Happy Hearts from Team Empire!

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.

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