Posts Tagged ‘Do Something 2016’

Do Something 2016 — Day 6

// June 24th, 2016 // 1 Comment » // Events

We had a very good day today. I’m going to keep it short.

We had our typical morning routine and immediately left for Sommerset, WI to go tubing on the Apple River. This was a great day of rest, relaxation, and fellowship. We were tubing on the river for around three and a half hours. There were numerous opportunities for great conversations throughout the entire float. It was really cool to watch how well our group is connected. Today, I noticed many people in the group hanging out with people they don’t typically hang out with. Then they’d be floating with someone else, then someone else. They were constantly rotating who they were around throughout the entire float. It was pretty fun to see.

One of the “God Sightings” from today came from some of the random singing from our group. Throughout the entire float, our group would all of a sudden break out into singing worship songs….singing them at that top of their lungs. After we had made the float and rode the bus ride back to the top of the river, they began singing again–every one of them. In the background there was a young couple looking at our group in some form of awe, watching them sing their hearts out. Then all of a sudden the guy started singing along with us. It was a beautiful blessing.

We wrapped up in Sommerset, at supper on the way home, and arrived at Bethel in time for small groups and an evening session. Tonight’s session was covering the doctrine of Justification. I wasn’t sure how this session would go after everyone was out in the water and sun all day. Also, pretty much everyone fell asleep on the ride home. Once again I was wrong. We didn’t have anyone dozing off or even struggling to stay awake. Like all of the other sessions this week, they were paying attention and engaging the material deeply. I realize I say this every year, but I’m really proud of this group!

Marly De Haan joined us for our campfire tonight. She spoke to the group about Overcoming Doubt and Keeping the Faith. She spoke to the group about holding onto the promises of God as we battle doubt in our lives. She read a number of these promises to our group tonight. She ended her message by reading Psalm 139 to the group. I could tell it impacted many of the youth. I saw a couple of them pull out their journals to make a note about that Psalm.

Tomorrow we will be heading to Lake Maria State Park. The focus of this day will be Solitude and Reflection. We have spent the week seeking God in a variety of ways. We’ve spent the evening pouring–some would say “dumping”–information into these teenagers. It’s a powerful experience to slow down at the end of the week and reflect back on the things we’ve talked about and the ways God has been working. We also encourage them to spend time thinking about the future. What is God calling them to as they leave this week?

Things you can pray for our upcoming day:

  • Once again, you can pray for safe travels and NO vehicle problems.
  • Pray that we can stay focused and stay on time. We have a lot to accomplish tomorrow.
  • Pray that God will lead, speak, and move in the teenagers during their solitude time.
  • Pray that the leaders will have the strength and patience they need for the day.
  • Pray that we end the week well.
  • Pray that Highlights and Impacts go well tomorrow night.
  • Pray for the opportunity for gospel conversations.
  • Pray that God would continue to be glorified through this group.

Amen.

Do Something 2016 — Day 5

// June 23rd, 2016 // 2 Comments » // Events

First off, I want to send out a HUGE thank you to all of the Prayer Warriors out there. Every one of the leaders recognized the power of your prayers today. There were repeated instances throughout the day where there were obvious answers to prayer being shown in the lives of students and leaders. Keep up the hard work. The Lord is blessing your efforts.

There are times when I feel like a broken record as I write these posts. I continue to see God working in the lives of these teenagers. As of right now, it seems like today has been the best day of the week. I watched teenagers step way out of their comfort zones in life stories. I watched teenagers work extremely hard on the job-sites. I watched teenagers intensely focused on their devotions. I saw teenagers seeing God powerfully in His Word and coming to fresh insights. Teenagers were connecting the dots between sessions at the beginning of the week and things we were learning today. There’s so much more that I could say, but in the end the only thing I can shout is “Praise the Lord!”

