Lots of ‘lasts’ – the end is near …

Today was Wednesday. Today was our last day for Community Service projects throughout the city; our last day to hang out in the afternoon; our last dinner together; our last evening worship; our last time settling in for a night of rest.  The fatigue and reality of the last week is taking a toll on our group and emotions are running high.  Pray for patience and sensitivity as we finish this week – that we may end well and honour each other and our new friendships.

Some hi-lites from our work day:

weeding the gardens at the Care Home

weeding the gardens at the Care Home

organizing and shelving items at the MCC Thrift Store

organizing and shelving items at the MCC Thrift Store

cleaning up the parking lot at MCC Thrift Store

cleaning up the parking lot at MCC Thrift Store

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our afternoon was very relaxed; small groups, showers, preparing for the talent show, fun activities and even some pampering to get ready for our fancy ‘Formal Dinner’.

Motorcycle rides by Marv

Motorcycle rides by Marv

pampering time!

pampering time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evening worship was great and involved lots of audience participation, as we learned about making good choices and thought about where we receive our strength.  If we are going to be true heroes, we have to look at the picture of what Jesus said and did – He shows true strength.  Shellie concluded her message at the cross (literally – a cross).  A hero’s journey starts at the cross of Jesus.  Jesus has overcome death and will give us every tool or power we need to bring truth and justice into the world and truly make a difference in the world.  We were inspired to reflect and make a very conscious choice to  join Jesus’ team by writing our names on the cross at the front of the church.  This was a very meaningful end to the worship time.

IMG_0609

 

 

 

 

After a short break, we were welcomed back into the sanctuary for the 2nd Annual Talent Show.  Participants could sign up during the day and show off their ‘talent’.  What a time of fun and great exhibitions of talent – who knew we had such greatness among us?!?!?!  Here are just a few hi-lites…

Lucas and Kyle "Wish you were here"

Lucas and Kyle “Wish you were here”

Stacey "Let It Go" (with some serious encouragement from Leah)

Stacey “Let It Go” (with some serious encouragement from Leah)

Katie and Josh dancing "The Charleston"

Katie and Josh dancing “The Charleston”

Cameron concluding with his wonderful impressions

Cameron concluding with his wonderful impressions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What a wonderful day! and what a way to begin saying ‘good bye’.  Tomorrow will be tough but we have made so many new friends and created some incredible memories.  We know that God was at work this week – within our group and through the work we were able to do.  Thank you for your love and support that has sustained us!  Continue to pray!

A day to Serve and Play!

It is so great to wake up to the amazing breakfasts that have been prepared for us, here at Serve Winnipeg!  We are so lucky to have a group of men come out really early and make sausages, bacon, toast, pancakes – whatever! it has been a wonderful way to start our days.  We definitely needed fuel for the work sites that were waiting for us today.

Spreading bark mulch in the park - everyone helps!

Spreading bark mulch in the park – everyone helps!

Decorating the Healing Blanket at the Indigenous Family Centre

Decorating the Healing Blanket at the Indigenous Family Centre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back at the church we prepared for our fun afternoon activities: Lawn Bowling! But first….

Moustache fun #1

Moustache fun #1

#2

#2

#3

#3

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 pt or 2??? in lawn bowling

1 pt or 2??? in lawn bowling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More fun happened when we returned to church!  A great worship service – challenging us to try and eliminate the many distractions in our lives to focus on our mission of listening to and looking to Jesus and working as his hands and feet.  This was followed by Evening Games, or tonight it meant: WATERFIGHT!

WATERFIGHT!

WATERFIGHT!

WATERFIGHT!

WATERFIGHT!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s late and we are tired from having so much fun!  We’ll write more tomorrow about our great worship services and other experiences we have had but this is it for now.

 

Work Sites and Group Shots

Today marked our first day to go out and SERVE in the community.  Each group was assigned a work site and headed off for the morning.  (Each day we will hi-lite 2 of the sites so that you will be able to see all of them!)  Participants enjoyed the time working together and doing some different hands-on activities.

