Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Donnie and Carla plus a MAJOR update @ Cockelburr

Our good friends, Donnie and Carla Houston, came all the way from Murray, KY last week to serve with us.  We were so excited to get to see them!  They have a passionate love to minister to and serve the Native Americans here in AZ just like we do.  In fact, Donnie, Carla, and Eric all came on a mission trip together in March of 2009 and shared many amazing experiences together.  (That is the trip where Eric felt God calling us to missions!)

Isn't that a good pic?

When we had talked with Carla over the phone she said, "Donnie and I are here to do whatever you need us to do."  So, we put them to work.  They actually arrived the last day of Edgewood Baptist's mission team so they got to participate in the teacher training.  Carla got to lead the youth workers in a Sunday School training.  She did a great job teaching and answering questions and really gave some great advice.  (I can say all this because I was in her class!)

Brayden sat in on our class too!

Sunday was a busy day for us.  We started the day by going to church in Casa Blanca.  Carla taught Sunday School class. 

This was actually taken before class started.  We ended up having 15 kids, which is really great for Sunday School!
 After chuch, we traveled to Hickiwan on the Tohono O'odham Reservation.  It is about a 2 hour drive from Casa Blanca.  We were going to help some more missionary friends do a kick-off for the VBS that was going to take place that week.  This was also the location that Donnie, Carla, and Eric first went to on their mission trip so it holds a very special place in their hearts.  It was great to see friends from previous years/times!  The teenage girls begged Carla to have class that night after the kick-off was over.  It didn't take very much to twist her arm. :) 

What's a VBS kick-off without hamburgers and hotdogs?

Pastor Pete starting the service

Hickiwan is so beautiful at sunset.  It's so nice and quiet, which is a nice change from Sacaton!
 We got in late Sunday night (or should I say Monday morning?).  Monday was a brand new day, though, full of lots of excitement.  Donnie, Eric, and Doug went to work on building bunk beds to go in the dorm. 

The beginning

Trying out the first bed

The finshed product!!  They built 5 of these!!

Monday night, we went out to Cockelburr to have our church service.  We could tell when we pulled up that Satan was trying to destroy the night.  However, he did not succeed.  Melissa really started to open up.  She started sharing some things from her past and basically said that she didn't believe that she could give her life to Christ because of what had happened in the past.  Cindy also came to the church service.  Eric lead the devotion and then questions started to be asked.  Donnie and Doug took the kids to do "class" and play games so the adults wouldn't be distracted.  I was holding the brand new baby trying to keep him content so he wouldn't be a distraction.  To make a long story short, at the end of the night, Melissa, Cindy, and their uncle Clinton, all gave their lives to Christ!!!!!!!   ALL 3 WERE SAVED!!!!  I can not tell you how excited we were and are!!!  Praise the Lord!!  This was our prayer from the first time we went out there almost 8 months ago!!!   

Here are some pics from the night:

The kids loved Donnie!!  I think he kinda liked them too :)

Here I am holding the baby.  Isn't he sweet?

Here's Melissa and some of the kids right after she gave her life to Christ!!

Eric, Clinton, Doug, and some more kids

Tuesday and Wednesday night we had planned a "Girls Night Out" for any teenage girl that wanted to come.  We had the girls from our youth group at First Pima come out, as well as the girls from Desert Visions.  We had a great 2 nights!  The girls were so much fun!!  The last night we had a couple of girls that also gave their life to Christ!!  What an amazing week!!  (I'm not really supposed to post pics of this, but I have to do one so you guys can see these awesome girls.)

Here's Darien and Stacy from our youth group at First Pima!

Sweet Ava- one of the girls' baby
It was seriously a really awesome week!!!  Thanks Donnie and Carla for all your hard work and for everything you guys did for us!!  We can't wait until you come and visit again!! 

Thanks to everyone for your prayers throughout this summer!  It's been an amazing 9 weeks, but it's not over yet.  We have one more team to arrive at the end of this week so don't forget to pray!!!


