Subscribe to Our Blog Via Email!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Monday, December 30, 2013

Beach Freeze 2014

Beach Freeze is coming! Beach Freeze is coming! Beach Freeze is coming!
Registration has opened...have you turned in your registration? 
http://www.harborcovenant.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Beach-Freeze-2014.pdf

Monday, December 9, 2013

UNUSUAL WEEK

This week is an unusual week in the land of high school ministry at Harbor Cov
1. No youth group Wednesday night (in fact there will be no more Wednesday night youth group until 2014)
2. Friday night broomball. Meet at Harbor Cov at 9:00 and we'll be back before midnight. Cost is $20
3. Saturday is shopping day...a group will be taking the proceeds from the broomball event and buying gifts for the homeless of Seattle. Time TBD
4. Sunday is Seattle MAD (Make A Difference). We will gather up after the 10:00 service and head to Seattle to give gifts to the homeless. Bring money for lunch. We'll be home before 4:00
This is an unusual week but it will be an OUTSTANDING week!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas? Already?

Yes it is that time of year again - trees, lights, shopping, family, Santa Claus, shopping, music, lights, nativity sets, wise men, some not wise men, did I mention shopping?
Yes it is that time of year again
Are we ready?
Are you ready?
Maybe Wednesday night will help us all be ready...

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Poinsettias

Poinsettias will arrive Monday, Dec 2!
Be sure to come on Monday to Harbor Cov to pick them up 

Monday, November 25, 2013

THANKSGIVING EVE

This Wednesday is our annual Thanksgiving Eve service at Harbor Cov (7:00-8:00) followed by the Unofficial Movie Nite (Unofficial = you're on your own for getting tickets, rides, etc). We'll be watching Disney's Frozen. The exact time of the showing is unknown (theater has not released the show times yet) but plan on a late showing (we'll release the exact times when we know them)

Monday, November 18, 2013

M.A.D. Nite

Our first MAD night of the school year will take place THIS Wednesday (7:30-9:00)
M.A.D. stands for Make A Difference and we will be thinking of creative ways to Make A Difference this holiday season

Monday, November 11, 2013

CREATION vs EVOLUTION

This Wednesday we will have not 1, not 2, but 3 scientist at youth group to help us wrestle with how science and faith actually work together in a really cool way. There will be some Q&A time to go with a brief presentation. If you've ever been in a science class then this night will be perfect for you. If you've ever been to church then this night will be perfect for you. If you've ever had a science class AND gone to church then this Wednesday is a MUST ATTEND event!

POINSETTIA forms are due THIS WEDENSDAY

Monday, November 4, 2013

WHEN NATURE CALLS

Can a nature show really inspire one to change the way they live? Yes!!!
Over the years we have been inspired by flightless bady ducks, baby sea turtles, 7 foot catfish, and Demoiselle Cranes. This Wednesday a new nature show will impact Mike in strange ways and will also challenge the way each of us choose to live!
Bring a friend & bring some $$$ for our two kids in Congo

Monday, October 28, 2013

HALLOWEEN EVE

Halloween Eve? YES!
This Wednesday night is our first ever Halloween Eve gathering so come:
1. Dressed Up in your Halloween best
2. With a friend or four
3. Prepared to have fun (we're considering an indoor pumpkin catapult)

7:30-9:00
PS - I'm still looking for a Halloween version of our Grinch Run!

Monday, October 21, 2013

SILENCE

THIS WEDNESDAY - SILENCE!
Seriously, silence.....
when was the last time you experienced silence?
why is silence so difficult and yet so important?
We will be playing some crazy games (100 balloons usually = crazy)
We will be laughing (you being there usually = laughing)
and we will be experimenting with silence....
7:30 - 9:00
bring a friend or 4 (and bring your LOG and SF registration too)

Monday, October 14, 2013

PRAISE & WORSHIP

Our first Praise & Worship night is this Wednesday (7:30-9:00)
We'll be meeting in the cafe at Harbor Cov
Bring a few bucks for Michel and Louise (the two kids we support in the DRC) and be sure to turn in your registration packet for the San Francisco Mission Trip

Monday, October 7, 2013

LIP SYNC 2013


Our annual Lip sync contest is THIS WEDNESDAY (7:30-9:00)
This is a great night to invite friends so bring a ton!
It's not too late to add your act to the line-up so contact Mike to become one of the contestants
First prize is $100 off Beach Beach

Monday, September 30, 2013

Sunday Mornings

If you haven't been able to join us at 11:30 on Sunday for lunch and small groups then please give it a try this week. Each Sunday we gather after the 10:00 worship service to hang out, eat food (sophomore girls small group is making lunch this week) and spend time doing some Bible Study.
If you and your family regularly attend the 8:30 service then I have a second option for you! At 10:00 there are two classes being offered that would be worth checking out with your parents. Last year a couple of high school students chose to go to a class with a parent and it was really rewarding. The two classes being offered this Fall are:
  • Adult Class – “Behold Your God” led by George Makari
  • Adult Class – “How Does God Call Us?” led by Doug & Linda Olsen
If you have any questions about opportunities on Sunday morning we'd love to hear them because we'd love for you to be a part of what is happening!


When Nature Calls is back!

THIS WEDNESDAY
Our first "When Nature Calls" will explode on us this Wednesday night (7:30-9:00)
Bring a friend or three...it will be worth it!
PS - Have you turned in your LOG and SF stuff?

Monday, September 23, 2013

THIS WEDNESDAY

Part 1 - 6:30pm. San Francisco Mission Info Meeting. This is designed for parents and students
Part 2 - ONE Verse (a new youth group night) from 7:30-9:00

Monday, September 16, 2013

2013 WELCOME MOVIE

It's back and it is outstanding!
Take the best movie clips, add in some stupid Youtube moments, 
plus some Heather crazy and what do you get? 
Welcome Movie 2013!
Youth group kicks off this Wednesday with our annual Welcome Movie!
7:30-9:00
Bring a friend or 4
PS - The San Francisco Mission trip is starting to fill up so make sure you get your registration in!

Monday, September 9, 2013

2013 SUMMER DESSERT

This Wednesday  night (6:30-8:00) is our annual Summer Dessert.
We'll be looking back at all that God did this past summer as well as looking forward to all that is going to be happening this school year!
Here's what to expect at the dessert:
Hilarious opening skit from Mike and Jen? Check! (guaranteed laughter)
Non-low fat delicious ice cream wonderfulness? Check!
Panama video? Check!
Oasis video? Check!
2014 San Francisco Mission Trip Registration? Check!
2013 LOG Registration? Check!
Poinsettia fund raiser forms? Check!


This night is for the whole family and every one of your friends so make sure you invite everyone!

Wednesday, September 11
6:30-8:00
Harbor Covenant Church

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Rainier's Game 2013!

The right fielder for the Salt Lake City Bees has no idea what is awaiting him when he steps onto the field in Tacoma on Wednesday, August 28!

Here are the details:
Date: Wednesday, August 28
Time: 5:30 - 11:00 (we meet at Harbor Cov and take a bus to the game)
Cost: $15.00  (covers bus, ticket into the game, hot dog, chips, soda)

Pay your $15 at the church office or put it in the metal drop box outside the Youth Pod (Room 106 in the Education Wing) this Sunday or as soon as you can!  First come, first served!  Also make sure that you have a Medical Release Form filled out (if you've gone on any trips with us this year you should be fine). We really need you all to pre-purchase your tickets so we know we have enough seats!  So contact Mike or Jen and get your money in!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

THIS SUNDAY

THIS SUNDAY...
1. In both services there will be time given for a short "look back at Panama". As part of the "look back" the great dictator-in-making SCOTT HOFFMAN will be sharing. Be sure to be there on Sunday to cheer widely for him! 
2. After the 10:00 service we'll be heading over to the Stakset's house(4320 36th Ave NW, 98335) for swimming, eating and Bible study (here's a hint: pay attention to the sermon and you'll be ahead of everyone else going into the Bible study....plus the preacher will really appreciate it!)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Summer Updates

Sunday, July 21 - 2nd Annual Harbor Cov Carnival
Come to the 10:00 church service and then stay to play and help other people play! Water balloon launchers, BBQ and maybe some human bowling!

