. Then we all moseyed over to the campfire. At said campfire, we sang wonderful songs, built each other up, and we shared a lot more than any one bargained for. Our class was united through a time of vulnerability and love as the students shared personal struggles.

This life-changing experience only could have occurred through the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit. We feel that the day might be best summarized on the note that we should “love others just as Christ loved the church” (Ephesians 5:25) – When this occurs, everything else is in proper perspective.

Freshmen Day 1

Posted by: Mrs. McD.

We planted maringo trees. They are nick-named the world's medicine cabinet. We even ate some of its leaves--very bitter! :P We also planted many pine trees.

Freshmen Day 1

Posted by: Mrs. McD.

This friendly goat wanted to jump the fence when he saw us!

Freshmen Day 1

Posted by: Mrs. McD.

Brad's new friend "Ruka"

Freshmen Day 1

Posted by: Mrs. McD.

The girls' house -- "Paz"

Day 1 Pictures

Day 1 at the HEART Institute

Posted by:Mrs. McDaniel
We thank the Lord for a safe trip to H.E.A.R.T. Institute. As soon as we got in the school bus, we “unplugged” from all electronics. We played lots of card games, ate lots of snacks, and enjoyed fellowship with one another. We arrived around 10:30 am and got a tour of our beautiful Florida wilderness facilities. Today’s activities included taking care of the animals (chickens, rabbits, donkeys, goats, fish, etc.), planting trees, preparing meals, and clean-up chores. It was such a blessing to see our students working together and serving with cheerful hearts. We learned a lot about nature and “appropriate technology” missionaries use to minister to the needy and survive with limited resources. There are two things most of the kids miss the most: toilets and cold drinking water. Yet, I have not heard one complaint. It was very hot and sunny during the day, but now it is very pleasant in the low 70’s. We enjoyed simple meals of rice and chicken for lunch, and rice and beans for dinner. Most of the kids have a good supply of snacks! One of the counselors, a veteran missionary to Africa, blessed us with a Spirit-filled devotional where he challenged us to find our God-given “platform” from which we will share the Gospel with the world. The cold showers were refreshing after working in the hot sun. In the evening, three students typed blogs, but when they tried to post them the internet connection was lost. This is why I am now summarizing what Chris, Jenna, and Michelle had written. Our day concluded with a wonderful time of worship, devotion, testimonies, and prayer for the last two hours (which seemed like 30 minutes). The Lord’s presence was evident among us, and we have great expectations of what He will do in us and through us this week. We value your prayers.
*Michelle says: Love you Mami <3
**xoxo to Rob, Ryan, Josiah, Jesse, Steven, & Mami—I miss you! I wish you could see the STARS!!! There are millions of them!**

Local Missions

Posted by: Megan

We began our trip early Thursday morning by going to a local church in Boynton Beach. We were working with people from Habitat for Humanity to spruce up the church. We were greeted by smiling faces and willing hands ready to serve. The pastor of the small church was there helping us out and providing enough thanks to last a lifetime. We were separated into four groups and we sent to work. Our tasks included sanding the walls, priming, and cleaning windows. When we were halfway done we walked to a small lot in which we ate lunch with college students. Which was really cool because they were not Christians so we had a chance to show how God works in our lives.

The very next day we went back and finished our work. We put a final coat on the doors, walls, and the walkway, scraped the bars over the window and painted them. We all worked together to achieve our goal. When we were done the church was beautiful and looked so clean. We were all so happy that we could provide this service in time for the lovely church people to see on Sunday.

Today, we went to Florence Fuller and we were put into groups. The children were ages five and under. We got to help them with schoolwork and then play games with them. A lot of us were playing tag outside while others watched the kids and played games like jump rope. The second half of the day was spent in the dining room of Boca Christian. We cleaned the chairs and tables. Some people also sorted out toiletries for the days to come.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Shabach on Sunday

Posted by: Brittney and Monica

The first blessing that we received today was being able to wake up at 8:45 instead of 7:45. Obviously, the Lord's day started on a positive note. Breakfast consisted of scrambled eggs, bacon, blueberry muffins, and cereal. As always, it was delicious. We had devotions this morning on Ephesians 4 and took a spiritual gifts survey. We then embarked on the scenic journey to Disciple's Point Church.

