Tag Archives: nine70

No Wasted Moments in Guatemala City

nine70 Guatemala 1
The team of young adults from nine70 at Timberline Church may not have understood why they were traveling to Guatemala City for Spring Break instead of to Beach Reach on South Padre Island, but God had a beautiful plan. Not a moment was wasted as every day was filled with opportunities to build relationships and discover more about God’s heart for the people of Guatemala.

Their initial task was to paint the feeding center, but they quickly discovered equally important opportunities for conversations and building relationships. While painting the outside of the building, they were assisted by others who attended the church and the feeding center, including many with unspeakable abandonment and addiction issues. In fact, several of the local drunks met Pastor Araceli’s requirement to stay sober so they could help with the painting. Several girls on the team were able to form a relationship with a 13-year-old girl who had been victimized and was living on the streets. They began to pray for God to provide an opportunity for her to go into a shelter.

On their second day in Guatemala, the team attended Pastor Araceli’s church. All of the church’s regular attendees, individuals from the elderly home, the orphans from the children’s home, and even some new friends made while painting all came to the service. “During church, one of our team members got up and told his testimony, a story full of God’s redemption after years of turning away from Him and towards addiction. After he finished telling his story, Pastor Araceli gave the opportunity for people that wanted to give up their addictions and give their lives to Christ to come up and our team member could pray with them. At that moment (the girl we met the first day) and a man who deals with addiction, came and prayed that very prayer. It was a beautiful moment, and one that could only be written by the Author of beautiful stories like those.”

nine70 Guatemala 3

The next few days were spent painting the entire outside of the building as well as the inside of the feeding center, the church, office space, a computer room, and a bathroom area. One highlight for the team was giving a small gift to the men who had helped paint and watching the joy on their faces as they realized they could be productive and had been able to give back to the church and feeding center that helped them. God also provided opportunities for the team to serve food at the feeding center and pray over the people that had come there, including those wanting to overcome alcoholism and depression. Their prayer is that the many alcoholics they met would find hope and a better life in Jesus. The relationships built over several days will have a lasting impact.

One specific prayer was answered when the 13-year-old girl they met the first day was offered an opportunity to live at a home and then was picked up by an organization that places children into orphanages. The team’s prayer is that she will be protected and that God will continue to cultivate the seed that has been planted in her heart by putting more believers in her path to continue showing her Christ’s love.

Once the team finished their painting at the feeding center, they were free to visit the elderly home to deliver collected craft materials. They also did a skit with Taz the cat (the former mascot from Kids Church at Timberline) at both the feeding center and the children’s home.

nine70 Guatemala 2

Their final day of ministry was spent at the children’s home building a stove and playing with the children. Previously, the women who did the cooking would spend four hours a day over an open flame stove, putting them at increased risk for lung diseases. After the guys on the team finished, these women had a closed flame, chimney and a new roof that would help them for years to come. The rest of the day was filled with loving on the orphans that live there and learning more about God’s Father heart.

As the team prepared to head back to Colorado, they were thankful for the time spent with Timberline Ambassadors Hannah Mullaney and the Cherry family. After a week in Guatemala, they had discovered anew that God answers prayer. In fact, God revealed Himself to the team in many different ways, teaching them how the body of Christ works intricately together and that each individual was gifted in their own unique ways.

For those still wondering what it would have been like to serve in South Padre Island, God provided that opportunity, too. While on the underground train at Denver International Airport headed toward baggage claim, team members encountered several young women returning from a week at South Padre Island and were able to spend time talking to them.

God never wastes a moment.

Pancakes + Prayer + People

It is a blessing, challenge, and a discovery to tell the story of what happens on the mission field. Of course, the full impact of the work that missionaries do cannot be found on this blog; it is the work of God through those who are willing to serve that goes beyond what we can even begin to put into words. This is what I love about Kingdom work! It’s beautiful when told and shared, but even more lovely as it grows. Stories are captivating and contagious. They are passed on because they relate more than just the facts, and they often have the power to convey an indescribable connection.

Last week, Ron and I sat down with Jenica Edwards to hear about the mission trip to South Padre Island, Texas.

Beach Reach Mission Trip

This was Jenica’s third year to travel down to Texas with the nine70 team. The purpose of the trip is simple: serve and love. But the mission trip itself was far from simple. During Spring Break week, the island of South Padre is overrun with college students ready to spend the entire week partying. The island population jumps to 40,000-50,000 during the week, and this year an extra celebration on the island garnered an additional 10,000 people. The overpopulation and younger crowd presents additional dangers, and even with reinforced police assistance, the safety of the partiers is still a huge concern.

