new orleans blog 08

Welcome to the New Orleans Missions Trip Blog.

This blog is about our how we connected with God, our team, and people.

highlight reel

not as seen on tv

pix highlight reel

stomp

denver + new orleans students’ blogs + audio

Please feel free to leave comments on anything we blogged about [just click reply]…

254 Comments

  1. I never thought I would agree with this option.

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  2. To everyone,
    My eye is doing just fine and the scar is going to be small my doc says. In case u didnt hear what hppened i was play with some kids from another church and as one of them tried to jump over me. He missed timed the jump and his leg cought my temple.
    I KEPT THE BLOOMINGDALE MISSIONS TRIP TRADITION UP I FEEL SO SPECIAL!!!!

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  3. Dear God,

    Thanks so much for teach me so much this week and helping me not to forget it or loose my fire when I get back home. As a result of this trip I realize that I need to reach out to people more and share God’s good news.

    Claire

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  4. As I was reading over the blog I noticed a lot of comments about wanting to take NOLA back to our home. I wanted to give a shout out to the 7 teens who helped do some “tornado relief work” in Bloomingdale this past Tuesday. Yall took it home!

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  5. To all the parents, students and friends who weren’t with us – Thank you for your support, blogs, love and especially your prayers.
    To all the leaders and students who were in NO – I praise God for our time together. I am so proud of each and everyone of you. When we left I was not sure how we would handle it or what was to come, but I know this was so much more than I could have prayed for. It was an honor to watch and experience this trip with you! To see each of you stretch and grow was amazing and I thank you for letting me come along for the ride. Know that wherever yawl go my love and prayers will always be with you.

    Keep the faith

    Todd

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  6. Everybody who went on the New Orlean trip keep on praying for the people in our lives who don’t know jesus because it works and i found out the next day that the person i prayed for is know watching church on tv. Also i took him to the sunday youth group and he liked it . I thought it was cool that god called my prayer so fast . Also don’t give up on your friends that dont know jesus. My friend john said he is going to come again to youth group and coffehouse. Also everybody keep on doing your devotions and reading the bible.

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  7. Dear God,
    Thank you so much for what you have done in my life. Thank you for still loving me even after all the things that I have done. Lord, I just want to thank you for the works of your hand and for the lives you helped me to touch this past week. God help me to see when I go home that this is not just a one time deal. Help me take everything I learned here back home with me so I can be a light to everyone in my community.
    Your daughter,
    Kassandra

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  8. Dear God
    Thanks for keepin on reminding me that you are always there and I also thank you that I saw lives change right before my eyes. I thank you for the opportunity to come here a second time.
    Mike Avalos

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  9. Dear Lord, Thank you for helping me learn how to pray. Thank you for giving me the trust to see what you want me to do

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  10. Dear Lord, I thank you for the tripl I learned so much and I thank you for helping me to talk to other people about you and just love you.
    -Amen

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  11. Dear God,
    Thank you for all the things you taught me this week. Thank you for gving me pateince when everything didnt turn out according to plan or there was no plan. But listening in prayer is probably the best thing I got out of this trip. It has taught me to always listen to you and praise you even when I feel it isn’t making that much of a difference. Lord, Give me the strength to do the same thing I did here when I get home.

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  12. Dear God,
    Thank you for giving me courage and guts to get out of my comfort zone so I could talk to people on the sreets that do or don’t know you. Also for you showing me that I should be more grateful for my family and possessions. Thank you for helping me to pray in a big group. Because now I know that I have very good prayers and that I am smart when I say them. I also want to thank you for all the suprises in the past week. I learned something from it.

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  13. Dear God, Thank yo so much for this great opportunity. It was definitely an experience I will never forget I have learned a lot this week. Thirst thing is its not all about me all the time. Also your group is like your family and you need to treat them that way. I also found that I’m extremely lucky for the home I live in and everything I have. This trip has helped me become more selfless and its all thanks to you.
    Sarah

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  14. Lord,
    Thank you for this week. Its really helped me to focus on you and realize again how powerful you are. You forgive and forget. Lord, your grace is more than what we can imagine – Your love for us is beyond anything anyone could imagine. You hurt when you see us sad, you hurt when we are not connected, when we miss opportunities for ministry. You are an almighty God, you forgive us and welcome us back with open arms. Thank you for a last trip with the youth group. Its been amazing to be a natural leader and watch everyone step up when the time is right and have faith. There’s a lot of people who know people who need you Lord, may those people be touched by you Lord. Lord as Robert said, Satan is always at work, finding any way to divert our attention, our faith, our walk with you. I pray that you help us to put on the full armour of God every day so that we don’t get distracted. I pray for the children that go to the day camps that the groups after us will continue to touch those kids lives and share your word and your love. I pray for my family that you will help me to be an example to them and get my family reconnected. Thank you for an awesome week doing your will. I love you Lord.
    Sincerely,
    Brian Stuart Jr.

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  15. Dear God, I thank you so much for this week. I thank y ou for dying on the cross for my sins and I thank you for being my friend, Father and everything.
    Love,
    Craigy Bear

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  16. Dear God, Thank you for both answered and unanswered prayers. By not answering my prayer about sin you make me work harder in the other areas. And thank you for awesome friends.
    Your child,
    Greg Wells

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  17. Dear Lord, This trip to NOLA was truly a life-changing experience. Right away you showed me part of your plan for my life when we saw the destruction of the 9th ward and other areas. For a long time I have struggled with not knowing what to do after High School & so I praise you for your guidance. While staying at the AIM base you also le me know that I don’t always need to hear your voice to be confirmed; a simple burden on my heart can be suffiecint. Lord, you truly used our group this week by directing us through our ATLs and devos. My utmost hope and prayer is that you will continue to use me in whatever way you see fit for the rest of my life. It is so safe and refreshing to be in your will Lord & there is nowhere else I’d rather be.
    -Amen

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  18. I learned a lot this past week. First I learned to by more grateful for my family and possessions. Second I learned that God will tell you where he wants to go to serve him. Third I learned to get out of my comfort zone and pray, talk to peopl on the streets. Fourth I learned that I am good at praying in big groups. Know and I did some wise and smart prayers. Fifth I learned that you can worship God by doing two things at the same time. On the trip we did this by singing songs while walking on the street and giving water to people and then talking or praying with them. I think me praying even might have gave others the confidence to pray in a group or out loud.
    Nick Savides

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  19. Dear God,
    Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Than you so much for forgiving me. I really want to thank and praise you that I went on the missions trip. You answered my prayers of experiencing something wonderful. You also helped me gow in my faith and praise you more. I love you Lord, Thank you for this opportunity to spread your word. I will not only do it here in New Orleans but back at home as well.

    Brittany

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    • DANIEL! U SPELLED MY NAME WRONG!!!!!

      ๐Ÿ˜›

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    • Brittany, It was me….. But honest I couldn’t read your handwriting and I forgot you spelled it that way!!!!

      Forgive me? Please
      Mrs. Z

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    • hii sorry mrs. Z. its funny cuz daniel messed up
      on the green prayer cards of us so i thought he did it again!
      LOL but yes i forgive you! ๐Ÿ˜€

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    • Thanks, Britt (i think I’ll just address you that way. Then I won’t be misspelling your name) I’m glad the trip was such a meaningful experience for you. I hope that this was an experience that will change your heart for God and for ever. I’ll be praying that your love of the Lord continues to grow.
      Mrs. Z

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    • Ha ha BRITTNEY. I was thinking the same thing.

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  20. Dear God,
    You answered my prayer and hope for this trip. Not only did our group get so much closer this week but we all made an impact here….. even me. I thank you, God, for providing me so many opportunities to see you at work this week and for heping me keep my mind foucused on you. I pray that I will remember this week when I go home …. to make a change.

    Erika

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  21. Dear God,
    you have taught me many things on this trip. I have learned to trust you and allow you to guide me in all things. You also gave me never-ending joy and to always be joyful.

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  22. God reminded me that I do not have all the answers. He also said Im not supposed to. Quit worrying about whats next or how I can accomplish tasks down the road. I found that I should pray, seek His Word and His will in all things. Plan with flexibility- live in the now. Listen for His call and be ready to go when I GET IT.

    One big lesson for me is that I cannot control how the teens will react to what we are doing. I can love on them, talk with them, but mainly pray for them and trust in God that His will be done. Be ready when He calls to do as He wants. May I continue to be His servant that is what I pray for myself and I ask you to pray for.

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  23. Wow, these past two days have been amazing. Thursday was the last day of day camp. We had the BBQ at Old School after. It was so much fun spending our afternoons with those kids. They have truly changed my life. On Friday we took off early int he morning and took a fairy boat to an island. I realized I could loosen up with no worries besides stepping on the crabs and jelly fish. These past two days were amazing.

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  24. This past week in NOLA we did a lot of prayer walking and ATL’s. It would always drive me crazy, that we werent actually doing construction or telling people about Jesus. It felt like we were wasting time and not getting anything done. But God really showed me this week the importance of prayer and prayer brought kids to day camp we never thought would come. I am so grateful for this trip and everything it has taught me.

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  25. These past few days have been frustrating and yet I feel God just telling me to have patience. He is telling me that I need to let all my worries go and let God take care of them. We were blessed to see Andrew Hopkins yesterday. Even though it poured while we were at the beach, I still managed to have a great time.

    I cant wait to get home and open my eyes to see God at work at home!

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  26. I guess this is my final blog for real this time everyone, so I will make it quick! On our final day in NOLA we did an ATL (Ask the Lord) in which the Lord directed us to praise Him in the lower 9th ward. It was truly amazing to be in God’s hands. It motivated me to live my whole life in that same way.

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  27. Its been an amazing week seeing these teens step up and get out of their comfort zones when its really needed…seeing their faith you grow as the week went on. I pray that it never stop growing. I am happy to see the Lord work through such a big group. God is good! God is great!

    The Lord used me to be a leader this week, to keep the group focused when we were getting distracted. Thank God for a great week.

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  28. Daniel, Todd, Lou & Melissa,

    THANK YOU SO MUCH for taking this week to spend with James and all of the teens that went on the trip. We really appreciate the sacrifice of your personal time as well as all the love and patience you show the teens. You are great examples to the teens and all of their parents. I’m sure you have given each of them memories that they will hold in their hearts forever.

