Well, our goal was to post everyday while we were away but due to lack of cell reception and wifi those post were not able to happen. I challenged all of our students to write about how they saw God at work this week. For me: My work team and I got off to a slow start on Monday. We had to hang around base camp a little longer to take care of some things and it was a frustrating way to start our week. We finally go out to our first job site and got to work on what we thought might be a less than full day of work. Around 4:00 it was time to make a choice, pack up and head to the showers and return tomorrow to finish or power through and finish this site and be late for showers. There was no hesitation from my group, we were going to finish this job no matter what. Let me tell you, 4:00 PM after a frustrating start to they day and working in extreme heat I never would have thought a group of high school students would choose to continue to work. That moment set the bar for our week, it brought us together as a team and proved to us that there was going to be NOTHING that could stop us this week. God blessed us with the strength to finish that job along with 2 other jobs through out the week.
I saw God working in and around all of the students who attended this camp, I saw God in the way the community welcomed us with open arms, and I saw God changing lives in worship in the evenings. As a whole our UM ARMY camp completed 31 Job sites! In my 12 years of attending UM ARMY I have never been with a camp that completed that many sites.
We had a great week in Center, TX working, building, and worshiping together. Bellow are some of our students who attended and how they saw God at work this week!
I saw God this week working through me in Center, TX. I feel in my heart that it was no coincidence that I was placed with Mama Mary and her three grandchildren as my clients. The three children experienced losing both parents in a horrible car accident. Since I too have experienced losing a parent we had much in common. I felt God used me to share my similar stories with my clients.
The Lord gave my group the strength to finish our 60ft sorting table for the Shelby County Outreach Ministries Facility. After powering through many challenges, we went and helped another group work on there site for the rest of the day. Our sorting table will allow the workers to take in donations more efficiently and therefore they will help more people in need. While we did not see the results personally God worked through us to help a community in need!
I saw God at work this week through my Youth director Joel. He bought our homeowner’s grand kids a football and we got to throw it around with them.They were so happy and I’m not sure if Joel realized how much it meant to them. Small acts of kindness go a long way.
I saw God at work on my work site when a neighbor of our homeowner came over and told us her take on the work of God and how it can help restore a persons health
Well, I can say without a doubt that Wednesday is always the hardest day of UM ARMY. Everyone is worn out, but incredible things happen on Wednesdays. I saw God through my work team today. It was the second day of building a loading dock for the local community outreach facility. We had a lot of nails to put in. Now, my team puts nails in ridiculously fast….I on the other hand, could not. One nail in particular was being very stubborn, all of my team had already finished except me. Right when my frustration was about to get the best of me, my team started cheering me on. I felt empowered and i Pushed through and got that nail in! I know that without my team I wouldn’t have had the strength to finish my job, and finish our second work site as well! God has really worked through me this week and it has been amazing!
I saw God today in the attitudes and spirits of my wonderful work team. Each member of my work team continuously encouraged each other to work hard and to show our sites homeowner the love of Jesus Christ. We went into our first project today knowing that this deed would radiate the love of God through out Center, TX.
Today being the first day of this great adventure we call UMARMY you never know what will happen, good or bad or even if you will see how God is working. It always comes back to God in a positive way. Seeing God on the first day is an amazing way to start off the week. With my work team we knocked out our first house on the first day. To see the dedication in each person and God working through each person in the group to fix the house of an elderly lady was amazing and a great way to start off my week!
It is hard to describe where is saw God because he was everywhere, but especially in my work team. They were all funny and beautiful and made me feel like i belonged. I have never bonded with a group of people that intensely before. The work was hard,but I didn’t feel hard; it actually felt like fun because i was doing Gods work. This experience makes me want to come back every year until I am no longer able to.
Today (Friday) I volunteered to read our last team lunch devotional. It focused on our free will and how we make the choice to have God be a constant in our lives. The setting was very fitting for this because we were at sonic around lunch time so it was very loud and busy. I was amazed because my team was extremely focused as we were reading and discussing God’s word. We made the choice to let God be the focus of that time and it was very impact full.
I saw God in our clients. They were constantly coming around to thank us and stored water and Gatorade for us. When we ate lunch they come and sat with us and told their stories about their mission trips that they go on. They both recently went to Guatemala to give churches and groups of people the courage to stand strong in their faith. they said that if you where to tell them that they would be going all around the world to help people grout in their faith they would say you were crazy. This made me realize that what you have planned for your life isn’t exactly what God has planned for you.
I’ve spent this week with with pastors, youth directors, and born again Christians who were only first born fifteen years ago. I’ve spent this week with drug dealers, addicts, criminals, and crooks. Nearly everyone Ive talked to this week has been to prison, or has a friend, a relative, a coworker that’s been to prison. These are the people that society has failed. The people that have had nothing since the day they were born and have seen the things they’ve gathered throughout their life get taken back or stolen. I watched a woman get her car repossessed this week on the same day that she got a job that would’ve let her take care of those missing payments. I watched small children’s eyes light up at the sight of a poorly made peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I’ve seen people struggle. Struggle in ways that English can’t convey effectively. These are the people that need us. Smiling at them in the stores as they count their change, hoping that they’ll have enough to feed their family won’t help. Wheelchair ramps, painting, little mass produced bibles and crosses won’t help. What these people need is love and opportunity. Do you know what I’ve learned this week? That we are all just the same. I listened to a felon preach the same tales as a pastor. Kids playing around unaware of their situation. Unaware that the world has forgotten about them. That we Christians have forgotten about them. We have the power to lift these people out of squalor, to ease some of their worst tribulations. But what do we do instead? We work for a week in the summer at a camp or one weekend a month at the food bank or toss a few bills at someone who is in greater need. We are lighting a single match in the dark when we have enough wood to make a fire. We have the ability to help these people through organizations and government programs that give people the help they desperately need but instead we spend our money on useless boats and toys and endless wars. We have the power to substantially change poverty in our world for the better. Will you use that power?