Thursday, March 26, 2015

Van Buren Outreach and

Posted by: Joy Smith/Chase Henderson
Monday night we went to the Van Buren outreach.  We ministered to the homeless, fed the homeless, we did praise and worship, and also participated in a cross walk. During the crosswalk we would handout bags with a pillow, a bible, some basic hygiene items, and other miscellaneous things. After the cross walk Lucien, Chase, Rachel, Catie, and I met a homeless man named Ken who had drawn thousands of pictures and had given them out to children who he had seen throughout his life.  The sad part was when I asked him if he had any children of his own, he responded by telling me that he knew he had children but wasn't at all involved in their lives and didn't even know how old they were. It broke my heart see that this man clearly cared for children, but had missed out on being part of his own children's lives. Ken was a kind and gentle man who at first I was scared to approach, after spending about twenty minutes talking to him it almost brought me to tears when I had to say goodbye. After we finished talking with Ken we all prayed for him and he gave us pictures of different animals.
During the last missions trip meeting Mrs. Barnhill handed each of us a name of someone else going on the trip. This was your blessing buddy, During the trip most people would get their buddy something like their favorite candy or drink. For example my blessing buddy got me four Starbucks drinks. On the last night in Arizona we reveled out blessing buddy and we would give them words or encouragement and tell them what we like about them.

. . . that was written last night, and with wifi difficulty, it wasn't able to be posted. Suffice to say it was a wonderful trip! Come to the mission trip chapel tomorrow and hear all about it! Mrs. Barnhill

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Last Night in Costa Rica/Flight Info

After four days of ministry work with Pura Vida Missions, we headed to La Fortuna. We have been blessed with beautiful weather, and we have had great views of the Arenal volcano from our hotel rooms. We spent last night at the Baldi hot springs and then went zip lining today. We will be leaving La Fortuna tomorrow morning and making the 4 hour drive to the airport.

For our parents, here is our flight info:

Spirit flight #756 from San Jose, Costa Rica to Fort Lauderdale, Florida

We should be landing at 5:28pm (but please check our flight status online for more accurate information). However, we will still need to go through customs, so our estimated time of arrival at BRCS is around 6:45 p.m.

We will be texting our parents with updates once we are in the states, so please have your phones handy!

Posted by: Chris Shafer
After Florence Fuller, instead of doing another service project, we had a fun day at Planet Air. I thourouhly enjoyed myself and so did the others. It was nice having a relaxing time after all then are work we've done. Christian flipped... Literally! He did this thing that made him go upside down like he was on a snowboard. The ropes corse was amazing too! It's back to work tomorrow!

Tuesday: Day Two

Posted by: Elena Bauer and Viviane Della Torre
Due to limited internet access, we are going to post in the day after.
The picture above shows one of activities of milking the goats. The staff members then take the milk and process it so we can drink it. We then feed the rabbits, quails, and the fish they have. 
We do many other games, such as this one. We have wooden blocks that we all have to stand on and with only two planks, we have to find away o help each other across and win the game. This teaches us that we need to learn the skill of leadership and working as a team. Without that skill, you fail to put plans together and you fail to help others.
At the end of the day, Allison, Anastasia, and Eli lead the group in praise and worship. When praise ends, we have an open discussion about something we have learned that day or something we noticed.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

How Deep is the Love of Christ?

Posted by: Rachael Fleres

"...but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." ~Isaiah 40:31

Last day at Long View. I cannot believe it. Feels like we just got here yesterday! But no, we will be heading home tomorrow morning. But about today. I feel like today was the biggest day we've had. Some of us woke up early and witnessed an amazing sunrise. Then we ate breakfast, did devotions, and we were off to Rural Resources. Rural Resources is a farm that raises cattle and crops and gives a portion to poor families. We helped fix some buildings, helped with animals, and helped with crops. We ate lunch by the stream before working for another hour or so. Then, we headed back to Long View where a small group helped out with a small task and then we all took a break. On the break we played games or slept. A lot slept. We were tired! Dinner was promptly at 6, followed by music, devotions, verse memorization and then a bonfire. At the bonfire we all shared very deeply and we learned so much- we are a family and we have someone to lean on.  We saw God's Spirit move in our hearts and He prompted us to share with each other.  He is bringing healing and help to us as individuals and as a class.  We thank Him for what He has done on this trip and look forward to the unity it will bring our class in these years ahead. For the final time we sign off from Long View. 

