Service Corps

Monday, August 03, 2009

God is able!!

The first part of the lyrics in the song, I’m in His hands describes how a Christian feels doubtful about God's calling. Will God call on a person who always stumbles and fall? After serving on Service Corps Hawaii, my answer is 100% positive!

I was the type of person who believed I wasn’t qualified or the right person to lead a team. My determination for doing something would usually last for just a few days. Through this short-term mission experience, Jesus changed the way I see and do things. When I applied for Service Corps, I heard the enemy tell me how unqualified I was. He also tried to use my unbelieving family to discourage me.

But Jesus did not allow me to quit because of my doubts, weaknesses, and fears. He challenged me to face my faith. I finally realized that He was the one who called me and He would complete His plan for me. I also understood my God was superior to my family and tradition. It was time GO and do God’s will & plan for me.

During this time here in Hawaii, I kept experiencing the fact that God is the one who is always in control, always faithful, always merciful, and always powerful. When I was in Kona, we spent some time with Majors. Rods and the young adults attending the Corps. They had us get a memory book card; it had a verse and prayer on it! My verse was Matthew 4:19 "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."My prayer that was on the card was: "Father God sends forth laborers into your harvest and let me be the first one’

Working with the kiddies and doing other tasks that was asked of me helped me realized that God is able!! I don’t need to worry if I’m not qualified enough for the tasks or leading a team…“God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called!”

In Ephesians 3:20-21 it says “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, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
Sometimes there is nothing left for me to do except praise God! While I may sometimes dream of doing great things for God and his Kingdom, the dreams aren't as big as God's plans. While I may be richly talented, influential, powerful, or rich, these are merely tools in God's hands, not symbols of my sufficiency. "God is able" has to be one of the best and most accurate phrases in the Bible. But this time, it's said about his work in me. He is able to do much more than I can imagine working through and in me. What can I say to that? Hallelujah!

My prayer
Loving Father, please help me better know and live your will. I want to continue to be your vessel of ministry, healing, blessing, and hope to those around me at work and play. Please use me to your glory today, and always. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

I love my TEAMMATES!! and I also learned how to make a sweet and yummy ohana team:

10 gallon love for JESUS!
5 gallon unconditional love
1 large sense of humor
3 cupfuls of flexibility
1 pint each appreciation and affection
3 teaspoon pure exact of understanding
1 heaping tablespoon of forgiveness
2 cupfuls community support

*sweeten with generous portions of love and sharing! Best served with fequent HUGS!

Praying for all teams as we travel! I can't to see you all :)

Friday, July 31, 2009


I was told that in Lesotho I would see spiritual warfare. I wasnt exactly sure what was meant by that, but I can say that I had an idea. So the other day all of us went to a park, which had the steepest, tallest slides a park has ever seen, and just talked one-on-one with each other. I talked to: Andrew, Esther, Gugu, Jenni-Lee, and Joe. It was good to just share the impact the person had on me. Afterwards, we put on what is called Kids Connexion; the last one in Lesotho. It was so sweet. In one hall, there were so many cultures. Here are a few: Sotho, Zulu, Xhosa, and American, which is a mixed breed as well. We were all there to watch some of the traditional Lesotho dances. It was a real blessing. Before the kids program finished, one of the leaders pulled me aside and asked if I could pray for one of the dancers. So, I went back and saw the girl on the ground with three or four others surrounding her, but she was not moving or responding to anyone.
People were praying, so I began to pray. Then I noticed it looked like she was not breathing. Others noticed as well. I was getting worried at that point, but we all continued to pray. I think it was about ten minutes before I saw her began to move.Someone brought a cup of water and she slowly came to and be helped into a chair. But I went back into the other room and saw a bunch of people around another girl. Prayers were going out, but these were intense and I heard the cries of the release from satan. I stood at a distance and prayed. With the first girl, I heard similar prayers. But the second girl sat up and was breathing, crying, but OK. Later on, I was told that one of the girls had a medical condition. After asking God, the only thing He told me was "spiritual warfare".
After the kids program, Captain asked Rachel, Moses, and I to pray and talk with a girl named Nkoole. She was like nineteen or twenty. It was really emotional, but also a breakthrough for her. I ask that you would continue to pray for her. She told us that she knows that God has something better for her and she is willing to give up what she was struggling with. Sadly, this was our final youth night in Lesotho. Although it was freezing, I know that God was working the week we were there.