We had out typical morning routine. The schedule for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday all look the same. The students left to the worksites and worked very hard. They were committed to getting these jobs done today. Some of the groups worked an hour longer than they were supposed to in order to finish the job today. Interestingly enough, they had to finish the jobs today because it was the last work day, but they didn’t know that. The majority of the teenagers think we are still going to the worksites tomorrow. They will have a nice surprise when the find out we will be spending the day tubing on the Apple River (shhhhhh! Don’t tell them). šŸ™‚

After showering and eating supper tonight, we broke into small groups. These groups are going so well. Each student will take turns leading one of these small group times. They are doing great. Each of the leaders tonight mentioned how well these students do leading a small group Bible study. They are asking good questions and engaging the verses well. The group I participated in had some really good discussion. It was a lot of fun.

We wrapped up small groups and began our session for the evening. Tonight we were looking at Conversion and the aspects of Faith and Repentance. We looked at the various aspects of Faith and Repentance in the Bible. The teenagers were engaged the entire time. After our midway break, I had to tell them how impressed I was. Every other year the students are exhausted and beginning to fall asleep by Thursday night (and rightly so), but this group has been engaged every night and ready to dive in. We ended the session by spending some time talking about Assurance of Faith. This was were I noticed the Spirit speaking powerfully to this group. I spend 10-15 minutes speaking about assurance and what it looks like. They also read some verses talking about assurance. You could have heard a pin drop. There wasn’t even a whisper. They were right there, hanging on every word. It tells me two things. First, we have teenagers who are struggling with assurance (much like I did at their age). Secondly, that the Spirit was speaking assurance into their hearts. Not only were they engaged, but you could see peace sweeping over the group. What a blessing!

The weather cooperated tonight, so we were able to have another Real bonfire. Harv and Kathy Roosma spoke to the group about Love and Service. They spoke of how these two ideas are tightly connected in the Great Commandment: Love God and Love neighbor. They gave some examples of when they failed and succeeded along these lines. The teenagers really appreciated the message.

Some thing to pray over our upcoming day:

  • Pray that the weather will be perfect for tubing the Apple River.
  • Pray that everyone will stay safe and we will have no accidents.
  • Pray that the everyone will enjoy a day of recuperation, rest, and fellowship.
  • Pray for healing. We have a couple students who weren’t feeling great tonight.
  • Continue to engage in Spiritual Warfare over this group. We do not wage war against flesh and blood.
  • Pray that God would give assurance to the believers in this group and conviction to those who haven’t yet believed.
  • Pray for the opportunity for gospel conversations tomorrow as we head to the Apple River.
  • Pray that God would receive glory!

Amen.

Do Something 2016 — Day 4

// June 22nd, 2016 // 1 Comment » // Events

Wow, so much happened today that it’s hard to know where to begin. It’s also late. So, I’ll keep this post to just the highlights. I can say this, though, God is working in this group in a powerful way. It’s hard to explain.

After our typical morning routine, everyone headed out to the job-sites. Just like the other days, the job-sites when really well. Thank you for your prayers! I can’t even imagine what this week would look like without your prayers. Yesterday, I had asked for prayers over one of the job-sites. Our prayers were answered. The work went very well and the project turned out better then expected. The homeowner was very excited about how it turned out. Since I wasn’t on the other job-sites, I can’t tell you much about what they did. However, I can tell you that I continue to hear comments about their work ethic. Jennie Warner has commented on this as well. As she drives around delivering Freezies to the group, she repeatedly hears about the work ethic of this group.

We spent the evening session talking about Calling and Regeneration (Born Again). The students were given 15-20 verses on each of these topics and given thirty minutes to study the verses and write down any insights they might have. It was a great session! I had so much fun watching these teenagers wrestle with verses, trying to figure out their meaning. They really, truly want to understand God’s Word and know Him better. They were really focused and on task tonight, which isn’t typical for Wednesday night. Usually, they are exhausted and struggling to stay awake. Not tonight. They were engaged and involved in the conversation. I had the pleasure of watching numerous teenagers make the “Aha!” face as God gave them insight into what we were studying. So much fun.