    Thank You!
    Greg and Ellen Bjorvik

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    • Seeing your teens grow closer in their relationship with the Lord is always worth it!

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  29. I am praying for all you guys this week. I hope you are learning a lot from God this week- Denver sure did teach me a few things! God will pull you out of your comfort zone so he can teach you amazing things. In Denver, I was so scared about talking to people, but God taught me to do things I’m not comfortable doing. I hope you guys are learning this lesson and are having great conversations! I miss everyone so much. I’ll see you guys on Sunday!!

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    • Thanks for the encouragement Meghan. I was really proud of you in Denver like I am proud of those in NOLA!

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  30. This is my last blog while on the trip. It’s been a truly enlightening experience thus far in NOLA and I think that all our situations have really come full circle as a result of today. Prayer walking/ worshipping throughout the 9th ward (where the hurricane hit the worst) was very solemn and sentimental. We all watched as God confirmed his intentions for our day through our finding of a small church in the ward as well the rainbow he hung in the sky at the close of our journey. God is really moving down here and I feel that this isn’t at all the last I will see of New Orleans….. I’ll be back to help the very people that have grown near and dear to my heart someday soon with knowledge and God as my tools.

    matt

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    • Dear Matthew,
      I read what you wrote and I am speechless. I am awestruck by the way God is moving in the lives of all the teens on this trip. I stopped to praise our God for the gifts and the heart He has given you Matthew. So many times I feel like I am going to burst with pride over the things you say and the things you do. You are self motivated and have determination unlike anyone else I know. God has important work for you to accomplish. Thank you for sharing your experiences, it has made a great impact on me. I love you, finish strong.
      -Mom

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    • OK Matt, you win. Your postings made me cry the most!!! I am blessed to have seen you grow from a cute littel 5 year old to an awesome young man of God. You inspire many and change every life you touch. I have to go get a tissue now. Love you, Mrs. Z

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    • Matt,

      I loved the rainbow we saw in the 9th ward. Now that I think about it I never really saw it as the conclusion/confirmation of our time in the ward. Thats a great insight. Thanks for reminding me to see the Lord in all things!

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  31. Dear Mom and Dad, I learned alot this week. The first thing that i learned is that you should be grateful for what you have at home because alot of people here in New Orleans have lost family and possessions. Second is you should get out of your comfort zone and go up to people on the street and talk to them. Also don’t always hangout with your friends and brach out to learn something new about you or some of your friends you ussually dont hangout with. Also a big step for me on this trip was to pray out loud in a big group and to spread the word about god . I acomplished this and i have been doing it alot. I also learned a new way to talk to god which is called Listen In Prayer. To do this you have to ask god to silense everything and just listen to him. Fourth i learned that i learned that god will tell you where he wants you to go to serve him or just for ministry. I kind of miss you guys but not alot .

    Love Nick Savides

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    • Nick

      It sounds like you’re having an awesome time and learning alot, including whats most important, family!! I am proud of you and look forward to hearing about your trip when you get home. I pray that your group has a safe return

      Love
      Dad

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    • Hey Nick – glad you were able to talk to people on the street about God. It is true, sometimes it is good to get out of your comfort zone. Your brother went on a 4-wheeler, definitely out of his comfort zone. It is good to try new things and meet new people. You never know by just talking with other people that you have touched their lives somehow. Have a safe return and love to hear about your trip tomorrow. Love ya, Mom & Alex

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  32. brittney – well its our last day at the aim base. tomorow we are leaving here at 7 in the morning. we are going on the fairy and going to the beach!!!! im excited. This week i have learned to listen in prayer. we do it a LOT and it does help. so yes mom… i kno u guys are joking and i was joking too. i am listening to the Lord everyday when we have personal devo’s and when we have time alone. i have learned a lot and have expeirienced a lot and i cant wait to tell ya’ll. haha …. ya’ll…. ANYWAYS bye mommy and daddy love u.

    Craig -hey mom and dad…. i kno i didnt blog until the last day but thats ok i can tell you how my week went. In the beginning of the week it was like alright were goin to New Orleeans!!!! but i didnt kno if it would be like disciple now. But it was a graet learning experience.We were learning about listening and prayer. It was hard for me because i like to worship not sit there in silence praying. It was really hard to get used to but it kind of got easier on the way. We also went to this poor side of town called the 9th ward. we started to pray walk there and Mellisa(my leader) found this cross and there was teddy bear that said love you mom. I got really sad because i thought to myself what if that was my mom or dad. Then we went to this place called Old school. We were suppose to find little kids and teach them about God. It was kind of like a VBS, like we were suppose to meet these kids at a certain time and teach them. Just so you kno it was harder than you think. These kids were wild. they would start fights and they would argue it was like a crazy town. But as the week went on the kids got better everyday. It is amazing how you spend one week there and u change everybody. The best day of the week was Thursday.Because at the beggining of the week if been asking God to help me be confident and pray out loud to the group. So we start doing debrieve and worship. But we did it different tonight. we took communion, and i started to forgive of my sisns and thats when the tears started to come down. Because if you think about it, he suffured so much for everyone in the world. And that hit me hard. and the next thing you kno everyone started crying. And i prayed for the youth group!!! I thank God for dying on the cross for all of our sins. And that he is an amazing God and he could take your life away or give new life and i also said that were all free of sin. And i made a promise to God. I said that i would pray for all of my Brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ everyday untill i die.Was this an awseome week….yes!!! would i doit again….Yes!!!
    Love, Craig and Brittney

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    • You guys are absolutely awesome and God is sooooo goooood! My heart is full of thanksgiving and praise to God because you both have had such an awesome experience and I can’t wait to hear more about it! I pray that you will have so much fun tomarrow that you’ll want to sleep for a week straight! (JUST KIDDING!)
      Anyways, I pray that the Lord continues to bless you, that you have a wonderful time and that he keeps ya’ll safe! Can’t wait to hear more! Love, MOM

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    • yoyo bro n is s wat up down south . . . i really wish i could be with you guys!!!! it sounds like fun doing VBS with those crazy kids were there any deaf kids???? haha u guys would be able to say some things that i taught u if there were . . . i really hope you guys take to heart wat u are learning in new orleans and dont just leave wat u learned in new orleans take it home with u bring it to the community here and to your school ive noticed that wenever we get back from a trip with have fire for maybe the next month and then it dies sont let it die keep it going shout the gospel to your school dont br afraid think of it this way if u kept wat u learned in new orleans to urself . . . and didnt share it at all with ne of ur friends then its like u went there in vain. . . you guys are both very strong and i am proud to be your older sister.
      Craig my fish is waiting for u haha
      Brittney its creepy sleeping in the room all by myself ๐Ÿ™

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    • Hi Craig and Britt, This is the first time I have been able to” BLOG” as u all say. Sounds like u are having a good time hurting yourselves and all. Britt if we are suppose to be the hands and feet of Christ then stop tripping on stairs otherwise you will not have any feet left. And Craig stop stepping on jellyfish u won’t have any feet for Christ either. And Mike u are not doing a good job of watching over them when u get home u won’t have any feet after i see u L.O.L.

      Love u all, keep up the good work.
      P.S Craig the grass needs to be cut. L for love DAD HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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    • craigy beast…that prayer you prayed for our group was so special. But now that I learned that this was a big step for you…I am so proud of you and will
      cherish it

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  33. Hello New Orleans Team,
    I have spoken to several parents tonight and the general consensus is that we are going thru blog withdrawl. I am continuing to pray for your lives to be changed by your New Orleans experience. I hope your last day of service was productive and rewarding and God honoring. Have fun the next two days and I’ll see you on Saturday.
    Love,
    Mrs. Z

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  34. Hey guys!!! how’s it going in new orleans?!?! stay focused on God and listen to wat He has to say, it’s wat the trip is about!! and i heard wat happened to greg, i’m praying for you buddy, and everyong esle too!!

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  35. To the New Orleans Team,
    Last night a group of parents met at the church for a prayer meeting. Everyone is so proud of all of the Teens and the Leaders. I think this gives us ( the parents) a chance to sit back and watch our children, as they are becoming responsible young adults and our future leaders.
    Keep up the good work !
    Clay English

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  36. Hi Paul and wonderful teens of BC:
    It’s 3 a.m. and I woke up and felt compelled to write to you. I had a dream that someone pick pocketed my cell phone ut of my purse and I caught them doing it. I yelled at them and made some noise; he gave me the phone back and then took my keys. Well, I started making noise banging my cell phone on his car. Then I woke up. Strange dream, huh! Well, the reason I am writing is I think of you down there and you are making some noise for the Lord. I prayed for you to be able to talk to others about your faith and for God to give you the words to say. I think of a couple of verses: Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and praise your father in heaven. Mattew 5:16 Also, right before it says “You are the light of the world.” Continue to let your light shine down in New Orleans. I am so proud of all of you, and how well everyone is getting along. God is doing mighty things through each one of you. Continue to seek his face. I’m going to try to go back to sleep now. Goodnight.
    Love,
    Mom
    Mrs. Freeman

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  37. Hey Greg,
    A bunch of us parents got together tonight to pray for the teens and the leaders and we got the scoop on what happened to you. We all prayed for strength for you to get through this injury and for it to not have a negative impact on the rest of your mission. I know from our past history together that you can take a hit and still come back strong and stay in the game. Use your love for Our Lord and the tools you have learned to stay focused and strong. I beleive in you.

