Welcome to the Operation Barnabas Blogs

May 11th, 2010

Scroll down to see pictures and reports from the 2010 Operation Barnabas orientation.  Once tours begin, you’ll be able to click a specific team below to see pictures and reports.

Colonial Team Blog

Team Empire Blog
Tidewater Team Blog

OBI Philippines

You can also sign up for the OB/OBI email list and get regular updates emailed to you.  Go to operationbarnabas.net/emails to sign up.

Team Empire’s Last Day of Ministry

July 26th, 2010

Team Empire’s Last Day of Ministry July 25, 2010

As posted before, Friday was our day off and we definitely needed some time to relax and focus on God whole heartedly. The day entailed lots of teaching time and reading scripture. In the afternoon, the leaders yet again surprised the students with a trip to the river containing both a beach and sand volleyball court. Students were thrilled beyond measure and we did lots of swimming and playing beach volleyball. Mallory, Kiara, and Rachel took the time to still minister to people on the beach by seeking out conversations. Way to Go Girls, even on their day off they took the time to minister. For dinner, we all got to get dressed up and head to Olive Garden for some amazing bread-sticks and pasta. What a great day!

Saturday, we were still in Powell and were able to spend our last day in ministry doing manual labor of anything from pulling weeds to cleaning all the nursery toys. The morning was good but we packed up and headed to Worthington where we did our debriefing. For the rest of the day it involved students doing self evaluations and leaders meeting with each student individually for exit interviews. Then Stacie and Matt did a teaching time on what it means to be in a true Christian dating relationship. Students were sent to bed early so they could wake up bright and early for a church service with the other two teams.

5:15 am is the time we woke up and got ready to hit the road for our very last church service. We headed to West Milton where we were greeted with a down pour of rain. Tidewater and Colonial teams joined up with us to do a three team program. All the students were very excited to be together again. For Sunday School, Josh and Shane led a Bible reading time through Jonah, along with discussion questions. It was a very powerful and energetic church service and all of us leaders were proud of how well the students really set the pace. The rest of the day consisted of teaching time with TK where he explained the process of going home and the challenges that they would face. We split up again into teams where we ate dinner at Matt’s favorite restaurant Chipotle, very yummy! It is the last evening of Operation Barnabas 2010 and it is time for students to spend some time doing communion and candle light commitment time. To me personally, I love the candle light commitment time because each student and leader take the time to share with the whole group of what they are committing to when they get home. We all are making commitments and plan on having the others keep us accountable. There were lots of tears and hugs but Team Empire is ready to go home and share the love of Jesus with everyone they meet.

Well it has been a great summer and I hope you all have enjoyed the blog. It has been a stretching experience for me and glad I was given the opportunity. Thanks for taking the time to read and we hope to meet again in the future.

Our last night together at Worthington Grace!

P.S. There will not be pictures due to the fact that if the students ordered a picture CD, they will be on that.

Tidewater is Tired…July 24, 2010

July 25th, 2010

Hello blogging world!!

We….are…exahusted!!!  But loving every minute of it.  100% true story.  Well…maybe 98% true story, to be honest.  But loving it none the less.

Yesterday was our last day of ministry and it was fabulously awesome and super fun.  Don’t you worry your precious little hearts.  You WILL have an update on our day, but that will come tomorrow.

Today was a LOOOOOONG but productive and ridiculously encouraging day at Easton Mall doing exit interviews with the students.  Have you ever spent an ENTIRE day, as in ten hours in a mall?  No?  Well, you should  It’s awesome. Updates on exit interviews will come later as well.

But for now, we have about four hours left to sleep before a very early morning for our last Sunday morning program.  That means that we are all going to hit our beds and get some sweet slumber so we can enjoy our last day for Operation Barnabas 2010.  Last day.  Wow.

Shout out to Mark Artrip for,  well… a) being Mark Artrip.  b) being hilarious.  c) the frozen yogurt.  d) your hospitality.  e) entertaining us.

