Monday, January 14, 2013

Back to School

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize ? Run in such away as to get the prize . Every one who competes in the games goes into strict training . They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore, I do not run like a man running aimlessly ; I do not fight like a man beating the air [without purpose]. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Our students have just taken a huge step of faith. From Genesis to Revelation there is a golden thread that is woven throughout scripture of God's deep love for all nations. Our students spent five days in a completely different country and culture. Many had the best time of their life and were deeply impacted! We saw so many smiles and some tears. Their view of the world was upended and now they're asking, "What's next?"  We pray that the end of this mission was the start of a new journey of faith and love for god's people. We pray that they may continue to run the race in order to get the prize that the Lord has for them in eternity. That they may strive to hear, "Well done my good and faithful servant."

While it's important for our students to analyze, process and rejoice in what the Lord has taught them during their time in Nassau, don't stop there. As parents you can help them to look beyond themselves to what God is doing in the world and specifically in the country and people they labored among. You can begin by asking them some of the following questions:
  1. What was it like in the Bahamas?
  2. How would you describe the people and culture from the Bahamas to those in our own country?
  3. What did I see God doing among the people of Bahamas?
  4. What's next? Is there something you can do to help in the Bahamas?  Is there something you can do differently here at home?
  5. How can we, as a family, pray for the Bahamas?
As they sort through what lessons God taught them, we'd love to hear the stories, see the photos and video that they brought home with them. Would you email any of these to Tonif@calvaryftl.org for us to share?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Heading Home


It's a bittersweet end on this final update from the Bahamas. Many of us aren't quite ready to leave, but we all really can't wait to get home. We had one last powerful time of devotion and worship on the beach, followed by breakfast.  

Hear the heart of our youth pastor:

“And the glory of the Lord will be revealed and all mankind will see it…”
Isaiah 40:5

What an amazing week! It was a tremendous blessing and an incredible honor to be a witness to what Jesus did in and through our kids.

My prayer from the beginning was that each student and leader would experience the fullness of what the Lord had for him or her while here. I have to say that not only were my expectations met, but the Lord also exceeded what I believed was possible.

I shouldn’t have been surprised. I know Paul teaches us in Ephesians 3:20 that Jesus will do exceedingly abundantly above whatever we can imagine. And I’ll be honest, I was, and I am so glad! To watch these kids serve, share, and worship was inspiring. As a parent, I can think of nothing else I would ever want for my kids. Be encouraged—you guys are doing a great job! Continue to invest and pour Jesus into the lives of these young men and women, for great will be your reward. -Sean Dougherty



Saturday, January 12, 2013

Shopping and Sharing

“Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed.
Mark 4:3

Today was such an amazing day. Students began the day with personal devotion time and small group devotion time. Then we loaded buses and headed to the Straw Market. Students had three hours to shop, share, and enjoy the day. Students split into small groups of three or four with a leader. Later at campfire many students explained how they had met, prayed with and shared the Gospel with multiple individuals. The stories were many, and they were powerful.

After the day at the Straw Market, we were rewarded with an hour in Paradise Island. The difference between the richness there and the poverty we had experienced all week stirred our hearts. The bus ride back to camp was truly a celebration of the week.

After dinner, campfire was again a time of worship through testimonies of how students, student leaders and adult leaders had watched God work. The number of stories that your sons and daughters told of praying with Bahamian kids and even adults was overwhelming. God is doing great things in these eighth graders. We pray that you and they will hold each other accountable throughout this year and their high school years.



Video Interviews, Recaps and More

And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" Romans 10:15

Today, Group Two will be putting into action the training they took part of in CCA Bible classes. With a challenge to share, students will visit the port, straw market and other popular tourist destinations to share with travelers from all around the globe.


We have uploaded some video to share. Check out some of the video clips, recaps and interviews from Group One.

Trailer of Trip
video



Flight  and Team Building Recap 
video


 Evangelism Recap 
video

Friday, January 11, 2013

Powerful Moments

All students returned to the Adventure Learning Camp around 4:30 today for a few hours of much needed down time. Sean Fryer's and Marty Fanning's groups spent time with the residents at All Saints and then students at a local Bahamian school. Here are some of their experiences:

"What greatly impacted me today at the All Saints Camp was how thankful all the people there were. Most people there can't do most of the things we take for granted, and yet they praise God for the things they do have. This made me realize how ungrateful I can be sometimes for all of the little things and how providing God is." -Kyle E.