    Love you,
    Mrs. Hartigan

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  38. Hey Everybody in New Orleans!! I am praying for all of you that you are having great experiences listening to God and are sharing and showing the awesome love of Christ with every person you serve. I love seeing the pics of you and can’t wait to hear the stories that go with them! As you are serving I hope you remember a verse that helped me a lot in Denver Philippians 4:13 For I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength! I’ll be praying for all of you to have a great rest of the week!! Love you all!! Emily

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  39. Dear Daniel,
    You have been on my mind a lot this past week. I am amazed at your dedication to God and to these teens. To put two trips together in the first place is a huge accomplishment but you went so much further. I understand the heart and soul that you have put into these trips as well. I want you to know how proud I am of you and all you are doing to reach out to our children and give them a path to choose. You are an incredable young man and I feel truly blessed to have you in our lives.
    Love Always,
    -Audrey

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    • thank you for your kind words:)

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  40. Good Morning Everyone!! Luckily we found a laptop to use for today and last night to read your replies and write some blogs. I just wanted to say to you guys and Dad sorry I missed you I will try later tomorrow. I am having a great time down here. I am really connecting with my group and God. I didn’t expect that I would fall so much in love with this girl lovely when I originally came here to help with Katrina! It’s amazing how God is really stretching us and challenging us this week. He is always switching it up for us wether its through the weather or some other unexpected surprise.
    I love you all and can’t wait to see you when I get home. Look and see if theres a pic of me and lovely. Erika

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    • It’s a beautiful picture, Erika! I’m so glad that you’re enjoying being stretched.
      much love,
      Aunt Sue Sue

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    • Good morning Pumpkin-

      We loved seeing the pictures of you and Lovely and are glad that you have been able to connect with your group and with someone like Lovely. As great as it is to be able to help with the building reconstruction, it is awesome to have the impact on a life. The life will last for eternity- the building could be gone tomorrow.
      We love you lots and can’t wait to see you and hear about everything God is doing to stretch you!

      Mom & emily

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    • Erika,

      I’m very glad you are having such a good experience in New Orleans. You and your team mates are Jesus’ hands and feet and are learning invaluable lessons that will carry you for the rest of your lives. The world has a lot of needs and I am glad to see you using yours at 17 to invest in the lives of others.

      I’m proud of you and your kind heart for people. I’ve been praying for you and I miss you very much. I can’t wait to hear your stories and see your pictures.

      Love Dad

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  41. Hello mom, dad, Sarah, and aunt marcia,
    Thanks for all writing it is neat to read the encouragement all over the blog. I am doing fine, there is lots of good food to eat and ministry to be done so there is literally no time to let your mind wander. Glad to hear that Sarah survived the camping trip…. I have to admit I thought she would make it all along. Have a good rest of the week I’ll be home soon.

    -matt

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    • Hey!!! Good Morning Matt,
      So great to hear from you, a great way to start our day. Dad and I just sat down together to see if you or Laura had posted. We were concerned that you might not get the amount of food you require so it is good to know you are eating well. (My grocery bill was substantially lower this week!) Just kidding, I love cooking for such an enthusiastic eater and so does Sarah. She is planning some sweet treats for your homecoming!!! Do you remember Karen Sherin, the nurse I work with during the school year, she came to the house last year to help me out? She called yesterday to touch base and asked about your trip. She bought pink Impatients from you and Laura and told me that every time she looks out of her window and sees those beautiful flowers, she prays for the both of you. Top notch girl, that Karen is. Everyone here is praying for you and we are all proud of the experiences you are all having. Grab Laura and give her a big hug for us and keep one for yourself as well. We love you both so much.
      -Mom and Dad

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      • This makes erveything so completely painless.

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    • dear matt,
      i’ll let you know that i did survive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i even climbed through a cave. (which was quite muddy, and man, you should have seen my pants!!!! they were SO full of mudd, mom had to wash them twice!) i did get a few battle scars, abazillion misquito bites, took a shower in a spring,(which had crayfish in it)and expierenced hobo dinners for the first time. but now that i am back to civilization, i realized that i enjoyed every last bit of it. (accept the outhouse)

      luv u lots
      sarah ๐Ÿ™‚

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  42. Dear Denver Team,

    Thank you for praying for us. Thank you for teaching us about what to expect before we left. Thank you for getting us excited about this trip.

    Last night as we thanked God for the day and prayed about tomorrow, I (Daniel) noticed that the prayers shifted to asking God to be the guide of the day. “Dear God, please help us to know what to do tomorrow.” Dear God, help us to know where we should serve.” The funny thing is, we are slated to do construction. They just assumed that the game plan was to ATL (Ask The Lord) and then we would know what to do!

    There were also comments that they enjoyed not knowing the schedule because then God gets to guide it. Way cool!

    PS. I know we had some cool debrief locations (red rocks, mountain views, etc) in Denver. But we aint doing too shabby here. Yesterday, we went to the Mississippi River boardwalk and got a view of the bridge, NOLA skyline, and French Quarter. Oh and we heard a street performer singing Satchmo style (Tim you have competition!).

    Love yall,

    Daniel

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    • Glad you are finding so many interesting places for debriefing.
      Looking forward to hearing what the Lord said to each of you in your debriefs and how you were able to act on them.
      I hear in your blogs that you are the “hands, feet, mouths and heart and souls of Jesus.” I am so thankful for each of you and how you are using your gifts to serve Him.

      I am praying these verses for you today.

      Love you all,
      Mrs. Marina

      1 Cor. 12:4-5
      There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. [5] There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.

      1 Cor. 12:12
      The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.

      John 13:34-35
      “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. [35] By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

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    • i laugh in the face of competition… but i am willing to pay for someone to take him out. cough

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  43. well i’ve been praying for ya’ll. dnt worry jesus’ll answer. o and i expect some more crazy of u guys just being jesus to people.

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    • and to each other of course

      Reply
  44. Hey Mrs. Gattuso
    Thank you for the encouragement reply. I am taking care of Brittney and Craig so no need to worry about their safety :] . Its fun out here in New Orleans. I am happy you are supporting me with encouragements and now I have to go Debrief. See you soon!

    – Mike

    Reply
    • Hey Mike, I love the fact that you are watching out for Craig and Britt! That’s awesome…but please don’t let it be your burden. I want you to focus on listening to God, prayer and serving the Lord with all your heart! Alot of us parents are praying for you guys…so I have tremendous peace that the Lord has given me! I am not anxious or worried. You guys are serving, connecting with God, with other people and with your group! What more can I or any other parent possibly want? You are wonderful…you have a big heart..use your gifts and serve Him well! Love, Mrs.G

      Reply
    • Hey Mike, What about the jellyfish? Mr. Sponge Bob??? I could see that you don’t know how to hunt for jellyfish… You are supposed to use a net BEFORE the jellyfish stings someone!!!!! LOL

      Reply
  45. hey fam i be havin a blast down in nawrlans see yall mighty soon

    Reply
    • Pawlie! Always short and sweet…i love you man!

      Reply
  46. Hey Mom & Dad & Alex

    I have been doing prayer walks and taking care of little kids. My favorite part of the trip so far is being with the kids in “Old School”. They are all full of life and full of energy. It’s fun and frustrating sometimes because some of the kids are “Too Cool” and don’t listen lol. Well miss you guys and am looking forward to seeing all of you soon…….PEACE!!!!

    -Mike

    Reply
  47. Hey mom & dad & lauren & kewpie & ofcourse… louie,
    Today we did not know what to do so we prayed and asked God what we should do. He lead me to go to a ladys house with 4 cats and i stained her doors and painted her front gate. It was not that hot out so it was a good day haha. and if it makes u happy…. i wasnt with mike . i was with paul, sarah, james and daniel. then we had VBS and there were more kids there today. i was with a little baby most of the time and i wanted to do that too! so i got to do what i wanted to do…. or what God told me to do. & mike was there at VBS sooo o well. lol! well i just took my shower and we are going to worship soon. O and attention everyone! Greg just got hit really bad in the face and he was bleeding. please pray for him as we are too. okkkk byee love you guys.

    -Brittney ๐Ÿ˜€

    Reply
    • Hey Britt, Last night the parent’s got together and we had the opportunity to pray for Greg and for all the teens and the leaders. I pray that he is healing well and that this injury will not get in Greg’s way..that he continues to have an awesome time and that he continues to serve Jesus! By the way, why did you write “if it makes you happy..I wasn’t with Mike”? We like to give you guys a hard time…but seriously.. I pray that you will focus more on God, pray and listen to HIM! Use this time to be with Jesus and to serve HIM! We love you! I am very proud of all the different ways you are serving! Have a great time!! We love you! mom

      Reply
  48. so….um… 2day i learned that i really luv kids n making them smile =) n that i think i want to work with them when i grow up n what better way to work with children then 2 teach them about jesus =)
    p.s. i miss my mikey n cuddly josh

    Reply
    • Claire, I’m glad you’re enjoying your time with the little ones. I’m sure Emma and Bella are missing you right now. I’m pleased you’re thinking about your future. Nice you mentioned missing Mikey and Josh, but not your mom. Hmm Parents are meeting tonight @ 7 to pray for you guys. Cassie and I went to Chili’s yesterday. Love you, might be starting to miss you. Mom

      Reply
    • Isn’t it great when we can use our passions and gifts for God.
      I have never had a doubt in my mind that you would be great working with kids. Couple that love with your leadership and organizational skills and you will do great things for the Lord.
      Observe Melissa, she would be a great model/mentor for you.

      Reply
      • It’s much easier to undesratnd when you put it that way!

        Reply
    • Claire, I’m glad to see you are enjoying your time with kids. I’ve enjoyed the pictures of everyone working with the children. I’m praying for you.

      Reply
    • Claire-
      You really are great with kids! I think that you working with kids is a great idea.

      Reply
  49. mikie i miss you! josh i dont were fighting

    Reply
    • Brandon,
      Maybe you should be missing Josh. I think Josh is pretty bored without you guys. Yesterday I got a video message of him breakdancing. Quite a treat! I’m praying for all of you.
      Mrs. Z

      Reply
  50. um…i miss mikey n josh

    Reply
  51. I learned alot these npast three days. One thing that i lerned that i am good at praying and getting good at it in big groups. The second thing i learned i is that i am more grateful for my family nd things . Thanks dad for making me do my grateful journal all this time it was a good idea. Third i also learned that if you listen to god he will tell you where to go for minisrty or if you want to be a missionary. Thank everybody who prayed for me and my leaders, aqnd frineds.

    Reply
    • Wow Nick,
      Sounds like you’re having a great experience in New Orleans! Proverbs 3: 5&6 came to my mind when I read your comment. 5Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

      I’m glad you’re listening to what God has to say!
      Mrs. Z

      Reply
    • Hi Nick, Keep listening to God and praying for him to guide you to help others. Very proud of you and hope you learn more on the second half of your trip. Love you and miss you!! Mom
      PS. Dad’s computer is being worked on so I am updating him on your trip and the pictures.

