Tuesday, March 27, 2012

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!