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Thursday, June 30, 2011

SF Mission Trip - Day 6

Well. God's angels show up at random times and in random cloaks. So, I shall start at the beginning. Michaela, Fran, and myself were handing out peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in UN plaza (next to City Hall) when Chrystal came up to us asking for prayer. When we finished our long prayer with her in a tight huddle she told us that her mother had recently died. At this, and other comments, we all began to feel God's nudge on our conscience. When Chrystal asked for Fran's simple cross necklace, Fran began to cry and felt that she should give her the necklace; so she wrapped it on Chrystal's neck. She in turn demanded to give Fran her personal bracelet. We gave her our last sandwich, which she used as communion sacraments. To make a long story short (in order to write the next segment and go to bed...) we all were crying as Mike Stelle came up and talked for a minute. After many hugs and "God Bless's" we said good-bye and went to sit on a curb to think about what just happened. As we finished digesting what just happened, an old, Chinese, homeless lady, who spoke almost no English. We all said hello as she walked past. Micheala told the group: "I wish we had more sandwiches, I fell like I can't approach homeless for conversation without something to give them," as soon as she finished saying this when the old lady (God's angel) walked back around and demanded to give us two dollars. We tried to give it back to her but she ran away through the park. We didn't quite understand until Mike said "Well... Micheala, your prayer is answered." With this, we went to the dollar store and bought chewy bars to start more conversations. We looked for the old lady and saw her at a distance, drifting quickly away from the us, into the crowd. God totally answered our prayers directly after explicitly showing us His daughter and His love!
      -Joel Rurik

On Wednesday this week, I experienced my first "ow" moment. My team was doing the city search, which entailed buying lunch with ten dollars and finding a homeless person to share our meal with. After wandering the Tenderloin area of San Francisco for what felt like hours, I know I was getting frustrated as I missed opportunity after opportunity to strike up a conversation with the people on the sides of the street. I think we were all nervous, but someone needed to step up and get us somewhere. In the end, we found a wonderful man named Rodney sitting by a fountain in a plaza. We shared foccacia bread and nectarines with him as we listened to his story of hardships. He had lived in Palm Springs for most of his life, and came to San Fran in 2002 to visit his brother. As he walked along the streets bordering the very plaza where we were sitting, he had come upon a former high school classmate who proceeded to ask him for money. Rodney refused, turned to walk away, and was hit in the back of the head with a pipe. He lost everything. His two jobs, his wife, and part of his mind. As we sat and listened, Katlyn, Erik and I were all extremely moved that this man was even still alive. And then at one point in the conversation, Rodney told us we could leave if we wanted to. That we didn't have to stay and listen to his story and that he didn't want to take up any more of our time. And I realized that all this man really wanted was someone to talk to, but he was willing to put us and our time before himself. As we left a half an hour later, praying for him, he called after us "I'll be fine. I've got Him. Don't y'all worry about me." Rodney has been by far the most influential person on this trip so far, and no matter what he says, he will be in my prayers for a long time to come. -Hannah Long

SF Mission Trip - Day 5

Today was amazing and very eventful! My team went to St. Vincent de Paul to help in the soup kitchen. We gave out food to the homeless and needy. For the first hour I was in charge of wiping tables when people were done eating. I had what the youth group calls an "ow moment". I noticed a homeless man that had finished his food. He didn't realize he could get more food so he was going up and taking peoples left-overs from their trays. It made me sad because I realized that the lunch being served was probably going to be his only meal that day. The second hour, Adam and I were handing out milk to people. This one man came up and said "HELLO DAWLINGSS!!!" and we really didn't have any idea how to respond so we said hello back and asked him if he wanted white milk or chocolate milk. He replied, "I don't know! What's the difference?!? HAHA!!" So Adam gave him white milk and the guy walked off commenting on how smart we were. My favorite person today :) In the afternoon we went to walk Mission St. with $20 to find someone in need. We found a man named Neal who was in "desperate need of bug spray". We got him bug spray and listened to his story. According to him, he died twice and had some pretty epic visions from God. He ended up breaking the top of the canister of bug spray so we got him a new one and also bought him chocolate (since he told us how much he LOVES chocolate). All in all, a pretty awesome day :)   -Jessica Arnold


Yesterday was Hannah's birthday!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