Sunday, July 28 - 2nd Summer Bible Study
Come to the 10:00 church service and then we'll head over to the Staksets for lunch, swimming, and bible study (4320 36th Ave NW, 98335)

July 31-Aug 4  -  OASIS IV
It is not too late to sign up for Summer Camp. Stop by the church office to fill out and turn in your Oasis registration form

August 12-16  45 ZONE
It is not too late to sign up to be on the 45 Zone staff. We'll spend the entire week helping kids have the time of their lives. Training will take place Sunday, August 11 from 11:30-4:00

Monday, July 8, 2013

1st SUMMER BIBLE STUDY

This Sunday at 11:30 @ the Graffe home. Come to the 10:00 service and then we'll head over to Casa de Graffe. Lunch will be provided

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Back in the States

United Flight 1031 from Panama to Houston has landed, our crew is back in the States! Their next flight is flight 251 and leaves Houston around 7:15 Houston time. **Remember to pick up your student tonight at church at around 11:15-11:30!!**

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hasta Manana!

Panama- During the time we were camping in Mariato, the Panama team stayed in tents on a cliff looking over the ocean. Every night we fell asleep to the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks below us. There were palm trees surrounding us and stray dogs everywhere. The best part of the environment was the sun, mangos, coconuts and plantains that I lived off of picked fresh from the trees. The first day we got there I met about 10 kids of all ages and they let me ride their horse. I got to know all of their names and I spent most of my free time connecting with the kids of Mariato, even though there was a language barrier (I am not very good at speaking or understanding Spanish). Down at the beach we all went swimming crashing against the waves. A few of us on the Panama team got stuck in the rip tide but the locals were quick to jump in and make sure we were all okay! I visited a school with a team and shared my testimony. That night I shared my testimony again in front of all the locals and the Panama team. I was really nervous but it felt good to be able to step outside my comfort zone and to follow the nudge. Becky translated for me. There was also another translator Steven, I am very grateful for meeting him because he taught me a lot about bravery and god and shared experiences with me that changed my point of view on things. I also got closer to Jim, he is someone I now know I can always count on to be there for me. Brooke, Gabby, Jim, and I got really attached to all of the kids from the orphanage and in Mariato. We were all sobbing together and Jim prayed for us and prayed for the children. He said that god has a plan for the kids and that one day we will see them again in heaven. It was also a pleasure getting to know Don, Jim, and Steven at one of the school while we cleaned the bathrooms. Jim taught me how to fix toilets and we all bonded. I will never be the same. Those people have definitely changed me for the good on this trip. I loved getting to know everyone and leaving the campsite and some of the kids I got close to was one of the hardest things I have ever done. The last night I had with the kids I was crying and the little girl, Ruth, hugged me and wouldn’t let go and was sobbing into my shirt. It was a priceless moment and there are pictures that I am looking forward to show everyone. The next day before I got on the bus she and a couple of kids made me things and gave them to me along with kind notes. And when I said goodbye they all came up and kissed me on my cheek and that broke my heart. I have experienced Beautiful Pain. I Have learned so much from the kids and I hope that the kids have learned from all of us too. I will never forget the love and pain this trip has brought <3.
-Kaylee Overby

This entire trip to Panama has been an unreal experience. For a long time leading up to the trip, I didn’t want to go. For the past year or so, I have really struggled with my faith and accepting the presence of God. In my mind, going to Panama would force me to confront many of these struggles and I didn’t feel prepared to deal with them. However, because of the persuasion from a few of my friends who were going, I reluctantly paid the final deposit and before I knew it, I was sitting on a plane with 30 other students on the way to Panama. And wow, am I glad that I decided to come. I would not trade my experiences here for anything. A moment that particularly impacted me was during a church service Sunday morning in Mariato when the Panamanian pastor asked the people of the church to come forward if they were hurting or needed prayer. This soon developed into half of the congregation stepping forward and the Harbor Cov group kneeling before them and praying over them. After I had finished praying and took a step back, I drank in the sight that was before me. To observe people of different cultures and backgrounds holding each other and praying and sobbing and understanding one another was tov; it was good, it was beautiful, it was working exactly as God intended it to. That Sunday morning during the first real church service I have been to in almost a year consumed me with a feeling that is unable to be explained with words. Standing in that church in Panama, surrounded by strangers and people I’ve grown up with, has been the first time that I have genuinely felt the presence of God in a long, long time. Though the memories of this trip will eventually fade and in twenty or thirty years I may not remember the names of the children we served or the towns we stayed in, the feelings of love and acceptance and satisfaction that God provided me here are things that I will hold onto as tightly as I can. And I don’t ever want to forget the feeling of God’s presence again.
- Mara Kramer

Panama has been an amazing experience for me. I have never experienced joy as much as I did while I was here. If you would have told me before the trip that I would find joy chasing kids around and carrying them on my back in the hot humid sun I would have told you that you were crazy. The first two days we were serving at a school either helping in classrooms, doing work to make the school nicer or just doing whatever they told you to do. When recess came around everyone would stop what they were doing to play with the kids. These kids had so much energy and when playing with them, their energy flowed straight to me. Kids would run up, poke me, make a face and then run away for me to chase them. When I did this the kids laughed and smiled which made me laugh and smile. Then after those two days we headed out to the Pacific side of Panama to the beautiful town of Mariato. In Mariato I was on the team that went to the community of Plantan Aires. We helped at the pastors home painting walls, cleaning floors and simply by being present with the people. There was one little girl that I will never forget, Sari. She was about two years old and was the cutest thing! She came up to me crying one day and I just picked her up to comfort her. She kept crying so I tried something to get her to stop. I would go “Uno, dos, tres!” and then throw her up in the air and catch her then while holding her drop her backwards so her head was towards the floor. When she came back up there were no more tears and in their place was a beautiful smile. She was happy to be having fun and I was happy to be causing that. This is one of the main places I saw God during this trip, through the joy in the kids I played with. I want to take that joy that I got from the kids and spread it around to everyone I know. It was the highlight of my trip and just thinking about it makes me smile. God did some amazing things on this trip and there are many more stories to be told when we get home.
~Maddie Stelle

Panama was defiantly the best trip ever and I’m so glad that I got the opportunity to come here and make new friendships with everyone on the trip. Panama is so beautiful, especially Mariato because of the ocean and rolling hills. I loved working in the school the first two days because the children just loved being held and loved because they didn’t get much of that at home. It was awesome to teach the fourth grade class despite the language barrier. I really don’t want to forget working in the school or working in the orphanage in the HIV room because it was so sad to think about what their life was like when we weren’t there and it pains me to think about what their life is right now. They will continue growing and it saddens me thinking that I can’t see them grow because they were life my own children. Mariato was so much fun. I can’t describe how much fun it was to be there and to camp with everyone. Team busted tent and team busted truck, otherwise known as team 27, were the best teams ever. I loved working at the pastors house and painting while Willieto kept tickling me and flicking my ear because his smile just brightened up my day and he was like my little brother. I know this because I ended up giving him my cross necklace because God was nudging me and telling me that he was the one who deserved it. Going to the beach was also fun with everyone and our new team dog, Randi. I felt a lot of comfort whenever Randi was around and I looked out for him as much as I could even though we weren’t here for the animals. During the Sunday service is definitely a moment I won’t ever forget because I was not feeling good at all and that church was extremely hot so I ended up sitting outside on the ground with Randi who ended up following us there and fanning him because I knew that he was hotter than me and I loved the smiles I got from the locals while I did that because I felt a little bit better knowing that Randi was treated better because of the kindness I showed him and knowing that he was happier just sitting next to me and just seeing me. I never want to forget this trip or the experience I had here. Just seeing everyone work hard to do physical work or working hard to make the children happy I could see God working through them.
~Emily Ivey aka Ohio

