Category: Orientation
OB – June 25 – Last Day Of Orientation
| June 26, 2012 | 3:27 am | Orientation | Only Pings

Today was the last day of our orientation here at Powell. We split the students up in the morning and took about half of them to do laundry while the rest of them stayed at the church to work on some final preparations for the programs that we will be doing this summer. We all met back together at the church for lunch and some small projects than got back to work. Everybody ran through dramas, puppet songs, and skits to take care of any loose ends. As teams, we ran through all of our material one time to get a feel for what is good and what needs to be worked on as well. Tonight, team 320 went out to dinner and on a wal-mart run while team 611 did dinner on $2.00.

The students had a teaching time with Tk in the evening than we had communion together to prepare our hearts for an incredible summer of ministry. We are greatly looking forward to setting out tomorrow on a new leg of our adventure and seeing what God does through and with us next! Please be praying that in our travels we have opportunities to meet new people to share Jesus with, connect better with each other as a team and encourage one another along with the churches we will be ministering to and with over the next few days!


Haley N., MaKenzie K., and Hannah H. enjoying our first day of laundry since being on OB.


Makenzie K., Emily P., and Rebekah E. share their faith at the laundry mat.


Alec M. and Nate R. sharing their pantomime for the 611 team.

| June 25, 2012 | 4:47 am | Orientation | Only Pings

“The most effective way to share the Gospel is the one that you use.”  This challenge was Ed Lewis’ main point in our first Sunday programs at Grace Church at Powell.

OB students woke early this morning to shower, eat breakfast on the run, and prepare to serve at Powell’s regular Sunday services.  The students had a program prepared consisting of choir songs, dances, and speech choir.  It was such a thrill and a joy to see the 2012 ministry teams beginning to use their gifts and the things that they have been applying themselves to over the past week to glorify the Lord.

After mingling in the two services, encouraging the members of the church and initiating conversations; the OB teams had lunch downstairs and went straight into 3-group practice until dinner.

We then split into teams where 320 did dinner on 2 dollars (each member of the team got two dollars to buy dinner) and team 611 went on a Wal-Mart run and out to dinner at McDonalds.  Matthew Ma actually got to pray with a little boy to receive Christ today!!!

After, OB teams returned to more 3-group prep time and a session with their leaders over what it’s going to specifically look like to minister as a guy or a girl this summer and for the rest of their lives.  Finally, the night was ended with a challenging and probing Tony Campolo video on stewardship asking the question; “Can you be a Christian and own a BMW?”

We as leaders are letting these kids wrestle with some tough issues this summer that aren’t as black and white as maybe they previously thought.

Pray that tonight they may sleep in peace but spend time in the Word and in prayer letting the Holy Spirit guide and direct their convictions; not just in this but in every truth they ever consider.


Some students danced to "Rise Up" this morning to celebrate the gospel in front of the Powell church.

The church laid their hands on our students to pray for them.

Robb F., and David H. enjoy 3-groups.

Meaghan V., Kelly M., and Cody S. practice their lines for a skit in the hallway.

Students walk out to the busses for team time.

Team 320 is excited after their 2-dollar dinner meal tonight.

Anthony E., Trevor S., Matthew M., Nate R., and Josh W. are excited to spend time as a team out to dinner tonight.



OB Orientation June 23 – Etiquette Dinner and Talent Show
| June 24, 2012 | 4:17 am | Orientation | Only Pings

Today has been another very busy day at Powell. Both teams have been hard at work putting together pantomimes, skits, choir songs, speech choir, puppets and other programming things, as well. The guys and girls split up for a bit and spent time working on writing sermons and putting together children’s stories that they will have the opportunity to share later this summer at different churches and programs.

Grace College generously provided lunch and t-shirts for everyone today which was great! Leaders Steph and Josh shared about their individual experiences as students at Grace and encouraged the students to look into the school if they are interested.  (It’s a great place for their face!)  We ran through some choir songs that we will be singing tomorrow during the church service then spent more time in groups working on programs than had our annual “etiquette meal.” Leaders Jeremy, Brandon, and Ben demonstrated what not to do and then we all ate together as a group. Some OB alumni from the Columbus area served us dinner and we had an enjoyable meal together.

We ran through some of our program for tomorrow morning and did a sound check. We gave the students a few minutes to make final preparations then had our talent show tonight. Both teams started off together to hear several students play some amazing piano pieces then we split up into teams to share more talents.

I can’t speak for Team 320 but Team 611 has some awesome students who are very gifted! We had several students that sang songs, some danced, some showed off their knowledge and spoken word skills, as well. We also had some that were just plain silly. We laughed a lot and enjoyed some great team bonding. We settled down quickly after the talent show and got ready for bed.

