This summer, 10 students and three adults from The Chapel traveled to Minneapolis/St. Paul with BUMP (Bridging Urban Missions Project), a mission program sponsored by the EFCA.
The following are several posts from Pastor Dan via Facebook. We thought you'd enjoy keeping up with the team.
Saturday, July 20
Day 8 - Our last day in MN. We started the day today at Cross Cultural. Our main objective was to clean up the ministry supplies, pack up what needed to come home, add extra stuff to their storage, and clean the church facility from our messes. Once again I can only brag on the teenagers. They did a GREAT job today. There was no complaining and I saw no one being lazy. It was awesome!!
After that we grabbed a quick lunch and headed over to the Como Zoo. It's a free zoo in Minneapolis. It was small but fun. As you saw in an earlier post, it was crazy busy there. I think we parked about a mile away from the entrance. But the students did great even with that. You could tell that they were tired. They seemed to like the zoo but they had a hard time showing too much emotion because they were tired.
For dinner we tried to go to a local pizza place we heard about. It turns out the pizza place really was a a popular place because we were going to have to wait for an hour to get seated. So we decided to go to the Mall of America for dinner and shopping again.
It went pretty well at the mall. I had all the students work together to pick a place to eat...then they were off shopping. We had one mishap while there though. Patrick and Josh were "arrested" by the mall police. I always thought they were good kids but I guess they have a devious side. Actually what we did not know is that the Mall of America does not allow kids under the age of 15 to be in the mall without adult supervision with them after 4 pm on Saturdays. It's a crazy rule and I'm not sure how they communicate that to people, but Patrick and Josh got the message...haha. So the Husmann's went and bailed them out and we gathered the rest of the students to keep them from getting arrested too. Nothing like having to bail an entire youth group out of jail on a mission trip :-D
Then we came back to the dorm and started the fun job of packing. I'm sure they worked very hard folding and organizing their clean clothes from their dirty clothes.
Our goal is to leave NCU at 8 am. We are going to attend church at Constance EFC where a close friend of mine will be preaching. Then we start the long journey home. We are going to make as few stops as possible and short food stops. I'm hoping to be back at church by 9:30-10 pm eastern time (Lord willing).
Pray that the drivers get good sleep tonight and are ready to make the drive tomorrow. Pray for safe travels and that the vehicles don't have any problems. Pray that attitudes stay positive as we bring the trip to the close. Thanks
Saturday, July 20, 2:19 p.m.
On our way to Como Park zoo. I think we could have parked in St. Joseph and had a shorter walk to get to the zoo - so busy today.
Saturday, July 20, 1:11 a.m.
Day 7 - This was our last day of ministry at Cross Cultural. Most of the day today the team was dragging from tiredness. But we took a little extra time in the dorms before going to Cross Cultural for a nap and personal devotions. I think this really helped everyone reenergize for the night.
There was great enthusiasm from both the teens and the kids tonight at VBS. Everyone seemed excited to be there. It was pretty fun to watch. Since I wasn't able to type much yesterday, I will talk about the VBS teaching from both last night and tonight. Last night Morgan taught the VBS lesson. Tonight Josh taught VBS. I heard both guys did great.
The teen ministry went pretty well again. Tonight the teacher was a girl from East EFC. She did well also. I think the teen from our team and the teens from the church all connected through the week.
After our ministry time we came back to campus for an end of week rally. It was a powerful night of worship and sharing praise for what God did throughout the week. A ton of kids shared about how God works...including Connor and Patrick, and Josh (all via a pre-recorded video), Ben, Morgan, and Alex shared live. After that encouraging time we celebrated with a Pizza party.
Pray for our last two days. Tomorrow we go back to Cross Cultural after breakfast to put everything away and clean up...as you could guess...clean up is not always on the teenager list of fun things to do. Also pray for attitudes. It's harder for the students to be patient with each other after a full week of work...of course the adults would NEVER get grumpy, so no worries there ;)
Once again...thanks for your prayers. It's been a great impactful week and I'm sure everyone is excited to get home to share what God has been up to.