Well... we are entering into our last couple days here in South Africa. It's pretty sad that it is coming to an end. We have all had such an awesome summer! Mission Team has affected us and infected us so much. We are totally ready to come home and keep things going.

We got back from Lesotho yesterday and that was an awesome week! We did a lot of youth and kids ministry. Yesterday was just crazy. It started out with all the girls coming into the guys room at 2AM with shaving cream. Messy...

But the boys bit back (not me though). Right when we were about to leave, an egg, shaving cream, and flour frenzy broke out against the girls. That led to a hose being brought out and it was just a lot of fun.

Today, I got corn rows. Weird I know, but I figured this would be the only time I would ever get the opportunity to get them done. It actually doesn't look to wangster. ha. I'm gonna keep them in til we get back so all the service corps peeps can see them, as well as my beard, but then they are going to be gone. Let me just say that this was probably one of the most painful experiences of my life.

Tonight we are going out to dinner with all the youth department from THQ, and that should be fun, especially with my new hairdo.

Tomorrow we are going to gold reef city, a theme park in Johannesburg, then just chilling once we get done there, getting the rest of our packing done. Then Sunday we are going to the South Rand morning meeting, then we leave for the airport at 4 and shall arrive home the next morning 11AM PST.

I'm both sad and happy to get home. I am definitely going to miss everyone here, but I look forward to getting home and seeing my family and peeps. and WMI should be fun also!

Anywho, I look forward to seeing everyone in a couple days! Hope the sentiment is returned!


Saturday, July 25, 2009


God is simply AMAZING!

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Hebrews 12:1&2

"Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away."

1 Peter 5:2-4

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Just wanted to share some verses! Will actually do a real update later! Praying for all teams! Hope you all are having a wonderful & blessed tine in your countries! Can't wait to see you all && hear all the wonderful stories :)

until next time


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dr. Brittany and Nurse Marvin

Yesterday was our first day for day camp in Kona, and wow, saying that it was just "eventful" would be an extremely sad understatement.  We started the day at the Corps teaching the kids the memory verse for the week and a little lesson about Jesus healing the paraplegic man (I encourage you to read it if you have not done so yet, it's found in all the Gospels). After about five or so camp songs it was off to the beach. 

Now, Kona is full of wonderful sandy beaches but, this one particular beach was well.....lets start with the kids having a joyful time in the ocean, playing and prancing like little happy children do. All of the chaperones, including I, were watching the kids playing when one child in particular grabs Marvin's attention with a quiet sob "Mr. Marvin?" (Marvin is one of the young adults at the Kona Corps who is helping us for our 2 weeks here in Kona) Immediately, not knowing how to react, Marvin yells my name. I immediately look to Marvin in shock wondering why he yelped my name. I inspected the crimson water that was ebbing to shore and realized it was coming from one of my kids, that the other children call "Loco". Steven and I rushed to our child's aid and swept him off of the sand to get him out of the water that could potentially do more harm to the deep gash in his toe. Without hesitation Steven offers his towel to stop the bleeding heroically. The blood was all over his leg and staining the sand. Steven went back to patrol the waters while Marvin decided to assist me. Once again Loco was swept up, but this time onto Marvin's back while I remained applying pressure on his toe to hopefully assist to stop the bleeding by forming a clot. Major Flo guided us to her van that was parked about maybe 20 feet away. Marvin had his slippers protecting his feet from the harsh sharp rocks, but I remained barefooted, too consumed over my concern of Loco. We got to the van where Major presented us with the first aid kid which we instantaneously inspected for gauze and ointment for his toe. 