At first glance, you would never know that Disciple's Point was actually a church due to the fact that the service is held in the showroom of an old auto shop. Paster Tootie (yes Tootie) was filled to the brim with the Holy Spirit. He kept repeating the word "shabach" which means praise in Hebrew and "shalom" which means peace, perfect, and complete. He preached entirely on Romans 8:2. The sermon was awesome, and he filled us with the message that we should "shabach" to our "shalom". (We should praise Jesus.) Then Pastor Tootie and the church graciously took us to an authentic Mexican restaurant. One quick trip to Walmart later, and we were back at Long View.

Upon our return, most of the boys and five girls went paintballing, and the rest of the girls and Kenny went horseback riding. Paintballing was pretty fierce, with some competitive battles between the two teams!

We all stumbled back into the dining hall, exhausted from our activites, and feasted on pulled pork and baked beans. After dinner, we had some awesome praise and worship time and then launched straight into a talk about our spiritual gifts. Mrs. Pool divided us up into groups according to our spiritual gifts. We talked about how each spiritual gift could be used to help benefit the church. "From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work." Ephesians 4:16. Finished with devotions, we decided on the game of capture the flag. It was a lot of fun, creeping around in the dark to grab each other's flags. The day came to a close shortly after the game. We are looking forward to helping out Long View and Disciple's Point again tomorrow.

Sunday Photos

Happy Lord's Day!

An official blog entry from the students will be forthcoming this evening, but I wanted to get today's photos posted now so that Mr. Hood doesn't have to stay up an extra hour waiting for them to upload tonight. We had a wonderful day of rest that included Mexican food, Wal-Mart, paintballing, horseback riding, as well as church. Stay tuned for more details!

--Mrs. Poole

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Posted by: Casey and Kayli

"Cock-a-doodle doo" went the rooster...all night. When we woke up to the rooster in the morning, we got out of bed, went to breakfast, and began our day. I'm pretty sure we've had beans with every meal so far. After breakfast, we had TAG Time (Time alone with God) where we get alone, read our Bibles, and pray. After TAG Time, we hopped into the bus and headed to the first site, where we blew bubbles, jumped rope, played soccer, and enjoyed a game of Pato, Pato, Ganzo. (duck duck goose). By the way, we are all pretty much pros at Spanish now. After a lovely meal at the mission, (which included beans, of course) we went to the second site, which was a great turn out! The children are so sweet and though there is a language barrier, they seem to understand the point of our mission.

After the game time at VBS, we had worship, a puppet show with a message, a lesson from Genesis, testimonies, crafts, prayer, and, of course, snacks! The kids chased after our bus for quite a while after we left the site. It was the cutest thing ever! We came back for an early dinner, which consisted of rice, BEANS, salad, and chips. After the quick meal, we visited a Spanish church's HIGH ENERGY youth service. We jumped to every song. It was so awesome to see people of all nations and generations worshiping the Lord in spirit and in truth. It was long and in Spanish, but we had some of it translated. Pamela and Mrs. Barnhill told us that the pastor was talking about the qualities of great people.

After the service, we were treated to ice cream at a local shop. It took us about thirty minutes to figure out what the flavors were, and by the end, we still didn't know what we were eating. But it was muy delicioso! If it weren't for Pamela and our new friend Nacho, we don't know where we'd be.

And that brings us to right now, as we are blogging and getting ready to go to sleep. We need to rest because we have a big day ahead of us. Please play that the roosters get a good night's sleep too. :) We are having a lot of fun, but we miss you all mucho! Hasta manana,

Casey and Kayli and the rest of the senior class, and Mr. and Mrs. Barnhill

P.S. Ashlie says hi

P.P.S Happy birthday, Hope Carpinello!!!!