Panama… This has been the most amazing trip I have ever been on. Period. I have experienced so much joy, and so much beautiful pain over the entire trip. I have experienced the power and love of God like never before in so many different ways. One of the times that I experienced beautiful pain was leaving the orphanage on the 25th. I had been blessed to spend two days just playing, and caring for three eleven year old boys. Mike , Jim, Luke, Scott, Roberto and I all had the privilege of getting to know Franklin, Angel, and Loberto. Playing with these kids was very fun, yet it was bittersweet because I knew that in two weeks they were being transferred to a different orphanage just for boys, and we were told that it was run more like a detention center. Leaving these kids while knowing this was very painful because I knew that they were completely under Gods control, which has helped me strengthen my faith in him. The moment on this trip when I felt the most reliant in God, and felt his extreme power was when I was swimming to an island in the Caribbean. I was with a few other people, but I was still nervous I had never swam that far in the open ocean before, and although I am a very strong swimmer I felt an odd sense of weakness. I stopped, and looked around and I was almost halfway to the island. I had been swimming at a moderate pace for about twenty minutes now, and I knew that I had a long way to go. All I saw was open water, the waves, the island that was my destination, and the little tiny beach way in the distance where everyone was just chillin. I felt a shiver go down my spine, and it was not because I was scared, but rather because I felt how dependent I am upon God, and how extraordinarily powerful, and awesome he is. It was in the moment of my utter weakness that I felt truly invincible. This trip has strengthened my faith in ways that I cannot explain, so I thank everyone who helped me get here!!! See y’all tomorrow!
Sincerely, Jacob Willenbrock

Beach Day!

Yesterday was our Caribbean beach day! We drove to Portobelo, Panama, a port city with the ruins of Spanish fortifications. The ruins were fun to explore. After that, we were then taken by 3 water taxis out to a private cove where we enjoyed the rest of the day swimming, soaking, snorkeling, exploring, and relaxing. What a beatiful day, providing exactly what we needed!

Monday, July 1, 2013

We're Baack! : )

We have arrived safely back in Panama after a long day on the bus for our drive back from Mariato. Thank you all for your prayers and your patience... We know you have anxiously been awaiting more blogs! Here they are!
Today, I was sent with my team to go down to a church and paint. We walked about 300 yards down the road and found the unfinished walls, with it’s cement structure. Michaela and I were pulled aside and we sifted dirt for a little bit. Then, we went inside the church and began to help out there. After several minutes of scraping the walls to make them smooth for p ainting, we began to paint the walls with the base paint. There was a limited amount of rollers, so a lot of the group went out on a walk to meet the people living around the church and to pray for them. But I stayed behind and painted with the village men that were there. Cassidy and I met a really cool guy named Isa. We had a lot of fun painting with him. We couldn’t speak Spanish very well, and he couldn’t speak English very well, but we communicated through actions. It’s really cool to be able to talk to the people without words. Sometimes it’s difficult to speak to them, because neither one of you know what the other is saying, but when you finally understand, it’s really exciting. Isa laughed when Cassidy and I got in a water fight. When the rest of the group got back, they swapped out, and the other group went out. But Cassidy and I still stayed back. I didn’t want to leave the relationships I had formed, and Cassidy wasn’t feeling her best. But the group that had just returned commented that I had been painting for a long time. They didn’t ask to paint, but I knew they wanted to. So I put aside my “if I don’t do it, it won’t get done” attitude, and let them paint. By then we had started painting the crème color on the walls, and it looked really good. I went outside and found Kaylee surrounded by ten children. We brought them all back to the camp and gave them stickers of the good Samaritan story. I suggested that we acted the story out for them, so Daniel, Kaylee, Cassidy, and I acted out the story, using the very little Spanish that I knew. That was my favorite part of the day. I learned all of the children’s names, and we talk quite well together, although it is kinda difficult with the language barrier. God is ever-working in and through us here in Panama, and it is amazing to see what he has done, and what he is doing, with this village. I love the people here, and I cannot wait to see what will happen tomorrow. Whatever it will be, I know God’s hand will be on it all. ~Diana Dvorak

Panama is by far the most beautiful place I have ever been. My time here has been filled with laughter, tears, smiles, friendship, love, and joy. Over the passed few days I’ve seen so many amazing things that I hope I will never forget. Today, I was blessed with the opportunity to paint the inside of a church and go on a prayer walk through the village. Our prayer walk entailed us going around to people’s homes and asking if they needed help or prayer for anything, all but one lady allowed us to pray for them. The lady while she was thankful that we came, she said she would go to church if she needed prayed for. While that was a very humbling experience, it didn‘t weaken our spirit as we kept going to other homes. Later, a group of little village children joined our group. We decided to walk down to the pier, my little girl Ruth told me she had to go put her sticker story away. As she ran off, I realized she was going to the house of the lady I mentioned earlier. And while the memory still stung, I realized that I had a purpose there when Ruth came running out of the house toward me with the biggest smile on her face laughing for no reason. As I spent my time at the pier with Ruth and her brother Josue, I couldn’t help but love them as we laughed as we struggled to communicate. As I’m sitting here writing, Ruth and Josue are around playing with other students here in our base camp. Ruth, Josue, and many others, I will never forget their faces, smiles, and laughter. But most of all, their joy. Their joy for living life, because it’s beyond contagious, and you can’t help but feel this joy when you’re around them. This is only one memory of many that I will take away from this trip and I can’t wait to see what God will do in the hearts of all of us on the rest of the trip. Love, Amy Chadwell

Today my morning coffee was made in a pot 300 yards away at a local church kitchen. This same pot was walked over slippery grass and leaves in the pouring rain by our translator, Steve. Vanilla milk was offered as the perfect addition. It was poured into a navy blue (my favorite color) 8oz plastic cup--too hot to touch except the rim. It is perfect. I’m sorry for all the non coffee drinkers who are missing out. There is no coffee like Panamanian coffee sipped outside, under a tin roof, out of the rain, with the ocean waves crashing in the distance, contemplating the creation of God. Wish you were here, Pattie Graffe I’m sitting here listening to rain thump down on the tin roof of the church we’re helping remodel. There are no side walls, only a front and back, and half of a concrete floor. Our plan was to fill the other half with concrete, but bad weather has halted many of our efforts. Bad weather is also a cause for most of us being more tired today than usual. We were awaken abruptly last night by rain blowing into tents and thunder and lightening disrupting the silence of sleep. I kid you not, the rain was so loud on the tin roof of our camp last night that you wouldn’t be able to hear a conversation with a person two feet away from you. Although it was an inconvenience for many, having to get up and put the rain flies on, not being able to sleep with the noise, it was a great reminder of God’s power. Now we are dealing with the aftermath of last nights chaos. Usually I would complain; we get enough rain back home. Yet this rain is welcomed on my burned neck and blistered hands. It is cool to see my fellow teammates, and the Panamanians working through this rain as well. God’s strength is flowing through all of us, giving us that second wind to shovel rock, pound ground, pour concrete, and share His love with the people around us. We have three more days, including today, for organized serving. I’m excited to see how God will continue to appear and impact lives. Karen se dice hola a mis amigos en los estados. (Karen is the little girl sitting next to me as I type this, she says hello to my friends in the states). Jorge se dice hola tambien. Tambien David.
~Michaela Nelson

