We have been filming a continuation movie this summer in our student ministry. It is a murder mystery movie, and we show a few minutes of the movie each week. If you missed this past week’s “Episode 3,” check it out here:
So I’m one of the lovely few who have been waking up at 5 am to go for a morning walk/jog. Then we enjoyed a delicious breakfast at the villa where we’re staying and soon after headed to the bus to get started. First we drove over to a prep school to do a few things for the kids (who were completely opposite of the last school we went to, extremely well behaved…better than most american kids). They were so precious in their little uniforms and they were all really sweet & funny when we talked to them. While we led them in a few songs, they sang along and even did the motions! They paid attention while we performed our crazy skit, and laughed while we acted like ridiculous chickens and monkeys. Rachael Tullock shared her testimony which was great & even moved a few of us to tears, and Nathan preached an awesome sermon that I think the kids definitely needed to hear. More pictures were taken and we taught them how to say “Bye y’all!!”
Moving on, we travelled to a school for the deaf. Amazing to say the least. The view was incredible and we had someone who gave us a tour. Not much to it, but it was interesting and eye-opening to see how different school is for those kids, and though we didn’t get to communicate with them besides waving as we walked past, I feel like they enjoyed seeing us. Our group loaded the bus and went on a small tour of part of Jamaica. We went back to the villa to eat lunch, then Uncle, our bus driver, drove us around to a few different amazing places. The Ritz hotel we walked through was breath-taking as well as the Rose Hall (don’t worry, we took like a thousand pictures so you can enjoy the view too). Returning to the villa, a few guys walked to get beef patties ( I don’t understand the obsession with them, lol) and we had dinner. Pool time followed, lots of fun, and then an evening testimony from Pastor Andrew. He also treated us with a few songs since he has a beautiful voice. He and his wife sang one song together (they are so cute) then we went inside and hung out for a little bit until it was time to curl up in our beds, in the oh so lovely air condition.
That’s pretty much it, I hope all of you have a fantastic day. Don’t forget to smile!! Only one more day till we get to see all of you
Thanks for your prayers & for reading my post,
Hello! Devin Dowell here and im going to tell you about our day yesterday. I woke up around 6:30 yesterday to get a nice shower and start the day. After breakfast we headed to a public school. As soon as we got off the bus we were surrounded by kids that were feeling and playing with our hair needless to say it was a different way of getting welcomed. After that we then made our way to the class room where we sang songs and N page preached to the kids. There were around 62 kids in the room and they were all in the 5th grade. After Nathan had preached we got back on the bus and were headed to the villa when we came upon a crowd of people gathered in the road. Come to find out a little girl from one of the nearby schools had run out in front of a car and gotten hit. It was very sad and we saw her being held by two men. When we got back to the villa we got a little lunch and then headed out to the beach to do a little relaxing. We stayed at the beach till around 5pm then headed back to the villa for the evening. We had supper around 6pm and then watched Beyond the Gates of Splendor around 7. After the movie most of us hit the bed for a good nights rest.
Thankyou for all the prayers!
Teresa- I began the day at 6:20 to go for a morning jog. We made our way to the beach where we met a cool guy named Friday. Friday thought I was a boy at first, but when he realized I was a girl he became excited and I received a nickname, “mother Teresa”. I have actually been called that alot! Arriving back at the Villa brought a refreshing shower, yummy breakfast, and preparations for the service at Bay Life Baptist Church. I was chosen to give my testimony in front of the church. I was very nervous, but after praying with Pastor Josh, God gave me confidence and I was given the words I would say. I shared my testimony and then proceeded to talk about what God has been working on in my life. Pastor Cletis Titus has been challenging us to give God our all-to not hold anything back from Him. The church service was a very neat experience. Everyone we met was friendly and eager to meet us. We were able to spend time with the most precious, thankful kids. An older boy, named Andrew, who won a prize playing “gorilla, man, net” (similar to rock, paper, scissors) gave his toy to a younger kid. After arriving back to the Villa, we decided to cool off in the pool. Everyone was attempting to take Eddie down. It only took about 9 people to accomplish our goal. It kind of reminded me of Godzilla! Later, we went back out to Bogue Village to tell more people about the church showing Courageous later that night. However, the rain messed up our plans. We were soaked, but still decided to try some Jamaican ice cream, which was very creamy and good. At first we worried, when no one had showed up for the movies 10 minutes till. We were later told that Jamaicans are always late. We had many show up and the movie was great (for the third time). After many tears, we headed back to the Villa for a good nights rest.
Thankyou everyone for all the many prayers!