Tomorrow is going to be a very busy day for everybody here but we are looking forward to what God is going to do through us!

OB Orientation June 23- Day of Preparation and Talent Show
| June 24, 2012 | 4:07 am | Orientation | Only Pings

Alex Z. and Kaley T. working on dramas.


Ryan M., Trevor S., Josh H., Marc A., Bethany K., Marcelo V. and Jacob R. praying before their etiquette meal.


Kelly M. sang beautifully "You Raise Me Up" for her team talent show.


Grace B. and Meredith H. sang together for their talents.


Taylor H. amazed the OB teams with his talents on the piano.


Jacob H., Anthony E., Ryan M., Jacob R., Josh W., Jacob R., and Stephen Y. did an acapella version of "The Lion Sleeps" for their talent.


Micah P. shared an intense poem that he wrote based on what he has been learning on OB.


Mackenzie K. and Yana K. combined their talents to create an incredible version of "Here I am to Worship."

OB Orientation : June 22 – Long Day; Short Post
| June 23, 2012 | 2:30 am | Orientation | Only Pings

It’s been a long day of 3 Groups, choir practices; speech choir, opportunities… and 3 Groups… seriously.

On our first full day as teams we’ve spent a lot of time preparing the ministry programs that OB is publicly “famous” for.  These programs consist of puppets, dramas, pantomimes, dances, etc… all with the purpose of being an avenue through which to engage spiritual conversations about the Gospel and the saving work of Jesus Christ in our students lives and in the lives of the lost they will be ministering to this summer.

The day began learning carnival games followed quickly by choir practice.  We also began our individual team speech choir preparation today.  So encouraging to hear the unaffected truth of Scripture come from the mouths of our students in the family that our teams are already starting to become to us.

After lunch, we did our daily opportunities and had time to write some letters back home to the churches we will be returning to.

Our heart for these students is that they will not only develop a heart for vocational ministry in their own lives or on tour, but in the churches they will be serving and praying for back home, regardless of whether or not God calls them into ministry as a vocation.

We continued the day with 3 group practices until dinner.  Then, it was back to choir practice (in teams this time :)) and another speech choir session.  As I type, the students are in their final session of the night (TK is speaking on servanthood, something that will be well used this summer and in the lives of believers.)

Pray that these students would be developing a hunger more and more to be vulnerable, to be intentional, and to let the Holy Spirit guide and direct their lives not only here on Barnabas, but also when they go back home.  Also pray for stamina, strength and rest.  We’re doing a lot and it can be draining, but thank God that he gives us the ability to do whatever He would call us to and their is no doubt that each of these students is called here for a specific purpose.


The students went outside to learn carnival games to use throughout the summer.

Erin P. and Claire B. love the games.

Mookie D. and Rachel G. write letters to their home churches.

Leader, Josh Hamrick, and student, Alec M. catch up on what God is doing in their lives.

Jacob R. and leader, Steph M. are excited for the opportunity to serve the Powell church by cleaning it.

Kelly M., Grace B., Meaghan V., Emily W., Brianna A., and Sarah L. are excited for lunch!

320 leader, Bethany K., explains a pantomime to her 3-group.

Jamie T. and Ryan M. read Scripture for tonight's challenge hour.

Cody S. shared his testimony with the group.

Meredith H. played her viola for special music.

OB Orientation June 21 – Teams Announced!
| June 22, 2012 | 3:48 am | Orientation | Only Pings


We spent time this morning working some more with Ed Lewis working on some more outreach training and also took some time to run through our choir songs as a group. During lunch, we had the opportunity to honor a woman named Cathy Fisher. She is an amazing lady from the greater Columbus area who is constantly “on mission” with her life. She is a high school teacher, a mentor to many young girls and an awesome prayer warrior. Thanks Mrs. Fisher!

We started something new today for the first time in Operation Barnabas history, we had our first “draft”! Mark and Dave (youth pastors in Columbus) were the commentators and TK was the main announcer for the day. We played a lot of music and had a great time “picking teams” playing lots of music and laughing a lot. We spent some time in the afternoon getting to know our teams, going over details for the summer and working on some of our drama, puppet and dance songs and skits. Later in the afternoon both teams went to separate houses for a pool party. We grilled hot dogs, swam, played volleyball, ate a lot and had some incredible conversations with the people hosting us, and each other as well.

We met back at the church and spent a bit of time working on acts for a talent show that we will be having on Saturday evening, but more about that later. Sarah shared an awesome message tonight at our main session about facing fears and how to trust the Lord to overcome them. We split up again afterwards and had some more team time to share what God has been teaching us and go over some goals and vision for this summer! We headed to our rooms to get ready for bed before sharing some more and heading to bed.