We realized the cut was deeper than we expected. Loco's whole toe was sliced from tip to joint at the bottom of his foot. I applied water to get the sand out and out came the wails of pain from this poor child's mouth, it sent chills up my spine. Marvin quickly searched for the gauze and ointment which he found momentarily and handed them to me. I applied the ointment and gauze to wipe up any remaining blood that was lingering on his toe. Marvin started preparing the gauze to wrap up the wound, as no band-aid would suffice for such an epic cut. We bandaged him up and took him back to the were the kids and the rest of the chaperones were waiting for us. As soon as we got back after the 20 feet of stepping over the sharp rocks and glass we were greeted with yet another wounded child. This continued on for perhaps half an hour or so with more and more children getting cuts left and right. The children started asking Marvin and I if we were doctors, which we replied with "no." One of the children believed to have Vana (sea-urchin) stuck in his foot. This came out to be false as it was just a measly piece of sand that was stuck in his cut. This gave me great relief because the only way of extracting Vana is to expel urine or anything as acidic as urine onto the wound. 

To end such a long day, we realized God was with us, giving us patience and his healing touch to help these young children. I learned that if you are not first-aid certified, that there IS a problem. The situation also taught us to keep a level mind and to not over exaggerate the problem at hand. We as a Service Corps did not come without wounds. Christian ended the day with three cuts on his feet to which Marvin had to tend to without gloves, because there weren't any left,  and he found himself with both of his feet wrapped up in gauze and tape. Hopefully the rest of our time with the kids in Kona will be AS eventful, but not in the same way. Tomorrow we are bringing the kids to Higashihara park and we will see what kind of unexpected curve balls life will bring us. Praising the LORD in everything we DO!

We love being SERVANTS for JESUS!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sanibonani from Africa!

For the past week the team has been split up for most of the day. Half of us would do programs for young adults at the S.O.S. camp (see Matthew's blog), and the other half did children's ministry in the town of Mayfair. Rachel, Vasti, and I were in the Mayfair group.

Thank you, God, for placing me with the kids. It has been such a tremendous blessing. And I don't normally get the opportunity to work with small children so I'm even more thankful. They were amazing. :]

There were many challenges throughout the week. The first couple days we struggled to get even a handful of kids. Mayfair is a primarily Muslim community and our normal tactics for gathering children weren't working. We spent hours marching around the different parks in the town nearly in vain.

However, on Thursday we drove to a shanty town 15 minutes from the corps to try our luck there and had 50 kids within the first 5 minutes. From that day on we had on average 75 kids a day with a couple days over 100. The problem then was too many kids and not enough help! I remember on Friday when I was in charge of the outdoor games station that as soon as the 0-6 year olds came outside they immediately started climbing this flight of stairs that came to a dangerous high balcony with sections that had no railing whatsoever. Nearly 20 baby-types all bum-rushing me to get to this balcony! Yo! And I swear that at least one of them peed his/her pants cause I stank for the rest of the day... Ha! Good memories. ;)

But on a serious note the biggest challenge for me was on Sunday. While we were picking kids up at the settlement, one of the many drunk guys that was hanging around came over to our vehicle and started screaming at one of the small boys in Tswana or maybe Zulu. At that point only Matthew, Esther, and I were at the vehicle. Our South African counterparts were finding more kids within the settlement. We had no idea what was going on but this guy yanked the kid out of the back of our truck and then made his way to the front seat where he did the same thing to another boy. Thankfully Peter, one of our South African teammates came back and calmed the guy down and got the kids back into the truck.

Honestly, this is a hard thing for me to write about because at the time I didn't do anything. In my head I was justified because I had no idea why the guy was yelling or what the kids did. I remember asking myself, "What right do I have to interfere with these peoples' business? Maybe those kids did something really terrible? I don't speak the language, is this guy going to understand my reasoning?" I just came up with 1,000,000 excuses why I shouldn't do anything. So that's what I did. Nothing. And I know that I'll regret that for the rest of my life because although the kids still got to come and they had a great time, I missed a rare opportunity to stand up for what was right. No matter what those kids had done, no one should be as violent with a child as this guy was.