Once again we wrapped up the evening around a “bonfire” (because of the rain we had to do another fake one). I [Jason] was the speaker tonight and spoke on Submitting to Christ. I mentioned that a theme running through many of the leaders stories and Bethelite stories was that “humans are stubborn creatures.” I’m not different. I said that my whole life is an example of learning to submit to Christ. It’s a daily exercise that we grow in as we grow in our faith.

We have a number of things to pray for the upcoming day:

  • The first thing on my mind is Spiritual Warfare. When God is working in big ways, Satan usually isn’t too far away, trying to spread his lies. As leaders, we’re feeling that weight of that tonight. We all mentioned the need to be in prayer for these teenagers, praying protection over them from Satan and his schemes–his lies. So, we ask you to fight this battle along with us through prayer.
  • Pray for the leaders to have the strength they need for the day. Each of the leaders in this ministry is giving 110% of the energy and effort to this week. When the week is done they will be able to say with Paul that they are “poured out as a drink offering,” they’ve got nothing left. So pray that God will give them what they need for the day–and the next, and the next…
  • Pray that our final day at the worksites will go well. We have a few jobs to wrap up tomorrow and are starting a few others. We would really love to finish everything we start. We are asking God to help us accomplish this goal.
  • Pray that God would continue to speak His truth into the hearts of these teenagers.
  • Pray that God would give me [Jason] insight and ability to accomplish everything I need to accomplish today. I will not be on job-sites today, but I have an overwhelming amount of work to accomplish. Pray that God would allow me to work effectively and efficiently.
  • Pray that God would continue to receive glory through everything we do this week. May His name be lifted High. May His kingdom come. Hallelujah!

Amen.

Do Something 2016 — Day 3

// June 21st, 2016 // 1 Comment » // Events

Today we’ve been in awe and wonder at the way the Lord works in preparation for this week–putting all of the pieces together. We’ve repeatedly noticed how God has lined up two “seemingly unconnected” aspects of the week and connected them in powerful ways. Nicki Bauman’s campfire message fit perfectly. Ā Rob Braun’s campfire message fit perfectly. Then, today, Hermina Kiel shared at supper time and Besty Wergin shared at the campfire. Guess what? Their message fit perfectly with what we were discussing. The Spirit is definitely moving in many ways this week and it’s fun to be part.

The morning started off with “Worship Calisthenics” followed by breakfast, devotions, and a meditation verse. Each student in our group has been assigned one verse for the week. They are given 15 minutes each morning to meditate on that verse, looking at if from different angles, driving the message deeper into their hearts. The Puritans said that meditation was the way to move God’s Word from your head into your heart. The students are learning how to do that this week.

We went straight from our devotional time to the worksites today. This will be our schedule for the next few days. We really want the teenagers to spend some quality time on these job-sites. After speaking with the leaders tonight, they are all very proud of the way these kids are working this week. Like every other year, they are working through job-sites quicker than expected.

I feel like I have to share one story from the job-site I was working on today. We are repairing an awning over a deck. The woman had asked a friend to build the awning for her, but the friend did a poor job on the project. She had asked him numerous times to stop the project, but he continued to respond, “It’s fine. Let me finish.” So, she asked if there was anyway we could fix some of the Ā mistakes and make the awning useable again. It’s been quite a task, but it’s turning out pretty well. She has been very excited as the project has come along. She repeatedly came out clapping her hands and squealing, “Oh, this is so wonderful.” She has also told us that after being so frustrated with her friend, she went into the house and prayed, “Oh Lord, please help me.” Then, she looked at our group and said, “And God answers prayers. He sent you to help me. ” It was a great testimony for our students to hear and a treat to be used by God to bless her in this way.

