Friday, July 19, 2013

Newport Day 5

My apologies that the stories from students were not up last night. Unfortunately, we were just way too late in getting to bed (it was the prayer night/footwashing ceremony, I didn't see my bed until after 1). But, we have some stories about Thursday, here they are.

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As this week has gone on, I’ve realized how truly blessed I am to have the people in my life that I do. Today was not only my favorite day, but a very moving day for me. My crew this week has been absolutely amazing and I’ve enjoyed being with them every day through whatever we did. At Hal’s farm today we worked on collecting a ginormous pile of sticks and logs. It was very dirty work, but getting to do this task with Dustin and Brad definitely made it so much easier for me. Another thing that made me so happy to go to Hal’s each day, was seeing how much of a great man Hal is. He devotes his life to getting those who have made mistakes back on their feet. It touches me to know that he helps them know the love of God and lets Him direct them back on the right path. He is such a caring man with such wisdom that I loved listening to. It was such a great work day, but what really made my day was the club activity tonight. At the end of every YouthWorks week, we do a feet washing just like Jesus did with the disciples. It’s such a moving experience because you genuinely feel that God is present and that he is watching and knows how much it impacts you. You feel the love of God and it is honestly such an amazing point in the week. It brings me to tears because I am so overwhelmed with joy and I can honestly feel how much I am loved and how much I am needed. As the feet washing is happening, Troy and Mrs.Witzig prayed over me and I could not have felt more special at that moment. Everyone in the room was crying and it really gave me a chance to open up to others in the youth group and realize how much they are there for me and how much they love and care for me. It is so reassuring to know that I have a safe place to go to where I can tell anyone anything. I could not have asked for a better week and I can’t believe its coming to an end so fast. I made so many great relationships with those from the other church and I strengthened those within my own church. God has blessed me with the opportunity to have this experience and I know that he has changed me this week. –Lauren Detrich

Hey Everybody, tonight marks the end of what I can truthfully call the most exciting and unpredictable mission trip of my life. This evening was particularly interesting in two ways. Anyone familiar with a YouthWorks Mission trip knows that Thursday night is foot washing night. This ceremony reenacts the actions of Jesus on the night preceding his betrayal. Usually this is a cryfest with ever girl… and Stebbe bawling their eyes out because they are attached to the moment. This year, there was no less attachment, just very few tears. Everyone seemed more interested in talking than crying (I consider this an improvement) for me, the entire process was light hearted because the music in the background was a blaring jazz number that had nothing to do with the situation at hand. My Dad also provided comic relief by tickling my feet when he washed them. (total goober) after everything the boys returned to our sleeping room (a tabernacle) for bedtime story and a giant pool noodle war. Our bed time story activity was to serenade the girls in their sleeping room by singing the iconic Disney anthem “A Whole New World” after the singing had finished the boys returned to our sleeping area. Earlier in the day several boys had stopped at a Sonic before showering, next to this Sonic was a family dollar. We bought pool noodles, and foam dart guns, and rubbery dodge balls. When we returned to the sleeping room after our serenade, we took up these weapons and had a twenty minute long teenage boy pillow fight. Matt, Jeff, and Tim all took part. Troy was involved as well (It was awesome). In the end I can solidly say that Team Indiana beat out our Michigander competitors. -Dustin Meeks 

This week in Newport has been one of the most life changing mission trips I have been on. The start of the week was definitely a struggle but as the week progressed I gradually realized how privileged of a life I have and how much I take that for granted. When I went to the kids club this week I met a boy named Storm. He was one of the most athletically inclined kids I have ever seen. He would play the games with the other kids and completely blow everyone away with his raw talent. It was sad to soon realize that Storm may never be able to do anything special with his ability and will be stuck in the black hole of Newport. Now on to the subject of the feet washing last night. Every year I go on a mission trip I have a huge god moment where I see all of the sins I have made and how bad it makes me feel to sit and sulk about the small things that happen in my life. This also leads to crying every year. This year was different to say the least, I began the night sitting in silence thinking to myself about all of the things I have done wrong and just reflecting on the past year. That moment right there was the beginning of the waterworks. Soon after I calmed down it was my turn to have my feet washed and for Troy and Mrs. Witzig to pray with me. That started it again. As the night progressed I had many emotional conversations with a few of the incoming freshmen. We talked about everything from god to their upcoming high school experience. It was so great to be able to help them through what they think is going to be the hardest time of their lives. This group of individuals I call my youthgroup has changed my life in so many ways and in the process has given me a place to have someone to talk to about everything. They are most definitely a dear part of my heart that I never want to lose. I love these people so much like a second family. – Makinna Laymon

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