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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!

Family Mission Trip 2017- Day 2

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Wow - what a packed day we had! We started off the day with 17 of us going to Hesed House to serve in many different capacities like helping with landscaping, working in their "store" where residents can get toiletries for personal hygiene, painting a room in a duplex for a young deaf girl named Ashiqua who is transitioning to her own home, and serving lunch to the residents. Thanks again to Faith's Beyond Blessed fund, we were able to provide the meal of a chicken patty sandwich, green beans, potato salad and cookies for 120 people! We were also blessed to be able to eat with the residents, which allowed us the chance to meet and get to know some of their stories and pray with some of them. We especially enjoyed getting to meet the aforementioned Ashiqua. We not only painted a room in her new house, but we also found out that she'll be the recipient of one of our "new home" kits we assembled. It was a special blessing for us to get to meet her, see how excited and appreciative she is about her new home.

Those of us who didn't go to Hesed House went to St. Mark's to pack sack lunches for Hesed House residents who work in their employment program and need to take a lunch to a job site. The young kids did a great job decorating the bags and then assembly line-style packed 75 lunches. They were then delivered to Hesed House for tomorrow's shift. Another Faith Beyond Blessed blessing to be able to provide lunches for that many people, and seeing the personal touch the kids provided with their art and words is just icing on top!!

After lunch, the entire crew headed to Feed My Starving Children to pack MannaPack food bags. Click here to watch a video of the team serving! While we were there, we watched a video about a beautiful little girl named Justae, who FMSC found recently weighing just 9 pounds at 19 months old. After 4 months of receiving MannaPack she was up to 21 pounds and her health issues were resolving! What a blessing it was to see first hand the impact this food makes in the lives of children. During our session, our team packed 99 boxes of food, which will feed 59 kids for a year. Blessings abound. We can't wait to go back tomorrow to see how many more kids we can help feed! Please pray that the food we packed today will reach the intended recipients without any problems, as often times government corruption can interfere with aid.

Thank you, everyone, for continuing to keep us and those we encounter in your prayers! We're excited for tomorrow has in store.