Just another quick update! We are officially back on the east coast in Charlotte. Kyle made a new friend LOL. Anyway. See you all in a little while!!
Just another quick update! We are officially back on the east coast in Charlotte. Kyle made a new friend LOL. Anyway. See you all in a little while!!
What is the most important thing you have received from this trip?
Kyle: On this trip, I learned that no matter the circumstances, people want to come and hear the good news of the gospel.
Madison: My most important thing was to step out and be bold, and to appreciate what I have.
Hunter: I loved seeing how Jesus meets us in abundant and radical ways when we obey Him and step out of our comfort zone. Whether it's hammering a nail, manual labor, or sharing the gospel, Jesus is all-sufficient in all of it. I also loved seeing the global family that we have in Christ and the love that surpasses skin color and national borders.
Ana: The most important thing for me was feeling my heart transform to be a vessel for God to use in so many ways.
Cali: On this trip, I've learned to step out and be bold in everything I do. You don't have to travel far to spread the love and word of God to others and to work hard and show love and kindness every moment you can.
Josiah: I'm so grateful for what's I have. I realized that you can have the smallest story but still change someone's life. Also that miracles are possible if you are influenced by the Lord.
Bryce: The most important thing I gained from this trip is perseverance and courage to go to all nations even back at home to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Emerson: Seeing the Holy Spirit empower our students to share testimonies and pray while witnessing Jesus heal and save on our evangelism trip was fantastic. When we prayed and handed Maria the keys of her new home that we had the privilege of building was such a special moment. Her heart was full of gratitude for God who provided in our work. I'll never forget her face! I've gained a new heart and compassion for the Mexican people and a renewed sense of unity in the body of Christ no matter the location.
Stephen: That there is an amazing boldness in our youth to spread the gospel and that God has placed powerful, faith filled, Holy Spirit led leaders to guide and grow our youth in life and in mission.
Kēvin: To pray for the Lord to fill me with the Holy Spirit daily. That being led by the Spirit is a daily necessity for the fulfillment of His work, not occasional.
Lauren: This trip really brought together the bigger picture and made me realize how much I quench the Spirit. Fruits of the Holy Spirit come from saturating yourself in the word of God which in turn increases your faith and allows your relationship with God to flourish.
Karla: This trip has altered my life. I've sensed the presence of God in the land and the Mexican people---they are so kind and humble. Our students have grown in grace and maturity. I'm so proud of In Focus Church.
Savannah: A deeper spiritual bond with my Heavenly Father. He has shown His love and power through the people, miracles, and internal change of this trip. I was reminded that God is using His love and power for me as His daughter.
Chloe: God has changed me and our team in the past 3 days more than I have ever seen before. I truly feel that this has been a huge waypoint in my walk with God. I pray that even after we leave Baja, we will continue to cherish our deep relationship with God and continue our walk with Him.
Thanks for reading! We are at the airport now awaiting for our departure time! I will upload all videos I didn't have time to upload in Mexico when I get some rest!
Today was a beautiful day of celebration and lots of fun! A fiesta was thrown for the community where we built the home!
It started out with breakfast and devotion again.
We spent time writing post cards for the supporters of Ten Days (These supporters are different than our individual supporters for the Baja Missions trip).
We made our way to the building site.
The house has yellow trim on it now and a door! Fancy!
We prayed over Maria and her house for protection and for her family to know the Lord for all the days of their lives.
We then gave her the keys to her new home and she was full of gratitude.
Such an awesome picture with all of us and Maria. Servant hearts.
We had to move quick to start setting up for the party. Blowing up balloons.
We also set up arts and crafts for the kids and you will be able to see all of that shortly!
People started to come! Slowly but surely.
Then it became packed!!
These guys rocked it. Ana sang in Spanish while Caleb was on the guitar.
These guys made my face hurt from smiling so hard :))))
Look at their faces! Loving it!!
These cool cats played soccer!
We then cleaned up and headed back to the hotel. Everyone stated that they were proud of our group. Everyone served and no one sat in their own little world.
