Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Local Missions Trip Day 5

Posted by: Vittoria Sottani

WHAT A DAY! Not only we were able to impact the kids' lives at Florence Fuller, but also the elderly! In the morning, we spent some extra time with the kids, since we had no hurry to leave for another activity. Many of us have noticed that little boys are most likely to cry more than girls, while girls are most likely to fight more than the little guys. We all shared how each class of kids behaved, and the most interesting of all was that we all agreed with what we've shared, which taught us that even though each one of us is unique, we all come from the same Father. Each of us has to deal with different problems, but we need to understand that we all need the same remedy, which is the acceptance of God into our hearts. That is what those kids need, and we are blessed to be able to show them that.
We ended the first half of the day by playing,  all together, on the playground. The kids are SO in love with us, and so are we!! It is always sad seeing them yelling our names and asking to come back as we get on the bus ready to leave for lunch.

After eating, we went to sing to the elderly. We were, once again, able to share God's word, and also God's characterization by simply showing love, compassion, gratitude, and respect. We sang to them worship songs. They just LOVED IT!! It melt our hearts seeing them clapping and trying to sing with us. We also played bingo, and interacted with them  by asking questions or playing cards.

We continue to pray every morning, after devotions, for those who are coming back from missions trips, and for those who are spending their last night. We love you and can't wait to see you'll on Friday!!

Local Missions Trip Day 4

Posted by: Vittoria Sottani

Unfortunately, the end of mission trips is coming closer... BUT, that only motivates us to really enjoy these last couples of days.

First of all, all the kids are now able to remember all of our names and so can we! In the
morning, we could see them impatiently waiting for us to arrive, and not wanting to eat breakfast before we stepped in the class. Anxiously hoping we would arrive soon to play. Their love is so pure, and that is because of God's love. Regardless the fact that they fight or cry at times, at the bottom of their heart, all they are looking for and what they really need is love. We are blessed by the fact that we are able to show them love, and how Jesus wants us to treat others and ourselves.
We are daily impacted by those angels, whom everyday bless us with something new.

After lunch, we went to the movies to watch "The young Messiah." Many of us liked it, while others thought that some changes could be made regarding what happened when. As a group, we liked the movie because it gave us an idea of what Jesus' early life might, and probably did, had looked like.

We are looking forward for tomorrow!!! We have been praying for the other mission trips, and that they are able to arrive home safely :)

Costa Rica Day #6 - #7 AND Arrival Information for Parents

** Important info for parents **

Return Flight: Spirit Airlines Flight 756

We should be arriving at school around 6:30 p.m. Please keep your phones handy as we will text updates of our ETA.


Yesterday and today were our two side trip days. We drove about 2.5 hours from San Ramon to La Fortuna yesterday afternoon. The scenery was beautiful, and we were able to see the entire Volcano Arenal! (This is very rare.)

Last night, we went to the Baldi Hot Springs. We were able to relax and have some fun on the water slides. Today, we went white water rafting. We had tons of fun and are now back at the mission in San Ramon for our last night.

See you all tomorrow!

Girls at the hot springs.

Class of 2016 at the Arenal Volcano

Ready to go rafting!

Finishing Strong

Posted by: Christina Sullivan, Emma Vallely, and Jordan Giandomenico

Day 3: 
Today the teams conquered their fears and tried new things.  Among the things we did was the rich man/poor man meal. In it we experienced a simulation that represented people with different birthrights. While there were only a few of us representing the developed countries, most were underdeveloped, which shows how much of the world lives in poverty. Our work groups worked extremely hard today and did everything with a joyful spirit, helping one another as well as the HEART staff.  We finished the day with a cookout by the bonfire, followed by our community devotions and time of worship.

Team A "team tetnus"
Team B "ready for work"
Team C "getting pumped"

Felipe on the ropes course

Campfire Hot Dogs!

Feeding the chickens

Evelyn and her new baby friend! (yummy breakfast for tomorrow)

Madi cleaning the pig's feed buckets

God moved in our midst last night!

Posted by: Mr. Hood

WOW!! What an amazing final day it was yesterday here on the Sophomore Trip.  The students continued to show their willingness to work hard and do whatever project needed to be done as we went to the Rural Resources farm.  They were divided into 6 teams and did projects like raking the dirt into planting beds in the field, painting the beams of new pavilion, bagging leaves used for compost, building a new worm farm box, cleaning the bus used for distributing fresh veggies to the community, and much more.  The staff at Rural Resources was blown away by the attitudes and hard work of our students!