SF Mission Trip - Day 4

Today was another ADVENTUROUS day. We all split up and headed off to our work sites, my group went to the Salvation Army and we worked with Korean kids. I was with K-2nd graders. We helped them with math, played with them, sang songs, and watched aaaslightly awkward yet funny movie. It was great! Something I experienced that was super cool was how open the kids were to complete strangers. It was amazing to be able to connect with them and share a day in San Francisco. -Brittany Hastings

For me, today started off just like any day in Gig Harbor. Rain! My team and I packed about 30 pb&j sandwiches to give out to people we saw on the streets. We had some pretty amazing talks with some individuals and learned some amazing stories. After we were done handing out the food, and completely soaked, we walked to Project Open Hand. This is an organization that started out delivering food to bed ridden aids victims but has recently spread to anyone stuck at home because of an illness. At Project Open Hand we packed potatoes, rice, and beans. It was cool to see how much food we were handling knowing that that night it would be delivered to someone in desperate need. It was a great opportunity to pray over all the food we touched. It was fantastic :) -Kayla Stelle

My team had the chance to go to Laguna Honda Hospital. It was a hospital in which seniors lived. We got to bring them to the "exploratorium" The seniors we worked with were all Chinese, and my lady was Miss Elizabeth. As I was pushing her around and showing her the exhibits, she did not respond. She only ever said two things: "I'm cold" and "what am I doing?"It broke my heart. I began to wonder if anyone every payed attention to her since it would be just as easy to ignore her. (Since she does not respond anyway) It made me think about how many people have no one to care for them or simply be with them. It was hard to talk to Miss Elizabeth, but I made sure I was present with her. It breaks my heart when I think if people like Miss Elizabeth that have no one to be "present" with them. - Francesca Bisciglia 

So today my group went on the urban plunge, which is when you explore the city, in the china town part of Oakland. We went to this park and while we were sitting watching people, this cute old Chinese women walked right up to me and said, "teach me" as she shoved a piece of paper with 'America the Beautiful' on it in my face. I was startled and had no idea what to do, but i took the piece of paper from her and she sat next to me and started to sing the song. Over the next 30 minutes I sat with this cute old lady and taught her every word of 'America the Beautiful' (Which I myself didn't know) so she would be able to sing it on the 4th of July. At the end of this long and heart warming process she said, "You are my teacher. Thank you teacher Tyler". It was amazing to see how much me teaching her that song made her day. She laughed and smiled the entire time, and I couldn't help but be extremely happy that she had asked me to teach her. Lee Yin Tel Pae ( that was her name) made my day and helped me see that anyone, no matter what age, can be a teacher to somebody. - Tyler Stolz

Monday, June 27, 2011

SF Mission Trip - Day 3

Hey Friends and Family!

       Today was an AMAZING day, for all five of our teams! We all split up to serve in different ministry areas, including the Bay Area Rescue Mission, the Laguna Honda Hospital, distributing socks and hygiene products to the homeless, and participating in an Urban Plunge! (What is an Urban Plunge, you might ask? Ask your student when they get home! :)

       It's hard to describe each team's experience since I was only on my team, but we gathered together tonight and all shared some really cool stories together about how we saw God today. Although we are tired, it was definitely clear that God was with us today.

       My team had the privilege of serving 8 residents of the Laguna Honda Hospital, all of whom were elderly and mentally disabled. But they brought us SO much joy! We took them on a field trip to the SF Zoo,talking with them, laughing with them, and simply being WITH them, as you will see in some of the pictures below....

      Please continue to pray that God will give us energy to serve tomorrow. We have all been working hard, and are being challenged to love people who we don't normally encounter (which is very draining!)

     We love you all and will write again tomorrow night!

             Goodnight from the Bay,

                  - Heather

Devotions this morning: (remember, you can click on the pics to enlarge them!)

Dinner tonight at an Ethiopian restaurant:

Sharing together about our day:

SF Mission Trip - Day 2

Good Evening All!

           Today was one whirlwind of day! We left Redding this morning at about 10:00 and started our drive down to the Bay. Two of our cars don't have air conditioning, so some of us rode the whole ride with our windows down!

            We stopped for lunch in Corning (where the infamous Olive Pit is), and arrived in the Bay at about 4:00. Since we weren't scheduled to arrive to CSM until 5:00, we decided to swing by Mike's Dad's house in El Sobrante to say hello! (see group shot below)

            Once we arrived at CSM, we unloaded our bags, stretched our legs, were introduced to the awesome CSM staff, and then we hopped back into our cars for our dinner! One of the cool things about this trip is that CSM wants to give us an experience of how diverse a city is, so for each of our dinners we will be eating at a different ethnic restaurant. Tonight my team and I went to an Indian place and DINED on the delicious food they served us!