And I thought I could escape the rain by going to Panama…well I guess God has some serious plant growing to do here. Yesterday, we took the rain fly off our tent to allow more air to get in. Woops. At about 3:30 this morning, the rain pouring through our tent woke us up, so we had to get out and put the fly back on. Although the rain has been inconvenient, it has served as a reminder of God’s presence wherever I am, whether that may be Gig Harbor, Panama, or anywhere in between.
This morning, we read Psalm 29 for an optional prayer time. The Psalm talked about God’s voice thundering over the waters and coming down in flames of fire. That is exactly what happened last night and this week, both physically and spiritually. Up until last night, I didn’t feel God’s presence as I usually do. I had many distractions that pulled me away from Him such as being tired, hungry or wet from the pounding rain. Last night, I asked God to rid me of these distractions blocking me from effectively serving Him, and He delivered.
Today, the main thing my group did was visit a school and go into classrooms with kids of all ages. At first we did ice breaking games and introduced ourselves and then shared testimonies. After that, we had someone share the gospel message with the group and pray for them. Throughout the whole day, God answered my prayer because I had energy, wasn’t hungry, and because of that, I was able to follow the nudge and share my testimony multiple times. When I was watching people share their testimonies and the message, I couldn’t help but smile. I smiled because this is what it’s all about. This is the main thing. Experiencing God’s love and sharing it with others. Yes, we’ve been pounded with rain and thunderstorms, but also have been showered and enlightened with God’s love and the plans He has for us. I am definitely excited to see what God has planned for the rest of the trip! Oh and special shout out to my family if you can even figure out how to get to this site on the internet…. J
-Daniel Johnson

I have literally had my mind blown more times than I thought possible during only the first half of this trip. For one, I thought that I would be escaping the rain when I come here, obviously I forgot the definition of a tropical place. But it is different because although it is warm, the wind blows it sideways, into our tents. The humidity and heat have taught me the value of AC and the climate back home. And the thunder and lightning have kept me up much longer than I would have liked. But it is in these things that are “bothersome” and much much more that I have also seen God. Yesterday, during morning devotions, we read Psalms 29, which says that the Lord’s voice thunders over the ocean, and causes lightning to flash. The very things that were keeping me up was actually the voice of God.
The people too have shown me a new side of God’s love I had never experienced before. There is something simply beautiful about the generosity and love that these people have shown to us, even though they do not have much at all to call their own. They embody the generosity and spirit of Christ way more than even we as a church have. They help each other not because they will get paid, or because the other person will return the favor, but because it’s the right thing to do and it’s just how they live. I was blown away by how happy they are with the little they have, especially when I compared it to how unhappy people back in the states are because of the excess we have. Through these people, God has taught me the importance of simplicity, and although I am not exactly so keen on embracing the same kind of simplicity of these people, I will most definitely me making a change to my lifestyle.
A big hello to all my family and friends back home. Mom, dad, and yes, even you Nick, I miss all of you a lot! But not enough to be homesick yet. The jungle juice works wonders, thank you, and the broad shorts dry out incredibly fast. I also lost and found my camera in the ocean one day, and found it the next day, but that’s a story for another day. I love you all and I cannot wait to share everything else with you, because I do indeed have a lot to share!
-Christopher Thomas

So far this mission trip has been so eye-opening. When we went to the orphanage the first two days of ministry I was so surprised. I went to a house with girls ages 8-16. They were so happy we were there, even though they had no idea what we were saying and we had no idea what they were saying. Just being with them was enough. They were so excited to see us come back the second day, and were waiting at the gate for us to get off the bus. Leaving them was so hard after the bonds we created after two days being with them. Knowing that we would never see them again, we lifted their names up to the Lord the night we left Casa Paraiso. Since we’ve been in Mariato, I have done two prayer walks. We cant understand the people, but Crist translates our prayers so they can understand and so we know what to pray for. The experience is amazing because everyone wants prayer and is so thankful. I never would have thought that I would be able to pray out loud for someone I met right before I prayed for them, but God gave me words. I hope that the people we have had fellowship with and have prayed for remember us and experience the light of God through us. We only have one more full ministry day, but I know God has a lot more in store for us! The camping isn’t that bad, but I’m excited to have a bed soon J
-Megan Eberhardt

Hola! Wow! This mission trip has been so amazing and unforgettable! J I’ve met some of the most wonderful people that love the Lord, and make it very clear they follow him with their whole entire heart! So far the trip has included visiting a school of such fun, encouraging children! We were there for two days, which was definitely not enough. Those two days also included visiting an orphanage full of loving kids and adults that have such patience and compassion towards the kids. The specific part of the orphanage I visited was full of HIV kids, which were so much fun and entertaining, and was also so heartbreaking knowing the awful disease they were born with that they had no control over. Today was also youth group, which was really neat because we got to lead it. We performed skits and games and testimonies. I gave my testimony in Spanish, which was really encouraging and really opened my eyes to all the amazing opportunities God has for me in my life! Rachie also gave her testimony as well, which was such a blessing listening to!! It was also so great seeing new friends we’ve made since we’ve been here in Mariato. Sadly, tomorrow is our last day in Mariato, and we will have to say adios to all the gracious people here in this loving and blessed town, but I know they’ll be in our hearts forever!!!! This trip has been indescribable and the words I’ve written cannot even begin to describe how incredibly blessed, loved, united, and inspired I feel. These people and places will forever be in my heart!
> With Love, Olivia

Being in Panama is an unforgettable experience. I have experienced and seen things that I never could have imagined if I had stayed in the United States. I knew God was everywhere, I grew up believing that but actually being here and seeing the mysterious and wonderful ways God works is mind blowing. For example, the second day we were here, our group went to a orphanage and were split up into groups of three. In my group I had Brooke and Chris and we were assigned the toddlers room. Each building at the orphanage had a different age groups. Within ten minutes there, the three of us had kids crawling all over us. I will never forget the moment when I saw a little girl sitting by her self on the ground. Honestly I was nervous because I knew there was a language barrier between us and I had no clue what to say to her but I had the nudge to go over there and before I knew it I was sitting on the ground by the little girl. It was quiet for a few moments until I got another nudge to say something. What was I suppose to say? What Spanish words did I know well enough to say without it being random? I quickly said a breath prayer “ speak now lord, your servant is listening” and instantly I knew what to say. I looked at her and smiled, she smiled back and I pointed to her smile and said “ muy bonita” meaning very beautiful. About a half an hour later, I was sitting on the couch, watching the movie Rio with the kids when the same little girl came over and sat on my lap. She and two other girls were playing dress up with my hair when she looked up at me, moved the hair out of my face and pointed to me and said “ muy bonita” and the hugged me. I was completely caught off guard but the smile she put on my face was something that I have never felt before. That night, back at the house that we were staying at, Mike and Kristen led our whole group into a discussion about what we experienced at the orphanage and then we had worship time. Aaron led us in worship and I was in tears. My heart was broken, I knew we weren’t going back and had made a connection and love with those kids and I didn’t want to leave them. I got up and saw that Brooke was in tears to. We both walked over to Jim, sat down and started to pray for those kids. I didn’t understand why they couldn’t have family who loved them, I couldn’t understand why I could take them home with me when I knew I could love them and take care of them, I didn’t understand why God would let something like this happen. I looked at Jim, in tears asking why and he said to me “ you have to trust God, he has something planned big for those kids and this is part of this plan. You loving them for two days was apart of his plan.” and then he said “ you just have experienced beautiful pain”. Never in my life, at that moment have I felt God’s presence more than I did. I don’t know what God has planned for those kids or that little Girl, but I trust God and I know only he can love them more than anyone. I don’t know what God has planned for me, but my gut feeling says I will be back in Panama very soon. God is good all the time and only he knows what lies ahead of us.
Gabby Frazier

