Chicago 2011 [hs] trip blog

This is 2011 High School onMISSION DUPAGE|CHICAGO trip story.

We are serving DuPage County on June 23-25 and Chicago on June 26-July 1.

We will post pictures at too


click here to flip over to the Jr High onMISSION trip story

[Please feel free to leave a comment or encouragement on any blog post]





  1. South Asia Friendship Center NOTES

    .ctr: bookstore, kids dvd rental, international fax, photo copies, esl, tutoring, cricket games viewing, free chai
    .our teacher was “m” to pakistan

    .islam: the religion
    .muslim: the person

    Muslims and hindus living among us: threat or opportunity?
    .it starts with christfollowers recognizing that we are not of this world, we are foreigners on earth and citizens of heaven(lev 25:23, 1 chron 29:15, ps 39:12, ps 119:19), God has given us ministry of reconciliation, we are christs ambassadors, God wants ALL people to be saved
    .10/40 window: 60 nations, 1 billion muslims, 1 billion hindus, 97% of unreached people groups…its hard to keep “m”s in these countries…not friendly to Christ
    .1.3 billion muslims
    .shift in the 70s of muslims moving to US
    .1200 mosques in US, growth though immigration and high birth rates
    .400,000 muslims in chicagoland, chicago is key for muslims in NA
    .acts 17:26-27: God has given Christ followers to reach muslims in chicagoland now!
    .instead of paying at pump…go inside and talk to the clerk
    .we need to step out of our comfort zone and connect with hindus and muslims…find where mediums live…resource for understanding how to share with muslims
    .what do you call mohammed? Honorable, but not prophet
    .say “yes I understand” not “yes I agree”

    .muslims believe:
    ..allah, one God
    ..talhid, oneness of allah
    ..don’t make God have humanlike qualities
    ..allah only reveals his will not self prophets
    ..most prophets are in bible too
    .mohammed is final prophet
    .books of allah: torah, psalms, injil(gospel)…but corrupt to them. koran corrects.
    .believe in angels, hell, judgement, life after death, most believe they will go to hell for a period (jihad insures heaven),

    Mosque visit
    .men have choice
    .God wants us to believe: only one (no xtra parts)
    .God gave us prophets (messengers)
    .some prophets received revelation (mohamed received koran in arabic)
    .only real koran is in arabic language
    .angels do what God tells them to do
    .at end of world, God will bring every one back to life and their record will be reviewed
    .God is just
    .cudder: destiny, we have choice. Once choice is made, can’t change
    . Actions:
    ..shahadah…one God, mohammed is prophet
    ..salah: prayer…five times a day in arabic (totaling 40 minutes)
    ..sacah…tax to give to poor, purification
    ..sawm ..fasting during ramadan (dawn to sunset)
    ..hajj…one time travel to mecca
    ..uphold moral code of islam and shariah law
    ..implement Gods law on earth

    .injil (gospel)…only accept what lines up with karan
    .God does not forgive ppl who worship anything except him

    THANK YOU JESUS that for your sacrifice, forgiveness, and HOPE!

  2. VBS just ended forever! Oh no! This week was great. I love the kids. Tonight, I was taking pictures of the kids and I took a picture of a little girl named Kiera. I showed her the picture and she asked me if I could print it out for her and she can send it to her mom telling her to come home. I’m pretty sure her mother is in jail. And I told her I would try, but I didn’t think I would be able to, but I asked Scott and I told him the story and he printed it for me instantly. I gave it to Kiera and we wrote a note to her mom. I felt so great being able to help her do that. Her story made me so emotional,I just had to do it for her. (:

  3. This trip has been one of the best by far for me. I have learned so much about myself, my faith has grown so much, and I have become so much closer with everyone in the group, especially the girls. I can’t even believe how much God has worked in my heart and in the hearts of my teammates. He has broken me by showing me a lost man named Noe, who showed us kindness but was so broken himself, it messed with my head and my heart. Also, today we went to a Mosque and attended a service and it was very eyeopening to how many people believe that rituals will get you to heaven. I am really challenged to look at the broken people in my backyard when I get home. I am also going to miss everyone from this trip so much. I love you guys with all my heart and I can’t wait to see what you accomplish in the future for God’s kingdom. And guys, it doesn’t end here at the end of the trip. Take everything home, don’t go on a spiritual high. Treat everyday like a missions trip. Look for the broken people and DO something about it. I love you all and words can’t explain how much I am going to miss you. And always remember…oh no, oh no, oh no,…magic! 🙂

  4. Last day of VBS – pray for us to show the love and joy of Christ to the kids here and that we can have an eternal impact on their lives. We will miss the kids at FECC!!

