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God is Awesome

Sunday, June 26,2011

‘This is the Day the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it’ says Amanda in her greeting to Hyderabad Full Gospel Church, which was one of our Sunday morning worship locations.

We split our team into 3 smaller teams to lead church service at Jesus Way International, Hyderabad Full Gospel Church, & AGAPE. It was cool to see students step up to desire to preach, give a testimony, read scripture or lead worship. Our students have been stretched, and this was just one more experience.

As a leader, I wish o could have been at all the locations at the same time, but that simply was not possible. The feedback was great from all locations. I personally went to Hyderabad Full Gospel Church,or simply Raja’s church. Which Dylan S lead worship proudly, Bob shared some verses, Jenna boldly humbled herself sharing her testimony, Drew spoke on Gods love, and Tanner rocked the place with a powerful message on forgiveness. These students were bold and used mightily for God today.

A wonderful lunch was provided by the cooks. It was a joy to share in the celebration of good food! Their hospitality here is top notch. Wish we could instill this completely in the American culture.

Concert time. Many of our team has said tonight’s concert is one the greatest highlights of their life. It was a true blessing to have such an event take place. First off, Jake was sick, couldn’t speak well bc of sore throat, and battling headaches, I believe. We prayed for him… And well, God showed up. Jake sang as if there was no problem!

Secondly, we were at first discouraged bc the rains poured down. They need much rain here, but rain wouldn’t be our friend, as people wouldn’t show. As it did rain, everyone moved inside. This helped to build connections with all the people. Our team gathered to pray. Rain stop in Jesus name, Amen (summarized from the real version). And well, God showed up! The rain started to slow during our pray and quickly ended completely.

Thirdly, we prayed for Zac Harris to preach the gospel clearly and effectively. And I must say, we were all impressed by the message he brought. The prayer for salvation was handled much better, and our team was prepared to pray with people. Everything flowed much easier. So well… God show up!

You see, God did some big things for this concert. Called the right team of people. Provided a location for the concert. Provided financially & technically. Provided a church to follow up with everyone. He also did many littler things, but I would have to write for days to include them all. God has showed up and we were blessed by this experience.

The best part of the night was during the last songs. Our whole team joined Jake and the band on stage. We sang out to God in a moment that was just amazing. I can’t wait for you to see the video. The crowd worshiped with us! It was one of my greatest ministry experiences! I won’t forget what happened… Neither will our team!

Thank you for all the prayers! We saw God do amazing things, but we couldn’t have had that without your prayers covering over us. This is your blessing… You have a part in that. Gods success tonight is also yours! We can share in the joy of advancing the gospel in Hyderabad, India together. We love you!

Prayer, Movie & Concert

Saturday, June 25,2011

Worship is amazing! Today we had the opportunity to worship with New Life Church of God student ministry. I had a picture of what worship will be like in heaven. All people from every race singing in unison to a holy God. The worship this morning was absolutely amazing. Our team humbled themselves to God for such an intimate time of worship. You would have been amazed. We had a true moment of english worship with this youth group. Through the prayers and singing, I was moved to tears…. God is moving.

We connected with the students here and it was great for our students to see their faithfulness and discipline in prayer. We can learn from that type of determination in almighty God. Students are very similar wherever you go. Our team had the opportunity to see that today. Please pray our team will become bold prayer warriors, like we have seen in many if e people here.

Cars 2 was playing on the big screen, so we blessed our children’s home with dinner and movie. The children and our team enjoyed some relaxation the theatre offered. The funny thing was there was an intermission in the middle of the movie. Many of us we confused, but it offered an impromptu dance party. Much laughing and rejoicing.

Lunch was done up good ol’ American style by going to McDonalds! Our team was excited to get some familiar food. All the children were excited to get some McDonalds as well. There were many smiles and happy faces. You will see pictures very soon showing the happiness.

Our team is getting ready for the concert tonight. It is going to be an awesome experience. The opening band, from the student ministry here, sounds really good! It will be great to hear them. We have a special treat also, our children at Raja’s home will perform a song and dance, Pray for India! We are excited to share the stage with them.

(After the Concert) The concert was amazing. Dylan S who played bass said, “This was the greatest worship experience of my life!” The band led a time of amazing worship, Zac Harris boldly stated a message of the gospel, then we prayed with many people. We know some did accept Christ tonight, and we are praying for more tomorrow night.

Our team was stretched in a whole new way. Please lift our team up, that they may hear how God is leading, guiding them in their life. I was so proud to watch our team pray for people, for the band students to lead such powerful worship, and for our team to be bold by talking to complete strangers.

The crowd loved Oh Happy Day. It was easy for them to jump around, sing, and give praise. Our team quickly jumped on this and we made an instant connection with the crowd, by jumping around with them, trying to do the motions. I can’t wait to be able to upload a photo and video of the concert experience. You will truly enjoy it!

