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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.

Family Mission Trip 2017- Day 1

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We made it!!

Prayer Send Off

We left this morning from Faith after being prayed over by Pastor Chris. Thankfully we had safe travels both to our lunch destination at McDonald's in Bloomington, and then to our respective churches to get set up.

We have been blessed to expand our numbers this year tremendously due to adding a second site! Some of you might remember Pastor Tim Bayer, who formerly served as missions pastor at Faith and was instrumental in getting the family mission trip started. The mission trip is truly coming full circle, as he is now welcoming 5 families to St. Mark's Lutheran Church in St. Charles, IL, where he serves as senior pastor. It's about 25 minutes away from New Song, where 6 of our families will stay. If that sounds complicated when you throw 30 kids into the mix, well it is! But our fearless leaders have been hard at work creating a schedule that allows for both joint and separate serving opportunities including: Feed My Starving Children, Phil's Friends, Hesed House, and service projects at the respective churches.

Our 2017 Theme Verse

This year we chose Proverbs 3:5-6 as our theme verse, which reads:

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." 

You can listen to the song that has helped us memorize the verses here, and see the logo above and on our shirts.

Tonight's Activities

Tonight our New Song crew hosted a Youth Night where the kids enjoyed playing Amazing Race, complete with eating a jalapeno pepper, memorizing and individually saying Proverbs 3:5-7, making butter and scarfing various snacks. Everyone had a lot of fun and bonding over stressful, difficult and, let's face it, some downright mean challenges!! They also prepped moving kits including cookware, linens, cleaning supplies and more for residents at Hesed House who are transitioning to outside living. Thanks to Faith's Beyond Blessed fund, we were able to donate two full kits that will allow former Hesed House residents to start a new chapter in their own home. Talk about a blessing!

Meanwhile, the St. Mark's team got a tour of their new digs from Pastor Tim and enjoyed picking out their rooms, that's right each family has their own room! The kids got the lay of the land by exerting all the energy they had pent up from the 5-hour car drive. After an amazing dinner from a local restaurant provided by the church, they had a family devotion led by the Auers.

What's In Store

Tomorrow morning our kids aged 12+ and half of the adults will head to Hesed House, Illinois' second largest homeless shelter, where we will help to prepare and serve lunch to the shelter's temporary and transitional residents. The younger kiddos and the rest of the adults will be packing sack lunches that will be delivered to Hesed House for their working residents to take to their job sites.

After lunch, our entire team will head to Feed My Starving Children to pack MannaPack food bags for starving children all over the world. It's always a meaningful and emotional serving opportunity - and especially great for our kids to be able to make a tangible connection to the impact they can have by helping other kids.

We are so blessed to be on this trip, many of us for the first time, growing and sharing our faith, and serving those around us in the name of Jesus. Please continue to pray for health and safety, as well as for those we are serving. In all we do, we only want to glorify our great God and reach hearts and lives for Him.