  5. Last VBS tonight – pray for us to show the kid’s the love and joy of Christ and that we can impact their lives for eternity!! We will miss the kids at the FECC!!

  6. today was our last day and definitely one of the most inspiring. We started out at the South Asian Friendship Center, where Doug talked to us about Islam and Muslims. After a good 1.5 hr talk,we went to an indian restaurant where we tried some spicy, new foods. then we headed to a mosque for their prayer time. We witnessed right in front of us how devoted some of these people are by leaving their workplace and everyday life for a 15 minute prayer to “Allah”. after that we got some time to listen to a Muslim women who once was christian and converted due to not finding answers to her questions about Christianity. We all left a little confused and frustrated. For me i was very appalled and it really hurt seeing all these lost people gathered to pray to something that isn’t true. It was a good lesson today to really reach these people whenever we get the chance.

    the last week with this group at the FECC was wonderful. I wouldn’t change it for the world ! <3 thanks for all the prayers, support, and encouragement from everyone. Can't wait to share our story when we get back !

  7. Hi I’m Hope, and Ive been staying with the girls pretty much every night. Ive had so much fun walking back around the neighborhood with them passing flyers and attending VBS. I hope all the girls and guys come back next year and thanks for coming i’ll miss you!!! <3

    • Neat to hear how the week has impacted you Bloomingdale youth ~ thanks for sharing your “street learnings” as well as how God has been working out your faith and answering your prayers! You have been a blessing to the neighborhood and to the work at FECC – 🙂

      Thank you Daniel, Nicole, Alberto and youth team!

  8. this week has been amazing.. i made so many friends here.. theres hope and eliza and emma there the kids. hope is really a teen she spent all the night with us but the first. she halarious and fun to be with i cant wait till we maybe come back here next year. just kidding i dont know what daniel has planned but i can “hope”.. lol.. haha im funny (not)… ill be home tonight on my couch sleeping smile to me a something comfy… 🙂 we also made a rap this week i wont post it… but i will tell you if u ask me.

  9. It’s Thursday afternoon and we just got done picking up some trash in the neighborhood and then working in the community garden where the FECC has a garden plot.

    The teens are doing an awesome job of being in the community and talking with people that pass by or playing with the kids. I’m so impressed by their boldness and kindness! Getting ready for VBS which has been crazy but fun!! Pray for us to finish strong as a team and be examples of Christ to the kids in the community.

  10. i love you tons Sarah, call me if you need to. <3

  11. yesterday we were told to go out into Chicago on a prayer walk, barefoot! As we were walking we came across a man named Salvador. He only spoke spanish so Alberto had to translate. He immediately started praying for us and with us, without knowing if we were christian or not. As we kept walking along we got lost ( thanks Alberto) so we saw 3 people sitting on a nearby bench. As we approached them we noticed they were quite loud, laughing and goofing around, just to notice that they were drinking and smoking. We asked for directions anyway, and one guy, Chris, asked us why we were looking for a mosque to pray for and if we were a part of some religious group. When we said “yes, we’re Christians” that sparked a spiritual debate as he told us there is no God and he lives for himself. Not able to get a word in, we walked away confused, frustrated, and a bit emotional. This was a huge wake up call to how the world really is, and a fantastic learning experience about the spiritual warfare that’s present in the world. There are many more people like that out there, so we believe God put those people in our lives to give us practice for days to come. It was cool that just before our walk we prayed to God that He would put a situation like that on our hearts. please be praying for God to give us the right words to speak to these kind of people. 2 days left, pray we continue hard work and to be spreading the love of God to lost people.

