Monday, January 27, 2014

We're in Arizona!


Well, after being snowed in for three days under 17" of snow and below zero temps, we were finally able to begin our journey from Indiana to Arizona. Our original plans were to pack our u-haul trailer on Monday, January 6, and head out to Arizona on January 7. However, as we all know, more often than not, our timing is much different than God's timing. This was certainly one of those times. We were very eager to reach Arizona, but in this instance, God was calling us to be patient and wait on Him. Sunday, January 5th brought 17" of snow with gusting winds and waist-high drifts. The following days produced windchills of close to 48 degrees below zero. We finally saw a plow on Tuesday afternoon, January 7th. Wednesday, we were able to dig out, pick up our trailer, and get it loaded. After packing nearly all day Wednesday, we were able to begin our journey from snowy Indiana to sunny Arizona Thursday morning, January 9th.

view out our door in Indiana
view out our door now in AZ

We thank you for all your prayers for our safe travels. We certainly felt them along the way! By Thursday evening, January 9th, we had reached Springfield, Missouri. Our second day of travel brought us to Tucumcari, New Mexico. On our third day of travel, Saturday, January 11th, we reached our destination at the Southwest Indian Ministry Center in Peoria, Arizona around 6pm. We were very glad to reach our new home and we were very well-received! We were welcomed by pizza, groceries, and the Colt's game all in our apartment thanks to the other missionaries her on the field. It was great!

We quickly settled in and jumped into camp. LIT Weekend Camp was just around the corner. LIT Weekend Camp in January is for our youth who are interested in leadership in general, whether that be leadership in their schools, churches, communities, etc.--it's an all-encompassing leadership camp. For this camp we had a total of 13 Leaders in Training (LITs). Jon and I led 3 training sessions on leadership. The first focused on leadership as Christ commanded it in the Great Commission in Matthew 28 when He called us to make disciples of all nations. The second lesson focused on the great leaders of the Bible. We chose to dig a little deeper into the story of Gideon in Judges 6 and 7 and discover the qualities that made him a great leader of God. Lastly, we chose to focus on what happens when leaders fail. We thought it was important for our young leaders to realize that you don't have to be perfect to be a leader and how to pick yourself back up again when you fail and continue on God's path. For this lesson, we spoke about Peter's denial of Christ and how Christ offered him a chance to redeem himself in John chapter 21. This camp is also important because it is a chance for our youth to help us brainstorm ideas that they would like to see implemented into our summer camps this year. They had some awesome ideas! The weekend was also packed with 3 video messages from Louie Giglio, a hike and scavenger hunt through Thunderbird Park, a youth-led Sunday worship service, lots of games and icebreakers, smoothies and food that "tasted like it came down from heaven" (camper quote).  It was a great chance for us to build relationships with future youth leaders and it was very inspiring to see God at work in their lives!

Group pic before our hike
Games in the dorm
Youth-led Sunday worship service

Now, our focus is continuing with our fundraising. One way we are doing this is by connecting with local churches. Unfortunately, after we switched from being a boarding school to being a camp ministry back in 2000, we lost contact with many of our supporters and volunteers for the ministry. Jon and I are trying to reestablish these connections, and partner with local churches to get them back involved in what we are doing now at SIMC. It has been fun to reconnect others with the ministry. It seems that just about everywhere we go, we find someone who has been involved with SIMC in one way or another and we enjoy listening to their stories about how God has been working through history to develop this ministry. We look forward to meeting new friends through this process.

We thank you for your part in our journey and will continue to keep you updated on how God is working here,

-Lindsay and Jon