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St. Charles Family Mission Trip 2018 Day 1

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Whew! We have arrived! The drive into St. Charles was beautiful and after a prayer sendoff at Faith, we were on our way. Per tradition, we met about halfway for a group lunch. This trip we decided to grab some sandwiches and ended up in a great park with a playground, a perfectly-sized picnic area out of the sun, and best of all, clean bathrooms! It was the perfect place to stretch our legs and share a meal. We hit the road again and after a few mini-adventures along the way, we finally made it to St. Mark's. Pastor Tim, who some may remember from his time at Faith, was there to greet us with arms wide open. After settling into our temporary homes and a quick tour of the church, we were served a delicious dinner provided by one of their community groups.

After dinner we were able to spend some time unwinding and in fellowship with each other, Pastor Tim, and a few great folks from St Mark's. Before bed, we gathered together for a game of Reverse Charades led by our own Julie Beck. The kids had a blast acting like dogs, having invisible pillow fights, and even acting out a little imaginary picnic. It was a great time followed by a lovely devotion led by our own Donna Auer that reminded us about why we’re here and what we get to look forward to this week.

Today we wore our bright blue and neon yellow t-shirts that share this year’s Bible verse, 1 John 4:7. We also shared our mission twice. It's only day one and we have already found friends among strangers at both Subway and Walmart. God is always working through us even when we aren’t specifically out serving in a typical fashion. I can’t wait to see what He’s got planned for us tomorrow!

In the morning, we head out to Feed My Starving Children to put together food packs. We will also be preparing a meal for Lazarus House while some of us are spending some time serving the lovely people of St Mark's and helping them prepare for their community Block Party! We welcome prayers for good weather and a great Block Party. We are so grateful to have the opportunity to help St Mark’s serve their community in a fun, love-filled, and safe way.

Till Tomorrow!

Aurora Family Mission Trip 2018 Day 5

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Home sweet home!! All 7 families have made it home safely - thank you so much for your prayers for safe travels!!!

The 5 families that were still at New Song had the privilege of serving one more time in a special way this morning when a man who was having a rough time came into the church looking for some help. New Song doesn't keep any money on hand, so our team was able to bless him with some money and all of our snack food that hadn't been eaten this week! He and his wife and their 3 kids had just moved into the area and were living in a motel, trying to find affordable housing, while also awaiting his deployment to Afghanistan. We got to pray with him and were grateful that God had him come there on the day we were there! Please join us in praying for Brian and his family, that they would find a home, be able to provide for their family, and that they might get connected at New Song, or another area church. 

Our kiddos also got to perform the infamous "I Came To Party" VBS song for the congregation during this morning's service - and yes we introduced New Song to worship flossing ;) Dan Onder read the (lengthy!) scripture passage like a pro, and Matt and Rachel Queen got to join the praise team for the morning. It was a great ending to our week of serving. And if you're driving towards Aurora, IL anytime soon, keep an eye out for our Faith Family Mission Trip ROCKS!!!

We are so blessed to be able to serve with our families this week. We hope to continue Jesus' command to love one another in ALL we do.