      Reply
  52. MOM HAPPY BIRTHDAYYYYYYYYY I LOVE U!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
    • I love you too!!!!!!! Thanks for calling me for my birthday.
      Nana and Grandpa say Hi Too!
      We are praying for you and your group.

      Love You!
      Mom

      Reply
    • James
      you were sapossed to tell about what you doing
      Thanks for calling Mom on her birthday
      Thanks Daniel for the extra call your mom really appriciated it
      Hang tough and keep up with God’s work
      Love dad

      Reply
    • Thaks for writing I did not scroll down far enough
      Your trip is half over already
      Have you had any good seafood?
      Continue to have fun being with the group and GOD
      Love Dad

      Reply
  53. weather: the blazez (Paul and Brandon)
    Highlight?: Erika says: “James was throwing water at me and a three year old made him stop!”
    How did you see God at work today? When I was playing at Day Camp, me and some of my buddies were playing football and we got the little kids to smile. (Nik)
    What made you laugh/cry? A little girl (Lovely) poured water all over James (Alex)
    Something new you expeirenced: Meeting kids who are disrespectful. Last year was different. (Brittney.)

    Reply
    • Dealing with disrespectful kids….this is the point where the rubber hits the road, yes? It’s wonderful to help people who are satisfyingly pleasant and appreciative…dare I say deserving? How do you serve the difficult or unlovable? What verses can help to put you in a Christlike frame of mind?

      Some people on the Jr. High camping trip had the opportunity to speak with the FEMA workers who were in Wisconsin to help after the levee breaks and devastating flooding. The workers, many of whom had also been in New Orleans, were stunned by the difference between WI and NO. Granted, it was a smaller scale disaster but it’s an equally poor area. FEMA workers felt unneeded and often unwanted. The WI communities had rallied and done the work together. No waiting helplessly as the water rushed in, no blame, no preying on eachother, no looking for government to swoop in. They acted.

      Some of you will soon be in Iowa witnessing the flood damage. I wonder what you’ll find. Will it be like WI or NO?

      It gives one much to think about in terms of what is truly loving and compassionate. How did so many people come to trust more in the government than in their own good sense and community? How is it that three years later so many still want to be helped? While there are those in society who genuinely will always need help, how do you best serve those who only want to be served? Brings me back to the challenges of serving the difficult.

      What does God say to us when we’re the ones being difficult? So often we’re undeserving. He’s compassionate beyond understanding but is his full blessing unleashed when we sit back or when we work in cooperation with him? Doesn’t our loving God enjoy us being his hands and feet? He encourages us and nudges us. How can we be that encouragement and nudge to others? How do we remain encouraged when working with people or situations that challenge us?

      Reply
    • Hello all,
      What a joy to hear your daily debrief and your experiences.
      Guess what it is going to be in the 90’s here too and the dew point is 70. I guess it’s so we get a slight feel for what you are going through. However we are not sleeping in 50 degree air conditioning.

      I am so excited to hear how you are ministering to the children and teens in N.O.
      Way to go in thinking up ways to reach them

      I am praying these 2 verses for you all today.
      Ephes. 3:20-21
      Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, [21] to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

      2 Cor. 9:8
      And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

      Love you all very much,
      Mrs. Marina

      Reply
    • Thanks E’s mom for the comments/questions about New Orleans vs Iowa. I will defnitely have the Iowa team consider these things. We have been asking “why?” a lot in NOLA. Thanks for reminding us to be observant and learn from the conversations we have with people.

      Reply
  54. What was the weather like? sunny and humid with t-storms late- Matt H….ahhhhh!
    What was the highlight of your day? Going to church in a movie theater and sleeping on cot like bunk beds (Nik)
    What did God teach you? God taught me how to listen and be silent in worship.
    Who did you appreciate most today? I appreciated Todd bc he committed a random act of kindness for me. (Ellery)
    What made you laugh or cry today? While we were driving home from French Quarter we got lost and instead of being mad I laughed! (Brittney)
    Whats something new you experienced? Walking around the French Quarter was interesting and a little different than anything Ive ever seen before. It was definitely an experience I wont forget. (Erika)
    Quotes: “Everything you do in your day is worship. So make sure that you are worshiping God all day.” (Brian)

    Reply
  55. happy tuesday.

    hope you are enjoying the student’s blogs. I know I have really enjoyed typing them and being reminded of how God is at work. (Sorry if there are typos, I only have a limited time to do it).

    Thank you so much for supporting us in prayer and encouragement. We are so proud of the students. They have really taken ownership of the week.

    This morning they have been praying (Asking the Lord) what they should do this morning. I am excited to see how God works.

    Man, I love this!

    Reply
    • Daniel, I am so encouraged by your dedication to the Lord and these teenagers.

      Reply
    • Daniel,
      Thanks for the updates and the pictures. It’s great to hear and see what the team is doing.
      We are all praying for you , the other leaders., and the teens.

      Reply
    • No prob. I am loving the conversations going on the blog. PS…we have been averaging about 150 views on the blog/day! That is so cool how many people are experiences NOLA with us.

      Reply
  56. Paul and I played a fun game of soccer with our newly met hispanic friends. It was at least 1000 degrees outside and blazing. It was hard to connect with them bc they spoke only spanish, but we showed them the Lord through our sportsmanshiplike conduct. We started a foundational friendship that will continue tomorrow. We hope to share more of the Lord with them.

    Reply
    • I sat mesmerized as I watch Paul and Brandon approach 20something hispanic guys to play soccer with them on a field by the Day Camp site. I am so proud of them!

      Reply
    • Paul,
      Way to go. I know you have a gift for sharing your faith with others, even those who don’t speak english. I will be praying for you as you work with this group of hispanic guys. Just be yourself and have fun at what you like to do, sports. We are so proud of you.
      Love Mom

      Reply
    • Brandon,
      That’s a great way to share with others thru sports. I’m glad you are reaching out to others and having fun working with the children. I’m proud of you. It’s great to hear about what you’re doing and see the pictures.
      Love,Mom

      Reply
  57. There was this kid that interacted with me and he wanted to be a very good friend with me. He always wanted to climb onto my back and when I needed a break he would massage my back. His name was Katun.

    Reply
    • Hey Joe!

      Saw the pix of you with Katun! Sounds like you two have become pals. How cool is that! Maybe you could become lifelong friends! It sounds like he might like that.

      Are you doing a lot of praying & searching while you are there? Is God speaking to you in ways you can understand? Are you able to emotionally connect with what has happened in N.O.? Can’t wait to hear!

      I pray for you constantly!!

      Mom

      Reply
  58. I was playing footbal with Craig, Matt, Joe, Greg and two other little kids. One of the kids was throwing to everybody and when he was waiting to get the football I saw him smiling. I thought that one smile can change a lot by playing our helping someone. Also I got out of my comfort zone and I am praying a lot and talking to people who dont know God.

    Reply
    • Nik-
      Isn’t it amazing how God sends people our way who need to know Him? In Denver I thought the same thing when we prayed for non- Christian teens at a local skate park. God is really amazing!

      Reply
  59. Well…, today in the field we both walked out of our comfort zones in talking to people while prayer walking in NOLA. Matt felt like God was really there bc He opened the people’s hearts and He prepared them for Matt and that really helped him. Craig felt that God gave him the courage to talk to people because he was nervous and he didnt know what to say. But God gave him the chance to talk tot he kids and adults.

    Reply
    • Hey guys! God gives you exactly what you need WHEN you need it! Continue to pray! He answers in amazing ways! We are praying for you! Mom

      Reply
    • Awwwwwwwww

      -Mike

      Reply
  60. We were walking together a couple blocks away from the Day Camp with our group. We finished talking to 2 men and prayed for them. We then went towards the other group and met some of their friends. They immediately thanked us for coming out and helping. We asked if we could pray fo them. That was an awesome experience for James and I, as well as for the group. Then later we talked to Sabrina. She told us how she was here when Katrina hit. She stayed in a house and ended up being stranded for 3 days in the upper part of her house. She said she thanked the Lord for the food he provided her. Such a great story to hear when you get the details.

    Its been a great day with day camp and pray walks. Pray that the Lord keeps providing us people to talk to.

    Reply
    • James & Brian,

      Sounds like an awsome day!
      We are glad you are able to talk to people and share your faith by praying for them.
      We are proud of you!

      Love!
      Mom and Dad
      Mr. and Mrs. B

      Reply
  61. Today we went prayer walking and after half an hour of waiting (bc we were nervous) we finally talked to 2 older ladies. ITs weird how everything happened. For example: They were in nurse outfits so we talked about that since both of our mothers are nurses. I also accidently dropped the flyer and Kassandra picked it up and asked what it was which was a perfect transition to ask them if their kids wanted to go to Day Camp.

    Reply
    • Isn’t it awesome when those “weird” moments happen? God is so good about arranging those to give us connections to strangers and making it easier to talk to them. We are all so proud of what you are doing- keep stepping out in faith!

      Mrs. Hellstrom

      Reply
    • Hey, that’s pretty cool! I am praying that the Lord gives you courage and that you continue to talk to people… and that the Lord will open up people’s hearts to be receptive to what you want to share with them! Love, Mom

      Reply
  62. We had the chance to be a part of the kickball game with two small boys from Day Camp and a wild Joe S. Joe stepped out and had some fun making the boys (and us) laugh as he pretended that he couldnt kick and kept falling. The laughter and smiles made the moment. I wonder what’s next…

    Reply
    • Greg, I am gald to hear that the kickball game was entertaining for the kids. I bet you really enjoyed a good laugh with the other kids and Joe. I am so proud of you and Joe for spending time with the kids. God is showing you what it will be like if you follow a path to serve His children. Are you seeing that? Are you listening? Take care of yourself it sounds HOT out there. Miss U, Love U, Mom

      Reply
  63. Looking at the kids at Old School (VBS location) I felt that they were mean to each other. But after spending time with them I realized that all they needed was attention or a friend. It was fun hanging out with the kids and just having that experience.