The ironic thing about this whole situation was that on Friday I was doing the last devotion in the little booklet that Jim gave us during orientation and it was about God breaking your heart for something during your mission trip and I remember thinking that I hadn't really had that experience yet. I remember thinking that going into this trip I had prepared myself to see poverty and so when we actually saw it, my heart was ready. And after reading the devotion I doubted that my heart would be broken. I earnestly prayed that it would be but I thought that with only two weeks left, the chances that God would break my heart were slim.

Don't be a fool like me and try to limit God. He will humble you in ways you are not prepared for. In that moment, I failed. I failed myself. I failed those little boys. And I failed God. And after the church service was finished and I was waving goodbye to those kids for the last time, my heart was broken. They were all going back to a place so dark, and violent, and void of love and that Sunday might be the last time that some of them ever see someone from the Salvation Army. The little ones had such light in them but you could tell that the older they got, the harder it was to uncover that light. Some of the older boys would steal stuff right in front of us! But I don't blame them because that's what they're taught to survive. How many acts of violence, beatings or rapes, does it take before that light is gone forever?

It's my prayer that the Mayfair corps will continue going to that settlement. I pray that all those little kids and babies get the love that every little kid and baby deserves. I also pray that the next time God gives me an opportunity to stand up to injustice, I have the strength and courage to do so.

Let the GOOD times ROLL...

Day Camp @ Lanakila…

Haven’t been updated in FOREVER…sad face. Anyways we had our day camp “Let’s Eat Fruits” Fruit of the Spirit. It was an amazing experience to have. Our first day we had 12 kiddies…by the end of day camp we had almost 30ish kiddies attending day camp with us! As the week progressed some kiddies were standing outside the Lanakila Center waiting for us to arrive and help us unload the van with all the materials & goodies inside. It’s soo touching to see that the kids that came really wanted to learn about Jesus and interact with one another. They love learning about the Fruit of the Spirit and saying the verse… saying “we still know the verse from day camp” Some of the kids that came were from the Corps, and they were so eager to come up to all of us in the chapel to recite the verse to us! It was truly an AMAZING site to see because not only were they reciting it to us, but to everyone who was listening in the chapel. It’s so GREAT and INSPIRING to know we are planting seeds for the kingdom of God. I love it. I would say it was a little stressful for me at times because I over think things but I’m so thankful that Jesus was right by my side, guiding me and calming my heart & mind. I’m also thankful I have a God who UNDERSTANDS! Amen! On Wednesday, we have the feeding program, day camp, and youth programs! It was so AWESOME to see some of the kids from day camp join us for youth programs. My prayer for the Lanakila families was/is to see the eagerness of their kids, to join with them and encourage them to attend the Hilo Temple Corps. To get involved in their lives and to see the light of Jesus in their children! It will always be my prayer! I truly felt God’s presence there working through the team & planted seeds in all the kiddies.

Kona 2-a-day…

After we were done with day camp, Christian gave an AMAZING & POWERFUL testimony! It was so good and I know the people of the congregation felt the love of Jesus Christ through Christian’s testimony. Later that afternoon we headed for Kona! We met up with Maj Rods, drove to their house and had fellowship with Maj Rods, his parents, the young adult: Marvin, Tersy,& Erin! It was a can’t stop, my tummy hurts, cheeks hurts, omg…hilarious NIGHT!! All of us young adult were encouraged and inspired by Maj Rod mother to pray for our life long partners…even through facebook! It was so funny. Monday…we helped chaperone the corps kiddies along with Erin, Tersy, & Marvin to the beach for the day! Talk about FUNNS! Marvin, Martina, Bridgette, Christian, and I had a photo shoot on the beach…thanks to talented Maj Rod for his photography skills. Tuesday, they took us to City of Refugee were we just hang out and talk story with everyone. It was great! I really Maj Rod and his devotionals with us in the morning…