We must rest. Some students are preparing to speak, share scripture, lead worship, or share their personal testimony! Pray that the spirit would lead them tonight. Pray for rest and rejuvenation. Have a good time!

Kid Jam Finally

What a great day! We spent our last day of Kid Jams first at Jesus Way then at Raja’s children’s home. Our students have been bold, strong and courageous. Each one are being stretched and learning to lean on God through everything! It has been great to see the results of discipleship. If you have played any part in spiritually impacting these students… Be blessed today! They have shared the gospel, prayed with children to receive Jesus in their heart, shared their testimony, and that was all before lunch!

At Jesus Way, the children were very excited for us to spend the morning with them. Megan led the large group worship time, and NAILED it! All the kids have learned the motions to Happy Day, and we taught them Lord I lift Your Name on high. It was great. We then broke up into our smaller groups to teach a lesson with skit about Jesus dying on the cross and raised on the 3rd day.

After a craft time of coloring a cross, we had an opportunity to ask the children if they wanted Jesus to be their forever friend in their heart. It was a great experience for each group. The youngest group saw every child stand to want Jesus. The 2/3rd grade groups saw every child stand up to show they wanted Jesus in their heart. In the older student group 50 stood boldly among their friends to claim a need for Jesus in their heart.

It was an amazing time of seeing these children desire a relationship with Christ in their heart. Over time, Jesus Way will encourage us with how the seeds are growing in the children and their families. Please pray for these children!

Wow kids flooded Raja’s children’s home. There were 650-800 people easily, which was quite tight for where we were. But we must pursue on, right? It reminded me of stories in the bible, how Jesus would walk down the street and people would flock to Him. We tried our best to communicate the love of Jesus Christ through song, crafts, and a skit/ message.

We broke the crowd into 5 smaller groups, some more manageable than others. Some of use rotated through to teach, sing at the groups. It was quite difficult, but we have prayed that Gods word would not come back void. Please pray for our ministry that took place tonight. We planted seeds, so pray the seeds will take root on good soil.

There were children who desired a life with Christ, so we prayed with them. It was a beautiful moment through all of the chaos. Let God be glorified by what happened tonight.

When we were finished, we releases the children 1 at a time, and with the native Indians handing everything out for us, to keep our team safe. Some of the street kids are not well behaved, just imagine giving free things away in downtown New York City, you would be mobbed. With wisdom, we decided to leave this task to the Indian natives.

We are now very tired with a long day ahead of us. We will have the concert tomorrow night, take Raja’s children to see a movie, and wake up very early to start the day with prayer.

Kid Jam 2

Today has similarities as yesterday. To begin the day we traveled to Jesus Way for Day 2 of Kid Jams. Things seemed more organized within each team, now that we had a day under our belts. This helped everything flow very well in our groups.

I saw God today in The actions of our team. They all responded to the children with open hearts full of compassion and love. It is refreshing for me to see the students on our team loving God by caring for these children.

We are now headed to ‘take lunch’ as they call it here. We are meeting with a very high respected Indian, who used to be chief of police for the entire state of Andre Pradesh. He is a Christian and has played a large part of getting the concert off the ground. It will be an honor to meet him and enjoy fellowship with him.

Our students are wearing out a little bit, so please pray for continued strength and encouragement. They are being stretched, but my prayer is God has even greater things planned for them!

After lunch we got some rest then headed to the children’s home for Kid Jam x2 of the day. Many of the groups experienced a more joyful experience as things were a little more organized. The children from our orphanage helped in running everything, which made it much smoother. We realized by us trying to do it all, was similar to a foreign person coming to America not speaking English and try to share the gospel, play games, sing sings, and organize craft time. There help was a great blessing to our team.

Day 2 of Kid Jams was amazing, we are building good relationships with children and teaching em about Jesus. We are all tired but excited about seeing God move in and though everything. Please pray for rest tonight, staying healthy, and for God to be glorified through every action. Love you! Thanks for the prayers!

Kiddie & Jam

Today has started off really good. We are growing closer together as a team! The closer we get, the stronger our bond to Christ becomes as we are a body, a united group of believers that are advancing the gospel!

My heart continues to be burdened for the lost people here. James 5:19-20 came to mind, about helping bring someone back to life in Christ, will rescue them from death and cover over a multitude of sins. We are here to advance the gospel and share the saving message of Jesus Christ.

We began the Kid Jams today, by starting at Jesus Way International. The children needed to leave school early, which cut our first Kid Jam session short. We had to react on the spot, and I’m proud of the teams for uniting and grouping together amidst the change in plans. Recently, a political leader passed away and caused some political conflict within the area of Jesus Way. People asked to send the children home. We shared the gospel with all the children by giving and explaining a salvation bracelet, including a sheet to take home in their native language that explains salvation in Jesus Christ.