    Reply
    • Hey Mike! It’s good to hear how your serving the Lord by working with these kids. You are right! After all, we All need attention at times..and we all need friends. What an awesome opportunity you have to be able to share the Love of Jesus! We’re praying for you! Mrs.G

      Reply
  64. At old school today Laura told me she was nervous because she wasnt good with little kids. I told her she was going to be fine. Later she found a girl Rebecca who loved spending time with her while Laura painted her nails. I also found a little girl who adored me and stood up for me when James was throwing ice at me. I cant wait to spend more time with Lovely (the girl) and see how Laura steps out even more tomorrow.

    Reply
    • Hey Erika,
      God is so good to bless Laura with a friend like you. I smile whenever I see the two of you together. We all need someone special to us to encourage us and help us step out of our comfort zone. You are an awesome friend.

      Love ya,
      Mrs. Hartigan

      Reply
    • Laura and Erika-
      You guys make a great team. I hope you are realizing that God can help you through those times when you aren’t sure if you can do something- I sure learned that in Denver! I am praying for you and will see you soon!

      Reply
  65. Today @ VBS (Day Camp) we learned a lot about loving on little kids and how 2 share Jesus with them. We concluded that it is easier to talk n share our faith with little kids than with people our own age.

    Reply
    • Hello Claire,
      Interesting how God keeps putting little ones in your path. I wonder what lessons He’s teaching you. I know you teach the children in your life many lessons with your “Mary Poppins” attitude & I couldn’t agree with you more that its easier to share Jesus with those younger than us than it is with people our own age. Maybe that’s something we all could work on. I might be starting to miss you, I can’t decide. RJ had to be the great hunter with out you today as he rescued a raccoon that was stuck in our garbage can. I know you’d have loved to help with that!. I loved seeing the pictures that were taken as you prayer walked, but especially those of you doing VBS. I loved seeing your big smile as you worked with the kids. I’m continuing to pray for you.
      Love, Mom

      Reply
    • Alexandra,
      I’m so proud to hear that you are making a difference in the hearts and lives of the people of New Orleans. I know you can do it. You have a way of rallying people around you. I remember when you came to Marquardt…. you befriended kids who were loners and turned them into a group of friends. You are a leader and I’m sure you are leading people to the Lord this week. I am continuing to pray for you.
      Love, Mrs. Z

      Reply
    • RJ…you are deemed the official pest control person on the Iowa trip! Holler at RJ for turning in his stuff early for Iowa.

      Reply
    • PS…”Holler” means give a shout out…its a good thing:)

      Reply
    • Alex, You are so wonderful with all the children that you work with, and yes sometimes it is easier to share our faith with those who are younger than we are and that is what is important, to bring the little ones to faith. You did a great job at that in Awana last year and hope you will be there again this coming year.

      Alex, you are such an inspiration to me, I am praying for you during this trip and know that you will continue to grow in your love for the Lord.
      Jane Cookson

      Reply
  66. We experienced meeting so many different people with so many different lifestyles. Its a cultural jumbalaya!

    The little girls at Day Camp (VBS) were adorable. We went through good and bad times today. It was very hot and sticky. Met teenage durge dealers and users. There was a 12 year old rolling a joint right in front of everyone. Please pray for these people we have met. Thanks all.

    Note from Ellery to my dog: I love you Nick. Also to my famiyl, yah, you guys too. Note from Sarah: Hi pookie. Hi fam.

    Reply
    • Nick would respond but he’s busy being sung to and otherwise adored. Quacky, who now apparently prefers the company of a bewildered Kitty & Loco, sends his regards.

      Reply
    • Sarah, It sounds as if you have been very busy taking in all the different lifestyles. Please continue to set a good example to these kids and be compassionate and understanding and help lead them to God. I can’t even imagine a twelve year old rolling a joint I will pray for all the children and that they find help before it is to late. Sarah stay safe and remember I love and miss you very much. I can’t wait to hear all the stories when you get back. I will continue to pray for you and your team.

      Love, Mom

      Reply
    • Hi Sarah,
      It was so good to hear from you last night. From reading everyone’s blogs, it sounds like everyone is working together as a Team. Just remember, if you touch one child or adults heart while you are there, you have made a major difference. The little things you do, are a big deal to others
      Stay cool, stay safe, and stay focused.
      Talk to you soon !!
      Love Dad
      PS – Pookie says ruff ruff !

      Reply
    • “cultural jumbalya”….nice word choice. That could be my new favorite phrase!

      Reply
    • Hi Sarah,

      I am so proud that your are doing something for the name of Jesus. I have been praying for you. Hope you have a great day.

      Aunt Mary

      Reply
  67. Good morning. Its Monday morning. I wanted to let you know that we are doing well. As you can see from reading the student blogs they are learning many different things. God is at work here.

    So far I have been asking the teens to write their blog on a piece of paper at the end of the evening. I have been able to borrow a laptop (shout out to Kurt from Ohio) and type up the responses for you. We hope to borrow a laptop one evening and read your comments together. Thank you so much for your encouragement. You represent how the body of Christ looks like.

    On this trip I have been trying so hard to rely on God, to trust Him in the process. So much planning and prep goes into these trips and I long to see life change while we are here. But as I was reminded in Denver, this is his battle, not mine. Today I read in my devos about Gideon. God called him a mighty warrior (even when he had never fought a battle) and then asked him to defeat the 30,000 Middianites with only 300 men, lanterns, and trumpets. Not very good odds. I love those Bible stories, but it really changes when God asks you to do the same.

    We are looking forward to a day of God leading the way.

    Reply
    • Daniel,

      Thanks for spending your week with James and the Teens of Bloomingdale Church. You are a great example to our kid’s. I hope that your teams work well together. You have worked hard to make this trip successful.
      Steve and Greg are going to take care of all of the accounting on Friday so it is up to date when you get back.

      Thank You!
      Greg and Ellen Bjorvik

      Reply
    • Daniel-
      I just wanted to tell how much we appreciate everything you do. Thank you for all the work you put into every youth group function. Youth group on Sunday wasn’t the same without you. Come back soon!

      Reply
  68. In the french quarter I learned that there is a whole bunch of cultures and so much life in one place.

    Reply
    • Hi there Mike,
      Makes you think about their salvation and the Good News to the whole world.
      Have a great week.
      Love,
      Mrs. Marina

      Reply
  69. In the Day Camp prep I learned to let the teens take control of the lessons.

    Reply
    • You are a fabulous teacher and listener to God. It is only a great teacher who teaches by letting her students lead.
      Love you and prying for you.

      Reply
    • Hey Mellie,
      It’s amazing how much we learn when teaching! We are praying for all of you

      Reply
    • Meliissa,
      I praise God for your leadership and the huge task you are undertaking in New Orleans. You are wise beyond your years and our teens, especially our daughters, are blessed to have you as an example. I’m continuing to pray for you.
      Love, Mrs Z
      (but you should probably call me Therese)

      Reply
    • Actually…we should probably call you mrs. z because we are in the deep south. Haha…wouldnt you hate that from Mel and I!

      PS…Who doesnt love Melissa…she basically rocks!

      Reply
    • Mel,

      You continue to amaze me – keep up your dedication to the Lord! Miss you – I have to take out the garbage tonight! See ya later alligator.

      Dad

      Reply
    • Daniel I agree. Melissa does rock! Have fun Melissa and I’ll see you soon!

      Reply
  70. I loved the worshiping time at the end of the day. It really helped me to realize that I can always be worshiping God in everything that I do.

    Reply
    • I thought of this verse when I read your post.
      1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to Godโ€”this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will isโ€”his good, pleasing and perfect will.
      Love you

      Reply
    • Brian,
      We are so proud of you. You are really a good kid and a kind and loving person. Remember God is with you wherever you are. Show your faith in Him with all your actions and your words. We love you lots.

      Reply
  71. In the group time I learned that we have to listen.

    Reply
    • Alexandra, This verse came to my mind regarding your post.
      Ps. 858 I listen carefully to what God the Lord is saying,
      for he speaks peace to his faithful people.
      But let them not return to their foolish ways.

      Listening to God and obeying Him is a life long command.

      Love you lots,
      Mrs. Marina

      Reply
    • Psalm 858….mom, I know you have angelic like qualities…but now you are adding new scripture??

      Reply
  72. On the van rides I got to hear people’s stories and connect.

    Reply
    • I’m glad you are listening to others and connecting. Have a good day. Love Mom

      Reply
    • Connecting with peoples stories is a great way to learn and love.
      Have a great day listening to others.
      Love you ,
      Mrs. Marina

      Reply
  73. During the Day Camp prep we learned to speak to each other and work things out.

    Reply
    • Hey Brittney,
      Worship was great yesterday. It was a Bloomingdale boy band – Mark, Rob, Dane and your Dad all on stage.
      I thought of this verse after I read your blog.
      Philip. 2:2-5
      then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. [3] Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. [4] Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
      [5] Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

      Love you,
      Marina

      Reply
  74. We are so fortunate for what we all have. We at least have a roof over our heads and a loving family and community.

    Reply
    • Sarah, I am so glad you are getting the message. We are so fortunate and blessed but we must always be grateful for what we have and thank God because it can be taken away from us just like the people in New Orleans. Stay safe and continue to learn and listen to what God is telling you in your heart. I miss and love you very much. Love, Mom

      Reply
    • Hey baby sister,
      How are you doing, well I hope. I missed seeing you when we came to visit, but I will come up again after you get home. I am so proud of you, it will be such a good experience for you. I think if anyone has the chance to help they should do so. I would of loved to experienced it with you. I hope all is well, and I will pray for you and your team.
      God bless you
      Love your sis

      Reply
    • Sarah,
      Glad to hear that you and the team are having this eye opening experiene.. We are all so fortunate with everything that we have, and sometimes forget about others that are less fortunate than us.
      Most people don’t even think about the victims of Katrina. It never hits the news anymore, so most people think everything is ok now.
      Hope your Day Camp experience is a good one.
      Talk to you soon !!
      Love Dad

      Reply
    • Sarah,
      Television sure doesn’ show us the heart of people during the mass destruction.Glad you are there to be able to experience it. I am proud of you. You worked hard and gave up a lot to serve the children of God in N. O.
      Have fun at Day Camp. Wish I could be there with you all sharing God’s love with the little children.
      Love you,
      Mrs. Marina

      Reply
    • Sarah,
      You have so many aspects of your personality. I see your get hip hop moves at Aspire, your dedication at Lancettes and a completely another side of you. Helping those in need. I can see your family is proud of you but also those of us who know you in other aspects of your life. I am glad you are helping those in need for that is what is most important, that silent applause from God and tears from those you help.
      I am so proud to know you,
      Cathie Kennedy

      Reply
    • Sarah-
      That is a very true statement. I learned that when I was in Denver and saw so many homeless people walking around with no where to even call home. I miss you and I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip!