Today was pretty relaxed just went to church then the beach. It has been a great week and a amazing experience so far. The people of Marioto are so nice and welcoming and I will never forget them.
Luke Bonnell

This morning we went to a local church service, it was three hours long. I thought it was going to be miserable. Sitting in a hot room full of people, listening to someone preach in Spanish. And the first two hours were. But towards the end of the service everybody went up to the front of the church and started praying. During that time Mike had each of us go up to a local and pray for them, and that was nice, I liked that. It ended up being a good service. After church we came back to our campsite and ate sandwiches, then went down to the beach. The rest of the day will be spent sitting and thinking back at camp.
Lauren Gillette

As you have probably heard already - our theme for the week is “follow the nudge”. The nudge - the tap - the still small voice of God. I’ve felt it in a word, in an idea, in a thought.
A word - Lord. Lord, Lord. As I meditated on the word, God gave me a verse to go with it. “Why do you call me Lord, Lord and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me an hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house who dug down deep and laid a foundation on a rock….” (see Luke 6:46-49)
An idea - Sing. As I was washing windows in the house where we were working, I realized that it was quiet. At home I’d have music playing. I felt nudged to sing. I sang. The singing has opened doors to precious relationships with the women. I speak very little Spanish, and they no English, but we can sing to each other, hug, and pray. It has opened doors to friendships here that I could have never dreamed of. When I sang at first, I had no idea of the significance of the song…
A thought - Go. Yesterday, at the home where we were working, there were 4 women in pink - Moms in Touch. They were on their way over to the church and I decided to go with them. As I’m walking over to the church, I was talking to the coordinator - Diana De Fouler - in English! They had come for the morning to give a seminar to the women of the community and church of how to pray for their kids, their schools, and their teachers.
I know that you are praying for us. God is doing great things with the people of Panama and our children. Keep following the nudge in the states and we will keep following the nudge here.
I am proud of our kids! They are working hard and serving well. They are trusting God and following the nudge. They are building their foundations upon the Rock and He is blessing them
Gloria a Dios! Renee Dvorak

How Your Student is Getting Home Thursday Night!

Hello Everyone! Right now the team is en route back to Panama City. I can't wait until they update us with stories from the past few days! Here is the plan for when the team flies home Thursday night: Flight Numbers: UA 1031U 04JUL TH PTYIAH HK20 9:55A 2:06P UA 251U 04JUL TH IAHSEA HK20 7:16P 9:47P **Please be checking the status of these flights in case of delays** The team will be picked up by a wonderful group of parents/drivers who volunteered to carpool the team back to church. If their flights are on time, plan on picking up your student from Harbor Covenant at 11:15 - 11:30 p.m. We'll be encouraging the students to borrow cell phones to get in touch with you about exactly what time they'll be back at church. If you have any other questions about how your student is getting home, please call the church office:

Friday, June 28, 2013

What a World!

Today, I was sent with my team to go down to a church and paint. We walked about 300 yards down the road and found the unfinished walls, with it’s cement structure. Michaela and I were pulled aside and we sifted dirt for a little bit. Then, we went inside the church and began to help out there. After several minutes of scraping the walls to make them smooth for painting, we began to paint the walls with the base paint. There was a limited amount of rollers, so a lot of the group went out on a walk to meet the people living around the church and to pray for them. But I stayed behind and painted with the village men that were there. Cassidy and I met a really cool guy named Isa. We had a lot of fun painting with him. We couldn’t speak Spanish very well, and he couldn’t speak English very well, but we communicated through actions. It’s really cool to be able to talk to the people without words. Sometimes it’s difficult to speak to them, because neither one of you know what the other is saying, but when you finally understand, it’s really exciting. Isa laughed when Cassidy and I got in a water fight. When the rest of the group got back, they swapped out, and the other group went out. But Cassidy and I still stayed back. I didn’t want to leave the relationships I had formed, and Cassidy wasn’t feeling her best. But the group that had just returned commented that I had been painting for a long time. They didn’t ask to paint, but I knew they wanted to. So I put aside my “if I don’t do it, it won’t get done” attitude, and let them paint. By then we had started painting the crème color on the walls, and it looked really good. I went outside and found Kaylee surrounded by ten children. We brought them all back to the camp and gave them stickers of the good Samaritan story. I suggested that we acted the story out for them, so Daniel, Kaylee, Cassidy, and I acted out the story, using the very little Spanish that I knew. That was my favorite part of the day. I learned all of the children’s names, and we talk quite well together, although it is kinda difficult with the language barrier. God is ever-working in and through us here in Panama, and it is amazing to see what he has done, and what he is doing, with this village. I love the people here, and I cannot wait to see what will happen tomorrow. Whatever it will be, I know God’s hand will be on it all.
~Diana Dvorak

Panama is by far the most beautiful place I have ever been. My time here has been filled with laughter, tears, smiles, friendship, love, and joy. Over the passed few days I’ve seen so many amazing things that I hope I will never forget. Today, I was blessed with the opportunity to paint the inside of a church and go on a prayer walk through the village. Our prayer walk entailed us going around to people’s homes and asking if they needed help or prayer for anything, all but one lady allowed us to pray for them. The lady while she was thankful that we came, she said she would go to church if she needed prayed for. While that was a very humbling experience, it didn‘t weaken our spirit as we kept going to other homes. Later, a group of little village children joined our group. We decided to walk down to the pier, my little girl Ruth told me she had to go put her sticker story away. As she ran off, I realized she was going to the house of the lady I mentioned earlier. And while the memory still stung, I realized that I had a purpose there when Ruth came running out of the house toward me with the biggest smile on her face laughing for no reason. As I spent my time at the pier with Ruth and her brother Josue, I couldn’t help but love them as we laughed as we struggled to communicate. As I’m sitting here writing, Ruth and Josue are around playing with other students here in our base camp. Ruth, Josue, and many others, I will never forget their faces, smiles, and laughter. But most of all, their joy. Their joy for living life, because it’s beyond contagious, and you can’t help but feel this joy when you’re around them. This is only one memory of many that I will take away from this trip and I can’t wait to see what God will do in the hearts of all of us on the rest of the trip.
Love, Amy Chadwell

Today my morning coffee was made in a pot 300 yards away at a local church kitchen. This same pot was walked over slippery grass and leaves in the pouring rain by our translator, Steve. Vanilla milk was offered as the perfect addition. It was poured into a navy blue (my favorite color) 8oz plastic cup--too hot to touch except the rim. It is perfect. I’m sorry for all the non coffee drinkers who are missing out. There is no coffee like Panamanian coffee sipped outside, under a tin roof, out of the rain, with the ocean waves crashing in the distance, contemplating the creation of God.
Wish you were here, Pattie Graffe