Friday, July 19, 10:53 p.m.
This is the team right now. They are highly engaged in worship! It's AWESOME to see them responding to Jesus so enthusiastically. I wish you all could hear it.
Friday, July 19, 11:00 p.m.
Thursday, July 18, 11:47 p.m.
Day six – for some reason the Internet seems to be down at the college so I'm unable to post with my computer and that forces me to use my phone. So this post will probably be shorter than the others.
As you can see from the pictures we have had quite the day started at 1:30 in the morning starting with a run to the hospital. Praise God everything turned out okay even though Alex has some healing to do.
We spent the day at the Mall of America had a great time shopping, walking around, eating, and I'm sure many great treasures were found.
Tonight's ministry went pretty well the teen ministry was thrown into a little bit of a tailspin since Alex wasn't able to teach but we got through it okay.
Where looking forward to seeing what God has in store for our last day of ministry at Cross Cultural Evangelical free Church.
Thursday, July 18, 3:07 p.m.
Rough night for Alex last night. He fell out of the top bunk while sleeping and broke himself up. A few stitches in the lip, broken nose, and broken foot. Happened about 1:30 am. He's a bruised and tired boy. Pray for pain relief and rest.
Thursday, July 18, 12:49 a.m.
Day 5 - We had a great and interesting day today. It started at our morning rally. Today's "speaker" was a performance group that performed a play parody of "The Wizard of Oz." Instead of a tornado the story line illustrated homelessness. It was a heart tugging presentation that encouraged us all to want to do more.
The skit took a turn when it ended. The manager of the performance group came on stage to be available for questions from the audience. In my opinion she was too abrasive in her answers and was more interested in confronting us for how we don't care enough and we asked the wrong questions rather than teaching/training us on how to help. This performance group was not Christian based. Personally, I asked one question that I think many people (including myself) struggle with. My question was "How can we best help those in need while not enabling bad behavior, and without being swindled by the many scamers?" Her answer was basically that I need a change in heart for even being concerned about that.
The good news was the answer/question time was very short, so she did not have much time to talk. The other good news is that the presentation produced exactly what was intended, which was to get our groups talking. In my opinion, they would do better with a softer speaking manager but otherwise it was really good.
From there we went to lunch and then back to Cross Cultural. Today, before our evening ministry we did a service project. We got to go the the grocery store that is owned by the lady who shared her testimony yesterday (I think I wrote about her). It was a very nice store but we did clean up outside and around the block of the store. We also set up a free lemonade stand for passing by...but I'm not sure we had many takers.
Our dinner tonight was really good. The same lady who owns the grocery store made us a really great authentic Hmong dinner. It was a big hit...even the pickiest among us found good stuff to eat in the meal (that's right mom...I ate some of the food).
Both the VBS and teen ministry's went really well again today. ALL the students are doing a great job!! I have not had to confront even one person yet...what a great team (I hope it doesn't ruin it by mentioning it publicly :D ). The teen ministry was especially moving tonight. Connor taught the lesson again and it worked perfectly into his testimony. God is continuing to use Connor to touch many people. BTW... I have been giving you more specifics about the teen ministry because that is the part I'm overseeing. I don't get to see the VBS first hand so I'm just relaying the info I'm getting from the students and leaders...along with the small pieces I get to see at the beginning and end.
Our team and the East EFC team continue to build great bonding relationships. It could not be going better.
Tomorrow we have most of the day free. We are going to the Mall of America. I'm sure everyone will find the perfect treasure to spend their hard earned cash on :) If you can't find treasure at the Mall of America...Then you shouldn't be treasure hunting :) For lunch we are going to a location called "Eat Street." It's known for having a large number of international food type restaurants. The students are excited to check that out. Then at 4 pm we will be back at Cross Cultural for another night of ministry.