      Reply
  75. On the van rides today I learned that sometimes you have to deal with some uncomfortable situations.

    Reply
    • Greg,
      What a tremendous lesson you have learned and on a van ride.
      Can’t wait to hear what you will be learning today.
      Love you,
      Mrs. Marina

      Reply
  76. Today (Sunday) I learned the 5 step test method can be used to confirm God’s callings and nudgings.

    Reply
    • Hello Matt,
      Looking forward to hearing about the 5 step test method and how you are applying it to your life.
      Have a great day.
      Love you,
      Mrs. Marina

      Reply
  77. Today (Sunday) I learned that I dont always need to speak. I can help by just listening.

    Reply
    • Hi !

      We were glad to hear from you today. Grandma arrived today and said to tell you hello and that she hopes you are having a good time. Prayed for you (and the group) today when they announced the excessive heat warnings for New Orleans.
      Keep listening to what God is saying- He loves you so and so do I!
      Love you-
      Mama

      Reply
    • Hello Erika,
      What a powerful lesson to learn. Isn’t it great that we can stop and listen and hear what can wants to say to us. He cares about us that much. Wow.
      Have a great day.
      Love, Mrs. Marina

      Reply
    • Hey just wanted to clarify that the teens were not fighting when they planned Day Camp. Actually, they worked very well together. I was proud of the adult leaders and usual students that tend to be the go-to leaders for choosing to listen and let the other student’s lead.

      Reply
  78. Today (Sunday) I learned how 2 listen n not have 2 always be incharge during the day camp prep.

    Reply
    • You are a leader (even if you would not always admit it) and it is good to see you developing those skills further on this trip. Enjoy your experiences in LA. Ms. Budde

      Reply
    • Hello Claire,
      I knew the Budde sisters when they were your age. Don’t even think that I am really old. LOL
      I agree with Mrs. Budde- you are a leader who is learning an important lesson in leading- listening and letting others lead. Enjoy your day camp experience in N.O.
      Love you and have a great day.
      Mrs. Marina

      Reply
    • Age is a state of minds Mrs. Marina, look at what your expereinces taught me and now Clarie!!

      Reply
    • Claire-
      I’m glad you are learning so much in New Orleans. I miss you. I hope you nejoy the rest of your trip. Have a safe flight back!

      Reply
  79. one word to describe saturday: hope

    I heard frustration in the words of retiree Casey and his wife Kathy over the delays and their feelings of abandonement by the federal government to help them and their neighbors escape and then return to the city. They are still struggling with incompetent people and processes in their attempts to restore their lives.

    But Casey also spoke of hope as they became more independent on their own skills and resources to recover.

    Reply
    • Dear Lou,
      Isn’t it great to know the Author of Hope and the Hope we have in Him. Thank you for giving of yourself to share that Hope with others and with our teens on a weekly basis.
      Praying for you,
      Marina

      Reply
  80. one word to describe saturday: eye opening

    Today I saw a child’s pretend car on what used to be a house. This got me thinking of the children in NOLA. I tried imagining what it would feel like as a child to lose toys, my friends, adn the neighborhood I was growing up in. It was an eye opening experinece for me because I have always thought of adults and what they lost. But as I witnessed this I thought of children and how this impacted their lives in a different point of view.

    Reply
    • Melissa,

      This seems just like you- a deep heart for children, in the classroom, in day camp, in N.O., wherever you are. I’ve seen you love children of all ages, even teens, in all socioeconomic conditions. Your love for children is so evident to me and I love you for it. I know it will be contagious this week.
      We pray for you often throughout the day, remembering what you shared the day before you left.
      We are blessed to have you in our lives and in the lives of the teens.

      Marina

      Reply
    • Melissa-
      I am glad you are having a great experience in New Orleans. I am praying for you and your team this week. I miss you a lot. Have a safe trip back and I’ll see you Sunday!

      Reply
  81. one word to describe saturday: hmmm

    To drive around looking at NOLA was difficult–
    I had meaningful memories from the first trip. I was hit hard by the oppression and depression that hung over the area two years ago.
    This time was more of a sad stillness. There has been some clean up and there is some activity in the areas but no real sighting or the feeling that we are getting somewhere. Hoping that there is more to come this week.

    Reply
    • Todd,
      Thank you for giving of yourself and your time to help guide our kids as they have the chance to do the Lord’s work.

      Reply
  82. one word to describe saturday: destruction

    What I experienced is the destruction of all the houses while we walked and drove through New Orleans. My group went inside some buildings affected by the flood and it looked bad. Ill show you what I mean when you get some pictures of it. I also saw where the levees broke. When you see the pictures just imagine watere coming up at you and destroying your home.

    Reply
    • Hello My Son!

      Dad & I are continuing to pray that your experience in N.O. brings God into clearer focus for you. He IS real, Joe. Look around you. Look past the destruction and see the opportunity He has given you to make a difference in people’s lives. They may not know it, but they are HUNGRY for His love. Have the courage to show it to them. They will never forget it. I pray that He shows you His purpose for you in a very real way during this trip. Allow Him to work through you & you will never regret it.

      We love you so much!

      Momma

      PS How’s the hand sanitizer holding out? ๐Ÿ˜›

      Reply
  83. one word to describe saturday: energetic

    God told me that I should be grateful for my things and people. Even if your family is sometimes bugging you or annoying you, but if they got hurt or died you would miss them a lot. Family means more than possessions. God told me that while I was talking to Him. If you have your favorite possession as the last thing you take out of the house you will think that saving that item was kind of stupid or not worth while. Because if you get your family and pets out of your hose during a tragedy then you can share your emotions and thoughts with them. Family and pets are always there for you but possessions cant be there for good.

    Reply
    • Hi Nick, so glad you learned how important family can be in your life. As you know how I think family is important especially when my dad died when I was 13. You can appreciate life much more and enjoy your family and grandparents and can learn from them. Have a good day! We miss you.

      Reply
  84. one word to describe saturday: confirming

    Today while in NOLA we visited many of the areas where re-construction was occuring. While walking I noticed the many different styles of construction taking place. Some had bought and built on existing frames and foundations while others leveled their property and built from the ground anew. Still others insisted on raising their houses on cement pillars so that it was set above the ground to be above the potential flood waters. In seeing this, I was struck by how confused and disorganized NOLA residents must be. It they are all building again in sepearate ways, then it is clear no one knows the best way to prevent future damage. These people are unwittingly dooming themselves by repeating the past due to a lack of engineering guidance. Therefore, as I have stated, this trip is confirming what I saw at U of I the other day. I feel God is calling me to be a civil engineer so that I can help tell these people the right wat to rebuild their homes and lives.

    Reply
    • Matt,
      You are wise beyond your years. I read your blog and I was amaized by your insight. When we were at U of I, I felt it was a place where you belonged to be, learning and developing into the engineering role you desire. To hear you tie these two experiences together confirms that your mind and your heart are working together. God has wonderful plans for you, keep listening.
      On a lighter note, you will be surprised to hear Sarah survived the camping trip. She only called home once and that was to beg me to let her keep a kitten that Patty Bowman picked up for free only to discover she was alergic. You can imagine my response, Kalie’s parents got the same “cat” call from her. They also said “NO.”
      I am so proud of you and what you have gone to New Orleans to do. I miss you but am excited for you to stay and finish this journey.
      All my love,
      Mom

      Reply
    • Matt,
      As I read your blog one word came to my mind—-WOW.
      I see God using you in amazing ways- combining your interests, your intellect and your love for God and His people.
      Love you,
      Mrs. Marina

      Reply
    • Hi Matthew,
      I hope that all is well with you. I am surprised to hear that there is not more uniformity in the rebuilding. I wonder if the area you are in is outside of, and not required to follow the local building codes? Too much freedom is not a good thing (except when building extreme woodsheds…). I am impressed to see you focusing on the details. I am also very excited to hear that your school plans compliment your calling to do god’s work and help others. When all the pieces fit, the heart is happy and the mind is content.
      Keep up the good work. I am very proud of your efforts.
      Love always, Dad

      Reply
    • dear matt,
      i think its great that you are applying your futuer career to what you are doing down in new orleans.and i really admire that you were willing to go down to louisiana and help out, they are really lucky to have you down there to help out and reach out.

      luv u lots,
      sarah

      Reply
  85. one word to describe saturday: sympathy

    Looking at the differences between towns, a lot of work has been done. But it is not finished yet. Also hearing stories from Brian and Mike really helped me understand what it was like in the past and now. Seeing all the houses tourn apart with the “x” on the window or door or wall…just broke my hear. But I kept thinking to myself, “there was a reason for this horrible destruction….there just had to be!”

    Reply
    • hey boogers, i miss u guys Love Lauren
      Britt..there is a reason for everything…we will never know it in this life time. the important thing to do is to continue to trust in the Lord with all your heart and continue to do a good work for Him! We love you!!! Mom and Dad

      Reply
  86. one word to describe saturday: Unbelieveable

    Today we walked around and drove through different parts of New Orleans- each drestroyed in their own way. It was incredible to see the efforts made and not made in both the upper and lower class areas. I couldnt believe people were building brand new homes in an area that could easily be destroyed next year! But I was quickly reminded this was someones home! I thought of my comforts of home and how much I focus on just my world and the small area around me. ITs been 3 years and people are starting to forget about New Orleans. Thats one thing that shouldnt happen. God is pushing me to use my voice.