From our class to your home, with all the love from our Father... Good Night
Posted by: Chris Shafer
After our usual visit to Florence Fuller, we went to the Place of Hope. If you're wondering what that is, it's a foster home for abused and neglected children. Actually, it used to be called The Haven. Going there hit me herd personally because I used to know someone who ended up there. It was humbling to me to see where he stayed. We all should feel blessed that we are all in a stable home with families that love us, unlike the kids that have to stay here. Anyway, when we got there, we split up into two groups One group cleaned up from construction on the inside, and the other did lawn work on the outside. I'm not sure about the others, but I considered it a blessing to work there.

Day One!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Life is Brief-Live it for Him

Posted by: Rachael Fleres

Today was an interesting day. We got up normal time, ate breakfast (pancakes and sausage!) and then we were on our way. We went down to an old home that was owned by a wonderful man but hasn't been lived in for 7 years! He passed on late last year and donated his home to the Holston Home for Children. Our job? Clearing out the home, the basement, the yard, and the shed. Boy, was it hard work! But we did it! We ate sandwiches for lunch, but it was a quick break before working again. It was also amazing because they said that we need to throw everything out so we were able to keep whatever we thought was awesome! It was great! But we are so tired and grateful to be back at home base of Long View when the work was completed. Movie night and Tyson's legendary kettle corn finished of the day! Yes!!!
Sophomore's memorizing verses from Ephesians. 
David, Ismael, and Jonathan read a Bible from 1880 that was found inside the home.

Shout outs
Hey, Charles (in Arizona)! ~ Sophia, Helga, and Rachelle
Olivia and Hannah in Arizona- Love and miss you guys! ~Vanessa
Cristina in Costa Rica- Love and miss you girl! ~Vanessa
Hey Josh and all the freshmen - make it through your trip and Long View Ranch is like banana pudding! :-) Mr. Hood and all the Sophomores!

From our class to your home, with all the love from our Father. Good Night.
Posted by: Mariana Jane
I thought today went really well. I worked with a different classroom today, the 18-24 month old children, and it went great. At first, they were very shy, but as time progressed they opened up to Julia and I in a wonderful way. They craved our attention and we were delighted to play with them, as well as help the teachers in any way they needed. When we eventually went to the soup kitchen, I felt very proud of everyone after making and packing the sandwiches, because I really felt like we were making a difference in others' lives. Yes, we were assisting the workers but we were also preparing meals for those who can't afford to feed themselves. Overall, I think today went very well. 

Busy times!!

Posted by: Lauren Grant, Sarahann Rios, and Rachel Taylo.
Wow, it's been a long time since we blogged, because we've been on the go!
On Saturday all of the girls woke up at 5:45 and joined the women disciples to march around the Dream Center chanting and singing. The boys luckily got to sleep in! we split up into three groups. Some of us went to a women's rescue project, where women on the streets were brought into the Dream Center, served breakfast, and made salvation bracelets. Some of us went to the Glenrosa outreach where we went door knocking and handed out flyers inviting less wealthy families, or