From Powell, Ohio…Goodnight!

It’s a bittersweet time…

July 24th, 2010

Thursday and Friday – July 22 & 23

The last 2 days have been full of excitement and bitter-sweet late nights for Team Colonial. Because of the late nights, we didn’t post last night! So here it goes…two days’ worth of activities!

Thursday morning, students arrived with all of their luggage at the Brookville church. After we loaded the Penske and did our hour with God, Pastor Brian “took over” as team leader for a few hours. He led the team in a few team-building activities, including trying to fit fifteen growing teenagers on a bucket eighteen inches in diameter, and shooting balloons with bi-bi guns. It was a fun morning had by all. He also gave the students an encouraging pep talk to continue their walk with God as strong when they return home as they are now.

At noon, leaders surprised students with a “fancy” lunch at Kay’s Restaurant, a local hot spot. They were very excited to eat a home-cooked meal of carved turkey and ham, green beans, scalloped potatoes, rolls, and yummy pie! It was probably the best meal we’ve had all summer. After lunch, we returned to the church to change into our bathing suits to prepare for an afternoon at the “beach.” This beach was actually a pond at a former OB student’s house, and it was the most awesome pond ever. There was a pier with a diving board, a paddle boat, a small sandy beach, and lots of inflatable rafts. We ate snacks and fellowshipped with the youth group for a couple of hours before returning to the church for dinner.

After saying our goodbyes to the Brookville youth group at the pond, we went back to the church for a dinner of homemade pizza. From 6:30-8:00 we served at My Servant’s Hands, the church’s own food and clothing bank. Students talked to many people that evening, and a young girl was even saved due to a conversation she had with Zoe! Some students helped out in the food bank by putting together bags of food, restocking shelves, and helping families find clothing in their sizes. Still other students cleaned the church bathrooms and classrooms. Our last hours at Brookville were awesome!

At 8:30, we departed the church and headed north toward Columbus, OH. We will be staying at the Worthington Christian High school for the remainder of debriefing. After arriving at the church, we had the opportunity to participate in one of the most fun nights of each summer: Girl/Guy talk! During this time, the female leaders meet with the boy students and the male leaders meet with the girls. Students can ask of leaders any question that they want to! It was such a fun time and the questions lasted well into the night.

Today we were able to sleep in a little bit and spend some time as a team this morning. Students are given evaluation forms to fill out at the end of tour each year, and today was the day for our team! After filling out these evaluations, we departed from the school and headed to Andy Wirt’s house. Andy is the senior pastor of Clearview Church, a new church plant in the New Albany, Ohio, area. When arriving at his home, we met Andy, his wife Trish, and their two sons and daughter, whom we loved! We canvassed for most of the afternoon, passing out flyers for our program this evening. At 5 PM, we went to a local pizza and sub joint for dinner. All agreed that the pizza and fellowship were both amazing.

By 6 PM we were back on the road again and on our way to the pavilion where we would put on our last program as a team. The pavilion in downtown Gahanna, Ohio, was a really neat space to put on a program. We had a beautiful stage that opened up to a courtyard area which was surrounded by restaurants, shops, and fountains. It was beautiful! Our program went off without a hitch and many attendees stuck around afterwards for snow cones, popcorn, and fellowship. It was a bittersweet time for our team knowing that this was the last time we would participate in a program together as a team.

After cleaning up the area and loading the bus back up, leaders again surprised the team with a trip to Grater’s, a local ice cream shop. It was nice to get a late-night treat before returning to the school to turn in for the night. I can’t believe that this summer with all of these awesome students is already coming to an end!

Day of Rest!

July 23rd, 2010

To ensure that my leaders experience adequate rest on our team’s only day off, I am not permitting them to post the blog today, for scripture says “do not work on the Sabbath.” Blog and pictures from our day off will be uploaded tomorrow. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.
Thank You,
Matt Wheeland
Senior Leader

Happy Hearts from Team Empire!

