Today was an incredible and unique experience for Team 123. We had the opportunity for the majority of our day to be involved with a ministry called Happy Hearts. This ministry is an equestrian therapy ministry for children and families of children with special needs.

It was incredible to be a part of and to see the students be stretched in very new ways that they have not been so far this summer. ┬áThe students got broken up into different groups or “teams” of students and got to spend the morning traveling around to different stations with their group of kids and their families. Stations included crafts, fishing, a gator ride (the driving kind not the animal ;)), and horse back riding. It was awesome to see the kids interact with children who are normally overlooked in our society and to see them love on these children and their families well. I think it was a good opportunity for students to see people who are not normally seen as a ministry and to be able to grow in different ways.

We had the opportunity to eat lunch with the volunteers and staff of Happy Hearts and the families that were a part of the camp that day, as well as to do a program for them after lunch was over. It was neat to get to interact with families in a more relaxed setting around a lunch table and to get to know their stories and struggles. The program went well and Ben and Elena were able to pray with two different kids to receive Christ today! It was an awesome time for the two of them specifically, but even for the team as a whole.

After our program, we wrapped things up, said goodbyes, and headed to Grace Polaris Church to unload and head out to dinner. Those two hours were quite a blur, but once we ate we regrouped and went to spend an hour with God at a park that is close to the church. That was a refreshing time for all our students (and leaders too!) and afterwards we came back to the church to do some teaching times and cover some end of tour details.

We closed the night with two things. First we had them write themselves a letter to remind themselves about what they’ve done and the ways they’ve grown on Barnabas that their D-group leaders will send them a few months from now. Secondly, we split up between boys and girls and had the guy leaders talk with the girls and vice versa. This was a time for them to ask questions that they might not get good answers from anywhere else and to hear about themselves from the other gender’s perspective and insight. This time was spent well by our students and they had a lot of good questions! We pray as leaders that it was beneficial for them and that they would understand more of Jesus after all is said and done.

It is hard to believe that today was the final day of regular tour for OB 2013. We cannot lie and say that we will not miss them, but we are SO excited to see how God will continue to work in and through these students as they go home after this weekend. We pray that God would be actively at work in their lives and in the lives of others and that their hearts would consistently pursue after Jesus.

Thank you for your continued prayers, we covet them even in this final weekend. Thank you again! Goodnight!

Madison models our mandatory headwear for the day.

Madison models our mandatory head-wear for the day.

 

Students spend time writing a letter to themselves to remind them of what they've learned this summer.

Students spend time writing a letter to themselves to remind them of what they’ve learned this summer.

Alice loving on one of the campers during the program.

Alice loving on one of the campers during the program.

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TJ assists one of the campers as he rides his favorite horse, Red.

TJ assists one of the campers as he rides his favorite horse, Red.

Ana gets to know Graycee, one of the horses involved in therapy at the camp.

Ana gets to know Graycee, one of the horses involved in therapy at the camp.

PS! We have been asked to inform you that both OB teams have the opportunity to be involved in something going on here at Grace Polaris involving Duck Dynasty. Jase Robertson, one of the stars from the TV show, is coming here to speak, and OB students will be doing the opening set. OB students will also be running hospitality and parking duties for the event. It should be an exciting time and we are looking forward to it!