Back to the hotel and then a break before dinner and worship!
We also took communion together as a body and said our last goodbyes. We will miss everyone!
Short sleep and then we leave at 2 in the morning the next day! Thanks for tuning in :) I have a few more posts. You especially don't want to miss the one titled "final thoughts"
Today was an awesome prayer answering day. Unfortunately there has been a lot of internet issues and I can't upload all the videos that I actually captured.....but I will when I get better internet access.
Here is the result of the two expectations that we had from the students yesterday.
Maddie: God was very present today, and healed so many lives physically and emotionally. I was nervous for today but I was bold and kept singing "every move I make" while we were walking through the city but even though I was nervous I had an awesome time!
Kyle: My day turned out very good. Pastor Ramone really spoke a good message when he said that even when we are tired and our bodies want to quit, God lifts our spirits and allows us to keep going. I saw many people come to the meeting spots and be radically changed and healed today. The best part was seeing just how many people came to hear the gospel; the numbers were shocking.
We started off with breakfast downstairs and then devotion.
This is how the boys show up to the girls room where we have devotion together as a team.
Then we get on the bus. Baja Bob gave us encouragement and prayer.
Then we were given instruction of what we would be doing. We were to knock on doors and invite people to an important meeting.
After we prayed for several people and gave them their gifts! I even heard prayers in song! They received a free purple book and a free bible! Hey we have purple books too :)
We headed back to the building sites and had lunch.
This was the street we built the house on. Memorable!
Back on the bus with some time wasters. Proud to say that my husband taught me how to braid.
Just walking around to fish for men!
Some awesome feedback.
Time for the meeting.
Josiah shared his story and Karla shared the gospel. After that an entire crowd gave their life to Christ!
You also need to know that they are planting a church in this exact community. We aren't just leaving them high and dry. We are sharing His goodness and planting seeds and we have full confidence that God will water and continue to grow His people. Hallelujah!
They just kept coming up to give their life.
We prayed over this woman's pain and she stated that she felt good after and no more pain.
Many were prayed over and miracles happened.
We drove back afterwards and witnessed rap battles and lots of relationship building. Which I also have videos of but I can't upload right now.
When we got back we had dinner and our regular meeting together. Hunter brought the atmosphere to worship through powerful words.
He facilitated and directed the students to share. The girl in the middle spoke of miracles where someone who could not hear was able to actually hear after the laying on of hands and prayer!! she spoke of two other accounts of healing and we believe she has the gift of healing!
Karla spoke a powerful word on the annointing of the Holy Spirit (I love how the word Holy Spirit is automatically capitalized without me having to intentionally capitalize.) In order to go on a mission you must be the mission first. Such a powerful word. Also, read Isaiah 61 every day for a year :)
We then came back to the room and read your beautiful comments! You are who we are coming back to, you are irreplaceable, and we truly appreciate the love you constantly show us. God bless :)
Longest blog ever!! Just letting you know!
Even though many were exhausted, we all woke up in time for breakfast and a follow up devotion on perseverance from the message the night before.
Here is how our day looked! We were chosen to evangelize in the morning and build after lunch. However God had other plans, don't really know why but we built first!
Delegation time!! Let me give you a closer look of what this looked like in action!
Caleb, Josiah, Emerson, Kyle, Hunter and Kēvin on the roof (Kēvin is shooting the video....I ain't getting up there!!) What are they doing??!
First time Savannah used the hammer! She loved it!
Yellow trim in the sun. Even Maria helped (its going to be her house!).
Bryce with the drywall skills!
We were told in the beginning that we didn't have a lot of red paint left and to use as much as you can but they would have to finish later. The paint was prayed over for God to multiply it like Jesus did with the fish and loaves of bread. All walls were completely covered with red!!
Time for lunch and then evangelize!!!
After lunch we finished just a little bit more work and prayed over Maria. Her dog Cotton!
Had to get on a mini bus and then off to evangelize!!
So we thought...................
