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

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!

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