Danielle- Unlike Teresa I like my sleep and I did not join them with their jog. That is just too early for me. I was well rested and ready to start my day. After a nice refreshing shower, I had a delicious breakfast. We made our way to Bay Life Baptist Church and we stayed with the kids in the children’s church. The turn out was great; there were so many kids that showed up. They were all so amazing. We started off by leading them in songs and they all joined in on. Afterwards we took the kids outside for a relay race and they had a blast with that. They got competitive (especially Ed’s team or actually just Ed) We went back inside and the girls sang a song for the older people in their church service. That went so well and we all sounded great; we had a few women in tears.The girls left the service and joined the kids again just in time to help with craft time. The kids were so excited about making a sail boat/ raft. They really enjoyed it and so did we. We came back to the Villa and decided to take a little dip in the pool and cool off. We had a blast with Ed. We were all attacking him and he was just throwing us off him left and right. We finally got him down with the help of Josh Jordan. While we were in the pool there were a few of us napping and catching up on some much-needed sleep. We all got out of the pool to get ready to go through Bogue Village to pass out some more flyer’s for the movie Courageous that night. There were a lot of people who seemed like they were pretty excited about the movie. While we were out passing out the flyer’s it started to rain and we had to run back to the church and we were soaked. Before the movie started there was an ice cream shop open and we decided to get some and it was great. It was the perfect little snack. We had a really good turn out for the movie, there were quite a few people who showed up and I think they really enjoyed the movie; I know I did. After the movie we came back to the villa and started getting ready for bed because it was pretty late when we got back. Most of us chilled in the living room and we were all playing the logo quiz. We all had so much today and I know we are going to have lots more the rest of the week. We miss and love you all back home and can’t wait to see you.
Hey everybody back home, this is Nathan and Meredith. First off, we had a great flight down here (even though Meredith’s ears don’t like landing) and were stunned by how gorgeous the island is. The heat isn’t as bad as we had anticipated, but it is still very hot. Friday after we landed and were picked up we got some authentic Jamaican food (Wendy’s). The exchange rate for money is very difficult to adjust to ($600 for a cheeseburger at Wendy’s) but we’re getting there.
After we ate we went to Bogue Village, where Bay Life Baptist Church is, and distributed tracts and information about the church’s showing of Courageous this Sunday night. The people were very receptive and friendly. It was funny how open everyone was to people showing up to their door to talk. We passed out literature for about 45 minutes then headed into the city.While there we visited a shop owned by a “true Jamaican” as Pastor Titus called her. I’ll let Meredith tell a little more about her.
Her name was aunt Dolly and she was so kind and welcoming. First she told us that our presence was a present to her. We shopped a little and Skimpy, Jt, and I were trying on hats trying to act Jamaican, but our true colors were showing. As we were getting ready to leave aunt Dolly gathered everybody together and shared the songs that was dear to her heart. It opened my eyes. I asked myself why can’t the rest of us Christians be as fired up for the Lord as her because we are in a better situation than her. It is crazy how she stays fired up for the Lord even in bad situations and we want to give up in them.
It would take far too much time and space to write of everything that has gone on so far. After visiting with aunt Dolly we came back to get settled into the Villa, our home for the week. It is a comfortable stay, especially after 8 when the air conditioning comes on.
Today we got up fairly early to go to a church deeper into Jamaica, away from all the tourist attractions. On the way we saw a lot of livestock in the mountains and experienced some very interesting roads. At the church we painted most of the inside of the main auditorium and a couple of walls outside. Meredith played cricket with some of the children while others played some soccer. The kids were incredible, they just came out to see what we were up to. Many of them stayed a while and chatted with people while we were working. The painting was tough work but thankfully we were inside most of the day.
This afternoon we went to Doctor’s Cave Beach. The water and beach were incredible. Several of us went out snorkeling which was absolutely stunning. There were fish and coral everywhere for as far out as we could go. The others enjoyed the cool water and the Caribbean sun.
As we are writing this most everyone is enjoying the time at the Villa. Tomorrow we will be ministering at Bay Life and covet your prayers (Meredith is nervous about giving her testimony). The trip so far has been wonderful and we will not soon forget it.
Thank you for your prayers,
Nathan and Meredith
P.S. I want to thank God for helping me through my trials. I have grown stronger in my walk in the Lord and I learned that no matter where I am in life I know my Lord is with me and He will never leave me or forsake me. I also want to shout out to my Parents who I love very much. I would not be here if it was not for you. Thanks for your patience and encouragement throughout this year. – Meredith
Thanks Mama and Daddy for your thoughts and prayers. We are having a great time. Happy anniversary as well. Love you – Nathan
Our Weekly Friday comes today from LeaderTreks. They recently published a free youth group lesson that fits perfectly with July 4th. The lesson is about freedom, and how America received freedom. Then, it changes gears into discussing our freedom in Christ. I checked out the link, and it is great. It comes with an outline for students.