    Reply
    • Hi-
      We saw your comment from last night and then scrolled down and saw this one- what a bonus- two in one day ๐Ÿ™‚
      It must be overwhelming to see how much still needs to be done and realize that it could all be gone in an instant, and tempting to make it seem futile. Like you said, though, these people are in need, and God has placed you there to help meet those needs.
      Keep listening to Him, Pumpkin. He will give you the wisdom to know when you can help by listening and when you need to speak- and He will give you the words to say.
      Its great to hear that you are listening to God’s pushings big sis. It is amazing to just hear about the destruction and you guys are actually seeing all of it! I hope that you have great experiences while you are in New Orleans! We are all praying for you! Love ya sis!

      Reply
    • Hi Erika,
      Having friends in NOLA and having seen the devastation 6 and 18 months later, it makes me sad to hear that you’re still seeing so much devastation nearly 3 years post-Katrina. I can’t wait to hear what you’re seeing, but more important, am so glad and so proud that you are helping out there. They need it!!
      You can tell me and Uncle Steve what you won’t forget about the French Quarter when we drive up to Marissa’s party on Sunday.
      One last word (or 2) from your old aunt. Please remember, and feel free to share with your friends, that race and racial problems still exist big time in New Orleans. It was a big factor in how people responded (or did not respond) after Katrina. You may see some of that still today in what may seem to be an attitude of disrespect or ingratitude. You will also see it in the rich vs poor neighborhoods, and who and who cannot afford to rebuild their homes.
      I love you and am very proud of you!
      Don’t forget to drink your water!!!!
      love,
      Aunt Sue Sue

      Reply
  87. one word to describe saturday: Wow!

    I experienced the most crazy stuff I ever have seen. It taught me to be grateful about the things I have.

    Reply
    • James,

      We are so glad you can have this great experience. Mom remembers going to Kentucky on a missions trip in High School and feeling so thankful for my family, my home, and everything we have.

      The pictures of the Day Camp look like you are all getting connected with the kids.
      Love them like you do Parker, Adam and all the AWANA kids that look up to you.

      Be loving and respectful to your leader and everyone you touch and meet this week.

      WE LOVE YOU,
      Mom and Dad

      Reply
  88. one word to describe saturday: Amazed

    Its a whole new feeling down here since we were here two years ago. There used to be a waterline on all the buildings that we drove by and now there is some refinished houses. There is not as much garbage and debrief. There is not that many houses anymore, just the foundations and a lot of tall grass and weeds. Being down here the first time, there was this instant sadness and your heart just want to stop and help. The feeling now is wonder like I wonder what I going to do here. Its been great to see the exact places we went to last time. there is a difference.

    Reply
    • I am glad you were able to see some of the same areas you worked in last time. I was afraid you would be disappointed since I know there is still so much more to do in this area. Work hard while you are there, it is an opportunity very few people have. Have some fun…(a little, maybe). Listen with your heart and be the good example to others that I know you always are. Love you and Miss you.

      Reply
  89. one word to describe saturday: Indescribeable

    We went to an area that was in very poor shape. We went inside the houses and there was a horrible scene. I was very suprised at what some of the houses have been through since the hurricane. They still need a lot of help.

    Reply
    • Paul,
      I’m glad you are helping down in NOLA. It’s very sad that there is still so much that needs to be done. People will see Jesus in you and the teens. God has great plans for you, keep seeking him and listening. It is pretty quiet around here with you gone. Stay cool. Drink plenty of water. Love you lots, Mom

      Reply
  90. one word to describe saturday: outstanding

    Today was an amazing day. I got to see something I have never seen before…homes all over the place, but just the foundation. It was sad for me and I did not know there was more to come. Seeing all these homes and what the people went throught, i could never know what they feel.

    Reply
  91. Hi James,

    We hope you are having fun and listening to all of what God has to tell you this week. We all prayed for you kids this morning at church. We are proud of you!

    Mike was missing you and Craig today, he said it must be real quite at our house.

    We went to lunch with Nana, Grandpa, Joel, Michelle and baby Gabrial. We went to Pepe’s for Mom’s birthday and the waiter asked about you. He remembers you when you were Gabrial’s age and then later when you use to order Shrimp Fajitas without veggies.

    Jackson slept on your bed!

    We Miss You!
    Love Mom & Dad

    Reply
  92. LOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    i love you and i miss you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I hope you are having fun!!!!

    Reply
    • Hi Cassie. Today is the first chance I have to read or reply to the blog. Thanks for your message. I love you too!

      This missions trip was an amazing life-changing experience. I met and prayed for dozens of people. Every one of them had a significant need for prayer too. I wish you could have joined us for it. You would have loved playing with and teaching the young children at Old School.

      Lou

      Reply
  93. Hello YALLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    we are at youth group now and we miss you all. We just read all of the blogs and we hope you are doing great and we are praying for you all week!!!!!!!
    B says that she hopes that you are all wearing your sunblock!!!
    And Cassie Slip is finally at youth group with NIKOLA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yay!!!!!!!!!!!
    And Joel got one side of the Rubics Cube completed.
    WE MISS YOU GREATLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Love,
    Meghan, Nikola, Cassie, Tomi, Ben, Adam, Mikey ,Joel ,Cheese, and B

    Reply
  94. I so wish I were with you guys. It’s hard to believe that things are still that bad there, it seems like New Orleans has been forgotten and everyone is moving on to other tragedies in the world.
    Your stories have really touched me and are so heartfelt I can feel the pain you are having. So much loss. Hopefully even though you have found “things” those who lost them still have the memories.
    Tommy told us about his trip to El Salvadore this morning in SS very heartbreaking as well.
    On that note: Be grateful for what you have and share your LOVE with those in need. Praise God for your safety and health.

    Reply
  95. 11. More Louisiana trivia- Erika’s ancestors lived in Nacitoches Parish La before the Louisiana purchase. As descendants of Marie Antoinette Rambin, we are VERY grateful that they eventually moved north!

    Reply
    • We are especially grateful our ancestors moved north as their descendants do not tolerate the heat and humidity very well!

      Reply
  96. i know you guys are going to have an awesome week!!!!
    i am praying for each and everyone of you!
    God is going to do great things!
    have fun and be safe- i can’t wait to hear all of your stories!!!!

    Reply
  97. Glad to hear from you all. I know God is going to do great things through you. We prayed for everyone this morning during Sunday School. I hope God speaks to you and you listen. You are the greatest teens! We miss you. You are the hands and feet of Jesus. Keep up the good work.
    Hey Paul, I saw your picture on the website. Love you, Mom

    Reply
  98. one word to describe today: Insane
    We saw a bunch of crosses in the lower 9th ward. One had a teddy bear next to it that said “I love you.” Kind of hard to put myself in those people’s position. It was sad. I love my mom and dad.

    Reply
    • It is always hard to look on other people’s tragedies and to try to put yourself in their place. I am grateful that you have the opportunity to see what has gone on there first hand. It will teach you compassion. Remember that your beautiful spirit, your smile that can light up the room, and your beaming personality can help and provide encouragement and hope to others. We love you too Laura, we are proud of you and we miss you. I am so proud of you for posting Laura! Love you always, -Mom

      Reply
    • laura I miss you keep smiling. I’m sending you a hug.

      Reply
    • Hi Laura,

      Your Mom came over for dinner tonight and we just came back to the house after taking Tucker for a long walk. It sounds like you are starting your missions trip off on the right note. I will be praying for you and the rest of the youth group this week.

      A quote from the Bible promise book
      “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;I will counsel you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8

      Love you – Aunt Marcia

      Reply
    • Laura be strong, some of the things you will see are hard to handle, but the work you are doing is going to help people creat new memories and new faith, Ms. Budde

      Reply
    • Hi Laura, I hope all is well. I’m sure that your big smile, huge heart, and all your hard work will go a long way to raise the spirits of those you encounter on your trip. Your smile and laughter will shine long and bright after your work is done and you head for home. I am very proud of your courage to face things that are not always pleasant, and your determination to make a difference.
      Love always Dad

      Reply
  99. one word to describe today: tragic

    Today I found a destroyed house. Some people and I took a peek inside. I found a chest with military clothing and equipment. There were pictures and magazines from 1945. I actually cried. It touched me ina way that I have never felt. It was confusion, sadness, hopelessness, and fear.

    Reply
    • Sarah, I can only imagine how terrible the destruction was from Katrina but is so much more real when you see first hand the devastation it left behind and what all the victims lost. They were not just things that were lost but memories of a lifetime that can never be replaced. I am glad that you got that message because it helps us to understand how blessed we really are. It also makes us more compassionate and understanding of what these people have gone through and lost. It is often through trageries that we learn these lessons. I will continue to pray for you as you continue your work in New Orleans and for your team. Try not to get to overwhelmed and remember that you are helping to make things better. I am so proud of you and what you are doing and I love and miss you very much. Talked to Nathan today and he is so proud of what you are doing. Love, Mom

      Reply
    • Hi Sarah,
      We had a prayer meeting during the Sunday School Hour this morning to pray for the Team. Everyone is so proud of you and all the students that are on this trip.
      When I tell people (that dont go to our church) about your trip, they are so amazed that kids are taking such an active role in helping others. I think it makes them think that they should be helping others too. Be good and stay safe. Tell everyone we are praying for them. Be nice to your leaders.
      Love Dad

      Reply
  100. one word to describe today: deja vu

    This is my third time serving in New Orleans post Katrina. I left behind the memories of destruction, loss and hope over two years ago. I thought that coming back in 2008 would have erased much of Katrina’s pain. It has not. Thoughts of injustice and anger were retriggered. Sights of great destruction were beheld again. Questions of how this could happen in America were reconsidered.

    Reply
  101. one word to describe today: Anger

    Today, when we went down to the “dupage county” of NOLA, I realized taht I had it made. The only thing left was the cement foundation. I found a remote control car and then was saddened because I love remote control cars. The little boy that owned the car cannot share in this joy with me anymore.

    Reply
    • Greg,

      I am glad to see and hear that you are safe. I can’t imagine the devistation down there. I hope you are taking time out to listen to God and hear what He is saying.. Be safe and take care of your self. I miss you, I love you! Love Mom

      Grandma says hello and take care and Nor texted and asked about you.