Lumberjacking at Long View

Posted by: Brittney and Monica

Rise and shine! We woke up this morning to the sun rising over the magnificent mountains despite some early thunder and lightning. We then geared up with jeans, boots, gloves for a dirty day. We ate a breakfast of delicious pancakes at 7:45 to get an early start to the day. Afterwards, we had our devotional time to study Ephesians chapter 3 and then all got onto the bus. We headed straight to chopping up wood for a local church that cuts wood for people during the winter time.
Girls - logs
The lumberjacking began. The groups formed assembly lines, picking up logs and loading them into trucks and trailers. Climbing over electrified fences, getting muddy, and avoiding horse poop was just the beginning! Heavy logs were a bit of a challenge, but any challenge can be conquered with God on your side. "He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need." -Ephesians 4:28
Log Portrait
The time flew, as 1:00 o'clock approached, and we had our lunch. We were delighted with a pot-luck style lunch served at a Methodist church which is a part of the logging ministry that we helped. Lunch went by fast and we all wolfed down our food. Our next task was supposed to be to stack the wood in the warehouse that the ministry owned. Upon arrival at the warehouse, Mr. Hood informed us that some friendly immates had already preformed our job for us. Lucky us - we headed back to Long View early (thanks to the lovely immates) to more freetime and our naps! Dinner was at 6:00 o'clock, we sat down to some meatloaf and cheesey broccoli. One of Mr. Hood's favorite's at Long View - their homemade raspberry jam on biscuits was also served. Worship was as wonderful as usual and we rehearsed our verses on Ephesians. During our Bible study time, our small groups composed our own doxologies - including a rousing rap version from some of the boys. Mr. Hood finally announced the game of man hunt which was crazy fun. Obviously the girls won,but we may have a rematch in the future. The day has finally come to an end, once again it was a tiresome but rewarding experience at Long View!
Guys - logs

The Beginning of a Beautiful Trip

Posted by: Erika

The second day of the Junior mission trip began with another early start (though later than the day before). We left the Dream Center around 6:15 PST for My Father’s House, a homeless outreach run by Church on the Street. We served many men and women breakfast while the worship team sang and Mr. Shiver preached a short message. We returned to the Dream Center for some free time, during which skits and music were practiced, some students and Mrs. Stemper made a trip to Costco, and we went on a short tour of the Dream Center. For meals, there are two shifts: men and women. The genders are separated to avoid any temptation the disciples may encounter. After lunch, we headed over to St. Mary’s Food Bank, internationally recognized as the first food bank in the world. There we sorted donated food for packages that the food bank gives to those in need. We sorted enough food for almost 4,000 meals! During our brief introduction to the food bank, we learned that one in four children in Arizona doesn’t know where their next meal is going to come from. We also learned that in Arizona, one in every five families and one in every seven senior citizens also is nutritionally unstable. These statistics only enforce our yearning to make a difference in this community. We returned to the Dream Center for some more free time before dinner, and some of us dashed to Walmart for a few things. After dinner, there was some more free time before “Friday Fun Night,” which consisted of the praise team leading the disciples in many worship songs, Mrs. Stemper sharing some things about BRCS, a couple of testimonies, and a skit put on by Jackie and Erika. We had devotions, then returned to our rooms, anxious for sleep. Thank you for keeping us in your prayers!

Friday, March 23, 2012

We spent all of yesterday preparing for our first day of VBS (Vacation Bible School) yet, nothing could have prepared us for today. The first site we visited did not have many kids. We were discouraged because of the small numbers. Nonetheless, we knew that even if we could minister to three kids at that site, it was worth it. The positive side to having an undersized group is that we had the opportunity to connect with the children. We sang songs, played games, gave a testimony and made a crafts. The children seemed to enjoy it.

After leaving the site we went to lunch. We traveled to a nearby waterfall. The view there was amazing. We had a chance to see God's creation in a different way. The terrain of Costa Rica is completely different; Florida has no mountains, waterfalls, and the weather is hot, all the time.

After a few hours of relaxing, we went to the second site. The bareness of this site was astonishing. The children live in small shacks surrounded by red dry clay. Nevertheless, they greeted us with smiles and hugs. Our first opening minutes we played with the kids. We played soccer and ninja. The children looked so happy even though they have next to nothing. After playing games, we started our crafts. We had each child make a prayer journal. We then gathered together and collectively prayed. One child's prayer request struck us all. She prayed for more food in the home. It made us think. We as Boca kids are so used to wanting this, and wanting that. She taught us all a very important lesson, to be content. SOmthing that was later reiterated by our director, Albert.

We are tired but look forward to meeting the smae kids again. Please pray for us here.

PS - Casey says hello to everyone

- Lauren Harper says hello to everyone

Somewhere over the Rainbow at Long View

Posted by: Brittney and Monica

Today we completed the final stretches of our journey to Long View Ranch in Tennessee. The day dawned rainy and foggy. Those four hours of travel passed by rather quickly when looking at God's beautiful creation.