Yup the bus broke down!! Long story short we did not get to evangelize due to a series of unfortunate events.
Radiator was out of coolant and so were we. We made it to the gas station after a series of stops.
Just so you all know, it is super super hot. Muy Caliente!!!
Due to time we could not make it to the evangelism sites so we went back to the hotel.
Yesterday two students had their expectations and here is what ended up happening for them.
Cali: Today seemed to go by quicker than yesterday and we got tons of work accomplished on the house but had an unexpected bus breakdown. The rest of the day went smooth and well.
Josiah: Today was not what I expected. Bus broke down. No evangelizing. But the work went well and we made a lot of progress!
Praise God! Truly, the unexpected.
A little spicy uno until the others get back!
Such a joy to see the friendships growing stronger with the team in moments like this. I couldn't resist.
We then ate food, did worship, had a message and had a quick reflection on your comments. They are so encouraging especially when we miss you all so much!
Long day equals long blog.
Two more students have some expectations. Here it is!
Maddie: I expect for God to reveal things for me and that God will do the unexpected tomorrow when we are evangelizing and that we will all be bold.
Kyle: As we start our evangelism on Friday, I expect God to stir a wanting in their hearts to come and listen to our testimonies and stories and find that they need a change. God will give us the courage and joy we need to show the love of Christ.
Be praying for that!
You guys, we are so exhausted that I'm slightly mad that it takes that many muscles to chew!! I mean seriously. Jaw cramps with that beef jerky!??!?!?
Karla stated that this was "a thousand times harder than I thought it would be".
You will see in a second why she said that.
Yesterday Caleb and Bryce were asked what their expectations were and this is how the day turned out for them.
Caleb: "My expectations were greatly exceeded. God showed up in a major way even in a day where all we did was build. We got to show true hearts of service just as Jesus has called us to.
Bryce : my expectations were met greatly! I heard from other people outside of our church who said an entire crowd of people gave their lives to Christ. I saw that as amazing and very powerful.
Pictures for days!
Pallette wood for housing in some areas. Our hearts go out to them.
Took about an hour to get there.
Instruction was given. Some people were chosen for building, some for evangelism (sharing the gospel).
Started off with a flat slab of concrete and we were taught some skills. Pro-fesh-shun-AL!
Video of the first wall lift. Maria (top left picture above this paragraph and all the way to the right on the end in the video) helped us. Her family will be the owners of this house. We asked her if she knew why were building the house for her, she said no. So Ana translated that we were doing it to show God's love to her and that we were on a mission. She responded that she hasn't spoke to God in a long time and that this was a huge blessing.
Beasts with the paint!
We made a lot of noise so some locals became curious!
Second wall lift!
Third wall lift!
Can't build without a roof!
This is what we were able to finish. Amazing. From a concrete slab to this. Not at all possible without God. If you really know us, you would agree 100%!!
Heading back now.
Super long day. Forgive my spelling errors if I had any!! We had a short break and then it was time to eat and more devotions.
Topic was perseverance by a man named Kevin. "Perseverance is worth living for because Jesus knew that you were worth dying for. Whatever entices you away from persevering in the faith, is not worth dying for."
Hunter gathered us together again for a group discussion. He is working hard to lead us and he stated that he is "very proud of our group and the unity that we have. No one is bucking against authority and we are working really well together as a body." We have been reading your comments and find encouragement and love through them!
Two more students have expectations for tomorrow.
Cali : "I am expecting God to speak and work through us as we spread the gospel and work hard throughout Baja. I too am expecting the unexpected. "
Josiah : "I am expecting for God to do miracles through us and the people of Baja while we work and spread the gospel :)"
Pray for us that we get enough rest and more of Jesus!
Someone was excited for today!!!!
Earlier, 3 girls were asked what their expectations for today were and here is how things turned out for them.
Chloe: "I believe through the message that was spoken at the end of the night, that many people's premonitions were broken on where they were needed to serve. I believe many hearts were changed tonight."