Back to Hilo we go…

Tuesday night we drove back to Hilo. Wednesday-Friday we worked and did preparation for our VBS “Stay Tuned” We set up the chapel to look like a News Station, went around Hilo filming video for our news (the Bible story) and really trying to make VBS a successful one…
VBS “Stay Tuned…” in a nut shell

This week has finally come and went! It’s VBS!!!!!!!! The Kroc Team from Oahu came in on Sunday night…we all went to go pick them up from the airport…took them back top the Corps to brief and then get some sleep for the BIG DAY!!

Our Schedule for VBS:

Opening Credits & Morning News: greetings, rules, songs, bible story, Intro to Memory Verse

Game Show

Rotation 1 Media Room: Making a Bible story video
Rotation 2 Stay Tuned Music Channel: Hip Hop class
Rotation 3 ESPN: Creative Sports

Closing Credits and Commercials: Wrap up day, recap memory verse, ads for tomorrow

Monday we only had 2 kids…who were brothers and FULL of energy! The bible story was Feeding 5000, teaching the kids about multiplying blessings. The game we had set up was Jeopardy which was SO much funs! There memory verse for the day was:
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” Matthew 6:33
Why did we only have 2 kids on our first day!? Thought you would never ask…that’s because Christian & Liane went to pick up kids from Camp Homelani from SAY camp! So we ended VBS…and set up & prepare for Tuesday! OH man Tuesday was FULL with children! We had about 19ish kids…they learned about Jesus walking on water, teaching them to focus on the goal, game we played was Wheel of Fortune, and the memory verse for the day was:
“I can do everything with Christ who gives me strength” Philippians 4:13
Wednesday we had about 20-25ish kid come! Taught them about the Ten Lepers, played/did So you think you can dance, and the memory verse was:
“We praise you God for your name is near, people tell of your wonderful deeds” Psalm 75:1
Thursday the kid really started to bring some friends! 25kids for VBS!! Yay! Our Bible story was the Prodigal Son, teaching the lovely kids about family fighting and rejoice. Can you guess what game we played for this?? If you guessed Family Feud you are CORRECT!! This was such a fun game to play with them! Our memory verse was drum roll please…
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” John 16:33
Friday has come and I was on EDGE! I was really sad! Talk about emotions! We had tons of kids! At least 30ish kids!! The Bible story was Lazarus and we taught them about deciding for life or death…yep we played Deal or No Deal! They had a lot of funs! No joke! The kids & leaders themselves we’re very interactive in the game! Our memory verse:
“If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised from the dead you will be saved” Romans 10:9

God has really impacted not only the team, kroc team, and I…but also the kids. God has really challenged me this week, in many ways that I can barely begin to understand… We planted seeds all for God’s glory and plan…We are winning kid for Christ. My prayer for this week, and continues to be…we planted seeds, now God is doing His work. Praying for the children and their families and the children begin to come and bring more kids and their families to the Hilo Temple Corps!! I strongly believe in my heart and SOUL that the Hilo Temple Corps has so much positive opportunity to bring growth to the Corps! I know and pray that in the next few weeks, months, and years that the Hilo Temple Corps will be where is should be…in tune with God’s mighty plan continuing to do His work for His kingdom.

Mahalo for reading Team Hawaii post && making it to the end! We all are doing GREAT! Being used, stretched, and challenged by God in different ways! Continuing to pray for all Service Corps teams! Can’t wait to talk story with all of you about your experiences! Keep us in your prayers!