After finishing up job-sites, showering, and eating supper, we broke into our small groups to discuss the morning devotions. This is always a great time for the students to process God’s Word together. I was really impressed with the group I was with tonight. They had great insights and were thinking deeply about God’s Word. They were also doing a good job applying it to their lives and talking about how it shaped their hearts. Each of the students on the trip will have the opportunity to lead one of these small group sessions. We want each one of them to leave this week feeling equipped to lead a Bible Study on their own.

Once we wrapped up small groups, we began our evening session. Tonight we talked about Grace and Common Grace. I had a lot of fun listening in on the conversations around the table. For the session on Grace, I gave them twelve to fifteen verses that spoke about grace. They were supposed to read/study these verses and come up with a definition of grace. They did a great job. They also had some great questions. I love seeing the way teenagers think and ask questions. It was pretty cool to hear the questions they were asking tonight. Tonight’s questions were ones that proved they were grasping the topic and wanting to go deeper. Exactly what we want to see and hear.

We wrapped up the night around the bonfire again. Betsy Wergin shared with the group about God’s Love and Forgiveness. She spent time talking about her life and times when she had forgotten/ignored God’s Love and Forgiveness in her life. She also reminded the kids of God’s Love and Forgiveness in their lives. It was very good.

Another day of lifting praise and thanks to our Lord.

Things to pray for the upcoming day:

  • Pray that we finish up at the job-sites that need to be finished.
  • Pray that jobs go smoothly.
  • Pray that God will continue to give opportunity for gospel conversations.
  • Pray that God would give depth of insight to the teenagers as we dive deeply into God’s Word.
  • Pray that God would calm nerves regarding upcoming life stories.
  • Pray that God would continue to work His plan for this week and open our eyes to see how He is working.
  • Pray that the teenagers will continue to grow closer to God and to each other.
  • Pray that God will receive glory for all that we do this week.

Amen.

Do Something 2016 — Day 2

// June 20th, 2016 // No Comments » // Events

Today was a busy, busy, God-blessed day. We cram a lot of stuff in on Mondays in an attempt to lay the foundation for the rest of the week. However, through all of the things we did today, we definitely saw God moving in the group.

The teenagers were woken up this morning at 6:45am and introduced to part of their morning routine–something we’re calling Worship Calisthenics. First, they go for a little jog. Once they return, we have them do a cycle workout while reciting the memory verse for the week. Each major word in the verse is related to a different position, leading them from standing, to push-ups, to jumping jacks. They caught on pretty quickly this morning. It’s good to get the group going each morning with some fresh air, calisthenics, and scripture memory šŸ™‚

Following breakfast, we led the teenagers in a session on Developing a Devotional Life. This is a major part of our week. Teenagers spend time each morning in God’s Word and we want to equip them to do this well and beneficially. We’ve also noticed a theme this week as we’ve told stories and had conversations with members of Bethel: God’s Word changes lives and drives us into a deeper relationship with Him. The teenagers are beginning to understand and were eager to begin devotions this morning.

After wrapping up devotions, Denise from Faith-in-Action came by to tell us a little about who they are and what they do. It was fun to see how passionate Denise is for those who are hurting and struggling in the community. The teenagers were very engaged with what she was saying. She also reiterated and reinforced many of the things we had discussed on Sunday. Love seeing how God works things together like that.

Then we headed out to the job-sites for the day. We have a really young group this year, with a lot of new teens participating, so we weren’t sure how the job-sites would go this year. Yet, like every other year, the repeated refrain from leaders was, “These guys worked really hard and got more done that we expected.” That’s fun to hear. It’s also fun to hear that these teenagers aren’t only working hard, but they are reaching out and connecting the people we are working with. They are using some of the Relationship Building tools we talked about last night.

We came home from the worksites and had our annual Agape Feast. Hope Vermeer (and so many others) did a phenomenal job setting this meal up for our group. What a beautiful picture of teenagers coming to Christ’s banquet in “dirty rags” and beginning to understand Christ’s love and forgiveness. Thanks to all who helped make this meal a success. I would try to list everyone, but I know I would miss some people (and I probably only know half of who helped). Thanks!

