Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Great Graduation Speech

Two of my favorite guys on the internet are Rhett and Link. If you haven't heard of them, they are two self-proclaimed "Internet-tainers" who make a living making videos for youtube. They are great at it too.

Anyways, Rhett and Link got invited back to their High School to give the commencement speech. I included the video below. Yes it is 18 minutes, but it is funny, honest, and one of the more insightful grad speeches I have heard in a while. Whether you are graduating this year or are just crashing grad parties check this out:
Rhett and Link's Song and Speech

Here is another blog I recently read about miscues in Student Ministry. Very Insightful:
Adam McLane's  5 Common Misreads on Teenagers in Youth Group

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Grundy Mission Trip: Final Update!

This is our last update from Grundy Mountain Mission. It has been such a special trip. We aren't ready to leave tomorrow morning. Thank you all so much for your prayers. We have been strengthened by them for sure. We can't wait to get back and celebrate and share our experiences with you all, but until then here is an update form one of our students:
Hi everyone! I’m Beth Noble and I had the opportunity this week to go on the mission trip to Mountain Mission School in Grundy, Virginia.  This week has been an awesome experience full of all kinds of work projects, fun, and a little bit of sleep.  Tonight during our group time, we gave out “awards” to people that we saw God through this week.  It was a great way to finish up the trip and what would I mission trip be without a few tears, right? So looking back at the week I really think I saw God not only through all the people on our team, but through the kids attending the school here.  They live here with no phone, no Facebook, they only get three meals a day (no snacks), they don’t get to see their families very often, and they still are filled with such joy.  They go everyday without the things we feel we can’t survive without.  They welcomed us with open arms and they showed us so much love all throughout this week.  They became good friends to our whole team no matter our age.  They truly have a love for God and it shows in daily interactions with them. 
Also, I saw God through our team.  We had a bunch of younger kids come along with their families and some of our students helped out a lot with taking care of them, which was really neat.  Some of our high school boys took the leadership roles in the work projects by helping out with the lifting and harder work.  Like every trip, not everything went as planned.  Some people got sick, some got hurt, but they got up every single morning and went out with a smile on their face and got the job done.  Not only was the job done well, but they went above and beyond expectations despite how they were feeling.  There were a bunch of ways God’s love was shown throughout the trip and I am so thankful I got to be a part of it.  

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Grundy Mountain Mission Days 3 and 4

Update Day 3 and 4
 Sorry everybody but the internet was down in our area yesterday so this update is for yesterday and today. Here are updates form some of our students and leaders about what they have been doing and where they have seen God. Enjoy and keep up the prayers!

Braden Sotkiewicz
Today I had an awesome experience getting to work the technology stuff for VBS. This in itself was fun and all but the really great thing was that I was behind everyone and got to see all of the kids standing together and worshiping God.

We have all been working hard in our projects here to help their school look better. All of the students that came with us from Parkside have been working so hard its almost surprising how great people are in their work. We only have one more day of work left so we are all very worn out but still ready to work.

Tanner Sotkiewicz talked to the group about how his first Cross Country season was amazing. He talked about that he started off the season not being able to keep up with anyone at all so he stopped the summer practices after just one day. He then started running again when the actual season started and began to break his own personal records. After about half of the season it turned out that he had qualified for the varsity cross country team which you could tell just inspired the kids to work hard and keep up with what they start with.

Lindsay Smith and Michael Adkerson
Today was a much sunnier day so we were able to have our second day of soccer camp out at the field down the road. There was an incredible amount of teamwork shown on both sides in the relay races that we started off the camp with. From there, we worked our way up through drills to an all-out-game where the Mountain Mission students made it obvious how well they work together. We are praying that tomorrow shows just as much improvement and god’s hand at work.

Debbie Nimmo
This morning we started off with an awesome devotion by the Sotkiewicz’s before heading out to do our projects.  It’s been so cool to see so many people, ages 14 months (Zeke) - ????,  all working together with  such amazing attitudes and amazing hearts…I’ve yet to hear any complaining. J From there we moved on to VBS.  Watching our students jumping up and down to “Oh Happy Day” with all the students from here was such a God sighting…. I’m still smiling at the thought of the energy that filled the room! We learned about the story of Esther and how she showed courage by speaking up for her people.  It was so cool to hear our student leaders share their stories of  the times when they have been courageous and have stood up for their friends, even when it wasn’t easy.  In turn, the Grundy students were anxious to share their stories.  We came to pour out love and blessings on these students, and yet spending time with them each day has been such a blessing to both, me and my family!

Here are some pictures!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Grundy Mountain Mission School: Day 2

Today was incredible thanks for the prayers! We had such a great time and everyone did such a great job. Hopefully I won't forget anything in the update, but it was a very jam-packed day so forgive me if something slips my mind.

The Sotkiewicz family arrived here safely this evening. Now we have our whole team here. Julie, who is sick, had a good day today and was such a trooper. All the urgent care facilities here around Grundy will open back up tomorrow so she will be able to go get medicine and hopefully get to feeling better right away! Please continue to pray that she has a speedy recovery and that no one else gets sick.

Our day started off with our first set of lessons for VBS. We did it all as a part of their normal Sunday School. Our theme for the week is Courage: Doing what you should do even when you are afraid. Our students jumped right in and showed a great amount of courage too! They did a great job of leading the songs, sharing stories and leading small group time with all of the children. It was so cool to watch them in action. I can't wait until tomorrow so that I can upload some pictures of our team (I don't have the camera with me tonight, sorry!) Everyone did a really great job.

In the afternoon our guys played pick up basketball with their High School Guys. It was so much fun. We held our own and even won a few games. Needless to say we are all tired out from the games, and a few of us have blisters on our feet from all the action.

In the evening our students led the Mountain Mission Students in a prayer time after dinner, and then held an open gym for their Middle School and High School Girls.  Much fun was had by all.

Please continue to pray for our students, families, and the rest of our team. It has been such a special mission trip already and we hope that God lets us continue to serve and be a blessing. Tomorrow we will be working on several projects around the campus, having part 2 of our VBS, and starting our soccer camp as well. Thanks for the prayers. Tomorrow I'll also try to get some of our students and leaders to give the update on the blog. Keep up the prayers!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Grundy Mountain Mission School Day 1

Hey everybody! Thanks for all of your prayers and support. Our team made it here safe and sound this afternoon. We had a small bump in the road with some car sickness, and one of our adult leaders isn't feeling well, but God definitely is watching out for us on this trip.

We are so excited because tomorrow we will be getting to start our VBS during their Sunday School hour, we will get to hang out a lot with the students, and run through all of our materials for the rest of the week. You can be praying for us that God would keep us all healthy and safe. That he would help our adult leader who isn't feeling well have a quick and speedy recovery. On top of all of this pray that our team will reveal and celebrate God's glory with passion. We want to lift Jesus' name on high and share His goodness with everyone we meet.

I am so proud of our team already. They are doing a tremendous job. Everyone did a great job traveling. Our little guys and gals were such troopers, and our students did a great job of being flexible to their schedules.  When we arrived they did a great job of representing both Parkside, and God's Kingdom with how they acted. During dinner because of a kitchen accident they ran out of food, and not all of our team was able to eat as much as they wanted. Still nobody complained, whined, or even looked upset. Praise God how cool is that!

Tonight we also got to have an open gym with the Middle School Boys from the Mission. It was such a blessing. They are so well behaved and we had a blast playing basketball with them. Please continue to pray for us. I'll do my best to update the blog daily and who knows I might even find a way to get some pictures on here or on the church's Facebook page. I'm so excited to see the special things God lets our team be a part of this week!