Trip Start Jun 09, 2012
Trip End Jun 14, 2012

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Where I stayed
The Rock

Flag of United States  , Missouri
Friday, June 8, 2012

    And we have safely arrived! Even after a confusion between Pastor Rockey and Rachel over waht the term "1-2-3" means when discussing gate numbers, the entire group is safe and sound at The Rock in St. Louis, Missouri: Pastor Rockey, Lois, Jan, Ron, Doug, Dave, Maureen, Jeremy, Rachel, Brandon, Mandy, Jessica, and Evelyn (Elizabeth will arrive on Sunday night, she is at a school conference)! After long plane rides and car trips, everyone is very excited to finally be here! 
    Our day began with a warm greeting from the servants here at The Rock as our flight group arrived-meeting up with old friends and beginning to meet new ones. We started with circle time (I'll explain this later for those of you that are new to the blogs from The Rock) and we met the youth that had arrived at The Rock along with some of the adults that also help out. After introductions were made, we split up for a short time and began working on some jobs while we waited for lunch to be made. Once lunch was ready we met up and enjoyed a delicious lunch made by Pat (Pastor Randy's sister) and then we went back to work! 
    However, soon the youth were pulled aside again and we discussed the planned VBS for tomorrow. Pastor Dave, the official pastor of this congregation (which is planning to be chartered soon), broke the youth up into a few groups and we went out and canvassed the neighborhood inviting youth and their families to VBS. We then proceeded to move to the nearby park where we began playing Gaga Ball. Gaga Ball is a modified version of dodgeball that is extremely fast paced and a common favorite among the youth here. Playing in the park, we were able to speak with a few people walking by and were even able to encourage a young teen to come and join us. While one may speculate that our time was not well spent considering we did not speak to volumes of people, we were a positive presence in the community that opened the doorway for us to speak to a few people, and plant the seed of Jesus Christ. 
    We returned back to The Rock and: finished jobs from earlier in the day, cleaned up, and kept getting to know one another. After dinner people continued to make friendships and Dave Labagh brought out his crosses. Dave (with the help of his son Jeremy), has begun giving crosses to the people here at The Rock and brought over 200 crosses to be beaded and strung here (Transformers Youth made 100+ of them). Gathering many of the youth, Dave began teaching them to string the crosses and all the while, relationships among these servants began to grow. We were then called to circle time for the final time. Circle time is when we all meet together and sit in a circle. Sometimes "business" is taken care of, but always, we choose a verse in the Bible to study and discuss as our Bible study. This is done by beginning in the back of the Bible and flipping until someone says stop. At this point a finger begins scrolling down the page and the same method is used, until someone says stop. Whichever book we land on, whichever verse, this is the verse we discuss. Tonight's verese was: 
A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal, but the kindest acts of the
wicked are cruel. Proverbs 12:10
As we took this verse and split into small groups to discuss it, we began to ask questions and recieve answers-from one another. As a whole from the entire group, when we regrouped, we came to the realization that through this verse God is telling us the importance of realizing God's will, and responding to it-not our will. It is God's plan that brought us here, and God's plan that will determine what relationships, experiences, and joys we have on this trip. This verse set the tone for our trip as it reminded us of the importance of placing full and complete trust in our LORD and Savior, because he has an amazing plan in mind, we only have to wait and listen to Him to discover what it is. As we prayed out everyone began to head off to the shower or bed. 
    Tomorrow we will be going to help St. John's youth group with a car wash and continuing to work here at The Rock. We will also be preparing for the VBS. Our group from Florida will be headed to worship at The Warehouse tomorrow evening as we experience a highly contemporary worship scene. 
    Once again, it is becoming increasingly apparent the importance of relationships in the body of Christ. There is no way that a church can grow, more people can come to Christ, or a change can be made unless there is a strong base of people that are bound in their relationships. Not only their relationships with each other, but also with their LORD and Savior Jesus Christ. Looking around at the friendships made and being made, it is obvious that God is working in the hearts and lives of those that are here. However, it is imperative to remember that it is not us as people that are doing these things, but rather, it is Christ through us. God has blessed us all in unimaginable ways, and this week is only the beginning as we come together and grow together closer to our heavenly Father.

In Christ,
The St. Louis Crew
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Bill and Chris Donaldson on

Looking forward to seeing you all come home. We hope all went well and you touched many a life with your service.

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