Please continue to pray that God will produce great fruit. He is already doing great things in our own students...so pray that continues and grows but we would love to see tangible fruit in our ministry as well. Thanks for your prayers.
Wednesday, July 17, 12:50 a.m.
Day 4 - Today was a repeat of yesterday only better. We two great speakers at our rally this morning. The first guy was a man who is reaching out to Somalian's in the Minneapolis area. It was pretty cool to see how he is making a difference both here and in Somalia...all without leaving his home town. The second speaker was a Hmong pastor who shared about living out the great commission. He also happened to be the one of the two pastors from Cross Cultural EFC, which is where we are serving this week.
When we arrived at Cross Cultural we had another lady come in to share her testimony. What an amazing story. She and her family were refugee's from Louse. When she was 8 years old (in the late 70's) her family became Christian and worked their way through the jungle to escape the communist anti Christian government. She had some pretty amazing stories to share. It was very powerful.
Then on to VBS...We had a great night tonight. We had more kids come and everything ran much smoother tonight. Our team of teens is continuing to do a great job at being unified and partnered with East EFC. If you didn't know either team you wouldn't know that we were two groups from two different states. The kids who are coming to the VBS are also really connecting with our kids and having a great time playing with them.
The teen ministry went really well tonight too. They were much more relaxed now that they know us. Connor did a great job leading the discussion. We origianlly were going to try to condense two lesson's into one but the students were engaged into the discussion so we only made it through the first lesson. They also had a great time with the games. There was lots of laughing and fun.
We are now back in the doors and all the students are in their rooms (hopefully going to sleep...yeah...right ;D ) I had one little fiasco tonight. We were given two BUMP shirts this week...one orange and one grey. We are required to wear one of those shirts every day while we are at the Cross Cultural site. As you can imagine, after three days they are ready for a washing.
There are laundry facilities here at NCU...they have an interesting system for using the washers and dryers though. You have to buy a laundry card...which is like a credit card thing. The card costs $2 to purchase and then you can add money to it to actually pay for the laundry. To keep a long story short the machine that you buy the laundry cards from only takes cash and it only takes $5 bills and larger....and any money you have left over on the card when you are done with it is "donated" to the school because there are no refunds. Let's just say it took at least 30 minutes to buy the card and at one point there was an error on the washing machine so it took $1.75 off the card and we can not get a refund for that. It was annoying!! But at least we will all smell better tomorrow.
Overall everything is going very well. All attitudes have been good and everyone is serving well. Pray that God produces even more fruit tomorrow. Pray also that attitudes stay good tomorrow. Wednesdays (the middle of the week) tend to be harder days on trips like this. Pray that everyone is well rested...and patient with each other.
Tuesday, July 16
Tuesday at Cross Cultural
Tuesday, July 16, 1:06 a.m.
Day 3 - Today we started our routine for the week. We had another great breakfast together in the dinning hall. After that we went to the first morning rally of the week. The worship was lead by a group of people from the site that we are serving at ...Cross Cultural. Then we had a college professor speak about going "Glocal." Glocal is taking the two words "local" and "global" and putting them together. He shared with us many statistics of how many legal immigrants there are in the U.S. and in the Twin City region. It's pretty amazing that we can literally reach the world without ever needing a passport. It's a different perspective on world missions.
We made it to our site a little late today. That was mostly my fault...when we were getting ready to leave at the car I realized I forgot the keys to the trailer in my room so I had to make the trek back to get those...then on the way we had to stop for gas and I'm pretty sure we found the busiest and slowest gas station in the state. It took forever. But we eventually made it to Cross Cultural.
The set up and prep time went really well today. I don't think there was even one student who was not working hard to get everything ready. It was awesome to watch. When we got to VBS...we were ready to go! We had a good first night with about 40 kids in attendance. There are a few bugs to work out but that is to be expected (especially since we don't have Cindy Swearingen here...she is the master!).