Beach Reach (BR) is a national organization made up of churches mostly from Texas that bring in groups to serve and love the young, often confused crowd of college students. Jenica describes the chaos of the island at night: non-stop sirens, ambulances, and people everywhere. The teams pass out hotline cards for anyone to call to get free and safe transportation from one place to another. The BR teams use this time at night in van to talk to the partiers and try to build relationships. At midnight, they serve a pancake breakfast for the spring breakers.

Spring Break evangelism is a unique ministry, and Jenica told us why it is such an important ministry to her. She says that Beach Reach “stretches the mentality of missions, and you can serve in a very tangible way.” The people they serve in South Padre think they are getting a nice ride and free pancakes, but many of them need much more than that. Each year is different—the people they meet all have different stories—but Jenica says that prayer is one of the strongest tools they use.

Before the trip, the BR team meets and goes through a training to prepare for all parts of the trip. The group talks about ways to talk to the spring breakers in order to move into deeper connections rather than the typical surface conversations that normally take place when you first meet someone. They pray a lot also—for the people they will meet and for each other. Often exhaustion can be difficult to deal with—between sleep deprivation and the amount of people to talk to—and so the team constantly reminds each other that it is God doing the work, not them.

Jenica says that one of her favorite times during the week is the beach cleanup. Monday night was her team’s assigned time to pick up the beach. So, after spending all night giving rides, having conversations and prayers, and cooking pancakes, the group headed back to the beach to clean. Around 3 a.m. they began to pick up the trash, broken coolers, beer cans, flip flops, and clothes scattered all over the beach. After the beach is clean, the group gathered together to worship God as the sun comes up. Jenica says it is a reminder of what God does in our own lives: He cleans us up. The next day, the beach is filled with more parties and another mess. But each night, the beach is cleaned, just as He cleans us up—again and again. The team also uses the cleanup time to pray over the beach.

One story Jenica shared was about a connection she made with a football player, Sean, from Minnesota. Jenica’s van had picked him up with some friends to take them to a party, and she started talking to him. At first they talked about CSU, but then he said he didn’t think she could relate to anything he was going through. Then Jenica asked him why he came down to South Padre. He explained that he needed to get away from things back home. When she asked what was going on, Sean said that he was taking care of his nephew because of his sister’s drug addiction. Jenica couldn’t believe it—that was her same story. She told him that she could relate to him because that was her story. When he asked why she wasn’t partying, Jenica opened up to him about how God had won over her heart. She shared her Romans 8:37 bracelet with him—“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”  She challenged him to see what that verse would mean in his nephew’s life. She told him how God plays that role in her own life—He is the Conqueror.  In a surprising turn, Sean challenged her: he presented her with a bracelet that said, “Mothers-Sisters-Daughters-Friends.” He wanted her to be a support for the women in her life. Jenica was surprised, but accepted the bracelet and told him she would keep the promise. Today, Jenica still talks to Sean. She has told him about her upcoming trip to Africa and the mission work she will be doing there. Sean asks questions about church, and he knows that she is Christian. Most of the conversations about church come up on his terms, but Jenica keeps praying for him.

The BR team knew from the beginning that the ministry they would do on the island would only be possible if they let God do the work. They constantly reminded themselves that God doesn’t call the qualified, but he qualifies the called. Another important aspect of the each day was the debriefing time the team set aside to share with one another about how the previous night went. Jenica says that it is a spiritually intimate experience to lead someone to Lord, and sharing it with the team is powerful and encouraging. They were able to witness the Holy Spirit working, and it was something to rejoice in!

After the last night out, the team woke up early to pack the white vans and head to San Antonio to catch a flight back to Colorado. The nine70 Beach Reach team listened when God called them to serve and love the spring breakers in South Padre. Although they couldn’t predict the encounters and the people that would be there, they went. Each of them has their own stories to tell from the week. They prayed God would use them, and He did.

Praying for the Beach Reach Mission Trip

A group of our young adults left Friday for a mission trip to South Padre Island in Texas. Timberline Church is part of the ministry of Beach Reach. The team is heading down to serve the thousands of college students who come every year to party on the beaches of South Padre. From transportation to helping with hydration and sunscreen, the Beach Reach teams comes to serve the physical needs of the spring breakers in order to open the door to conversations about the love of Christ. The free water, free pancakes, and free sunscreen are only the beginnings to starting conversations.

During their mission trip to South Padre, the Beach Reach teams are requesting prayer for their ministry. They have established a Prayer Wall to provide you with updates and current events so that we can pray specifically for their time down there. Please visit the Beach Reach Prayer Wall here to see their updates and prayer needs.