Sunday, January 22, 2006

SPACE winter expedition

Our first annual SPACE winter expedition was this weekend. The goal was two-fold. First, to take some of our core SPACE kids away and invest in them. This included the ideas of just spending time with them and getting them to bond. The second goal was to work with a homeless ministry and for these kids to hear from a family friend of ours about what it takes to be successful in this kind of ministry for the long haul. Of course, if you know me, my inherent goal along with those two was something along the lines of empowering some missionaries, church planters, artists and revolutionaries. You know, a goal that is more shallow and whimsy.

Logistically, we took them to Bridgeport, CT. Our family friend works with Pivot Ministries in Bridgeport, and we had a free place to stay at the Madre's, in nearby Fairfield. It was cool to bring these students up to my mother-in-laws with a good complement of me still seeing the fam a little bit while helping provide an experience for these students.

Here is what the overall weekend looked like schedule-wise:
F 5.00-11.00 - drive from MD to CT
F 11.30-midnight - tour of Bridgeport and Fairfield from D, touching the water in the Long Island Sound - key idea here was to get used to the context of a new place
S 7.30-4.30 breakfast, painting and late lunch at Pivot. They also did a little praise and worship at the end, where the residents sang some praise songs and gave a few quick testimonies.
S 4.30-6.30 - rest, cleanup, snack at the Madres
S 7.00-10.00 - End of the Spear movie. Incredible. A must see. The rating of PG-13 is on, just a tad bit of violence in there. The yellow plane under the backdrop of the Amazon forest is both visually stunning, if not a bit symbolic.
S 10.00-11.00 - debrief at a local New England diner. Two key ideas included:
- context and culture are important, in all manner of settings, whether it is in a different city, with your friends at school or when you live in another country.
- you meet very few people that live life with intention like Nate Saint and his mission of reaching the Waodani people.
Sun - 10.00 - church at Black Rock Congregational Church, a huge mission sending church. However, we missed the high school service, which was the original intention. It worked out fine though.
Sun - 11.30 - drive home, via Philly where JBourq has the best place for cheesesteaks.

A few other impressions:
- There were about 5 or 6 residents of Pivot that helped us paint all day long. It was really cool to actually make a connection with some of them, hearing their stories, working alongside with them. Context and connection made an impact on our students.
- As you might have read before, it was just me and another guy, TyRass. Even for a guy that lives with all girls, at times it was a little touch and go. No, seriously, it was a great group of kids. They loved each other and served on a team together that totally blessed others.
- I should try and do a better job of preparing the leaders. I need to try and give them some tangible details with the goal of empowering them to actively lead. Not quite sure what that looks like specifically.
- SPACE winter expeditions - a great experience. Well worth repeating in our toolkit of mobilizing students.

More pictures here.

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