I’m sitting here listening to rain thump down on the tin roof of the church we’re helping remodel. There are no side walls, only a front and back, and half of a concrete floor. Our plan was to fill the other half with concrete, but bad weather has halted many of our efforts. Bad weather is also a cause for most of us being more tired today than usual. We were awaken abruptly last night by rain blowing into tents and thunder and lightening disrupting the silence of sleep. I kid you not, the rain was so loud on the tin roof of our camp last night that you wouldn’t be able to hear a conversation with a person two feet away from you. Although it was an inconvenience for many, having to get up and put the rain flies on, not being able to sleep with the noise, it was a great reminder of God’s power. Now we are dealing with the aftermath of last nights chaos. Usually I would complain; we get enough rain back home. Yet this rain is welcomed on my burned neck and blistered hands. It is cool to see my fellow teammates, and the Panamanians working through this rain as well. God’s strength is flowing through all of us, giving us that second wind to shovel rock, pound ground, pour concrete, and share His love with the people around us. We have three more days, including today, for organized serving. I’m excited to see how God will continue to appear and impact lives. Karen se dice hola a mis amigos en los estados. (Karen is the little girl sitting next to me as I type this, she says hello to my friends in the states). Jorge se dice hola tambien. Tambien David.
~Michaela Nelson

Casa Paraiso

Hey Everyone, I know you can't wait until the next blog post from the Panama Crew (I can't either! :), but until they are able to post another update, here is a great video that talks about the place where the team stays while they are in Panama City. If you haven't seen the video already, it gives you a great picture of where your student was living for a couple days!

Casa Paraiso Panama from Batchelor Visions on Vimeo.

Also, another video the check out is the one below. It talks about the Ministry the students are serving through, Sonrise Ministries Panama. It's an older video, but again, it will give you a sense of the kinds of things our team is up to down there!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Follow the Nudge

These are several blogs from our adventures and experiences over the last several days. We are currently in Mariato, Panama, which is much more rural than where we started our trip. We will do our best to continue to make regular posts to the blog, but if it ends up being a few days, we will be back in Panama City on Monday. Pictures will probably come Monday. But in the meantime, enjoy the following...

Dear Panama, you are definitely more than I expected. And beautiful pain is a great way to describe the way you’ve left me feeling after these first two days. Just to hold the hand of a beautiful girl with special needs. To have her speaking to me and not understand a word. To pray for her and have her wrap her arms around me and never want to let me go…is to feel the pure love of God in such a real way. As I was leaving, she said one word that I could understand, ‘recuerdo’, which means ‘I will remember’. I told her I love her and God loves her, and then I had to leave. But oh I didn’t know what to think. I sat silent on the bus on the way home to Paraiso, just as I am sitting silent on this 6 hour bus trip today to Mariato. I can’t help but remember the names of the eight kids I prayed for last night. Or the boy at the school who wanted so badly to salsa with me, that he pushed his friend aside when it was time to switch partners. I know God has a plan for every girl and boy that I have met, and that He also has plan for me. Yes, I might be familiar with this amazing culture, but I am continually being surprised and challenged with every experience. And I love it. Dios te bendiga! Love, Cassidy Sharrett

Dear Panama, I never expected this trip to be as impacting as it has been. This trip so far has been beautiful, but also very painful. The past two days spent in the orphanage and in the school left me attached to kids that I know I will never see again. I spent the days in the school teaching the third and forth graders English, Spanish, and bible study. They showed us so much love and so much gratitude. Calling us all teacher and calling me Miss. Emma. I spent most of the time with a girl named Marissa, She was in the class I was teaching. She came up to me crying and saying she had a headache, so I took her outside and held her for what seemed like hours. After we left we traveled to Malambo orphanage where I was one of the three people assigned to the toddler house. That was the house with kids ranging from a few months old, to two years old. We came in and helped with feeding and just gave the kids love. Immediately after coming in the first day one little girl ran up to me and would not let me put her down for the whole two days that we were there. Her name was Anitalia. If I even put her down for one second to stretch my arms, she would reach up and cry to be held again. These kids broke my heart when they called us all Momma over and over again to get our attention. These little babies were convinced that we were going to take them home and actually be their “Momma.” This trip has been full of beautiful pain. I just wish I could bring them all home with me! Love you all, Emma Collins

Dear Panama, I never thought I could fall in love with kids this easy. The very first day we were in the school Tyler and I went into the Kindergarten room just to goof off with the kids and sing songs and color. These kids had so much energy and everything they did made me laugh. I fell in love with a little boy named Aaron. I drew a picture and he liked it a lot so he drew the same thing, came over to me and put it down on the table. I looked at it and pointed at my picture. He nodded his head like he was saying “Yeah its just like yours!” I felt so touch and I hugged him and when I tried to let go he held on tighter. I spent the rest of the class holding him until his teacher said he had to go. The next day he remembered me. He ran up and hugged me and then turned around to look at his classmates while leaning against me. It made me feel so loved. At the orphanage I was one of three people who went to help out with the very young toddlers. The first day when we walked in the kids were eating their food and so we just went right in and started to feed them a rice and bean mix. When they were done in the next room a little girl ran up to me and sat on my lap. We all sat and bounced them on our laps and dipped them back and when they came up they had the most beautiful smiles on their faces and the would giggle and start to throw themselves back again and we would follow their actions and dip them and bring them back up. It was very hard to let these kids go. When you have three babies wanting to be held at the same time and everyone else has three babies to watch you are torn because all of them want to be high up but you have no choice but to sit. When one girl called me Momma I didn’t know what to do because I didn’t want to give her a false hope that I could take her home. She called me Momma twice and it broke my heart to leave her behind because I would love to have kept her but I cant and all I can do is pray she and the other kids we met grow up to be amazing people. As we left the toddler room on the second day all of the children ran up to the door and started yelling at us and giggling and smiling and I just wanted to go back in there and lift them all up and spin them around but I just waved and turned around and walked away. I will never forgot those babies and all the laughter and smiles they had and I hope that when they grow up they laugh just as much and they smile just as much and they are happy. I will never forget their faces and how they lit up when we walked to them and how their noses would scrunch up when they laughed and how their eyes would water when we put them down. I am going to miss them forever but I am so grateful that I got to spend the time I was given at the orphanage with them. Love, Mackenzie Nelson

Dear Panama, It’s only day 5 and I never want to leave. The first two days spending time in the orphanage with Gabbie and Chris with kids ages two to five have changed my life forever. I didn’t expect to get attached to them so easily. Hours of smiles, toys, cookies and adventures on the playground left me breathless at the end of it. One of the little girls was named Helen, she was two years old. When we got to the house with the children in it on the first day, she wouldn’t say a word to me. I tried to interact with her as much as I could but she was so shy. In the last hour we were there on day one she came up to me while a little boy of about eight was sitting on my lap and she joined him. The two kids on my lap were the kids that could make me smile in an instant. On day two I played with the two kids again. We collected toys, raced some “cars” or tricycles around the little outdoor patio and had a couple of booboos along the way. I have never, in my entire life smiled brighter than I did on that day. They caused me to feel what Mike would call “beautiful pain.” Leaving the orphanage brought numerous tears to my eyes knowing I would most likely never get to see these children again. In our debrief time at the end of the day, we lifted the names of the kids that impacted us to God. I was so thankful for Jim to be there for Gabbie and I. His prayers for us, the kids and the families were what helped us through the tears of beautiful pain by helping it be known that the future of those children would not be in our hands and it is all up to God. I will always remember all of those kids and that God has an amazing plan for them. I hope I impacted them as much as they touched my heart in ways I never thought possible. Love, Brooke Fisher