Savannah : "Today God met my needs and gave me the strength and confidence I needed. When it was time to practice our two minute miracles in groups, I did not hesitate to raise my hand when they asked "who wants to share first".
Ana: " Today in the market, a woman came up to Hunter to ask for a hug and to be prayed for. She knew very little English so I was asked to translate. For me, it has always been very difficult to translate from English to Spanish, but God made it happen!!!"
Today was filled with different views, new experiences, and lots of laughs.
Caleb led the first devotion with a powerful message of faithfully waiting and expecting Gods rain to pour down on us while He works through us during the "process it takes for rain to be made".
Now that we all know how Hunter warms up for worship, we could peacefully eat. Most of us had on these thangs!
We went immediately into worship.
A glimpse of the atmosphere.
We were privileged to hear this man start the message with a rap. He was sick with it.
The message was on Matthew 9:1-8. You can read it but just know that the main point he made was that Jesus knew that even deeper than the desire to be healed from being paralyzed, that this man needed healing from eternal damnation in hell because of his sins, which Jesus forgave. It was powerful.
"What are your expectations for tomorrow?"
Caleb: I'm expecting for God to move in powerful ways.
Bryce: I went to Baja last year and I am expecting for the numbers of people in the crowds that we go out to wil be larger than last year and more than what we are expecting right now.
That's all for now. We were told we are going to build three buildings tomorrow and will be a long exhausting day. We are going to build Wednesday through Friday.
Expect only one blog post tomorrow. Pray for receptive hearts and the expectations for Bryce and Caleb as well as anything else on your hearts.
We love you!!
Today felt like a time clock for several reasons. After breakfast a couple of students from the entire Baja team shared some of the ways God's provision got the students here.
Some of them literally went from 0.00$ to the entire total in the very last week right before the money was due!
After that we broke off in groups of 5 to share two minute miracles. For those of you who don't know what that is, it is sharing the gospel and how it impacted your testimony as a Christian in 2 minutes! Time clocks were used (at least in my group) to see how close to 2 minutes they were. They did great!!
*pictures were not taken during this time*
Please pray for these testimonies as it reaches the streets in the following days to come as we build.
In the mean time, we had hours to shop and see the great city of Rosarito!
Time was ticking. Time for lunch and meeting others again!
More city life!!!
"Hear me roaaar"!!
Now we are resting before dinner, worship, and more filling of God's precious word and encouragement.
We are up and ready for breakfast!
The morning shenanigans included waking up at 4 and 5 in the morning because of eastern time and freezing in this windy rainy weather!
Hunter praising the Good Lord for coffee!
And this awesome lady is happy about her plate!
Not going to lie. This breakfast was delicious. Cali concurs!
We just started the day and here are a few thoughts from some of the girls.
"What are your expectations for today?"
Chloe: "My prayer is for all those with a heart to serve to find the place God has called them to."
Savannah: "My expectation is for God to fill me with His strength so I may have the confidence and be prepared in all the ways that I need for what we are about to do."
Ana: "I'm expecting the unexpected"
Join us in prayer for these expectations that our young generation has. We will keep you posted when we can!
After having a short break, that was much needed, the team went down to the first floor for some authentic Mexican food. These lovely people served us warm meals and handmade drinks with smiles and glad hearts!
After fun times and hanging out, our souls were given even better food from the Father.
A few of our own led worship and His Presence was felt in that moment.
We then prayed for one another in small groups in the middle of worship which was powerful! A word was given to us by Kore Bendix, the ten days Baja team leader, that was encouraging. The students learned to be expectant of greater things than they can imagine when they enter dark places (places where people are lost without Jesus which comes in many different displays).
Now it is time for much needed rest. Pray for our two minute testimonies to be gospel filled (more of Jesus and less of us). That we will draw people to Christ and even if we do not see quantities of fruit, we can walk away in full confidence knowing that His seeds have been planted.
Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony...
An important message brought to you by Impact Youth with another update. We have officially crossed the border of Mexico smoothly without any issues. I would love to share with you some of the moments we caught on camera.