We had a number of sessions tonight. We had a session talking about Life Stories. This one sent some of the teenagers into “panic mode” when they found out that they would be sharing their life stories this week. We discussed why we do life stories and gave them some tools in putting together their life story. We also had a session tonight looking at the “As Is” of their lives. Where are they at right now? They looked at various areas of their lives (Faith, Family, School, Community, etc..) and wrote down things they are thankful for in each area and problems, frustrations, and concerns they have in each area. This session was follows by a session of dreaming. We had them think about dreams they’ve had that have come true. Then we had them write down some of their dreams for the future. It is so awesome seeing the ways that God is working in each of their lives. Each of their dreams reflected the heart, gifts, personality, and passion that God has given them. We ended by praying over our dreams that they would be God-honoring and glorifying to Him.

We finished the night around campfire–a REAL campfire tonight. Rob Braun shared some of his life story with the teenagers and discussed how it all tied into an understanding with Original Sin. We ended the campfire with a Q & A time because the teenagers were curious and had lots of questions for Rob. It was fun to watch them interact.

Now everyone has been serenaded by Willy and Jennie, prayed over, and tucked into bed for the evening.

Things you can pray for our upcoming day:

  • Many of the newer teens are very nervous about their life stories. Pray for peace an clarity. Pray that God will help them see how He has worked in their life.
  • One of the jobs we have tomorrow has the potential to be a real struggle. Pray for things to go smoothly and efficiently. Pray that we will be able to fix the issue well.
  • Pray over our devotion time that God will open their eyes and speak clearly to them through His Word.
  • Pray that God will grant opportunities for gospel conversations throughout the day.
  • Pray for those who are preparing Campfire Messages for the rest of the week

Amen.

Do Something 2016 — Day 1

// June 19th, 2016 // 1 Comment » // Events

At our leader meeting tonight, all of the leaders were in agreement: This was a good Day 1! We have a large group of “first-timers” this year which resulted in some initial nerves and fears for the week. However, they didn’t last long šŸ™‚ The group hit it off right away. There were many conversations going on and everyone was having a good time. If a teenager showed up with some anxiety, you couldn’t tell it an hour later.

After eating supper, Troy and I [Jason] shared ourĀ life stories to the group. Then the groupĀ spent some time going over objectives of the week and setting expectations. IĀ told the group, “This will be a GOOD week. Everyone who has entered this week with a good attitude and a desire to grow has walked away changed.” IĀ also spent some time helping them to understand that this week will be fun, but it will also be challenging. The greatest commandment is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. They will be challenged in every one of these areas. IĀ also talked about Faith Formation. The building blocks are Belong, Know, Hope, and Called/Equipped. IĀ explained that we will be covering every one of these areas this week, making the week a “Discipleship Bootcamp.”

Once we wrapped this session up, we loaded into vehicles and went to each of the job-sites in order to pray over them. At each job-site the teenagers had the opportunity to hear a little about the family that we are helping out and pray over their needs and our work. It was a blessing.

We wrapped up the “Prayer Drive” just as the rain was starting……….and the Tornado Warning went into effect. Sooooooo, we held our next session in the old Fireside Room (aka Story Hour Room) until the Tornado Warning was finished. This session was focused on Building Relationships.

The end of the night was spent around a pretend bonfire (since it was still storming and blowing). Nicki Bauman shared with the group about why she follows Christ. It was a real treat.

Now, the teenagers are in bed and I’m about to go there too šŸ™‚

Ways to pray for our upcoming day:

  • Pray that God will speak to these students during their devotional time this morning.
  • Pray that God will keep our teenagers free from harm.
  • Pray that God will use our teenagers to bring Him glory in this community.
  • Pray that our teenagers will have opportunities for gospel conversations AND that they capitalize on those opportunities.
  • Thank God for the preparatory work he has done leading up to this week.
  • Thank God for this day I just wrote about.

Amen.