We arrived around noon and promptly ate lunch. We unloaded our heavy luggage into our cabins while avoiding the rain. Almost immediately after situating ourselves, we went straight to work. The boys did some grueling work carrying logs, splitting and loading them into trailers in the beautiful woods.

Some of the girls helped paint fence boards, other girls helped paint a room downstairs, and the remaining girls cleaned the dining hall and kitchen. When the five gallon bucket of "black" paint for some boards in the barn actually proved to be gray, the girls instead "curried" the horses, which means to brush the horses' hair.

We were so enamored in our work, that we barely noticed it was almost dinner time! We then settled for another wonderful meal of baked ziti and scrumptious strawberry shortcake. We began devotions about Ephesians 2. As we began to dive into His word, a rainbow appeared over the mountains that were already drenched in the last rays of dying sunlight.

This just proved even more that, "We are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." -Ephesians 2:10. We ended the day afterwards with fun, silly games that had everyone roaring with laughter! We've had an adventurous and fun first day of Long View Ranch.


The Early Bird Catches the Plane

Posted by: Erika

The 11th grade mission trip began today with a very early start. The juniors dutifully rose in the wee hours of the morn to arrive at BRCS at 4:30 AM for a 4:45 departure for Ft. Lauderdale Airport. Yawning and garbed in the most comfortable yet publically acceptable clothes available, we headed out to meet our 7:45 AM departure. Mrs. Lake was kind enough to rise with us and drive the bus back to school after we’d unloaded ourselves and our luggage. Once in the airport, we wandered around in search of breakfast until it was boarding time. Our first flight went from Ft. Lauderdale to Detroit, Michigan, where we ate lunch during our layover. Our flight from Detroit landed us in Phoenix, Arizona. After claiming our baggage, we headed to Papago Park, where we hiked around the unique Arizona beauty of large red rock formations. After the park, we trekked through Phoenix rush hour traffic to the Dream Center, where we will be spending most of our time here in Arizona. We were given a short orientation where we learned what the Dream Center does and just how desperately Phoenix needs its generous efforts. After orientation, we rushed to dinner, ravenous. Our dinner at Wendy’s was followed by a trip to a large Mexican supermarket for whatever anyone needed. Exhausted, we returned to the Dream Center, where everyone will (hopefully) get a good night’s rest, and have no trouble adjusting to the three-hour time difference.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sophomores Have Fun on Bus during Day 1

Posted by: Mr. Hood
Just wanted to give a quick update to let everyone know that we have arrived safely in Columbia, SC after a fun bus trip this first day. Here is a quick run down of the day: We began the day with our first Bible study time with Mrs. Poole in her choir room before we left school. It was a great introduction to the book of Ephesians, which we are going to study throughout the week. Mrs. Poole gave each of the students and chaperones our own personalized devotional book with our names on the cover - a true labor of love that she created on her own!!

We then drove north on I-95 and stopped for lunch in Daytona - right next to the Speedway - where the students were thrilled to have the choices of Chick-fil-a, Pannera Bread, Chipotle or 5 Guys! After that, another 5 hours north we went, passing into Georgia, then South Carolina. Final stop was for dinner at Cracker Barrel and then on to our hotel. The students have been having fun socializing, listening to music, and just being kids on the bus today.

We look forward to arriving at Long View tomorrow at lunch and then getting to work for the afternoon. Looking forward to some great blogs written by the students starting tomorrow night. Sophomore trip signing off - good-night!

Day One- Arrival in Costa Rica

Our class set out to serve, change hearts and explore. Today we mostly invited people to come to our activities scheduled for tomorrow. We saw children a plenty and thankfully, the locals were very receptive to our presence.
We arrived in Costa Rica and were welcomed with food. After a short break, we had orientation. We then went out to the surrounding communities. They greeted us "Hola" and "Como estas?" We visited two neighborhoods and invited the children to VBS tomorrow.
After exploring the area, we had a diner fit for royalty, it consisted of rice, beans, plantains, chicken and salad.
Day one is almost over. Although we did not do much serving, we did plenty of planning. We all are excited and look forward to spreading the gospel of Christ here in Costa Rica.
As they say here: "Hasta Manana"

Sophomores Departing for Tennessee

Thank you, Mrs. Ross, for sharing this photo!