Kingdom Workers are Changed. This is one of many truths that we have been encountered with during our time in Holland Michigan. The themes for the week are coming from Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus.
We started with Ephesians 4:17 which says “So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.”
Matt Christian, one of our speakers for the week explained it like this, “Paul doesn’t say you’re wrecked, he says its time to grow up and venture out in the strength that God gave you.” In both the Morning and Evening sessions the illustration of a caterpillar going through metamorphosis was used. Renew, Retrain, Replace. Those words can apply to a caterpillar and the process it goes through. It applies to us as well.
Stickers were passed out among the auditorium, we were called to write on the back casing of the sticker, the things that we no longer wanted to burden us, on the front of the sticker we wrote the exact opposite of the back. We wrote of the things we want Jesus to change. Pieces of plexi- glass was passed around and we put the sticker on it. The MOVE staff then put together a ginormous butterfly from the glass to symbolize the change that Jesus can do within us because Kingdom Workers are changed.
Though our time in Holland is coming to an end soon we still continue to pray for God to use the time to MOVE within the students here. It’s amazing to see the impact of the teachings and time together.
Kingdom Workers are United. This is one of many truths that we have been encountered with during our time in Holland Michigan. The themes for the week are coming from Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus. Continue reading
James, the brother of Jesus, begins his letter, “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ…” This is a huge step for this former skeptic to declare with all that he is that Jesus is Lord, and Jesus is Christ, and he (James) is a servant to both God and Christ. Our study while here in Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic this week is from James’ letter. The theme emblazoned on our team t-shirts is “This Changes Everything” which comes straight from this letter, and the way that seeing the risen Christ changed everything for James.
It’s particularly noteworthy that with al of this in mind, and we flew into a city in the DR called Santiago (which in Spanish is “St. James), named after this man, James (Jesus’ half brother). Santiago quite literally is the place this week that “everything changes” for us. Leaving behind some of the comforts of home, this team of 19 is seeking to simply be the Lord’s servants this week in all that’s ahead.
Our travel from Indianapolis started before 5a on Tuesday morning and ended when we arrived at the Caribbean mountain Academy well into the night. We had a little bit of a scare that one of our adult leaders, Andy Goodwin, would miss our connecting flight into the DR from Miami, as his incoming flight was delayed from pulling into its gate because of a mechanical problem with a plane in front of it. The crew had actually sealed the door and began to remove the jetway from the plane the rest of the team was on, which was the last flight into the DR for the day. Hope seemed bleak as they sealed the door of our flight and the jetway began to roll back. Then finally Andy was able to exit his flight, and as he made his way to our gate, the gate agent ushered him down the jetway making a way for him to get aboard, and at the very last second, the jetway was reattached and the door unsealed and Andy was able to join us to the sound of our cheers and excitement. It may seem like a little thing, but even in a little bit of a stressful situation Andy said that he had a peace about it, and so did most of us as well. Just one of the many ways we’ve felt the Lord’s provision and protection over this team seeing us safely here for the work ahead.
This morning begins with breakfast and orientation here at CMA, and then it’s off to Majaguita, to possibly start in on some bridge work. We’re excited for the day ahead as we all seek to be the Lord’s servants in whatever capacity He leads.
Nahum 1: God’s Answer to Injustice
By: Madyson Elmore
Nahum 1:2 “God is serious business. He won’t be trifled with…” (The Message) and He sent Nahum to prove it!
Nahum wrote this as a poem. Chapter one was written to share God’s majesty and might. He wrote chapter two & three to share details about what happened in Nineveh.
Nahum was sent as a prophet, around 612 BC, to Nineveh to warn them that they would soon be destroyed. Just like Jonah, and later Zephaniah, he was to tell them that their sins against God had continued on for too long.
Nineveh was known for its wealth, but the Bible emphasizes their problem with prostitution. God was not pleased with the way the people of Nineveh were acting. Jonah, reluctantly, had already been sent to Nineveh to warn them. They had changed their ways for the time being. Later, they returned to their old ways and God was not happy. Nahum 1:7-8 The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him, but with an overwhelming flood he will make an end of Nineveh (NIV). God is a loving and caring God, but He had to put His foot down when He saw the things that were happening in Nineveh.
Nahum’s prophecy was fulfilled about 10-15 years later. Nineveh went up in flames just like he had prophesied. Verse 3 says that Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished… it’s safe to say He’s serious.
We asked our two summer interns, Madison Baker and Halle Smith, to put together some words that summarized their summer experience and ways they grew and things they learned–both about God and themselves.