On the bus to the border.
Due to security reasons I could not photograph the actual "crossing" of the border. However the first two pictures show the team preparing to reach the security/passport checks. The bottom picture is us after we crossed the border to board the bus again.
Here are a few thoughts from the students who came to Mexico for the first time!
"How do you feel after crossing the border?"
Cali: "exhausted...sweaty....and I miss California *laughs out loud* And I'm ready to start the mission".
Savannah: "It was more chill than I expected...but special. My passport is stamped for the first time!"
Ana: "I don't know....... legal?"
Kyle: "There was a lot going on; I always thought that crossing the border would be a smaller operation. After we crossed the border, I soon started to see all the homes built on the slopes and many dilapidated buildings, and it was a very new sight to me.
The initial views after crossing, including the fences of the actual border (they are taller and more intense than they look in the photograph)
Totally in wonder. Our eyes are getting a taste of the culture and our hearts are growing for the people of Mexico. We are expecting for great things from God and I invite you to pray for our students individually and as a whole.
Rollin' in deep!! This airport was not ready.
Meanwhile on the plane.......
Guards are down!
And this is how it feels when we land!
Grateful to be here with our family!
The team has officially landed!! We are in San Diego meeting up with our other Every Nation families. Thank you all for your prayers. The good Lord has delivered!
It's almost time for school to be out for the summer. For some that means summer jobs, lounging on the beach or getting ready to head off to college in a few short months. For this group, summer means serving. We're excited to introduce you to some high schoolers (and chaperones) who are willingly using part of their summer break to serve the people of the Baja Region of Mexico. Our youth will meet up with other Every Nation youth groups to serve with Ten Days Missions, the short-term missions program of Every Nation Churches and Ministries. Pray for the team as they finish raising support and prepare for departure on June 19.
Well, our final day is over. God has done so much in our hearts, and God has done so much through our lives. He has proven himself faithful in the big and the small. Earlier in the week Bryce's backpack went missing and someone reported seeing a man walk off with it. Bryce prayed consistently for three days because his bible was in that bag and it was important to him. Yesterday, the bag was returned with everything in it! Today at the building dedication ceremony, Bryce had the opportunity to share with the entire group of God's faithfulness.
After the dedication, we threw a huge fiesta. A party for the entire neighborhood. There was a clown show and the gospel was shared, we played futbol and corn hole, did face paintings, took polaroid pictures for the kids to take home, and much more.
The party was a huge success. Over the course of the week, including the fiesta, we gave out 320 bibles along with the Purple Book!
This week will be one that our team will never forget. We've seen God do some amazing things this week, and we have experienced God for ourselves in ways that many of us never have before. One thing we do know is that it will not be the last time we experience God for ourselves, because we are committed to continuously and consistently stay connected to Jesus!
See you guys tomorrow!!
Today was our last day of construction. We completed an amazing amount of work. But we not only did a lot of work, we did it well. Our construction foreman, Pablo, kept us to a high standard. When shingles were nailed less than straight, we pulled then up and tried again. When sheetrock nails missed their marked, he showed us how to do it better. He kept us to this standard because he knows that God deserves our very best. On Saturday, we get to dedicate the church and house to God and give the keys to the church's pastor. Pablo reminds us as we work, that we want to be able give a good gift.
Later in the afternoon, we walked a local market picking up souvenirs and gifts for our friends and family. We laughed a lot!
Our meals have all been catered at the hotel, but tonight we went to a local restaurant as a group instead(the entire team of 150 people). It was loud but so much fun!
We are all healthy and happy. We are proud of the work we've done. We will sleep well knowing that when we dedicate the church and house tomorrow, we will have completed our task well.
Today has been a day of miracles (un dia de milagros).
We set out this morning to split our day between construction and evangelizing. The day started out looking much like yesterday but with blisters and sore muscles. It turned out to be a pretty amazing day. On this trip, each day has built upon the day before. The momentum has been building, the excitement growing, and today was no different.