Students anticipate team announcements!

Team 611!


Team 320!


611's 3-group working on puppets after teams were announced


Alissa B. worshiping the God who takes away fear.


Jessie B. shared special music that was close to her heart during evening session.

Team Groupings are Here
| June 21, 2012 | 6:09 pm | Orientation | Only Pings

Find out who is on what team.  Download the OB 2012 team grouping.

Orientation June 20 – Praise God!
| June 21, 2012 | 4:46 am | Orientation | Only Pings

We’re only in our second full day of Operation Barnabas Orientation and already the Lord is doing amazing things!  One of our OBers was blessed and used in the amazing opportunity to pray with a young lady to receive Christ tonight!  All Glory to Him and what an incredible way to start any ministry training experience!  Pray for Jenna as she continues down the path of sanctification in the new heavenly Father that she has accepted today!

Orientation today began with exercise, devotions, and showers.  When we got back, students ate breakfast and began the first scheduled hour with God that they will be spending each day with God this summer.  We want to introduce to these kids our responsibility in worship and in gratefulness for grace to spend time with our Creator every day we breath.  The Word of God is life-giving and convicts and encourages us to fuller worship Jesus and clarifies daily our purpose on this earth as guided by the Holy Spirit.  Excited to see students beginning to wet their palettes (as Alex would say) for the power of Scripture in their lives.

After an hour with God, guys had time to work on their sermons that they will be giving this summer and the girls worked on their children’s stories.  Leaders were available to help in any way the kids needed.  After this prep time Ed Lewis shared some more outreach training on how to start conversations with the intention of sharing the Gospel.

We then ate lunch and had some more opportunities to love on Grace Church at Powell through some maintenance projects.  After “Opportunities,” we sent the kids back to outreach training with Ed, this time with the focus on methods to sharing the Gospel and learning the Cross Illustration!  After learning how to minister in our words (and through a single ripped piece of paper :)) we got a chance to practice and minister through choir practice.

This practice was followed by more sermon/story prep and ended with the introduction of speech choir.  Speech choir is compilation of verses set and assigned to different sections of our choir in solos and group readings to dramatically present the Gospel and the life of Jesus.  Students seemed WAY pumped to have the opportunity to begin learning these heart penetrating excerpts from Scripture and to be a part of yet another piece of OB tradition.

Dinner tonight was provided, again, by Grace Church at Powell.  WE CAN’T SAY THANK YOU ENOUGH! Students had an opportunity to eat hot dogs and watermelon out in the sun while getting to meet members of the church and youth group.  Remember, one of our goals for OB and for our lives is to have a heart for encouraging believers, conversation with this church over a meal is just one way to express that heart developing in fellowship.  Students continued their outreach training with volunteers from the church and the youth group who role played non-believers so OBers could have some “hands on” experience with the methods of ministry they have been learning.

After outreach (this is where Jenna, a girl visiting the youth group for the first time, came to know the Lord) we had some more choir practice, snack on the run, and then challenge hour.  Hearts were convicted and forgiven tonight in our OBers lives during Ed’s challenge on hearth searching.

We want the Gospel to be real in our students lives before they go out and share it with anyone else, otherwise they’re selling it.  Barnabas isn’t about behavior modification, it’s not about playing a part, it’s about messy lives saved by the Gospel learning to communicate and initiate the conversation that brought them to the saving Grace of Jesus.

Pray for continued vulnerability and protection from the lies of the enemy as these students continue to press outside of their comfort zones to rely on our Lord.  He’s doing great things and we want to see our kids open themselves up to this opportunity to be real with the Lord, with their leaders, and with other students, not shut down.  All of these are crucial, biblical steps to understanding the concept of grace!

Alex Z., Hayley N., and Karli F. getting to know each other before a session.

Caroline S., Hannah-Catherine S., and Courtney P. share their children stories with each other.

Jacob C., Josh W., and Stephen Y. practice their sermons with an OB leader, Josh Hamrick.

The students are excited to learn more about evangelism from Ed Lewis!

Students learn the cross-illustration with Sarah Knepper.

Stephen A. and Nick W. practice the cross-illustration together.

Kaley T., Hannah-Catherine S., Sarah L., Cari O., and Jamie T. enjoy dinner outside with OB leader, Ashton Rank.

Emily B. and Marcelo V. share the cross-illustration with a friend from the Powell youth group.

Jessie B. made a new friend from the Powell youth group tonight.

Students beautifully, loudly, and joyfully sing their choir songs.