After the tremendous work done at the farm, we decided to go on a beautiful hike to Margarette Falls. The class had an opportunity to see the glory of God's creation!

The day was concluded with an absolutely amazing time around the bonfire.  The Holy Spirit was certainly moving in our lives as people shared with deep vulnerability.  We heard of so many that have dealt with pain and hurt in their lives and this was an opportunity to share it with their classmates who responded with the love of Christ!!  It was so very special and we are now praying for these students to build on what has happened on this trip.  Please join us in praying for God to do mighty things with this Sophomore class.  I am so incredibly grateful for His answers to prayers for all of us on this trip to hear from Him - well...He spoke and we all heard Him loud and clear!! :-)  All praise and glory to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Life on the Farm

Posted by: Jack Oden, Van Kimmey, Christina Sullivan

Day Two: After an early start at 6:30, we started our morning jobs, including milking goats (many drank straight from the goat), making meals, and tending to the garden. We enjoyed a delicious breakfast of oatmeal, and began cleaning the dining room. Our activities in the hot sun began at 10, where many proceeded to tend the animals and learn about cross-cultural communication. Our lunch consisted of rice and black beans, and we proceeded to clean up yet again. At 2, we enjoyed playing a new game the interns called 'Schism'. The game was a mix between dodgeball and volleyball. Most of us enjoyed the sport, and multiple work groups were divided into teams of 2. After the game, we participated in cooking dinner, which consisted of bread and rabbit stew, and learning about technology in farming. After dinner, we cleaned the dining room, and ended the night with devotions, praise and worship, and prayer.

At a lookout during the Prayer Walk
Trenton and Stefan milking a goat
Evelyn and her piggy friend
Our group's new favorite game: Schisms!!
(A cross between volleyball and dodgeball)

Overcoming Obstacles

                                                                   Cleaning out a cart.
                                                                Learning about different foods
                                                                     Moving tables
Posted by: Jordan and Van and Emma

   We started off the first day with a little bus trouble, but after switching a few buses we were on on way. When we arrived at the Heart Institute we settled into the cabins and split up into work groups.  At first, people were unsure of the environment, but they soon found that this place is a blessing. These first two days have been taxing but everyone persevered through the day and had an amazing time. Some of the activities and chores included cleaning, caring for the animals, building fences, moving rocks to build a terrace, and we even cooked some meals! (Moms you should be proud),  We all came together at the end of the day and sang songs of worship and had a devotional time.  Overall, after some close encounters with the creepy-crawlies, we hit the pillows.  We are ready for another great day.  Thank you for all your prayers.

 BTW: Jordan picked up a goat and Van picked up a horse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Local Missions Trip day 3

Posted by: Vittoria Sottani

The freshmen joined us! Finally!! We showed them the classes they were supposed to go, and provided them some of the basic rules that Florence Fuller gave us last Thursday. They were really impressed with how well behaved the kids were. They loved spending time with them, and can't wait to do that today also! At the end of the day, we went to the white house across the street, where the youth group takes place on Wednesday nights. We helped the community by folding some of the clothes that had been donated to them.

Once again, we were able to show people God's love, and looking forward for another great day today!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Costa Rica Day #5

Posted by: Abbey Houren

Wow what an amazing day today has been.  Day 4 means the last full day of VBS, and it has turned out to be a pretty emotional one at that.

We started out our morning like any other. Another delicious meal made by the kitchen staff of Pura Vida followed by daily TAG time (Time Alone with God).  Before heading out for our last full day of VBS, Blake had to decide when he would get his “much needed surgery”. No one worry – it is just an ingrown toenail that he insisted on getting out in the country of Costa Rica. As Blake said, “This will be such a cool Instagram post.”

It’s Monday and that meant our VBS Ticos (Costa Ricans) would be at school and that we would not have many at our morning sessions. This gives us a great opportunity to play and teach with the few that don't have morning classes. We come back from morning session to Blake lying on the couch after his “surgery”. All went well but the only downfall is Sir Smith would not let him go to the local pizza parlor to get Wi-Fi. Was it truly worth it Blake? Lunch comes out and of course it’s delicious.

We headed out to our second site for the last time, and we were all pretty sad thinking this is the last time we will see these Ticas y Ticos. Mrs. G’s group got to their site and realized they are missing something. Bose? Bose where are you? Called back to the mission house to find out he is sound asleep in his bed! Of course we whipped that bus right around and got little Bosey (no skipping out on mission work!). Saying bye to all the children was so hard because you truly build strong relationships with them.