July 23rd, 2010

Happy Hearts for Team Empire July 22, 2010

Well this morning was the earliest we had woken up the entire summer by hitting the road at 6:30 am to head to Columbus. The bus was quite quiet throughout the morning as students were trying to go back to sleep and take little naps. Those naps definitely helped because when we arrived at Happy Hearts it was time to jump in the saddle and minister.

Happy Hearts is a camp set up by one family and is used to help mentally disabled young and old children to get extra therapy through horse back riding. The horse back riding calms them down and give them a chance to use their fine motor skills. It was definitely an eye opening experience where students worked with children with many different types of difficulties, such as: autism, down syndrome, ADD, etc.

The OBers really responded well to the children and got very attached to them. They were all split up with one group doing fishing at the lake, another Tye-dyeing t-shirts and lastly another group did therapy with the children while on the horse. During lunch we got to do a program for both the kids and their families. We had an amazing time and we were very proud of how the students set the pace and made sure all the children were doing some sort of task, so Way to Go Empire!

One of the families, who brings her son to Happy Hearts invited us over to her house for an outreach for the children in her neighborhood. We had phenomenal sandwiches with BBQ pork that were super yummy. Then the students were asked to do a program in the evening! It was very humid evening but students did not let it stop them from being energetic and getting the children and adults to dance with them.

For the evening, we arrived back at Powell Grace Brethren Church where we walked to the YMCA for a shower and had two teaching times back at the church. Stacie challenged the students with priorities. They were asked to think about their lives and search their hearts on whether they were willing to be stewards for God and if their priorities involve God being first in their lives. Ashley and Stacie then challenged them in the topic of forgiveness on how it is a process, through getting the situation right with God and in our hearts before we look at that person as a brother or sister in Christ. We have to remember how Jesus forgave us even though we were still sinners. Both of these teaching times were great to listen to and great reminders before we head home.

Tomorrow is our day off and we are excited to have some time with God and get refueled.

Final Countdown…July 22, 2010

July 23rd, 2010

Today, Team Tidewater did what it does best:

1)    Travel for long periods of time between states.

2)    Canvass neighborhoods with thousands of homes in record time in record temperatures.

3)    Have a program.

4)    Mingle mingle mingle.

5)    Love new host families.

1)    Adios Hoosiers…Hola again Buckeyes!  We left Columbia City, Indiana, bright and early this morning for a long ride back to the Columbus, Ohio, area.

2)    We arrived in Dublin, Ohio, and met the pastors family for Encounter Church – a church plant off of Grace Church in Powell.  The afternoon was devoted to passing out flyers for an evening program in the neighborhood.  Students split up into group of three and hit the ground running…even in the ridiculous humidity and freak rain storms.  (What’s with Ohio weather anyways?  Sunny one moment and pouring down rain the next.  Make up your mind, sky!!)  It was only a few hours before the Tartan Fields Neighborhood was covered with brightly colored flyers for the program to come just a few short hours later.

3)    We waited for the random rain storm to pass, prayed that another storm would not follow, ate a delicious pizza dinner courtesy of Encounter, and had a heart to heart with the Fields family about the history and vision of Encounter.  We set up our puppet stage in the backyard of an awesome house and had our final park program of the summer.  Wow…hard to believe it was the last one!!  CRAZY.  Faith and Cydney both shared their children’s stories and both were incredible!  Way to go girls!  You really did a fabulous, FABULOUS job!  We are so proud.  We pray that the Encounter Church family is able to impact this neighborhood for Christ and change lives in incredible ways!

4)    We mingled…mingled…mingled!  Mingled with people at McDonalds.  Mingled with people on the streets of Dublin.  Mingled with people at the program.  Mingled with the families of our teammates.

5)    The students are off for the night in the some awesome AWESOME host homes.  They are going to be treated well that’s for sure!  Thanks, Encounter for loving these students!!