The teen ministry is off to a good start also. We had 9 teens plus our 3. Keegan taught the lesson tonight and he did a great job. The group of teens were a little challenging to get going but we eventually got the ice broken and things picked up.
From my perspective...it was a great ministry day for our students. I had the opportunity to spend some very valuable time encouraging and teaching a few of our guys as they prepared to do their ministry today. I would say that just today's ministry made the whole trip worth coming. I can't wait to see what else God has in store.
Pray for our VBS and Teen ministry for tomorrow. Continue to pray that we see great fruit produced in those we are working with and in our own teens lives. Thank you...
Monday, July 15, 5:34 p.m.
Ministry prep/practice under way. Pray that God produces great results.
Monday, July 15, 10:15 a.m.
One healthy, happy, well rested group :)
Sunday, July 14, 11:50 p.m.
Day 2...today we started with breakfast. It turns out the food here is pretty good. The students are all eating well...especially when we catch them trying to eat just junk and then we make them go get real food.
This morning we decided to do "church" with our partner church from KS. We got together and sang VBS songs for our worship time. I think that worked out pretty good to spend time learning the songs and using them for our own worship before we lead the kids in worship with them.
At lunch time we headed over to Cross Cultural EFC for a time of prayer and then to set up for the block party. East EFC from KS had brought a ton of games that we set up to play. We then assigned all the teens to different stations to lead the games and hand out candy to the kids who came. Our turnout was smaller than expected but we still had a great time with those who did come.
Then back to NCU for dinner. They served us some pretty good taco/fajita food. We ended the night with a big rally with all the churches represented here. The worship was really good and our speaker did a great job. The speaker's name is Fritz...He is the head of Reach National at the EFCA home office.
The entire team is pretty tired. Many are already in bed and the rest are about to head there too...including me. So thank you for your prayers and encouragement.
For tomorrow...pray that we have a good start to the VBS and the teen ministry...both will be from 6-8 pm.
Sunday, July 14, 7:21 p.m.
The students ALL did a great job today.
Sunday, July 14, 2:22 p.m.
And the work begins...
Sunday, July 14, 1:06 a.m.
We have had a very full and very good day in our first day. We started by meeting at The Chapel this morning and we were blessed to be prayed for and to pray with parents and others from the church. That started us off on the right path.
In our journey to MN we made many stops. Our first stop was at the McDonald's Oasis just inside IL. We enjoyed a great breakfast at McD's. Our second stop was in my home town of Rockford, IL, to fill up the gas tanks and make a bathroom stop. It was fun to be in my home town... even though it was only for a few minutes. Our third stop was in the Wisconsin Dells. We had a... not too quick... lunch at Culver's. Our fourth stop was in Osseo for a quick bathroom stop. Our fifth stop was in the city of Saint Paul. We stopped at a Super Target to use the restroom...we thought it might take a little time to get into our rooms when we arrived at NCU so we decided to reset to 0 (empty our bladders) at Target before getting to NCU.
We arrived at NCU a little early so we parked the cars and walked to The Old Spaghetti Warehouse for a great dinner. Then we walked back, checked in, and got acquainted with our new friends from East EFC. It looks like we are going to make a great team. We are excited to serve with them!
Now we are heading to bed...to be rested for tomorrow's work. We will be hosting a block party in the neighborhood around CrossCultural EFC. This will be our first chance to get to know people/kids and hopefully bless them with God's love. Pray for good weather, a great response from the neighborhood, and the building of new relationships.
Saturday, July 13, 10:27 p.m.
East EFC and The Chapel finally meet :-D
Saturday, July 13, 7:54 p.m.
The feast before the work begins :)
Saturday, July 13, 6:07 p.m.
We made it! Off to dinner now...
Saturday, July 13, 12:45 p.m.
We have made it to the Wisconsin Dells...now we are having lunch at Culver's so far all is going great!
Friday, July 12, 4:30 p.m.
Let the journey begin...