"American Gothic" Park Clean Up Brigade

“American Gothic” Park Clean Up Brigade

Selena and Kim at BFM Thrift Store

Selena and Kim at BFM Thrift Store

Back at the church, our small group time focused on TEAMWORK – how when we work together we are stronger and can accomplish more.  The small groups also worked together to create a fun game for our “Community & Family Fun Night”.

Then it was time for our adventure in ARCHERY! What a team building and lively activity!  Fortunately, everyone followed the rules, no one got hurt and there was lots and lots of laughing.

Teamwork at Archery

Teamwork at Archery

Our evening included the usual, awesome worship time – reminding us that we are part of Jesus’ team; that we need to work together to accomplish our mission – GOing and DOing God’s work in the world; and being assured that when we work together, with God, we are STRONG.

The Community & Family Fun night was a really fun way to end an already excellent day.  We welcomed many children and adults; shared refreshments; and had some great laughs with the games.

Here are our amazing teams:

Team Green

Team Green

Team Blue

Team Blue

Team Red

Team Red

Team Yellow

Team Yellow

Good night! Keep praying for us and that God will bless the work that we are doing and the relationships that we are building throughout the remainder of this week.

 

Sunday – Actions must match our Worship

Yesterday (Saturday), we got our assignment and mission from the Hero Academy.  Our training is going to equip and prepare us to respond to the needs around us and impact our hurting world.  Our word of the day  was: GO!

In church today, we had a wonderful time in worship; we heard an inspiring sermon encouraging us to GO beyond just hearing God’s word to DO God’s word.   Isaiah 58 v 6,7 – we had to think about true fasting that honours God;  and were challenged to make our everyday actions match our worship.

We have been learning a great song through this week that ties our training and Bible learning together.  Here  is the link to the theme song: I Will Go by Starfield    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0ihxvCyrWM

We had a really fun afternoon together as a team having a Hay Ride at Birds Hill Park. Some people preferred the front seat – while others were happy to swat mosquitoes at the back!  Back at the church, we played games and spent more time getting to know each other.

During worship tonight, we were challenged to face our ‘villains’.  All heroes face villains – bad guys that look to hurt and destroy.  Shellie made us look at what villains we might face.  We had to face up to the fact that for us:  apathy, indifference and complacency are destroyers in our lives; when we think we can’t do anything so why bother? or someone else will take care of it.  We have to learn to recognize the villains in the midst of our everyday living.  Perhaps the biggest lesson of all is that you don’t have to have a super hero suit (or big sumo wrestler suit) to stand up and be a hero.  Our word of the day was: WIN!  from John 16v33: “…in the world you will have trouble. But do not be afraid. I have overcome the world.

Continue to pray for all of our participants, mentors and leadership team.  We covet your support as we learn God’s truth, build relationships and act as God’s hands and feet in Winnipeg this week.

Wagon Ride at Birds Hill Park

Wagon Ride at Birds Hill Park

The Whole Gang

The Whole Gang

Shellie - Super Hero Sumo Wrestler

Shellie – Super Hero Sumo Wrestler

after all the planning…SERVE begins!

We awoke to the amazing smells of bacon frying in the kitchen…yes, it was Saturday and the day we meet our SERVE participants.  After our awesome breakfast, we settled in for some more training and the nitty-gritty details of what our week will look like.

Around 2pm our partners arrived! There was a buzz in the air, screams of excitement as people recognized each other; lots of hugs and handshakes as mentors and participants finally met.  It was so rewarding to see the months of planning and praying finally coming together!