homeless people to join us at a park where we served free meals and a church service where our wonderful praise and worship team sang. A few of the boys headed over to the VA and shared special fellowship time with them. In the afternoon some of the Spanish-speaking students made their way to the children's outreach at the trailer park because the children there only knew how to speak language. When the students came back, they were all touched by these kid's stories and happiness they brought into the world. At 4:00 p.m. a group of us went over to Ocatillo Children's Outreach and had a blast! We all got in a huge water gun fight with the kids and a few adults even joined in! After the fun and games, we put on another church service for the kids and taught them a bible lesson. Ocatillo was a very poor area and the students loved to see how they lived and show them that someone was there for them and that God loves them. Later that night the students and a few disciples had fun completing amusing tasks during a scavenger hunt. Some of these tasks included things like dance with a stranger, or pray with a man in a red hat. After that, our whole class headed out to evangelize. While we were talking to people we met, a group of us brought one man to Christ, and another group helped a man join the Dream Center's program.
     On Sunday morning, we attended a church service here at the Dream Center and a couple of our students helped with the youth and children's service. I think we can all say it was an amazing experience. The man who we had helped the night before even showed up to the service and found us to thank us again. In the afternoon our class went to another outreach at Chicken Park. The park was beautiful and while we were there, free meals were served and another great service was put on. A group of us brought another man to the decision he was going to join the program at the Dream Center! Excited to hike again, we headed off to North Mountain Park in Phoenix.  The long trek up this mountain was definitely worth the view! We all made our way to the top! After a long hike in the sun we headed out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant where we snarfed down our meals.
     Today, the boys woke up at 4:30 a/m/ to attend an intense workout with the male disciples. The girls woke up and prepared to talk with and help homeless women make salvation bracelets! All of us drove over to St. Mary's food bank and helped put over 9,000 packages of chips into bags, and over 541 bags of produce and dry foods. At 4:00 p.m. the group will eat dinner and then head out to Van Buren Outreach where we will again serve meals to the homeless and those in need. I guess you could say we have had a busy week so far! All of us feel blessed to have these rare opportunities and meet unique people !

Sunday, March 22, 2015

VBS Day 3

Posted by: Michelle Davila

Today was my first day here in Pura Vida; arriving here this morning. I’m very excited to be here coming back from being sick at home for what felt a lifetime. When I arrived I felt so welcomed by everyone and we quickly left for VBS with the kids. There weren’t many kids there today but it was a blessing to be able to interact with them. I was really rough at my Spanish at first but I got the hang of it and got to talk to a lot of the kids.  IM SO EXCITED TO BE HERE! The kids are awesome and my nails look beautiful. (my little friend painted my nails.) Shout out to Mami. 

Student Shout Outs

“Hi mom. Love you” - Trent

“Shout out to Dirty Mike and the boys” – Guys Senior Class

‘‘Shout out to Mr. Smith’s chair!!!” – Josiah Smith

Paintball-but First, Let Me Take a Selfie

Posted by: Rachael Fleres

Our morning started off with a glorious sunrise and an equally glorious breakfast. Most of us were able to sleep in because of church which started at approx 11:00. So, with breakfast at 8:45 we were done and on the bus by 10:15. Church was held at Disciples Point with a small but welcoming congregation. We enjoyed donuts before the service as well as selfies with the pastor during the service! He spoke a great sermon about what we would do if we saw Jesus. How would we act? Then, at the end, the congregation laid hands on us while pastor prayed a blessing over us - it was very special.  They then took us out for lunch at a Mexican restaurant. It was delicious! After all of this we came back and while half played paintball (shooting Mr. Hood a couple times) the others relaxed and played games. It was altogether a great afternoon. Finally, we finished the night with hamburgers and potato salad as well as yet another game of man hunt. After all, what would a missions trip be without it?

Pastor Tootie takes a selfie with Austin Smith during the service.

From our class to your home, with love from our Father. Good Night. 

VBS Day #2

Posted by: All

Today we visited all the kids we met yesterday, and they were still super cute. At one site, a kid (Jeffrey) blessed us in Spanish as we left. We also visited Las Musas - a waterfall that had freezing water. It felt like an ice bath, but everyone got in. There was also an epic water slide; it would not have been legal in the United States. But don't worry parents - we all stayed safe and no one got hurt.

The chair betrayed Mr. Smith...

The Narwhals at our indoor soccer game. 
Los Relampagos at the indoor soccer game.

Costa Rican tradition is to have an egg smashed on your head when it is your birthday. Thanks for being a good sport, Amanda!