Kaléo Program

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Missions Trips - Voices of the Students

Vancouver Team // Shared by Abby

From February 11–25 all the students got to go to either Mexico or Vancouver for our mission trip. It was our choice where we got to go and it was interesting to see where each student chose to go. I happened to choose Vancouver, and when we were in Vancouver we stayed at two different locations; New Beginnings and Potter’s Place. New Beginnings is a church in the downtown area with an outreach to First Nations families. 

Our time at New Beginnings was the bookend to our trip. 
While we were there we spent most of our evenings helping run children and youth programs at the church. This included pick up and drops offs seeing as most families do not have vehicles, food preparation and serving, and of course teaching and playing with the kids. During the days we got to do other projects such as moving, cleaning, and construction. 

The Vancouver team performing a drama during the church service

For the middle part of our trip we were at Potter’s Place, a soup kitchen/church right on East Hastings, which tries to reach the homeless who are living on East Hastings or in the surrounding area. Our days at Potter’s were very different. In the morning and the evening we were given the opportunity to run their services, which include worship, a message and a meal. During the days we got to go on many different prayer walks going through the community praying for the different people we saw on the street. Both of which were incredible opportunities. 

It was really hard walking through the downtown seeing the people who are completely broken and especially when many of them don’t feel that they have any hope. Many of the people, of East Hastings especially, don’t care what other people have to say; they are so dependent on drugs or alcohol that they don’t really care about much else. While walking down the streets, back alleys, and through the parks there were many people who were clearly ashamed but still doing everything in public because they are so dependent. I saw many people shooting up on the streets while we were walking by. 

It is unbelievable how obvious the influence of drugs is on those streets, especially East Hastings. Millions of dollars every month exchange hands on East Hastings because of drug deals. It was extremely hard to talk to many of those people and know that we were unable to do anything but pray for them, and give them something to eat and drink. However, no matter what anyone has said in the past, or what anyone says in the future, many people on East Hastings are completely open to the idea of being prayed for, and most of them want to get off the streets. 

Although my trip is over I know that every person I talked to, everything that I did and everything I saw happened for a reason. I know that God can make a change no matter what. Prayer is a huge thing that is needed on those streets and is something that I was able to be a part of during to trip. I don’t know if I have ever prayed that much in my life and I think that it is actually a really sad fact. While being in downtown Vancouver there were many moments when all we could do was pray. 

We wouldn’t have the words, the actions or the strength to do anything else so we would pray. We prayed for countless people and in moments that were scary we would often offer prayer as a way to escape from the situation. I learned that I need to be way more dependent on prayer and spend a lot more time doing so. 

I am continuing to hope and pray that God would continue to work in and through me. Even though my trip is done God’s plan is not done. I want to continue to serve Him in whatever way I can regardless of how difficult or frightening a situation may seem. I know that God is always in control and I am so grateful for that, and I hope that you are too. 

Mexico Team // Shared by Amy

It’s almost been two weeks since returning from El Papaloté, Mexico, and I have enough stories to last a lifetime. I’d love to share a few of them with you, in hopes to glorify God and encourage you.

While partnering with Northern Light Ministries in Mexico, I had the opportunity to partake in three different types of ministry: work projects, outreach, and community care. Work projects filled up most of our time, and were a highlight for me as we were able to work with the Mexican Bible students, learning Spanish and building friendships. As a team, we laid a cement pad for a Pastor’s house, dug a (huge) hole for a septic tank, stained stairs, repaired sidewalks and prepped for a ramp. Needless to say we were satisfied and exhausted every night.          

Outreach included working on behalf of NLM’s church to reach into the communities through children, youth and adult events. These events are especially exciting to me as I say God work in incredible ways. One highlight would be our children’s event in a neighbouring village where I met an entire family whose children were quite sick, and situation quite poor. I was able to cook them hotdogs (a meal the youngest didn’t even know what it was) and days later return with bags of rice and beans for them. What a blessing it was to then see them at church, hearing His Word and meeting all sorts of wonderful people. Our last type of ministry was community care: a trip to the nursery and a trip to the dump. Both situations pulled on my heartstrings and neither situations left me with much hope. At the nursery, we played with children who receive little attention and no toys all day long. To simply pick them up and hold them brought a huge smile to their face. The dump is home for many individuals who have no where else to turn and are just looking for their next meal. We gave them bags of rice and beans, as well as clean water and hotdogs. We prayed for them, and continue praying for them.

     Mexico offered a new perspective on life which I had never seen and many things were difficult. Being an individual who loves words, the language barrier was one of these difficulties. When I met families like the one at the children’s event, I would have loved to be able to communicate with them the hope and love Jesus offers. To have so much to tell them and literally no words, proved to be one of my unexpected difficulties.

     God did some amazing things around me in El Papalote. One of which was playing with the children who came to church. There were three girls and two boys who I was able to play with one of our very firsts nights there. Later we jokingly called them my gang because they stuck so close to me. I could barely wrap my tongue around their names and they were so loyal: where I went, they followed. It made me think of the Bible verse which calls us to have the “faith of a child.” God was really revealing to me how important and what a blessing it is to have such faith.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out this weeks blog post brought to you by our students!

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