      Reply
  102. one word to describe today: Sad

    I found a heart that had “hearts” written on it. It made me think of friends and if someone had given it as a gift. Its sad how it was just in the dirt. I also found a dog tage that looked like it belonged to a grad student. What a happy memory to be tossed and hurt by the waves like that.

    Those things that were so small could have meant so much to the family. It makes me sad to think that the owners may never return to have those wonderful gifts back.

    Reply
    • Cat,

      Sorrry, I didn’t get to call you before you left. We just wanted to let you know that we are praying for you and all the others on this mission trip. We hope that you accomplish all the goals you set out to do.

      Love, The Sourwine Family

      Reply
    • Kassandra,
      I am proud of you. You have such a loving personality. Remember the important things, God, family, friends. As you share your lovely smile and your giving heart with the people around you…see how you brighten their day.

      Reply
  103. one word to describe today: flashback

    Today we visited the lower 9th ward where NO got hit the hardest. It brought back memories from the last time we came here. Didnt change much, just the growth rate of the grass. Nobodies helping them!

    Reply
    • well Mike, you are there to help and to pray! What an awesome place God has put you in! He is using you in a BIG way! WE are praying for you! Love, Mom G

      Reply
  104. one word to describe today: disconcerting

    I went through a tough time a while ago and God tole me everything was going to be ok but I didnt listen in I would today. I fugured out that everything actually turned out 2 be ok. I now know that I need to listen to God and do what he tells me.

    Reply
    • Claire, It was good to read your post this morning. I am glad you are already hearing from and listening to God. I’m continuing to pray for you. I’m missing you already; on second thought maybe not…. I guess I will have to take someone else with me to Chili’s this week for lunch. Love You, Mom

      Reply
    • You’ve only been there a short time and God has already been teaching you. Just imagine what he will be able to teach you during the remainder of the trip.

      Reply
  105. one word to describe today: confused

    For some strange reason, driving by the superdome was very strange and quite dumbfounding for me. We didnt go in, no, we drove by it. All I could think about was all the bad things that happend in there. Ive never thought that until now. The superdome is scarier to me that any flood. What I dont understand is, why. Yes, of course i was supreised about the hurricane damage, but that was not the hitting point for me.

    Reply
    • It’s sad what went on there. A lot of blame was cast around. It gives one much to think about in terms of what is the best way to serve / love people. Explore the concept of learned helplessness.

      Somewhat unrelated:
      In church today Pastor David quoted Luke 11:39, โ€œโ€ฆyou Pharasees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.โ€ We followed that up with a song about Jesus transforming us from the inside out. Interesting, in light of recent conversations…that it’s what’s inside that matters.

      Let God speak to you on this trip, Ellery. Away from all of the usual distractions, focus on what really matters. Allow a work in your heart and all else will follow.

      And from the homefront:
      A package from Boulder arrived yesterday. No, not THE package…much smaller.
      I hear that the Jr. High camping trip went well. Dad shamelessly slept in the cabin. Horsing, caving, Burt’s coffee, etc. They’re due back shortly.
      Quacky is free in the barnyard with the turkeys and ducks. All is well.
      I spread the Sunday paper on your piano and am organizing your room.
      Busy, busy, busy….

      Love you. I cry for you every night. Kiss here >> X
      LOL

      Reply
    • Hi Ellery!
      Just got back from the camping trip. It was fun. The first day we just had free time and the next day we did horse back riding, canoeing, and spulnking (caving). Today we went to “Devils Lake”. I did rock climbing and swimming. Lexie had lots of fun. She was making crazzzzzyyyy faces at everyone on the way back….. so was I. By the way….. I touched your piano ๐Ÿ˜€ Our room is air conditioned and very cold, Mom’s wearing your clothes oh and speaking of which, I have to go. Mom’s crying again. Lexie and I are probably going to the mall tomorrow:D TTYL. Be good! Arrhh arrrhh here >>>>> X

      Reply
  106. one word to describe today: tragic

    Whe I was wasling in the lower 9th ward I saw this cross. The cross was located where a house used to be. When I looked down there was a teddy beard. The teddy bear said “I love you mom.” Whe I saw it I thought what if that was my mom or dad.

    Reply
    • Empathizing with others can be very hard to do, but I am sure God will help you to do this and help you connect to them through empathy.

      Reply
    • Craig, I’m sure you are gong to see alot of tragic things. This gives you opportunities to pray. Pray for those who have lost everything. Pray that the Lord blesses them, and pray whatever else may come to your mind. also remember to thank God for all you have. Everything we have is a gift from God! God bless you as you work hard! I love you! Mom

      Reply
  107. one word to describe today: Indescribeable

    Today we went downt to the 9th ward and I felt like if this was all of my stuff I would be angry it was gone. Then I saw the people that it happened to and they seemd like they were in a very good mood. Even when all thier stuff was gone. It taught me to be more happy with what I have.

    Reply
    • I hope you had a good day and I’m glad to see you are learning to see the hardships of others. I’m very proud of you and I’m praying that you are listening to what the Lord is trying to teach you. Amanda’s wedding was very nice but. everyone missed you. Love you. Mom

      Reply
  108. As I was prepping for our upcoming trip I found a website about N’alwins lingo….

    Dressed
    You just got to New Orleans and you’re in the French Quarter. You’re feeling good about everything and even considering trying some raw oysters. But, you decide to start with a fried oyster Po-Boy. You look up at the waitress and confidently order. She turns to you and asks “dressed?” She stands patiently with pencil poised above the order pad while you look around in a panic. “Excuse me?” you say. The waitress says, “Do you want your Po-Boy dressed?” She realizes this is your first visit to New Orleans and she explains, “That means with lettuce, tomatoes and mayonnaise.” That’s typical of one of the quirks in New Orleans “speak.” We always order any form of sandwich dressed or plain (but never “naked!”).

    Lagniappe
    You’re walking through the French Market enjoying the hustle and bustle of the farmers and the shoppers. You decide to buy some fresh Creole tomatoes and ask the farmer for one pound. He tells you to pick the ones you want and you hand them to him to weigh. He turns to you and says, “I’m giving you lagniappe.” (Lan-yap) Should you run, cover your mouth and nose with a surgical mask? No, “Lagniappe” means “a little something extra.”

    Neutral Ground
    You are asking directions to the streetcar stop from a friendly native, she tells you to cross the street and wait on the neutral ground at the corner. Are we at war? No, a “neutral ground” in New Orleans is a median where you’re from. It’s the strip of land between the two sides of a divided street.

    Where y’at, How’s ya momma and dem?
    Two locals who are obviously old friends meet each other on the street nearby. One says to the other, “Where y’at?” and the other replies, ” How’s ya momma and dem?” This is the typical greeting of many New Orleanians. It simply means, “Hello, how are you and your family?” (Special note: often a “th” in the front of a word is replaced with a “d.” Thus, it’s not “how’s ya momma and them,” it’s “how’s ya momma and dem.”)

    Parish
    Because New Orleans was settled by the French and the Spanish instead of the English, political subdivisions were set up along Catholic Parish lines. Those original lines have changed but the tradition of the use of the word parish has not. So, a parish in Louisiana is equivalent to a county in your state.

    Makin’ groceries
    Going to the grocery store to purchase provisions to cook the evening meal. Commonly, locals “make” groceries rather than buy them. This is a throwback from the original French-speaking Creoles who used the verb “faire,” which means “to make” or “to do.”

    Reply
    • Daniel, remember keep it short and sweet!!!!! remember what u said in the meeting.

      Reply
  109. New Orleans/Louisiana Trivia for your education and amusement:

    1. Louisiana was named in honor of King Louis XIV. The city of New Orleans was named after Philippe II Duc d’Orleans, Regent of France.

    2. The world famous “Mardi Gras” celebrated in New Orleans dates back to an ancient custom that originated in southern Europe which celebrates food and fun just before the 40 days of Lent: a Catholic time of prayer and sacrifice.

    3. The Battle of New Orleans, which made Andrew Jackson a national hero, was fought two weeks AFTER the War of 1812 had ended and more than a month BEFORE the news of the war’s end had reached Louisiana.

    4. Louisiana is the only state with a large population of Cajuns, descendants of the Acadians who were driven out of Canada in the 1700s because they wouldn’t pledge allegiance to the King of England.

    5. The Superdome in New Orleans is the worlds largest steel-constructed room unobstructed by posts. Height: 273 feet, Diameter of Dome: 680 feet, Area of Roof: 9.7 acres, Interior Space: 125,000,000 cubic feet, Total floor footage: 269,000 sq. ft.

    6. Louisiana State Nickname: The Pelican State. State Motto: “Union, Justice and Confidence”. Agriculture: Cotton, Fruits, Rice, Sugar Cane, Potatoes. Industries: Food Processing, Petroleum Refining, Pulp and Paper Products, Transportation, Textiles. Natural Resources include Natural Gas, Petroleum and Sulfur. New Orleans Nickname: The Big Easy.

    7. In Louisiana, biting someone with your natural teeth is considered a simple assault, but biting someone with your false teeth is considered an aggravated assault.

    8. In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina caused the floodwalls and levees of New Orleans to fail and, as a result, 80% of the city flooded. The American Society of Civil Engineers refer to the flooding of New Orleans as the worst engineering disaster in US history.

    9. The Census Bureau in March 2007 estimated the population of New Orleans to be 255,000, approximately 56% of the pre-Katrina population level.

    10. New Orleans is built on thousands of feet of soft sand, silt, and clay. Forty-nine percent of the city lies BELOW sea level and is sinking lower each day.

    Please add to this message with any other interesting facts or trivia about New Orleans or Louisiana so we can all learn something new about this unique city.

    Reply
    • One thing I can think of to add – I believe this is important

      New Orleans in August is HOT! Be prepared. Thank you.

      Reply
    • Weather forecast for New Orleans on the day we arrive (Saturday 7/26).

      High Temp: 91
      Low Temp: 76

      Possible Thunderstorms too.

      Reply
    • AND THE SAME GOES FOR U LOU.

      Reply
  110. New Orleans is speeding closer – how are you all doing with preparing yourselves to hear God?

    (first real post)

    Reply
    • yea Todd i cant wait to go

      Reply
  111. First post!!!

    Reply

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