here you are…Introducing our Superheroes and their Sidekicks for SERVE 2014

Hero Amanda

Hero Amanda

Sidekick Maggie

Sidekick Maggie

Sidekick Amber

Sidekick Amber

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hero Michael

Hero Michael

Sidekick Liam

Sidekick Liam

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hero Cameron

Hero Cameron

Sidekick Lucas

Sidekick Lucas

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hero Kayla

Hero Kayla

Sidekick Rachel

Sidekick Rachel

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hero Gina

Hero Gina

Sidekick Katya

Sidekick Katya

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hero Riley

Hero Riley

Sidekick Lucas

Sidekick Lucas

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hero Ryan

Hero Ryan

Sidekick Sarah

Sidekick Sarah

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hero Kayla

Hero Kayla

Sidekick Kerstin

Sidekick Kerstin

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hero Kyle

Hero Kyle

Sidekick Allyson

Sidekick Allyson

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hero Joel

Hero Joel

Sidekick Shawn

Sidekick Shawn

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hero Kim

Hero Kim

Sidekick Selina

Sidekick Selina

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hero Stacey

Hero Stacey

Leah

Sidekick Leah

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hero Rodger

Hero Rodger

Sidekick Jaydon

Sidekick Jaydon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hero Matthew

Hero Matthew

Sidekick Mike

Sidekick Mike

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hometown Hero Donovan

Hometown Hero Donovan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mentors have arrived!

Friday marked one of the days that we’ve been waiting for – the SERVE mentors have arrived from across the country!  3 from Ontario, 3 from Winnipeg, 3 from Alberta and 6 from BC – all descended on Covenant CRC around noon … still not 100% sure what they were in for.  After a great lunch, we set off on some team-building adventures.  We began with canoeing on the (incredibly high) river at La Barrier Park outside of Winnipeg (hello mosquitoes!!!) and then headed into downtown for a small ‘amazing race’, ending with mini donuts at the ‘cauldron’ at the Forks.  Some great bonding took place even over these few hours.  Our evening concluded with showers, church set up and some more ‘get to know you’ activities. We are looking forward to meeting our participants tomorrow.  Finally….sleep!

Bring on the BUG SPRAY!!

Bring on the BUG SPRAY!!

Total Teamwork

Total Teamwork

Race to the finish

Race to the finish

The Gang

The Gang

 

Getting Ready

Welcome to SERVE 2014!  We will be using this space as a place to share the stories of SERVE– a mission week for youth with disabilities.  We have been thinking, planning, praying for this week over the last year.  We have a great ‘Host Team’ who have committed to working out all of the details needed to make such a fabulous week happen.  Today, I’m excited to share some of what’s been happening.

Pow

Every year, we work hard to adapt the materials created by Youth Unlimited.  We want to show a picture of inclusion by working to be part of that bigger picture.  Our theme this year is “Divine Normal: Kingdom Living by Mere Mortals.” During our week together we will be entering the Hero Academy and beginning a special hero’s journey. The week will be about discovering special abilities and powers and learning how to use them to overcome seemingly impossible situations to transform our world! This will be a place for everyone to be reminded that they are part of a super team: God’s Justice League! It is a time for youth to  claim their identity in Christ, discover strengths, participate in daring adventures, and give joyful service to others!

 

Today we are 12 days away from the official first day of Winnipeg SERVE 2014!    A good portion of the “stuff” gets organized, assembled and planned at the offices of Hope Centre Ministries.    SERVE is a great learning opportunity for summer staff/interns to learn about disability ministries as well as event planning.  It is always fun to see them embrace the many different tasks.

2014-07-07 12.50.32

 

This year “Intern April” is coordinating the writing of the Small Group materials as well as fellowship activities.  We went shopping today to purchase things for worship, small groups and random fun.  We’ve allowed SERVE to have it’s own office and look at what’s happening!

2014-07-07 12.50.512014-07-07 12.50.482014-07-07 12.50.41

So exciting to know that each of these pictures represent activities we’ll be participating in and then the fabulous stories that will accompany our memories.

 

In the midst of all of the fun plans, we happened to find a few things that made us wonder.  We’ll leave you with this picture and hope you’ll look for the context of this “villain” at SERVE 2014!

2014-07-07 12.55.36

 

As we put finishing touches on so many things we “Marvel” at how God works through us.  In these last few days we are praying for:

Each of our 14 participants, 5 of whom will be participating in SERVE for the very first time!

Each of the 15 mentors coming from all different places to SERVE:  traveling from Thunder Bay and Grimsby ON, Surrey BC, Edson AB and some from right here in Winnipeg!

The Host Team

The many volunteers who are looking to SERVE alongside:  drivers, kitchen, night hawks, fellowship coordinators.

The host church congregation

The sending churches

SERVE-ing Joyfully,

Shellie Power- Director of Spiritual Care, Hope Centre Ministries and SERVE Host Team Co-Ordinator