Words from Madison:
Throughout this summer I had the opportunity to be an intern with youth ministry under the leadership of Anne and Nick. I’ve been very blessed because every Tuesday and Wednesday I was given the opportunity to grow as a leader and as a follower in Christ. I’ve been to staff meetings, updated the youth blog, and read a powerful book called RADICAL . One day during the internship, Anne had both Halle and I take a 5 fold ministry test, a personality test, and a couple of Life Quest tests. They were all designed to help us see where our leadership skills are and how we connect most to God. Through the tests, I found out that since I enjoy finding new ways to explain ideas to other people, I would be best in the ministry of teaching. One of the Life Quest tests showed me how I best connect with God. I found that I best connect with God by loving God with celebration. By clapping, worshipping through song, and dancing with excitement I connect with God, which is true. At CIY MOVE when a powerful song came on, all I wanted to do was dance. Throughout the summer I’ve experienced and learned that when I can not see God working in my life, it’s my challenge to come to Him with a quiet mind and wait on Him to show me His powerful work. I’ve learned that even when I walk off my spiritual path, I have not lost God or His love for me.
Thank you to the Chapel Rock Staff for the love and support you have shown me this summer, thank you to everyone that comes to The Vine Sunday mornings for participating in the morning activities, and a HUGE thank you to Nick and Anne for letting me apart of the internship. This is a summer and experience I will never forget.
Words from Halle:
Doing the youth ministry summer internship was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I remember coming into the office Tuesday, June 5th having no idea how much I would grow from coming into the office 2 days a week and working under Nick and Anne. I loved helping prepare for CIY MOVE, the cookouts, and Sunday mornings. But besides that, I loved learning about the church, God, and myself. I learned about the church from the book Radical. This book really challenged me to take a new approach to the Church and what God calls it to look like. My favorite chapter was when David Platt talked about how it is the church’s responsibility to spread the Gospel. Jesus never said it would be safe, and He did say we might be hated and persecuted. But it’s what God calls us to do, despite the risks.
What I learned about myself this summer was how much I love working in youth ministry. I think this hit me when I went to the Jr. High week of Summer in the Son at KCU. It was only 2 years ago that I was a student at SITS, so it was weird to go as a sponsor! But I loved it so much. Getting to know the kids, especially the incoming 7th graders, was awesome. Each one of them was so beautiful (and most of them were morning people). I especially loved leading a small group and mentoring the students. That week of SITS was when I realized how much I enjoyed being a leader to students.
Thank you CRYM and Chapel Rock staff for welcoming us this summer and for the support. Thank you especially to Nick and Anne for letting me a part of this amazing opportunity and for being a great example of what a Godly leader looks like. Doing this internship was one of the best things I’ve done and has me thinking about youth ministry as an occupation. I will never forget this experience!
We were SO blessed to have Halle and Madison with us this summer. Not only were they so helpful to the everyday tasks of youth ministry, but getting to learn from them and help them discover their gifts was a tremendous gift to us. Thank you Halle and Madison, you are amazing leaders!
Here’s our students stapling the supply lists to bags for you all to pick up this Sunday! Every fall, Chapel Rock chips in for Chapelwood Elementary by helping out buying school supplies for families that can’t.
And they’re off! Our graduated senior girls left for their adventure this morning around 11:30 or so. Keep up to follow along with updates in their journey!
It rained most of the way here but we made it! We’ve arrived and are about to unpack and get some dinner. We’ll update tonight with the week’s theme and funny bus stories!
We’re on the road and on our way home! We had an awesome week and are excited about the ways God will continue to grow and change us. Here are some questions to ask:
•What lessons hit home for you? Were there any that stood out?
•What do you feel like God is asking of you?
•Tell me a funny memory from the week.
•I read on the blog about the night leaders took the red paper off your back. What was that about?
•What’d you learn about Jesus this week as you studied the Sermon on the Mount?
We’ll have students call when we’re an hour out. See you soon!
Grab a Bible and read John 4:4-26. Don’t miss what Jesus says in vs. 26.
There are lots of cool encounters Jesus had with people. But this one with the woman at the well is one of the coolest. Jesus broke many barriers to speak into her life. First, in Jesus’ day, a man would not have spoken to a woman in this type of setting. Second, Samaritans and Jews hated each other. It’s a really long story, but basically, the Jews disliked the Samaritans so much that they would go miles out of their way to keep from walking through the region of Samaria. But Jesus didn’t care one bit.
He didn’t sugarcoat anything, either. He began to face the woman about her faith. The woman tried to get Jesus off-track by bringing up the religious arguments that existed between the Jews and Samaritans. Jesus didn’t bite. Instead, He turned the spotlight on her life of sexual recklessness. What an amazing encounter! Jesus went straight to what she really needed, and didn’t let up until she understood what was going on.
So, what was going on? Verse 26 sheds light on it. Jesus, the Messiah, was reaching someone in desperate need of a Savior. He spoke the truth. And instead of scaring her away, He drew her in. Think about this next time you have the opportunity to speak into someone’s life. Don’t shy away from the tough subjects. It’s the people who are hurting the most that need the peace only Christ can bring.