Dear Panama, Oh how I am amazed I am with the beauty here. Not only the country itself, but the people as well are so beautiful. The first two days spending time with the children was outstanding. Never have I felt such joy around little kids. Two little boys, Aaron and Angel, filled my heart with such joy that I started to cry. Aaron just wanted to be held and loved. Angel had so much energy and was willing to try anything. I taught him how to throw a football and he played catch with Mike and I for most of the time we were at the park. As we drove around I got to see how beautiful the country was. Green trees and grass, but not like back home. Leigh and I picked mangos off a tree outside the house and ate them fresh. Never have I had such a delicious mango. I love it here! The people are amazing and so welcoming. The weather and the landscape are just as beautiful. I never want to leave this place and I know it will hurt me to say goodbye. I never imagined I would love it this much. Love, Tyler Stolz

As one of the privileged adult volunteers (however, most of the students would debate my “adult” status!) I’ll never cease being amazed about what God can and will do when we get away from the trappings of the “good life“. The illusion of stuff to make you happy is never more evident than on a trip like this. To see our students “unplug” and really love others as Jesus taught, to serve as He did, to engage with others is really heartwarming. To have a front-row seat for all of this is truly humbling. In just the short time we have been here, several of our students are looking at missions or working with children as their life work. When your students come home, they will be filthy, smelly, tired, and have lots of really icky laundry. But they will be different. They are changing. You WILL have a different student coming back home. Please continue to pray for broken hearts, humble attitudes, ears that hear, and reactions to “the nudge”.

Blessings,

Jim Graffe

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wednesday, June 26

The Panama Team is headed out to a town called Mariato today and will be there until Monday when they come back to Panama City. Just in case they don't have internet out there, here's where they are!

Day 2... June 25th

Buses. Piggy-back rides. Soccer. Salsa lessons. Espanol. Joy. Laughter. Mangoes. Swings. Bracelets. Hannah Montana. Tears. Water. Humility. Sunshine. We will shout. Blue. Follow the nudge. all of which explain our beautiful pain and our second full day in Panama.

Our second day in Panama was much like the first; we went to help out at the school, then spent time with children at the orphanage. However, today showed me how extremely hard and emotionally taxing the rest of this trip will be. Yesterday I met a girl named Grace. We spent time together teaching each other new words and just talking. She was one of the smartest, most caring and mature 4th graders I had ever seen in my life; she stole my heart in a way she’ll probably never know. So today was time to say goodbye to Grace and the rest of the children and staff. We went from room to room, praying for the kids, teachers, classrooms, etc. Finally when we got to Grace’s class, I stood behind her with my hand on her shoulder and she offered to share a prayer as well. She spoke very quietly and I could barely hear her, but I realized that she was praying for me, for a safe journey home. She gave me so much in that one moment, and there was so much I wanted to say to her, but I couldn’t find the right words. So, I took off my necklace and put it around her neck, because it was the only thing I could do in that moment. I really hope that she keeps it, as a reminder that someone will always be looking out for her, and that there will always be someone who cares. I want nothing more than for her to grow up and be happy, and the same for all the other kids I met today. They deserve nothing less than that. I hope that during the rest of this trip, we can continue to spread happiness and hope to everyone we come in contact with. I am so blessed to be here and I can’t wait to see what else we can accomplish. –Alexa DeYoung

Day 2 and I’m already questioning why I’m going to college instead of moving here, to Panama. Here, every action feels purposeful and “finding God”, typically a complex hunt, feels blessedly simple. We started the day off like yesterday, at a local elementary school. On our way to the school, I was, admittedly, nervous. I’m not one of those people that just has that natural gift with little kids- I have cleverly evaded baby-sitting jobs for the past four years now. With that said, my time at the school was incredible. Kids were jumping all over me, wanting endless hugs and piggy back rides. We played tag, frisbee, soccer, and even salsa danced (true story, these hips don’t lie). There was one kid in particular that made today especially heart-wrenching. Juan spent more time on my back than on his feet and when it was time to leave, he refused to let go. I kept trying to say goodbye; saying I didn’t want to leave, I had to leave. His teacher came over in an effort to help, and when the effort proved fruitless she explained that Juan’s mother works constantly and is never home. He was raised by a loving grandmother who passed away just two weeks ago. Needless to say, that added a good ten minutes to this goodbye process. With my choppy (to put it generously) Spanish, I told him that it was time for me to go, but he would always be my friend. Walking away from that beautiful kid left me with deep, painful ache that can only be labeled love. But I figure if God loves Juan even more than I do, I’m just gonna have to trust that he’s in good hands. –Casie Lively

God is so good! I have always known that he works in miraculous ways and always provides but I had never experienced it personally. The past few days have really opened my eyes to this. Here in Panama I have experienced a kind of love that I didn’t know existed. The children we worked with at the school were so beautiful. They are so full of joy even though they do not necessarily have a reason too. We were told that many of the children lived in homes where their parents worked multiple jobs and were never home with their children. Because of this they loved to be held and touched. It was a fabulous feeling to have smiling children running up to you and climbing all over you. It is such a blessing to serve when you receive such a love in return. With all this love and witnessing the beautiful, we have also been heartbroken through this trip. Working at the orphanage these past two days has been difficult for many reasons. First there is the language barrier and secondly just the awkwardness of meeting new people. My group was put with the teenage girls and at first it was very difficult because they were very quiet and unwilling to interact. Later in the day a really cool translator came and we were able to communicate through her. It broke my heart to hear the stories of the girls living there. Immediately I felt the urge to pray for a certain girl. I truly believe that God spoke through me during that time because I had no idea what I was supposed to say- just that she needed prayer. I am so excited to see what else God has in store for us this week and I put all my faith in him. –Rachel White

Today our second day in panama was a lot like our first we started out by going to a local school were we started out by hearing a couple songs performed by the kids at the school (2 in English and 1 in Spanish) they were very good! Next at the school I went to down to the local park with the 4th and 5th graders were we played soccer I met a really cool student his name was Angle he loved piggy back rides… and soon after we took them back to the school it was time to bring the 1st and 2nd graders down, they were a lot of fun they did not want so many piggy backrides as the others. right before we left we got to go into all of the class rooms and have a chance to pray for all the kids it was such a great experience! , as soon as we were done at the school we went to an orphanage, were I was with younger kids probably ages 1-6 were we just played outside and just held them and showed them love. It was really hard to leave because you knew you would never see them again and they grew so attached to you. After that we just went back to the house and had a chance to relax and take a well needed shower. That’s pretty much a day in panama! –Derek Erikson

Monday, June 24, 2013

El 24 de Junio

We have arrived in Panama and are just wrapping up our first full day in the country!!! Our trip down could not have gone anymore smoothly, from our check in at the airport, to on-time plane travel, and hassle-free immigration and customs. Our team is full of energy and has jumped into this adventure with everything they have.

Here are Hunter and Alexis's description of our first day here...

Fun. I’m blogging in Panama. The place I have been talking about for months. It is so much more amazing that I ever thought it would be. And its only the first full day!!!! I saw Gods work everywhere today. I felt it personally in myself. I helped teach a 4th grade bible class. It was awesome. The kids understood and finished the teachers worksheet with my help. I saw many smiles and it was so contagious. The highlight of my day was when we were at the orphanage. I talked as much I could with the little Spanish I have leaned to a young 12 year old girl who had been there for 8 years. She told me that she sees her mom 2 Sundays of each month. She was the sweetest girl. I also successfully taught her the cup song I have been learning even through our language barrier. It was so much fun. I think this was the best use of the word fun ever! I can not wait to see where the nudge takes me tomorrow! - Hunter

Today was my first official day in Panama. I still can’t believe I’m in this beautiful country! I have dreamt about this place since I was little, now I’m actually here. Of course it’s not everything I expected, but that’s what makes it better. After eating breakfast and having devotional, we went to an elementary school to help out. The children there were filled with life. I can still see them squeal with excitement and running to us with open hands, ready to receive our love. Later on, I helped out with teaching the 1st grade English class. It was unbelievable how smart the kids were and how much English they already knew. At lunch I learned that even in Panama you still can’t escape the rain. After lunch we went to the Paraiso Casa and learned about the adoption system and Ley 61 (law 61), which was generally about the difficulties of adopting in Panama. Right after, we went to an orphanage that ranged from 10 month babies to 18 year olds. I was able to spend my time with toddlers who were tragically were born with HIV. The part that most awed me the most was that the kids looked perfectly normal. Full of energy, joy in their eyes, and wiling to express there love with anyone. Now it almost time for dinner, and I can’t wait to go back tomorrow. Already God has opened my eyes to wonderful new things, and I can’t wait for the next one. - Alexis J.