Go here to download this freebie. Be prepared to put in your name and church information. Do not worry or allow this to turn you away. LeaderTreks is a great resource that you need to build a connection with.
“LeaderTreks is a student leadership development ministry using trips, innovative training, and curriculum to help students identify and develop their personal leadership skills. LeaderTreks is calling the church to make leadership development a core of youth ministry. Much like discipleship and evangelism, we feel leadership development is key to seeing the church grow and the culture change.”
I recently received a copy of the book, New, by Andy Blanks. This book is a tool that Andy wrote to encourage and disciple new believers. It was published by his ministry, youthministry360. The book is a great read, and an excellent resource to get in the hands of students in your ministry who have just accepted Jesus. The book tries to help new believers lay a strong foundation for their faith. I want to give you a few positives about the book today:
- It is written from their perspective. I love how the book looks and feels like a new believer. It tries to have conversations and ask questions that brand new believers have in their minds. That is what makes this book so appealing to use to a brand new believer, because it is written from their perspective.
- It is doctrinal, but simple to understand- This is a very tough balance, but it is a needed balance. You need to begin teaching students doctrine after Salvation, but it is always needs to stay practical, and Andy has done a great job keeping that way. I love him sharing Bible stories, and applying it in ways that new believers can understand. It is not fluff, but has some depth teaching of the Christian faith.
- It is not a list of Do’s and Don’ts- If we are not careful, when someone gets saved, we tend to give them a list of, “Well, don’t do this” and “Make sure that you do this.” Andy takes a different approach. He gives them the “why” that we so often leave out of the equation. He also addresses that God has changed their heart, and as he continually changes them, they will continue to look more and more like Christ over time, but remember that it always takes time!
- Informative and resourceful- With this book, you get 4 weeks of Biblically solid interactive daily devotions. The book provides interesting articles and resources that are applicable to new believers that answer questions that they have. This book helps you understand the Bible from a new believer perspective.
Bottom line, this is a great resource, and personally one of the best resources that I have seen to get in the hands of new believers. Well done Andy, and we appreciate what you and youthministry 360 are doing to help provide resources for us so that we can collectively reach this world with the Gospel!
[Question:] What are you doing to equip new believers in your student ministry?
Above all else, I’m a believer in Christ. I’m seeking each day to become more of a real follower of Christ. I’m a 30-something year-old writer, teacher, and creator. I’m a husband and a father and I love being both of these things. I also have a life-long love for the Red Sox that is admittedly disproportionate to these other wonderful things in my life. But hey, I’m a work in progress . . .
I’m humbled to have co-founded youthministry360 with one of the best guys I know. At ym360 we’re passionate about seeing teenagers transformed by knowing God more through His Word. And we’re committed to serving and equipping youth workers to disciple students. The conversations that happen on this blog go hand-in-hand with the work and vision we do and have for youthministry360.
So, it has finally hit me that we are leaving for Jamaica this Friday morning with our team for our mission trip. This trip has crept up on us considering we have been so busy up to this point. I could not be more stoked though to be going with the team that we have assembled. 22 students and leaders will be going to minister at Bay Life Baptist Church. We will be ministering in 3 public schools, a local church, a deaf home, and several more projects while there. It is going to be an intense week of ministry and work as we try to reach Jamaica with the Gospel. I want you to pray for our team as we leave. Pray for safety, but also pray that God would change our hearts, and use us to further His work in Jamaica and around the world with the Gospel.
[Question] Are you taking your students on a mission trip this summer? If so, where, and what are you planning on doing?
My friend Jonathan Pearson is giving away the book, “Viral” on his blog. You can enter to win this book by just checking out the blog, leaving a comment, liking his facebook page, etc. This book is about social media, and how it relates to ministry. The book shows how social media can help ignite revival. I encourage you to head over to his blog today, and enter for your chance to win, “Viral.”
This has been on mind here lately, and I was wondering how you use curriculum/others’ notes. I share my sermon notes sometimes on here, and I have even downloaded other people’s sermon notes. I want to know if you use them verbatim, or do you change them up to fit your own? I would love for you to participate in this poll, and leave some reasons for your answer in the comment section.
Where this is coming from? When I was younger, I was taught never to use other people’s notes. Use them as a reference, and never use their outlines, or their thoughts. So, that has been engrafted into my brain.
What are your thoughts?