Love in Christ,

Team Hawaii

Matina's Post


This week we are doing VBS at the Hilo Temple Corps. It will be us, team USA with the Kroc center staff from Oahu, including Liane, the Youth director at the Hilo Temple Corps including the Corps officer, Lt. Summerfields. The theme for the VBS is “Stay Tuned,” it’s going to be like a TV report. So, what I meant is that we are going to be wanna be TV reporters. We are telling Bible stories in videos just as someone is interviewing us in CNN or those News Channels about what’s going on in our lives. But, let me tell you that our TV channel is not called CNN or those other News channels, instead it’s called NTTV, which is New Testament is the News Testament. How about that!
Guess what? On Monday morning, Team USA dressed in their team shirt that their team leader made, also the Kroc team on their red t-shirts all excited to share God’s Word, their talents, and to interact with the kids that who knows from where. So, we were all waiting for the van to come back from picking kids from the housing project. Then, there they came at ten o’clock two kids with their brother who is 14 years old, who would be our help in the kitchen. For the kids that are able to come would be 7-12 years old.
I could see how kind of funny it was having two kids with more than 10 leaders. But you know what? We still did the VBS just as we had a lot of kids. We never gave up or lose courage of what we planned for weeks. We interacted with the kids and played games if we were not leading them. We sang songs and continue on with the VBS for that day. Oh, let me tell you about these kids that came today, Monday the 13th, they are first of all BROTHERS, active ADVENTURES, active SUNDAY SCHOOL, and name it all for all corps events.
I guess the reason why there were not a lot of kids on Monday was because most of the corps kids are in camp. They are coming back tonight and who know how many kids will come on Tuesday?
Well, let me tell you? LOl, I guess I sound like a news reporter already after watching the NTTV for three days already. Do you remember me telling you that there were only two boys on Monday? Guess how many kids came on the Next day? The number of kids on Monday multiplied ten times; imagine multiplying it with the number of ten leaders that day on the next day.
Half of the kids were typical corps kids on Tuesday and half were their friends, including a family that really loved to involve in the army activities. I asked the mom who brought her kids with her relative how did she find out about the VBS, she said that the family were driving down to town to do some errand. They saw the signs that we stick infront of the corps gate and the kids asked their mom if they wanted to come. So, yesterday, she came on time with them.
Today, the lady’s son brought two friends with him. It was so amazing how I get to talk and just find out how she know about the VBS during our lunch. She has a baby boy who is like one or two years old; she stays with the kids in VBS all day long. She helps serves the kids during lunch time and during our rotations. It’s really awesome, when you know that it’s not a day care thing, parents too gets involve.
I know we army really care about “status”, but it’s scriptural that wherever there two or more people in the house of the Lord, there I will be in the middle. So, as long as we win these kids to Christ, that’s what really matter. We probably might try to give expensive stuffs to the kids to get them involve, but if we lose tract of the main reason to tell the Good News to these kids, then it wouldn’t matter what we’re doing.

Friday, July 17, 2009


It feels like I havent posted something in a there might be a lot. Well last Saturday Paco preached for the Spanish corps and I heard he did really well (i was watching the kids in the other room) and then on Sunday Michael and I tag team preached and Michael also did really well too, and I think I did okay. It was a good experience and I really want to do more of it. Then Sunday afternoon we had to get ready for Vacation Bible School so we decorated the corps. Our theme was Creation Exploration. Each day was a new day that God created, so the first day God created light, and so on...We were in charge of morning and afternoon electives. Rachael and Erica did art, Paco taught guitar, I taught dance, and Mark played outdoor games and Paco and I did an afternoon choir. Electives were probably one of my favorite parts of the day. The kids really opened up to us, and we definitely not shy like they were on the first day. We were also in charge of preparing a skit each day. I think the most popular skit we did was one that invovled mark drinking a special smoothie we made for him. It was the day that God made plants. We each had picked a fruit and ate the fruit, but after we ate the fruit we brushed our teeth and spit everything into one pitcher. At the end Mark "thought" this was a smoothie and drank the entire thing! The kids loved it, Mark not so much. VBS is one of my favorite things we have done this summer. It was the first that they had ever had on the island and the kids were so appreciative and they even asked if we could stay and do this the rest of the summer. Today we went to the aquirium and got to watch the shark feeding, and the whole time the kids kept singing the baby shark song we taught them. During this week, on Wednesday night we also went to the homeless feeding. We need lots of prayer for our friends! Jose is in the hospital right now, we only know that something is wrong with his liver, and Carlos tried to commit suicide on Monday. Paco, Michael and I stayed with him and he is very down. He says that it would be better to go to hell then to be here. We bring up many parts of the bible with him, and pray with him, and he says that he will be at church on Saturday, but please keep him in your prayers. Tomorrow is the graduation of VBS and everyone gets to perform what they have done, hopefully everything will go well. I can't believe this summer has gone by so fast, we only have 2 weeks left. It is a bittersweet feeling. We miss everyone!