            After dinner, we took an hour and a half prayer ride around the city. Our guides taught us many things about the different districts in the city, and as we were driving we prayed for the things we saw, which included so many broken, painful things.

           Tomorrow we have a long day. We will be splitting into 5 different teams tomorrow to serve at 5 different places. Please pray that God will give us a refreshing nights' sleep in order to serve well tomorrow, as well as God preparing our hearts for the things we will experience tomorrow.

           Love to you all,

            - Heather

Church this morning:

Sunday, June 26, 2011

SF Mission Trip - Day 1

Hey Everyone!

        Yesterday was an AWESOME first day of our trip! We had a great drive down to Redding, with a couple of stops on the way and BEAUTIFUL weather!

        We spent the night here at First Baptist Church, who was very generous to let us stay. We're hitting the road again here in a few minutes with the rest of our drive down to the Bay. But we're all safe and having a great time!  We'll write again when we get to Oakland.....

Pictures from yesterday! (You can click on the pictures to enlarge them!)

We'll write more soon!

In His Love,


Friday, June 24, 2011

San Francisco Mission Trip 2011 - Pre-Trip!

Hello Everyone!

          Tomorrow is the big day, the day we leave for our mission trip to the Bay Area! Our team has spent the past 8 months preparing for this trip together, and we are all excited to see what God is going to do in our lives and in the lives of the people who we meet.

Our team during a training meeting:

Tomorrow we have the long drive ahead of us to Redding, CA, but we'll hopefully post some pictures from our drive tomorrow night! Please be praying for safe travels for us tomorrow!

If you would like some more information about the organization we will be serving with, please visit  or, if you have 2 minutes, check out this CSM video:

See you all bright and early tomorrow morning!

        In His Love,

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Update 6/20/11


San Francisco Mission Trip 2011

         After 8 months of planning, our summer mission trip is finally here! Here are the details you need to know about the trip:

              - Students and adults going on the trip need to bring their packed luggage with them to church THIS Thursday from Noon - 2:00 p.m.
              - Students and adults need to bring their signed forms with their packed luggage on Thursday (the forms were given to you on Sunday) 
              - You need to be at church at 7:30 a.m. THIS Saturday!
              - Any remaining funds need to be turned in this week.
              - We will return home to church on Monday, July 4th at aprrox. 7:00 p.m.

          And yes, we are planning on blogging during our trip! For parents and friends who will not be coming with us, be sure to check this website for stories and pictures each day of our trip!

FORGETTABLE FACT: Dolphins nap with one eye open.
PARTING SHOT: What did the rug say to the floor?  Don't move, I've got you covered

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Update 6/13/11


** We are officially on Summer Youth Group Scheduling!** There will be no regular Wednesday night youth group until September. BUT be checking this website and our facebook site for BBQ's, hang-outs, movie nights, and much, much more! :)

Wednesday - No youth group! Adult Volunteers are invited to a dinner at Round Table to celebrate your hard work during the year! Adults only. 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Sunday - No Sunday School classes! Sunday School will resume in September.

SF Mission Trip 2011

                If you are going on the SF Trip, get ready because it's coming up fast! This Sunday, June 19, our entire team will be commissioned and prayed over by the church during the services. Please stay tuned for more information. Also, please be turning in any shareholder forms and money that you still need to turn in! If you are not sure how much you still owe, contact Heather 925 - 963 - 6656.

FORGETTABLE FACT: A group of kangaroos is called a mob.

PARTING SHOT:There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday Update 6/6/11


Wednesday - June-ba-la-tion! Our end of the school year youth group bash will be HAWAIIAN style! Wear your best Hawaiian garb this Wednesday for a night of fun and celebration together! Starts at 6:00 p.m, ends at 8:00 p.m.

Sunday - Our last Sunday School for this year will be a party together! Come for games and DONUTS this Sunday at 9:59 a.m.!

Summer Camp!

            Oasis summer camp registration is OPEN! Sign up now to join us for an awesome week at camp! Registration information can be found in the youth pod!

FORGETTABLE FACT: Albert Einstein was offered the presidency of Israel in 1952, but he declined.
PARTING SHOT: What do you call a calf after it's six months old?  Seven months old.