Dinner of course was amazing: rice, beans, meat of the day (tonight was chicken), and salad. Worship tonight also hit many people hard. Albert Senior finished our last worship night with an amazing sermon and completed it with Holy Communion. Seeing God work through each and every one of us tonight was amazing. So many people were praying together.

We ended the night with some wings from Crispy Wings; super yummy! Tomorrow we head to our last morning session of VBS and then off to the volcano and hot springs!

Will and his bff.

Beezer and his new friend.

The last day at Linda Vista.

Blake survived! He proceeded to ask to be babied the rest of the afternoon. Clearly it worked.

Joy, Olivia, Caroline, and Brynn making loom bands with some of the kids at VBS.

Lucien, Charles, Chase, Isaac, and Joy put on a puppet show during VBS.

The last day for Mr. Wheeler at La Union.

Marianna with Caila!

Seizing Each Moment for His Glory

Posted by: Brianna Gregoire and Stephanie Casting

"Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil."
Ephesians 5: 15-16

Today, we started the day in reverence of the Lord's creation. We were graced with another gorgeous sunrise, which was a great blessing to the entire sophomore class.


We, then, began our work week with a devotion in Ephesians 5, continuing with our trend of unity, grace, and love. After a great moment of devotionals, we had a delicious breakfast made by the Longview Staff. Then, we prepared for our work at Holsten Home for Children. Once we arrived there, we separated into multiple groups, where some students spread a massive pile of mulch, others picked up fallen tree limbs, another group planted flowers, some cleaned and painted fences and in general helped clean up around the campus. The class was extremely dedicated to making the campus as beautiful as possible for the children, while having a great time working together for the Lord, and seizing the moment. 

After a day of hard work, and dedicated efforts, the sophomore class came back to Long View Ranch to have some down time, where some students played board games, went down into the game room, or had fun playing some PVC Nerf Dart Dodge ball - thanks to the LVR staff! 

Once our free time ended, we had a great Southern dinner of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn casserole, salad, and cookies. After dinner we circled up to do our memory verses and then had  our usual praise & worship time and discussion of Ephesians Ch. 5.  We finished the eveing with some delicious home made kettle corn - a specialty of LVR.  We've been blessed with another tremendous day!

Unity with Our Brothers and Sisters in Christ

Posted by: Stephanie Casting and Brianna Gregoire
"There is one body and one Spirit - just as you were called to one hope when you were called - one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all."
Ephesians 4:4-5

To begin the day, a large group of students woke up early to see the sunrise, but sadly were met with a cloudy, gloomy day. The sun wasn't as glorious as it was yesterday, but the sophomores were still in high spirits in anticipation of going to worship with Pastor Tootie and his congregation at Disciple's Point Church, here in Greenville, Tennessee. After getting past the gloom of the cloudy morning rain, we enjoyed a great breakfast, and had a time of meaningful devotions. This morning's devotion was found in Ephesians 4, where there's an emphasis on unity within the body of Christ. Fortunately for us, we experienced true unity with other believers. At Disciple's Point, we were welcomed with open arms, and great Southern hospitality. After a great welcome into their quaint church, we began a great time of intimate worship, lead by the church's usual worship leaders, Angie and Cassie, and our own worship leaders, Amanda, Anastasia, and Daniel. These dedicated leaders made the sacrifice to leave early to be able to rehearse their line-up in order to lead worship. During the service, the worship was intimate and clearly filled with the Spirit.

 The service continued with a great illustration from Pastor Tootie with Angie, Andrew, and Brian to show that without the Word, our communication is awful. Pastor Tootie continued the trend of our trip, preaching on how we need to be open to the God speaking to us. Once he finished up his sermon, we went into a time of communion, where we surrendered to the Lord. 

After a great worship service, we enjoyed a delicious, home-cooked meal with the congregation at Disciple's Point. We had some crispy fried-chicken, tender barbecue pulled-pork, buttery rolls, fluffy mashed potatoes, and so much more. The food was great! After the delicious meal, we had a quick shopping run to Walmart. Once we got back to Long View, we all had some free time, where some of the sophomores went to rest, others went on some light walks, played some board games, or went on strenuous 6 mile hike with Mr. White as their leader. When the group got to the top they could see for 60 miles! Overall, we had a great afternoon.