Monday, June 10, 2013


PIRATE NIGHT!
6:00-8:00
bring an eye patch and make sure you don't "dance the hempen jig"

Monday, May 27, 2013

Senior Night

We'll be taking some time to encourage our soon to be graduates...we'll have some fun some don't miss it!

Monday, May 20, 2013

5x5x5

Strange night
Semi strange title
Guaranteed challenge and fun
Bring a friend or four!

Monday, May 13, 2013

MAN HUNT



This Wednesday is our annual "man hunt". Your team will be given 45 minutes to "capture" as many people from the HCMWL (Harbor Cov Most Wanted List) as possible. Bring some friends and be at Harbor Cov at 7:30

Monday, May 6, 2013

THRIFT STORE FASHION SHOW



This Wednesday night is our first ever Thrift Store Fashion Show. Here's what you need to do:
1. Come to Youth Group on Wednesday (7:30-9:00)
2. Wear clothes that are either "hand me downs" or that you purchased at a thrift store
3. Bring some money to make up the difference between what your outfit would have cost if you bought it retail and what you actually spent on it
4. We'll give all the money to help support kids in the Democratic Republic of Congo (statistically the poorest country in the world)
You do these simple steps and we'll put together a pretty sweet program and the night should end up fun and significant

Monday, April 29, 2013

PRAISE & WORSHIP


PRAISE & WORSHIP
Wednesday 7:30-9:00
Hot Chocolate and drip coffee are free but if you want foo-foo drinks you'll need to bring some extra cash. Here's an idea, bring $5.00, buy some weird latte deal and then give the change to Congo Kids!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Cardboard Testimony




This Wednesday is "Cardboard Testimony" Night
You'll have the opportunity to have fun, meet people, and wrestle with your story
Be there and bring a friend or 3

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Youth Group - no Movie Night - yes

There is no Wednesday night youth group this week due to Spring Break  but we will be going to the 6:30 showing of the movie 42 on Tuesday night. This is a BYOT (buy your own ticket) and FYOR (find your own ride) event

Monday, April 8, 2013

GAME SHOW MADNESS

This Wednesday come prepared for all kinds of game show craziness. Bring a friend or three and perhaps you win some "valuable" cash prizes

Monday, April 1, 2013

When Nature Calls

Our "when nature calls" night is back this Wednesday night. Little did you know that a simple nature show could entertain AND challenge us. This is a great night to bring a friend or four!

Monday, March 25, 2013

EASTER PREP

This Wednesday we will preparing ourselves for the Easter reality. We'll attempt to move past eggs and family brunches to the horror and surprise of the actual event
Remember to bring your "Kash For Congo"

Monday, March 11, 2013

L.S.D. 2013


L.S.D. 2013
This Wednesday we will tackle the topic of Love, Sex & Dating. The night will include some "Battle of the Sexes" as well as pretty straight forward discussion on the topic of "LSD". I guarantee the night will be both fun and challenging

Monday, March 4, 2013

PRAISE & WORSHIP

This week we will be gathering for a time of worship. We will be meeting at the usual time (7:30-9:00) but in an unusual place (we're gathering for the new part of the church building). See you Wednesday and bring a friend or four

Monday, February 25, 2013

WINTER DESSERT

This Wednesday is our annual Winter Dessert from 6:30-8:00. This event is for the whole family so bring the whole family! The night will be filled with looking back AND looking forward...filled with laughter and healthy desserts (cough cough wink wink)

Monday, February 18, 2013

GAR and Winter Dessert

There is no Wednesday night youth group due to stupid week (I mean presidents week) but GAR runs from 10:00am Tuesday - 10:00am Thursday.
The following Wednesday is our annual Winter Dessert from 6:30-8:00. Bring the whole family for Beach Freeze highlights plus much, much more

Monday, February 11, 2013

Ash Wednesday = Double Youth Group


This Wednesday is a unique night for our High School group because the night will consist of 2 Parts:
PART 1 - Ash Wednesday Service (7:00-8:00)
We will gather in the worship center to begin Lent and our 40 day journey to the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. If you have never attended our Ash Wednesday Service then I really encourage you to give it a try. If you have been before then you know it is an amazing service!

PART 2 - A&W (8:00-9:00)
We will meet in room 101 for A&W floats and a time to discuss Ash Wednesday, Lent, why people "give up things for Lent" and get ourselves ready for GAR

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

D-Nite

This Wednesday is our first D-Nite of the year
We will wrestle with a classic Christian discipline (practice) and then seek to put into our daily routine.
We will meet from 7:30-9:00 IN ROOM 101

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Beach Freeze Medical Release Form


HARBOR COVENANT CHURCH
MEDICAL RELEASE AND PARENTAL PERMISSION FORM
Good For All Youth Trips and Events Through August 31, 2013
                                                                                     
Student Name ______________________________ Age ____ Grade ____  Gender ______
Date of Birth _______/_______/__________  High School Graduate Year _____________
Address _____________________________________ City ________________ Zip _______
Parent’s Names _________________________________________ Home # _____________
Parent’s Email __________________________________________ Cell # ______________
Parent’s Address ______________________________ City _______________ Zip _______
Alternate Contact ___________________ Phone # _____________ Work # ____________

MEDICAL INFORMATION:
Allergies: __________________________________________________________________
Medication Being Taken: _____________________________________________________
Physical Handicaps or Limitations: _____________________________________________
Medical Insurance Company: __________________________________________________
Policy Number: ________________________  Member’s Name: _____________________

Primary Physician: ________________________ Physician’s Phone# _________________
Any additional information should be provided on the back of this release form.


I give permission for ______________________________ (student’s name) to travel with Harbor Covenant Church (Gig Harbor, WA) from September 1, 2012August 31, 2013.

I hereby release Harbor Covenant Church, its staff and sponsors, from responsibility and liability for any injury and illness that my child may sustain during this activity. In the event of an emergency, I hereby authorize an adult leader of this activity, as an agent for me, to consent to any x-ray examination; medical, dental or surgical diagnosis; treatment; and hospital care as advised by a physician, surgeon or dentist (as appropriate) as listened to practice under the laws of the state/province where the services are rendered, either at the doctors office or in any hospital. I expect to be contacted as soon as possible.

I also understand that if my child is disruptive, brings alcohol, drugs, weapons, causes any injury to themselves or others, or engages in any unacceptable behavior, I will be responsible to remove my child from this activity and transport them immediately back to Gig Harbor.

The undersigned gives permission to Harbor Covenant Church to photograph his or her son or daughter and use the resulting photographs for any purpose that Harbor Covenant Church deems proper.  (For further explanation, please contact us.)


_______________________________________________________  ______/_____/______
                 Parent or Legal Guardian                                          Date

Harbor Covenant Church 5601 Gustafson Dr. NW, Gig Harbor, WA 98335 – (253) 851-8450