We started off at the construction site where we have helped turn two concrete slabs in a church and a home, complete with electricity, sheetrock, and shingles. That was actually miracle number two. The first miracle was the attitude of our team. We witnessed our teenagers step so far out their comfort levels that we know only God could do that. Their feet hurt, their muscles were tired, they were hot and dirty, but they persevered. They pushed back. They laid themselves down for the sake of the cross, and God was glorified!
After lunch, we invited people from their homes to meet with us in an empty lot in their neighborhood. Three of our team members(Caila, Madison, and Avery) shared their testimonies with the crowd that had gathered, then Caleb shared the gospel message in a clear and loving way. Close to ten people made the choice to begin a relationship with God and others asked for prayer for specific things including healing from pain and disease.
As we headed back, Chloe said, "Everyday has been astonishing in so many different ways. From the church we have built, to the people we have led to Christ, we have taken every moment to further God's kingdom. I believe that God has and will continue to do great things in the hearts of not only Rosarito, but our team and our church family as well.
In the evening, we joined together with the large group for a time of worship and sharing our stories of the day. A young American girl said she was praying for a local woman without an interpreter and the Spanish language began flowing from her mouth. Another group of teens prayed for someone with a limp and God healed them. Every group had stories of lives being changed. People being drawn in to a relationship with a loving Father.
We have seen God do miracles today and as we go to sleep, we can't help but wonder, "what will He do tomorrow??"
Today was our first day to get to give back, to pour ourselves out. We traveled about 20 minutes outside of Rosarito where we spent the morning building walls for a new church and for the pastor's house next to the church. All the kids were absolutely amazing! They worked HARD! We loved watching them working as a team. No complaining, no 'when can we take a break?'. They were focused and on a mission to complete their task at hand.
After a yummy sandwich, we took off to walk the local township where we went door to door inviting families to an empty lot in their neighborhood. Several students shared their testimonies, and one of our group pastors shared the gospel in a loving and relevant way. Many people made the decision to make Jesus their Lord and Saviour! We were able to pray with them and for them, as well as give them bibles and a Purple Book. Gracias a Dios!!
This morning, Caila said "I am nervous yet so excited to share my testimony with everyone and see the impact it may have on them. I have faith in God though, that my testimony and other's will help lead people to Him."
At the end of the day, Josiah said, "I realize how lucky I am to already have things built and to have Jesus around me. I found out that nailing boards is actually fun, too. And the people of Baja are ready to know who Jesus is."
God is doing incredible things in the lives of this team and through this team!
We can't wait to tell you in person!
We miss you all!!
It's been a great day here on the west coast of Mexico. We participated in the 'Surf and Sand Olympics' where the kids had a blast competing in various team building games in hopes of winning the gold medal(ring pops for the winners). We heard an awesome message reminding us of the importance of staying consistently and continuously connected to Jesus. In our small groups we practiced sharing our '2 minute miracles' as we prepare to go out tomorrow to serve and evangelize in the community.
Everyone is happy and healthy. The food is very good and we are getting plenty of sleep.
Thank you for all the encouraging comments. We love hearing from our friends and family.
Goodnight, we miss you all.
P.S. I tried very hard to upload some pictures but our internet service will just not cooperate tonight and I need to sleep. Thanks for understanding! JB
As we watch the sun go down on our first day, our minds are racing with the thoughts of what this week holds for us. The excitement of meeting new friends, wondering how hard the work will be, and especially the hope of lives being forever changed as we serve the special people here in Mexico.
Rebekah spoke for all of us when she said, "I am believing that God will flood his Holy Spirit among the people and place of Baja, Mexico. I'm believing not only for many lives to be saved and radically transformed by coming to Christ, but for those already dedicated to being Christ's disciples to be further encouraged, transformed, and loved on by their Father."
We are all safe, well fed, and very tired. We are saying goodnight to a long day, but will wake up with a pep in our step as we are ready to tackle with boldness all this week holds for us.