Sunday, March 15, 2020

Giving God Thanks for this Trip!

Posted by: Mr. Hood

This has been an incredibly special trip with a tremendous group of sophomores. As we have faced the uncertainties of all that has been happening around our country and our world, these students have focused on the work projects before them and completed them well. They have also focused on their relationship with God as they have studied the book of Ephesians each morning and looked at His creation around them all day long. Lastly, they have focused on their friendships with each other and have bonded more as a class - deciding that they will be different when they return home.

This final day of the shortened trip began with a beautiful time of worship as we were led by our student praise and worship team here in the Long View Ranch dining all. We then watched a livestream of the service at Boca Raton Community Church and were inspired by Pastor Francois to humbly ask God for His help in the midst of the challenges we are all facing.

In the late afternoon the adventure of this day continued with paintball battles between the Hoodlums vs. the Good Team! We all had a ton of fun and both teams had plenty of successes. Check out our serious tough looking paintballers!

Thank you to all of you who have been following our trip and praying for us along the way. We are so grateful for all the God has done. Please pray for our safe return home tomorrow. Signing off from Long View Ranch for the final time this year.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Sunrise, Acts of Service, and Spiritual Growth

Posted by: Melissa Mockler

Saturday, a group of early risers started off the morning by watching a beautiful sunrise over the Smokey Mountains.


 After being served breakfast by the Long View Ranch staff, the Blazers took their turn serving the staff. They divided into five teams and set out to accomplish tasks around campus. These tasks included spreading mulch, picking up sticks, clearing multiple trails, cleaning windows, sanitizing their bus, and moving tires to prepare for Long View's annual Mudrun. The group took a break for lunch, before some people decided to continue helping around the ranch. This service opportunity was entirely optional, but still many students chose to participate. 

The team had a lot of free time to engage in different activities such as the game of mafia, card games, game room activities, and basketball. Some students chose to go on walks down the trails or visit the pond (just for the view, it was way too cold to swim) :)



That evening, the class had a Bible verse reading, that all the class was involved in. They talked about the meaning of Ephesians three and its practical application. That night they had a powerful worship service that moved many students to tears. The whole class is going through a very emotional time and dealing with many personal hardships. It was an incredible experience to see the class comforting one another and bonding together. Day three was a great success. 

Friday, March 13, 2020

Horses and Hikes

Posted by: Melissa Mockler

Friday, the group started off with an early breakfast and morning devotional (TAG). Shortly after, they headed to their first service project. They had the opportunity to serve at Holston Home for Kids, a program dedicated to helping children in the foster care system. Students divided into work groups to perform various tasks around their facility. They did anything that was needed including, washing boats, cleaning horse stalls, clearing a trail, moving hay bales, emptying out silos, and shoveling sand for their volleyball court.

After eating a picnic lunch, provided by Long View Ranch staff, the crew began their afternoon hike. The entire class hiked 2.7 miles to see the Margarette waterfall and many wonders of the Lord's creation. 

They returned to Long View Ranch and enjoyed a wonderful dinner, once again provided by the staff. This was followed by another night of worship, Bible verse memorization, and class discussion of the individual inductive studies on Ephesians two. Later, the class played group card games and spent time together in the game room. Once again, cabin time and lights out. Another successful day. 

The Start of Our Journey

Posted by: Melissa Mockler

Thursday, the Sophomore class ventured to Long View Ranch, in Moshiem Tennessee. They embarked on their journey early that morning and
arrived at the camp by mid-afternoon. After settling into their cabins and meeting the staff, each student and chaperone was encouraged to spend time alone with God (TAG). They had free time to take advantage of the camp's game room, basketball courts, soccer field, lounge area, or to participate in any other, of the many events, that the camp offers. Following dinner, the class had a worship ceremony and discussion time about Ephesians chapter one which everyone had studied. They ended off the night with an optional game of manhunt, that most of the class chose to play, before heading off to their cabins for lights out. It was a great start to the trip.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Day 2 Costa Rica

Posted by: Susan Boykin & Kara Trevino

In the morning, we started off the day with TAG time, which means Time Alone with God, where we did our daily devotional and reflected on God's word for about 30 minutes. Afterward, each team prepared to go out and serve the surrounding communities through VBS. 
Team 1: Mr. Smith - Jordan R., Jake S., Luis T., Christine S., Kamren F., Gabby B., Jeffrey S., Victoria W., and Kara T.
At our first VBS site, we met a few children where we got to play with the kids, by playing soccer, drawing with chalk, and painting nails. Then, we we were able to have worship with them, teach them a Bible story, and even give a testimony. We also taught them some English words and they were able to teach us some Spanish words (Shout out to our translator Dario)! Then, in the afternoon, we set out to our second VBS site, but there weren't any kids that showed up until the end. So,we played soccer and drew with them for a little while. After a little bit, we were able to share a Bible story with them, a verse, and give another testimony.We are all so grateful to be able to pour into these kids in any way that we can and it was a great start to the trip!

Team 2: Mrs. Garlobo - Taylor V., Caitlyn A., Emma O., Adam C., Matias C., Kevin C., Timo N., Jason V., Laura F., Susan B.
We got ready and left to our first VBS spot. We didn't get too many kids, but we got to meet 2 children and have fellowship with them. We made friendship bracelets with them, played soccer, and did jump rope. On our second round of VBS, we went out before to invite kids. We ended up meeting a lot of children and we were able to share the gospel. We played with them and led them in worship. Overall, it was a very impactful day for  us.

After the last VBS site, we all hopped on the bus and took a ride down to the centro, or the center of town of San Ramon. We walked around for a bit, visited a bakery, and bought some delicious snacks! Some of us went to get ice cream, visit a coffee shop, visit the cathedral, and had some chats with the locals. It was really cool to see the town and experience the different culture.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Posted by: Susan Boykin and Kara Trevino

Our first day of the senior missions trip was successful and already quite impacting. Luis Torres brought Costa Rica T-shirts for our class & the Reeds brought Krispy Kreme donuts. We went to the airport and arrived to Costa Rica swiftly and safely. (Btw, don't leave your passport on the plane *Jeffrey Santos*). Coming into the Pura Vida mission house, we learned all about their goal to change the community. We started by doing a, "Prayer Walk," around the city of San Ramon, where we invited the kids in the community to join us for VBS tomorrow morning. We ate dinner, got ice cream, and enjoyed a night of worship & a powerful word by Albert Rossodivita. We were taught from the book of Joshua, chapter 1. The theme for the week is, "Focus; Be Strong and Courageous," and that's what we were encouraged to be. Lights out at 10:30, so goodnight!