Day 2 Orientation 2012!
| June 20, 2012 | 3:28 am | Orientation | Only Pings


Our first full day of orientation started with the students first ride of the summer on the big blue Operation Barnabas busses! The church that is graciously hosting our orientation does not have showers but there is a local high school about 2 minutes up the road that has been great in that they are allowing us to use their locker rooms to shower. We returned to the church and the students were given some time for breakfast and to spend time in Scripture before a short worship and teaching time. We then went over introductions of all of the support leaders and ran through the rules and guidelines for the summer. Ed Lewis graced us with his presence today and taught the students our theme verse for Operation Barnabas, Acts 11:23-24.

After lunch and some small projects around the church, Ed worked with the students on some evangelism training.  It was great to hear about all of the incredible things that the Lord has been doing in Philadelphia through Ed and all of the other staff at Urban Hope. We transitioned to choir quickly and the students continued to amaze us with their singing abilities and how quickly they have been able to pick up new songs and sing parts. We split up into two groups and learned puppets, face painting, balloon animals and some other skills that we will be using during carnivals throughout our summer.

We spent time as a whole eating dinner together and getting to know each other better then got to hear more from Ed about different worldviews and how each one affects the way that we do ministry. We talked about several ways to reach people who are very different from us but need Jesus. After Ed talked we spent some more time in choir practice than had a challenge hour with Ed about authority and how to willingly submit to the authorities that God has placed in out life for our own good. After our final session of the day we broke off into our rooms and had some time to share what has been learned and how we can apply it to our lives before getting ready for bed. Today has been a very full day but we are excited to see what God will continue to do in the days to come!

Mackenzie K. learning about outreach.


Adam E., Michael R., and Joey A. praying for City Life.


OB students learning the Interlude dance.



Michael F. working the first day of opportunities.


Makyla A. showed us how to make an octopus out of balloons.


Reba K. getting creative with the balloons by making a pretzel.


Courtney S. did special music by signing beautifully to a praise song.




Here We Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!! – Orientation June 18
| June 19, 2012 | 5:17 am | Orientation | Only Pings

It’s begun!!!!!  Operation Barnabas 2012 has officially started today here at Grace Church in Powell, Ohio.  The summer began with OBers showing up as early as 1:30 this afternoon.  It’s so exciting to see all of the faces, personalities and hearts that we have been praying for so relentlessly over the past couple of months.

Students came in from all over the country as leaders busily made airport runs, gave tours of the facility, and checked students into their summer of ministry with Barnabas.

After getting settled into sleeping rooms, students spent some time getting to know one another and making build up posters that we will be leaving at each church we visit on tours this summer.  Alex, Sarah, TK, and Sherilyn spent some time chatting with parents dropping their OBers off at orientation and answered questions they had concerning the summer.  All the while, students continued to get to know one another through some ice breaker games officiated by Josh and Elizabeth.

After the parents meeting was finished and the games were concluded, the students said some final and quick goodbyes and headed off to their very FIRST OB choir practice of the summer.  Dave Rank led the kids in learning the songs they will be using to worship the Lord with this summer and began to run through some harmonies.

Barnabas students aren’t selected for their talent or experience, but God has blessed us with a group this year that I think will have a lot of fun and worship with their music this summer.

After choir we had dinner provided by Powell Grace… THANKS!  and then went back for another session of choir.  Choir finished up with all of our kids finally present and we went straight into our first session where students shared some awesome stories of God’s faithfulness in financially providing for them to be here in ministry this summer.

God has these students here for a reason, and it’s the most exciting thing ever to think about how just that fact alone reminds us of his relentless love for each one of them.

After these awesome stories, TK, Alex, and Sarah shared on some of the attributes of Barnabas as the imitator of Christ that we desire to see our students emulate this summer.  We finished the session, spent some time sharing in our sleeping rooms and hit the lights for some shut eye.

Please pray for these students as they go throughout their tour.  Pray that the gospel will become more real to them than ever before.


Ben H. and Jacob H. loving choir!

Rachel Z., Emily W., and Kim W. smiling while learning the choir songs.

Marc B., Nick W., Michael R., Marcelo V., Stephen Y., and Cody S. singing their hearts out.

Anthony E., Hanna H., and Kelly M. learn about each other at dinner.

Cari O. and Claire B. enjoy a meal together.

Cody S., Alissa B., Caroline S., Alec M., Courtney P., Hayley N., Rachel Z., Nate R., Hannah-Catherine S., Sarah L., and Rachel G. get to know each other in a mingling game.

Abby R., Alyssa B., and Courtney P. make encouraging posters together.