Tomorrow is our last day of ministry…hard to believe it…but it’s true.  We have a busy day to finish off our summer and we are excited about it!  Please be praying that we finish strong and finish well.  Please also be praying for continued health.  There are some crazy coughs happening up in here!

From Dublin, Ohio…Goodnight!

And if our God if for us, then who could ever stop us?

July 22nd, 2010

Wednesday – July 21, 2010

Team Colonial had the awesome opportunity to minister to Hope House today, a homeless shelter and help center in Middletown, OH. This was our second homeless experience of the summer and similar to ministering in Philly, our team left with the knowledge that the Lord’s name was glorified.

The students arrived at the church at 8 o’clock this morning and spent their hour with God before loading our program equipment onto the bus and leaving for Hope House. It was a half-hour drive to the homeless shelter and we met up there with Pastor Brian and a handful of his youth group kids from Brookville. The first hour after we arrived we spent doing a few different work projects around the home. Some students helped organize a thrift store on the third floor of the building, some cleaned the men’s and women’s sleeping quarters, and some helped make over 150 sandwiches for lunch.

At 11:30 we began setting up for a program in the very small chapel area. Many of the residents had already found seats for the program by noon, and we realized that the audience was a little bit different than we anticipated. We had planned for a good number of kids to be in the audience, but hardly any had arrived by 11:45 so we rewrote an entirely new program! The students were so flexible though and just went with it…we were so proud of them. We started our newly written program promptly at 12:15 with an introduction from Dan. We sang a few choir songs, put on three pantomimes, shared our speech choir at the end. Hector shared his sermon during the program and did very well! Lisa also did a good job with her children’s story (with the few children who were actually there!) about reflecting the light of God onto others.

After the program, a few students rushed into the cafeteria to help serve lunch which consisted of sandwiches, apples, chips, and dessert. We spent a good hour and a half eating and conversing with the residents of the home, as well as other people off the streets of Middletown. After lunch we put 40+ sets of hands to work to clean up the chapel, cafeteria, and bathrooms before heading back to Brookville.

When we arrived back at the church we met together in the sanctuary for a time of debriefing from the morning. Some students shared about the conversations they had with people at Hope House while others shared a bit about what God taught them from their day’s experience. Dan passed onto the team a message from the entire leadership: Team Colonial did some awesome ministry today. Everywhere I looked today I saw an OB student talking to one of the residents, encouraging and praying with them. After debriefing from the morning we had a leadership panel. Students love this time every year because they have the opportunity to anonymously ask leaders any question that they want to…and they asked some very good questions!

At 5:30 we ended our panel for dinner, which was made by some women from the church. We had spaghetti with meat sauce, garlic bread, salad, corn on the cob, and a smorgasbord of yummy desserts. At 6:30, students from the youth group began arriving at the church so they could spend one last evening with us. We spent time playing games, worshiping, sharing testimonies, and most importantly simply encouraging one another to run the race that God has set before each of us individually. One of the girls who has been attending the youth group on and off for a couple months actually accepted Christ tonight and prayed with Jess and Sydney!

Tomorrow is our last day with the Brookville church and we will be spending more time with the youth group. It has really been so, so encouraging to see how God is working in the lives of other teens outside our group. Please continue to pray for our last 4 days of tour.  We could not do this without your prayers!

Repeat…July 21, 2010

July 22nd, 2010

Today was day three of the Mid Summer Bash (yes…its Bash, not Blast as we have commonly referred to it as…oops!).  It was fun.

Even more kids came.  It was fabulous.

Tim A. led a child to the Lord.  It was a time of rejoicing.

We finished the painting.  It was celebrated.

We took showers.  It was refreshing.

We had a potluck dinner with the congregation.  It was delicious.

Many friends and family members showed up tonight.  It was awesome.

We lead the Wednesday night Gathering here at Community of Hope.  It was incredible.

Zach K. gave his sermon.  It was remarkable.

Elizabeth S. shared her children’s story.  It was sweet.

Q&A…guys with girl leaders & girls with guy leaders.  It was insightful.