Many children were thrilled and excited of our presence. We look forward in returning tomorrow to build greater relationships and teach them more of the bible, at Jesus Way!

After a big team lunch and time to process all that we see and experience around us, it was a good time of debriefing and hearing how God is working in the hearts of everyone on our team. That engulfed the afternoon, then we prepared to visit our children’s home for Kid Jams X2.

Upon arriving at the home, we quickly prayed and sent the teams to their respective locations. My location was the furthest, but it was a good walk to get to know Solomon and some of the children. Solomon is a pastor in the village areas who came here to help spread the gospel with us to children in the community. He is a gear man of faith!

I can speak of my Kid Jam, and others will blog of their experience. My group met in a church about 20min walk away. We had microphones, speakers, and church members there to assist with the children. We were blessed with all of these items, as the other Kid Jam groups did not have this luxury.

We prayed, sang, performed a skit about creation, and walked through making Salvation bracelets which presented the Gospel very easily and clearly with all in attendance. We were told the skit was a great visual for helping the children understand the story, Praise God! It was a great opportunity to share. I must say I am quite impressed of our students taking charge, leading, and getting out of their comfort zones, they are stepping up to the challenge! It is amazing! Our students hearts are being broken!

Walk and Talk

Our day was filled with emotions, sights, prayer, and meeting the children. This was our first day being active in our mission here. It all started after breakfast by visiting Millenium Gardens, the place where the concert will be held. While some logistics needed to be worked out, the majority of the team walked around the location in prayer. After some time alone or small groups of praying, we closed with a team prayer time.

Seeing the location, I am blown away by what God could do through this concert. My heart broke by filling with compassion for the lost people in India. It hurts to walk past people all day long, and know many of them are not Christians. Please pray that God would guide the people to the concert, that God will be glorified, and many people will hear and accept the salvation message of Jesus Christ!

The middle part of the day consisted of cultural realization so to speak. In other words, we drove into the shopping district of the city to get a more in depth view of Hyderabad. Most of the team bought some souvenirs or gifts. But everyone new to this trip quickly realized the depression and deviation in front of them. The reality of a mansion next to tents, shopping malls next to destruction, and trash as far as the eye could see. Crossing the street was another skill we tried to learn, as traffic is not quite the same here.

The time has come. About 6pm, we loaded up to visit the children! On the bus ride over there, you could sense the excitement bubbling amongst the students. They were about to meet children that will forever touch their heart. This is some of the sweetest children in the world, and our students were going to meet them! How exciting!

We were greeted with real flower lei’s, in which the aroma was as sweet as a candy bar. The children placed the lei’s on our entire team one at a time. The beauty of a small child blessing our students with this type of greeting, it was truly humbling. We enjoyed time with the children, which you will hear more about that as I get more students to give their thoughts and feelings.

After celebrating, we dedicated the girls dorm! Such great craftsmanship, and now they have a place to themselves! It will be a joy to see more girls come to the home as a result of increasing space. Then we branched off into our Kid Jam teams to do go to our locations to pray and figure out how to setup to do ministry. It was awesome!

We are now back in the hotel, ready to rest. Tomorrow is another long day. Please pray for great weather, effective ministry at 2 Kid Jams. Good night for us, good day for you!

You can view more pictures here:

Sounds of a landing plane, WE HAVE ARRIVED

‘Toto, We are not in Kansas anymore!’ or Raleigh, NC. It has been a long and exhausting road to get here at Hyderabad, India. But, I can say with success, WE HAVE MADE IT!

As I sit here writing this, I think back at today. Many would say it was a day of tiredness, one of being dazed and confused, and one that was filled with much patience from waiting around for flights. We have experienced being too hot, chilly, and exhausted. Many have slept, many have not. It would be easy to say, today was just another day in the books. I beg to differ.

God had a plan today. I can look back to see how the team was bonded closer together by going through an experience together. The team has helped each other out, shared when needed, and learning the art of communicating together. All the months of preparing for this trip became real today… Today was the day our trip has begun!

Drew Hood states, “God has taught me patience, and how to connect with more people. I am excited to see God use the children to wreck our lives in a good way!”

We are are well from traveling and anticipating a good nights rest. Our sleep schedule is all over the place, so getting to our hotel late in the evening is a perfect way to go straight to bed while beginning to adjust to this new timezone. Please pray for us to rest tonight. That we will be refreshed and renewed tomorrow. Lastly, pray that we will join God in His work, not trying to do any of this apart from Him.

Goodnight. I will begin posting more pictures to an online gallery located here.

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