Our team was perfect and lacking nothing. It was great to see everyone in their shining moment. I am excited to see how God moves us forward from this point. I have lots of pictures for this post and I'm excited to show off what God did through my perspective, so here goes!
First up! Avery Hale:
Love me some Aves! On this trip my Avery moment happened a few hours into the trip when the girls were sharing their hearts. Avery went last and never before have I heard her be so passionate about things for The Lord. It reminded me of myself because sometimes when I get to talking about passions I get kinda emotional and I don't tend to be emotional. I loved seeing that side of her! I loved that she wasn't just letting her Christianity be passive but she was being active in going after God.
Paulina is everything I'm not. She's meek and soft spoken and her shirt said tender hearted. I am none of those things. I watched as Paulina always pointed us to Jesus. She served quietly and humbly (she washed a lot of dishes). She never sought attention but had a key role. It was beautiful. Seriously. Each student wrote a letter to themselves and on the last day it was given back to them. I read Paulina's and one of her statements said that she really wanted to be a spiritual leader during this trip. The night before at debrief it was mentioned that they were the spiritual leaders of our school. You can't make that up.
This last picture was my favorite Pepper moment. The kids had to do youth group and each of them had a part of the Armor of God they had to speak about. Pepper has been in Panama for almost three years and if you would've asked anyone who spoke the least Spanish out of the seven of them they would've said Pepper. I was a little nervous for him because I was watching the other gringos that have been in Panama for 7+ years get nervous about speaking in Spanish. Pepper delivered an effortless speech. He barely stuttered and wasn't nervous at all. He even told jokes! I was impressed. Come to find out that he wishes he had more opportunities to speak in public. Awesomeness!
Look at the second picture closely and you can see me in the background. Or should I say you can see my smile... Haha!!!
I mention Michael a lot but never talk about him so here goes... This kid is like my little brother (I know you don't like to be called little because you're practically a grown man now but to me you are.) I met Michael when he had braces, rocked a bad haircut and took life a little too seriously. In almost two years I've watched him change into this handsome young man of God and I couldn't be any more proud! I did not have a Michael moment on this trip but I get to watch Michael be Michael a lot and he is a rare breed of person that I truly believe The Lord has set apart for great things. He was our only senior on this trip and led positionally, vocally and best of all humbly. I'm gonna miss the booger when he leaves my life at the end of this school year.
Ahhhh! If you could see the inside of my heart when I think of how God is rocking Jonathan's world it would be like a carnival of happiness! This was my favorite Jonathan moment. We were at a boys home/school. It was here that I got to watch my favorite qualities of Jonathan come out. First when he was leading worship with Trinity, then praying with his small group and lastly in this picture. He went off with one of the boys and just sat and talked to him about life and how the boy got there. It was moving to hear Jony talk about this kid's story. Jonathan just wanted him to know someone cared and prayed for him and encouraged him. No one told him to do that. In fact everyone else was playing hot potato out on the grass.
I can tell God has really been moving in his heart and challenging him to be greater. I'm excited to see how that comes to past.
Lastly is the dear Daniela!
Dani is so cool! The day we went to the trash dump I got to see her best quality. Daniela is fearless! When she realized we had more sandwiches left after handing them out to the workers she wanted to make sure we went home empty handed. I watched as she walked into a pile of trash in the middle of workers by herself to hand out these sandwiches. Then I watched as she went to the top of the hill to go find more people to give sandwiches. Then I watched as she yelled to the people on the bottom of the hill to come get the rest of the sandwiches because she couldn't find a way to get to them. She was relentless!!! The kingdom needs more people like her.
I must use my words wisely so I don't get into trouble here. Haha. Me and Nathan's relationship is complicated... He's abusive and I am nothing but kind to him... That's not entirely true but let's pretend it is.
Okay but seriously, this first picture is of his hand while we(by we I mean they) were digging up rocks with pick axes and sledge hammers. The second is of him and the boys sanding down PVC pipe to make soccer goals. Nathan will do the work and will teach/coach the boys and mentor them with this example. Before the trip I specifically prayed that the boys and him would have great bonding time together and he would get to pour into their lives and it was awesome to see that happen!
Just got to babysit his FIVE kids and evil dog last night while he and Clare spent the night away. Love watching Godly families and having good examples of how to do things right!
To those of you who prayed: THANK YOU!
To those of you who supported: THANK YOU!
We got to see some awesome things happen and God did some awesome things in us.
This last picture is a thank you card. I tried to email it out to everyone but I know that wasn't everyone. If you can click it and zoom in we would like to share our thank yous with you!