It is now the end of the day.  We are exhausted.

Tomorrow we travel back to Ohio.  It will be long.

Shout out to Caleb for helping Tidewater students start difficult conversations and challenging them to always look for opportunities everywhere!

Please pray for Tidewater…for a strong finish this summer…for health…for a passion for the Lord…for hearts of servants…and for continued growth.

We have loved our time here at Community of Hope in Columbia City.  Thank you so much for allowing us to serve alongside you and for encouraging us.  May God continue to bless the ministry happening here in your community.  We will never forget our stay here.

From Columbia City, Indiana…Goodnight!

Day of Challenges!

July 22nd, 2010

Day of Challenges! July 21, 2010

Team Empire was blessed with a day to sleep in an extra hour. Students were not required to be at the church until 10 am. It was so good to see them come in so refreshed after a longer amount of sleep.

We spent the morning doing our devotions and teaching times. Ashley discussed the importance of self discipline challenging the students to think through what it really means to take up the cross and follow Christ. If they were to go to sleep at night would they be able to say they put up the good fight and have no regrets from the day or would there be regrets.

Lindsey talked about the Heart of Worship where we as humans take control of our lives and in Romans there are passages explaining that we need to surrender our whole beings to Him in order to really follow Christ. Students responded to them both in a way that made them think about their lives and how they were going to live them and our prayer as leaders is that they would live their whole lives for Christ.

The second episode of the Way of the Master was shown to the students tying in with self discipline. Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron were challenging the students to think through evangelism on the next level. Yes people make decisions but how can we encourage them to go a step further in the person’s decision. This tied back into self discipline, where the students need to ask themselves did they put their full effort into the day to ensure that someone has a relationship with Jesus Christ or did they see the opportunity and ignored it.

To prepare for our program, the students went canvassing throughout the entire town inviting as many people as they possibly could to the church. One group, however, got to encourage the church some more, by finishing painting a room they had started yesterday. Later, the pastor and his wife took the team to a park where they were able to share their testimonies with the team and how God has been impacting their lives lately. What an encouragement to us, in finding out how God got them here and what He has been teaching them lately.

The evening ended with a scrumptious meal provided by the church congregation followed by a great program with lots of kids, and some were ones that got the flyers today. Praise God! Leah and Heidi were able to share their children’s stories with the group and did an excellent job at it. The cross illustration was presented by Brent as well.

It was a great day of ministry but our tour is still not done yet. Tomorrow we head to Columbus to a center called Happy Hearts, a ministry for disabled families. This stop will really be a stretching experience but we are excited to see what God has in store for us.

Saying good night from the border of Indiana and Ohio!

Team Empire ready to Set and Spike!

July 22nd, 2010

Team Empire ready to Set and Spike July 20, 2010

Time to rise and shine again for a bright and early shower at the YMCA. Then we cleaned up and headed out from Basore Road Grace Brethren Church and drove down the road to Union City to minister at Daystar Grace Brethren Church. We were welcomed with open arms and a lunch of sandwiches for us when we arrived. Students spread out and got to meet a few members of the congregation and youth group. Interacting with the congregation, we were able to find out the history of the church and even meet some of the members that started the church a little less than ten years ago.

The afternoon is where students were encouraged to really shine when it comes to manual labor. They were told that leaders were dropping them off at their location and they needed to find out what needed to get done and start conversations with different church members. Students were divided up into groups where some painted, pulled weeds, and cleaned animal cages. We as leaders were proud of the students for setting the pace and making sure that the task got done efficiently while interacting with people. It was a stretching experience for the students by not having direction from the leaders but instead they took the initiative to get the job done.

After a hard day of manual labor, we were invited over to the founders of the church house where they fed us some pizza and let us play some volleyball. While playing we did encounter a bit of rain but that did not stop the students from interacting with the congregation and playing many games of volleyball. It was a great day of ministry and we are excited to see what God has in store for us tomorrow here at Daystar Grace Brethren Church.