hurting hearts; spirits renewed

"Jesus wept." John 11:35. I love it that we serve a God that understand how we feel, both physically and emotionally. This last week a group of us got to lead a camp called S.O.S. It was for teens from 14-20 years old, that come from broken, abused, and abandoned homes. Now, I am beginning to believe that teenagers are generally the same anywhere you go. But when you take a look at some of the events that occured in these teens lives, you would gain a better understanding of why they do the things they do. I know that this last week I was shown a thing or two from just hanging out with a group of teens that did go through a messed up childhood. The purpose of this camp was to bring the spiritual side to the process of emotional healing. So, as part of the program, we had to open up some old scars and look at them face to face. For me, I have gone through this process; but for many of these teens, this was the first time. Our first session with these guys, about 40 of them all together, was heavy. Such things as rape, molestation, death from AIDS, abandonment, and physical abuse where brought up. The tears flowed, and so did the prayers. My heart hurt as all I could do was pray and hold these guys.
That was the first day, and the rest of the week was spent looking at these things from a spiritual perspective. As I sat down to think of what all this meant, that verse at the start of this blog was what came to mind. I think it was also a recurring theme throughout the week, expressing that they are not alone, that it hurts God when we go through these things, and that He shed His tears for us.
I learned a very valuable lesson this week. See, I had the opportunity to speak about the comfort and compassion that God offers. He uses us, fellow believers, to come along side the hurting, the oppressed, those who mourn, to show what that comfort looks like.
Some of these teens came to the camp, not sure what was in store. Many left, having accepted Christ as their Saviour. All the glory goes to Him.
"He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in His sight." Psalm 72:13-14.
These are words I believe in, and to me they are words of hope to those who need it.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A day of firsts

I am not exactly sure how to put this. I guess today was a day of firsts. I played volleyball in South Africa with South Africans, I played rugby-soccer, and ate seven pink and white marshmallows. But nothing will compare to Saturday nights service. We were at what is called a Y-Connexion; much like our youth councils. It started out as a talent show and ended with intercessory prayer, and with demons being cast out of the youth. Things began with an altar call. Then a couple of the Mission Team members asked me to pray with one of the youth, a sixteen year old boy. After about a minute of prayer, which was very intense, the boy fell over and began shaking. I was not sure what was going on, so I just held onto his leg and prayed. I dont remember what I was saying, but I know that I repeated my prayer over and over. My first thought was that he was slain in the Spirit. But then, a girl fell over, and like seven or eight people fell on her and began shouting things like, "Leave her! You cant have her! Get out of her in Jesus name!" At that point, I figured ther was some supernatural stuff going on. This girl was on the ground shaking for like ten minutes. Then a third girl was layed on the ground. To be honest, I had only seen that on T.V. But I can firmly say that I saw God at work that night. I was a little freaked out and I was not sure if it was spiritual forces of evil or what. I definitely believe that God revealed Himself in a way I had never expected. I have read Ephesians 6 many times, and it talks about a battle of spiritual forces of evil. That stuff is real and it is at work in our world today. We can sit and try to justify it, with our own ideas that make sense to us. My thoughts are this: there is a spiritual world and we need to take time to look at that. God cannot be confined in a box, so things will not always make sense to us.