    we love you guys !
    -Kalie, Eric, and Gia <3

    • last night i came across the verse John 14:14. it explains to us that if we pray in true faith, anything the we ask for in God’s name, he will give to us. i spent about ten minutes last praying in God’s name to let us come across one or all of that group another time in the week. Well’ needless to say, God answers prayers. as Nicole and I ran again this morning, Nicole made a quick stop and i recognized Chris (not the same one as previously mentioned but another one from the group)and approached him introducing myself again, and he recognized me. we stepped to the side and he explained to me that he had no food to eat this morning and hes was having trouble coming across money. I prayed with him on the spot, in front of all the people passing through the Starbucks and as we finished i realized the light in his face grew and i knew something had come over him. this was a fantastic experience for me and i only have God to thank. i hope i have more opportunities like this later this week and in life and i hope to experience it with other friends and Christians. please respond with and support, encouragement, or words of wisdom you have for me or our group. it is much appreciated.

      -Eric aka Nemo

      • Eric, we’re sooooo proud of you! Proud of all you guys. Glad to hear your having a great time, but even better to hear how God is growing you into the man he wants you to be and that you are willing to let him!
        Mom & Dad

  12. This week has been pretty busy and I’ve had alot of fun. We walked barefoot around the city and then came back to the Empowerment Center and washed each other’s feet. I felt like that was really symbolic. We also had a talk the other day and were praying for each other and it feels great knowing that everyone cares about you and wants to help you in any way they can. I’m connecting with everybody so much and it’s great. I love the whole group.(:

    • You are very much loved Angelica. Sammy keeps asking when you are coming home and can’t wait to see you. I pray God continues to work in you and through you to shine the light of Jesus onto others. We miss you like crazy.

      Love you

  13. I’m extremely proud of the effort and the care these teens have shown for God’s people on this trip! They have gone over and above several times willing to serve even when they are tired from a hard days work serving. Most importantly their willingness to talk to complete strangers in Chicago and share the gospel with them has been an encouragement to me to do the work that Christ has commanded us to do. I pray that these last few days God continues to work through these teens helping them to grow in love and in wisdom as they have been for the last week!
    By the way parents thank you for your prayers it is clear they are in effect here!!!

  14. Attn High schoolers & leaders::: Have an praise report from some work that you just completed recently: Here’s the scoop– A note of encouragement for the work you are doing…..
    Scott & I had a “call from God” tonight. We were orignally planning a “date” night, however, our dinner ran over at KFC, so we decided we would go another night. Anyway, while sitting in the van about to pull out of the parking lot, there was a man standing outside of our van who motioned for us to wait a min. We rolled down the window slightly to see what was wrong & he said he noticed that we were Christians by the emblems on the van & asked us to pray for him.
    Long story short, we prayed, we found out that he lives in Glendale Heights too and had just heard about our church from a group of High Schoolers this past week- at the Party in the park and I guess some people were handing out flyers at the mall too??
    Anyway, Goes to show that when we plant seeds, we never know when God will use the seeds… Keep planting seeds for Jesus!!! Two times this week “Rick” has heard about Bloomingdale Church. Maybe God is leading him to our Church?? Are you open to do what God tells you to do? Are you listening for the nudgings of God.. Praying that this note gives you more encouragement to Serve GOD!!! Keep up the GREAT Work.. God is blessing the work you have done already!! Keep it up.. Praying for you guys!! 🙂

    • Wow, talk about affirmation on what you kids are doing. way to encourage our kids, Mrs. Laing

  15. This trip has been going GREAT! during the mornings we go on fun prayer walks with our phenomenal leaders, and then its time for the VBS day camp. The kids are so beyond fun, they’re crazy, hilarious, nice, and the cutest little things i have ever met. I’m so stoked for another few days of this. And to my family back home. I miss you all so much and i cant wait to see you when i get home. love you


  16. we just got done with VBS, day 2 was a success! Rob did a great job talking to us this morning, and then Amy, Scott, R.J, Eric, and I cleaned out the entire computer room, took down computer walls, sorted things into bins and ended our afternoon serving with a prayer walk & flyer run. VBS is over for today so it’s time to chill out, debrief *clap*, and maybe a little ATL *amen!* hard to believe we’ve only been here two days, pray for us that we keep up our hard work and energy, and that we get some sleep tonight ! 🙂

    -Kalie <3

  17. Dear Sarah,
    I miss you a great deal and I love you so much. Sometimes life calls for us to be strong. Let the Lord lead you and be strong now Sarah.