"God has shown me how He can use anybody for his purpose. I had expected certain people to do the most ministering and others to goof off, but who I had expected to goof off had impacted for Christ the most." -Chris S.

"Today was very moving. God spoke to me deeply through how happy the people at All Saints Camp were. They loved how we came there and were happy with the simplest things. That's how God spoke to me today and I loved and embraced it!" -Mason P.

"One of the things that impacted me most was when I went to pick up the Bahamian kids to bring to the ALC. On the bus ride to the ALC with the kids they were singing worship songs, and they were singing it with such joy. It made me smile to see them do this. I have never seen such joy, not even in chapel. It was a fun moment." -Nick C.

"The biggest impact on me was when I saw so many crippled Bahamians being so happy and joyful, even though they didn't have the ability to do many things. I helped and talked to a Bahamian named Alexander, who had many questions about Christianity, but in the end, I prayed for him, and he was very grateful." -Gabriela A.
Many students gave piggy-back rides.
Getting to know residents at All Saints
Lunch at All Saints

Making friends
Sean Dougherty's and Dennis John's groups greeted students at the ALC and then went to a local school to minister to more children. Your sons and daughters performed a dance, two skits and shared their testimonies. It was moving to see students completely lead the time of teaching and preaching! Several Bahamian children prayed to receive Jesus as their Savior. 

Miki V. says, "What had an impact on me today was how the kids just opened up their hearts for Jesus so willingly. They were so joyful, and the Lord just shone His light through them."

"What impacted me today was probably when we were at the ALC, and all the little kids were just so happy to see us and to get to know us. The way the children acted so grateful and amazed to be hanging out at the ALC with the animals and the planetarium. What really just amazed me today was the way Marcos was bringing so many children to Christ was just making me feel so happy." -Nick K.
"The most impactful moment for me on the Bahamas trip was when I had the opportunity to share the Gospel with two kids and lead them to God. When they were leaving one of them started to cry on their bus. To be honest, God just led me to go on the bus and give him my Gospel wristband and stay with him until he left to comfort him. About 10 minutes after they left, we all gathered under a pavilion to pray. After we prayed, I could not stop crying about the way the kid cried, and it broke my heart. Now I hope that everyone could have a life altering experience on this trip." -Josh L.
Carly C. says that during the bus ride to pickup the Bahamian students who were coming to visit the ALC, she found a verse in Isaiah that God was really using to speak to her. Later when students were asked to team up in a small group to pray, she sat down with Brooke F., Allie H., and Andrew L. Before they prayed, Brooke opened her Bible to share some Scripture, and she opened to the same passage in Isaiah. 
Eric A. says that what stand out in his mind is how the children were so happy and all were excited to hear the Gospel and to learn more about Jesus. He talked to several students about their lives and shared the Gospel with them. 
Dancers before the assembly 
Preparing to give a presentation at the ALC
Performing a skit and sharing testimonies
Performing a skit and sharing the Gospel
Students spontaneously sharing the Good News of Jesus

Important Flight Information For Travel Group TWO


Listed below, you will find the flight number and scheduled arrival time for those that will be arriving on JetBlue, as well as the scheduled pick-up time for those on the MFI flights for Sunday, January 13th . Please check the BLOG periodically on SUNDAY, January 13th to ensure you have the most up to date information concerning the return of our student missionaries.

Travel Group 2 Commercial Flight
JetBlue Flight 1792
Scheduled Arrival Time- 4:04pm (please track this flight to be sure of their arrival time)
Meeting Place- JetBlue International Arrivals at the Hollywood International Airport

Travel Group 2 MFI (Planes 1 & 2)
Students will arrive by bus to the CCFL circle parking lot at 5:30pm.


More Photos and Video

Due to the inconsistency of the internet connection in the Bahamas, we will be uploading photos and video to the Facebook page. If you have photos or videos that you would like to contribute to the page, please email tonif@calvaryftl.org.

Please continue to pray for the students in Group 1 that the Lord may continue working in them and use their experiences to motivate them to DO SOMETHING, that they may continue to fall in love with His Word and shine brightly for Him. And, pray for Group 2 as the students here in the Bahamas continue to minister and be ministered to but the local Bahamian students and residents of the All Saints Camp.