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Edgewood Baptist Church

Edgewood Baptist Church, from Hopkinsville, KY, came to minister the week of July 11-17.  We had a really awesome week!  They were a great team that worked really hard and showed Christ love to everyone they met! 

They started the week by going to Casa Blanca Baptist Church and praying for the week, as well as passed flyers out telling about the Revival that was going to take place.  A couple of the men from the team worked at Casa Blanca most of the week.  They finished out a wall in the back so that we can really have 2 Sunday School rooms.  They also got air conditioners to go in both rooms so that we can teach and the kids can listen without sweating to death!!  We are very excited about this!!

During the morning hours of the week, the group had a VBS/Backyard Bible Club in the village of Chui Chu.  This is a village that we had never done anything in before.  There is no evangelical church in the village, just a Catholic church.  So, we had built a relationship with a lady that lived in the village that was a Christian.  To our knowledge, she is the only Christian that lives there.  She was willing to open up her yard to us so that we could have a VBS with the kids.  She said that she knew that she could get a hard time from the others in the village for doing this, but she believed that she needed to do it anyway.  What a wonderful week we had!!!  About 40 kids attended each day!!!  Many of the kids said that they would come to something every week if it were available!!  Although we did get opposition from a couple of people, most everyone seemed interested/excited that we were there.  Please pray for this and the future of our ministry in the village of Chui Chu!!

At night, the group held a Revival at Casa Blanca Baptist Church!  Children's Church was offered for the children and they loved it!  There were about 25-30 kids in attendance every night.  Many visitors came thoughout the week.  One lady came during the week because her grandchildren had came to the different events we had had during the summer and she wanted to know what they loved about it so much.  The last night of the revival she was saved!!!!   So awesome!!!

The last day, the team held a Sunday School Teacher Training for anyone interested in learing more about teaching Sunday School.  It was the first time we had ever done something like this and we had a great turnout for the first time.  The people that came really learned a lot and were very appreciative to the team for coming.  Some of the ladies even came back and brought presents to the team.

We ended the week by taking the team to the Apache Trail and visiting Canyon Lake.  It was a great time to take in the beauty of God's creation and process what had happened during the week.

Here are some pics of the week:

Passing out flyers to the community

VBS kickoff event

Sweet Roger

Face Painting!!!

Tanner sharing his faith with this sweet man!

Little cowboy meets big cowboy!

Making Melodies in My Heart!!  (I am still singing this song!)

Brayden was too cute singing and doing the motions!

Fixing to learn the Bible story

Hiding from the dust devil that just came through :)

Special Singers at the Revival- they were excellent!!

Eric and Gabriella

Tanner received these as a gift from the man he shared his faith with!!

Isn't he cute??

Ella and Brayden and their new friend, Austin

Bro Brad leading the teacher training

The whole crew at Canyone Lake!
 Thanks again Edgewood Team!!  We look forward to partnering with you all again!!!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Salt and Light Community Church

This past week we had our 4th mission team of the summer from Salt and Light Community Church in Paducah, KY!  They worked all week at Casa Blanca Baptist Church cleaning and organizing during the day and having VBS at night.  I think Eric took off a total of  9 trailer loads full of trash, so they did a lot of work!! 

Here are some pics from the week:

Here's the group of 9

Working hard

I believe she had to empty the vacuum 6 times!

Ella found another new friend, Haley

Making the new SS room beautiful

Almost complete




Bible Story

Sweet Kids!

Love her!

Look what we made!

How many kids can fit on one van?  22 on this ride!

Gorgeous sunset

They had fun tackling Jeff for the last pic!

We had a fun week!!  Keep this team in your prayers as they are still traveling to get back to KY. They should be back around midnight tonight, I think.

As for our family, we are going to rest this week before another mission team gets here July 11.  We are going to spend time together and do some fun stuff with our kiddos.  I think Cars 2 might be in our near future!!!  

Thanks for continuing to think about us and remember us in your prayers!!  We so appreciate it!!