  18. Today has been an awesome day so far. We went prayer walking to pass out flyers for the Family Empowerment VBS and we gave some to parents and they seemed pretty interested. We found a historical place and a man named Hank told us about the history of Rogers Park. On the large map there, I found Family Empowerment Centers and I realized how big the community is compared to the little building trying to reach the whole community. The best part was bringing some food to a homeless man begging for some food and seeing the smile on his face. Still have Day Camp later tonight! 🙂

    • That’s totally amazing Megan. We live in a great big world. Praying that you will keep feeling God’s nudgings this week. Enjoy serving the lord.

  19. daniel, nicole, and i went for a wonderful run for who knows how many miles this morning and really had an enjoyable time. preparing for vbs has been a work out in itself as well with the skit prep, the games and getting our minds focused to have a great impact and the lives of all the kids attending this week. its been fun and will continue to be fun.

    hope you read this mom, love eric.

    • So proud of you Eric. Excited to hear that you are doing great (like there was any doubt). finish strong and can’t wait to hear all about your travels.

      Keep the faith

      Grampa Todd

  20. Family Empowerment Center Notes
    .rogers park is in top ten most diverse neighborhoods in us

    .john 4..jesus and samaritan woman
    .accepting outcasts
    .using normal surroundings
    .meeting people where they are at
    .jesus stayed for two more days….many samaritans accept him.

    How do you know its the holy spirit:
    .its a nudge (kalie)
    .get used to His voice (rob)
    .be quiet enough that you can actually hear His voice (eric)

    .we need to look at ppl differently
    .its often uncomfortable
    .make common connections

    • Hey there teens,

      I am teaching a class to Bloomingdale church women on listening to God; “Hearing God, Having the Guts to Respond”. For so many of them it is a new concept. I am so glad you are learning it at such a young age and you are putting it into practice.
      Here are the tests on knowing that the Whisper is from the Holy Spirit.
      1. Is it truly from God? Is it consistent with God’s character?
      2. Is it Scriptural?
      3. Is it wise?
      4. What do the people you most trust think about it?

      Can’t wait to hear what God is doing in each or your lives and in the lives of people in Roger’s Park.
      Love you,
      Pastor David and Marina

  21. Its Tuesday morning. We just finished a morning session with Rob Delano. Each morning a FECC staffer meets with us to teach us about the local community and how we can share Christ with people in practical ways. It has the feel of a college-level missions class. I’m proud of the students for thinking and struggling through the issues presented.

    The students are currently prepping for VBS. Then its lunch (catered from a local ethnic restaurant). This afternoon we will be out in the community prayerwalking and passing out flyers.

  22. We hope all of you are using all that energy to spread God’s word to those you meet.

    We are praying for you as you prepare for VBS at Family Empowerment center. Let the joy you feel shine through to the kids.

    Meg, boy the house is sure quiet.

    Have Fun! 🙂

    • when i get home ill make up for it.. sorry itsw so quiet

  23. hi its me clarissa and this is to megan s.

    the chins keep saying that they must have raisins!

    taffy says woof woof woof!…squirrel!

    shawn says hi the only he can say and he was also trying to make other words,but it did not work since he is only 2 months old.

    ps hope you are having fun well you are gone and good luck spreading Gods words in Chicago.

  24. Hey you guys! Just wanted to encourage you all while you are away. Keep the fire going! Really listen to the Lord and don’t be afraid that what you have to share is “stupid”, “weird” or “not cool”. I am looking foward to hearing what has and will happen.
    Until you return,

  25. Sarah! im sorry 🙁 i wrote ur comment on the jr high blog by mistake so u gotta go there nd find it. . . . technology 😛

  26. What a great three days in DuPage County! I am so proud of everyone for how engaged you were in Asking The Lord each day for His direction and then patiently being obedient. We have some great stories already!

    Thanks too for all the families coming out for a picnic in the courtyard last night. It was really cool to watch everyone pray for Paul (who leaves for the Marines today), listen to the students tell the story of the trip, hear encouraging words from the parents and leaders, and worship together. We have a great community!

    The Chicago team leaves today. They will be serving at the Family Empowerment Center (FECC): prayer walking, hosting Vacation Bible School, and meeting felt needs in the community to tell about Jesus in a practical way. Will you pray for them and encourage them on the blog?


  27. Today we depended on the Lords voice to lead us in what we should do for serving. Our group felt led to children and visited a day care a foster home and an animal hospital in hopes of people in need of help. We continually got the same responses from each organization that “to be honest theres really nothing you can do”. This would be an easy time for our group to become discouraged but we were persistant in faith and our prayers gave us the courage to keep going. We ended up helping out in preparation for Partayy in the Park as well as working for the families of the church community that are in need. Our serving day was ended magnificently with a great turnout at the Partayy in the Park where we had a blast face painting giving out dem hot diggidy dogs and playin games with the youngins. It was really encouraging how interested so many people were in learning more about our church and what we’re all about.
    worship and s’mores gives saras the snores:)

  28. today was another great day! at the beginning of the day, we didnt really have any plan or direction, so we did alot of ATL. however, after doing a prayer drive/debrief, we got a vague sense of direction. we all split up into groups and went where we felt led. my group went around addison, offering help at various locations. we stopped at many different places such as a daycare, a foster home center, and an animal hospital. at each place, our help was rejected. however, we didnt get discouraged! we continued to pray and ask for guidance from the lord. we ended up making birthday presents for a girl who’s father just had open-heart surgery on her birthday. we finished off the day by holding an event called “party in the park” at americana park. we had a great turnout and everyone seemed to have alot of fun! ((:

  29. Party in the park tonight was AMAZING! It’s cool to be able to serve in the community you live in, where you have the chance to see the people again and build real relationships. The teens did an AWESOME job getting people to show up at our new location. We learned once again that God’s plan is always PERFECT! This group is just GREAT!!!

    • Excellence honors God and inspires people. You guys don’t do anything half way. I was looking at the pictures from Party in the Park. Everything looks well thought out, well prepared and well attended. Praise God. I pray you planted some seeds and established some relationships for God today.

  30. Well, today was fun. I’m pretty sure I lost some weight running up the hill. (: Anybody who stumbles upon this blog, please pray that we can have the party in the park tomorrow. Passing out flyers and holding out signs that say, “Jesus loves you!” was really out of my comfort zone, but God gave me the courage to do it with a smile. Time to go to sleep! Smile!(:

    • Angelica, Good for you. I’m praying you have a life changing experience.

    • I love you Gel. You are capable of so much. Just trust in the Lord, He will show you.

  31. Today was an awesome day! We had to listen to God’s direction all day, which was very hard for a lot fo us including me. But once we figured out where he wanted us to go and what he wanted us to do, everything seemed to fall into place. During our ATL(ask the Lord) Tyler thought of chocolate milk and Kalie and Katie thought of passing out flyers to people outside of a store with signs saying Jesus loves you. So we went off to hand out flyers, walked into a dollar tree, and found chocolate milk and we knew thats where God wanted us to be. We handed out a lot of flyers and we were all stretched out of the comfort zone. It was an awesome day!!

  32. hey people had a great day got close to so many people here so far. at the moment were all singing love story.. even boys… i cant wait till tomarrow.. love all of u.. yea i spelled wrong

  33. today was a great day serving the Lord. we got to reach out to random people at various locations by asking them if they needed prayer. several people opened up to me and told me their problems. it felt great to be able to offer them comfort at a spiritual level.

    • That is awesome. God is using you to give spiritual comfort which is the best kind. Keep using the gift of a listening ear. Praying that you are continuing to serve God w/ a Joy in your heart.. Have fun! 🙂

  34. Time for my speech:

    Serving is a great opportunity to see how God will use you in the lives of others. The catch as always is if you are willing to allow God to lead and whether you will be open to seeing/listening to what God is saying. I believe in all of you and know that something incredible is about to take place if you will let it happen. Always tough to not be with you but I am excited to hear what takes place.

    Lobe you all


  35. Day 1 begins!

    Now we are just hoping there is not rain.

  36. sorry! I am totally stupid. I meant to write BC High Schoolers (not Jr. Highers)…not sure where my brain was on that one. Woops! Please don’t be offended. 😛

  37. Thank you, BC JR Highers for your commitment to serve. We are looking forward to having you at Family Empowerment Centers. I hope you are anxiously anticipating all the wonderful ways in which God is going to use you to show His love to others through your words, and actions. See you soon!

    Susan & Rob DeLano



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