Friday, August 8, 2008


Here are pics of our last day at Exodus and last night of sightseeing before heading back tomorrow afternoon. Thanks again for your prayers this week...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


hey! this is Andrew. today was a cloudy rainy day in the morning. Which, of course, made me think it was still 4 in the morning which in reality it was indeed 6:30 and i had to get out of bed (Boo!) Today was a good day though as we became more and more familiar with the "daily grind" at Operation Exodus. The kids began to listen and fall in line a little bit more and we began to relax a little bit more too. This had been a previous worry of mine, and is now an answered prayer. I have had a lot of fun talking with our tutor, Argelis. (pronounced, Ar-hel-ize) She's really laid back and jokes around just as me and Rileigh do. Towards the end of the day we realized that we have to have a lesson and skit planned for tomorrow (thursday) which we were not previously notified of. So tonight we pulled together another skit and a lesson by Jason. Tomorrow, we are going with the kids to a big community/city pool. Hopefully it works out well and is fun and not too chaotic, but we'll see. Pray for us!


Additional Prayer Requests:
- Catherine's arm continues to be sore. Thanks for praying for it and please continue to do so.
- Daniel did a great job speaking in front of all of the kids at Exodus. It was really cool to see him up there sharing how God has worked in his life.
- Please continue to pray for good rest at night. While we are enjoying our time here, I think the week is beginning to catch up with some of us, so we'd really appreciate your continued prayers for that. Please pray that we'd each have the strength and energy to finish out the week strong.
- Like Andrew mentioned above, we are going swimming with the kids on Thursday. Daniel, Rileigh, Andrew, Jonathan and Audrey are going with their classes to one pool. Rachel, Catherine and I (Jason) are going to a different pool with the kindergarten and first grade kids.

Thanks for reading and praying...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Quick Update

Hey everyone,

We wrapped up our second day of work at Exodus today. The team is working really hard. I decided to give the kids the night off from writing on the blog, so I'll just try to give you an idea of what a typical day at the program looks like:

6:45 - breakfast
7:20 - walk out the door to Exodus
8:10ish - arrive at Exodus
8:30 - go to breakfast at local school with Exodus kids
9:10 - morning assembly
9:30 - 12:00 - tutoring time (reading, writing, math, etc.)
12:00 - lunch back at the same local school
12:45 - creative time (arts/crafts or some other fun activity)
1:15 - recreation time at the park (so far consisting of kickball, basketball, dodgeball and playground time)
3:15 - afternoon snack
4:00 - praise and worship time
4:40 - ending assembly
5:00 - kids go home

We then eat dinner at Exodus. Tonight we had an awesome dinner of chicken fajitas, chips and salsa, watermelon, salad and cheesecake. We got back to the hostel shortly after 8:00. After we get back to the hostel we grab showers and try to get some down time before it all starts over again.

Prayer Requests:
- Please continue to pray for Catherine...the swelling on her arm has gone down, but it is still hurting her. It hasn't slowed her down, though. She was the MC for our praise and worship time and ending assembly while the Exodus director, Matt, was away. She did awesome. Also pray for our coordinator, Bobbi Jo. She has water in one of her knees, so she's experiencing some discomfort from that.
- Please pray for our rest. Some of us have had a hard time either falling asleep or sleeping straight through the night. Getting up for a 6:45 breakfast is also a bit hard. :-)
- Please pray that God would give us wisdom in how to love the kids at Exodus. We want to be able to serve the tutors we're working with and also manage/discipline the kids in a way that is best for them.
- We got good feedback on our praise and worship time today, so thanks for praying. The students on our team have put another skit together for tomorrow, so please pray that the Exodus kids will respond well to what we're sharing with them. Daniel will be sharing his testimony during that time, so please pray specifically for him!

Try to post again tomorrow with pictures...

Monday, August 4, 2008

First Day at Exodus

Hey ya’ll, hey howdy hey!!! This is Riles. We had our first day at operation exodus! This morning at 7:20 we walked out the door to head to operation exodus. Andrew and I are working with upcoming 6th graders. It was a bunch of fun! After tutoring time we walked the kids to lunch and ate pizza, yummy yummy! Then we did a skit in the bag!! (Mrs. Kellogg’s idea) It was an awesome experience…. word (as Haughton would say). During the creative time Rachel played kick ball! We ate dinner at Malecon. Chicken, rice and fried bananas we’re served! Now I am up on the roof of our hostel in the city of Harlem. Now that’s exciting!!!!!!!!!!! Well I am going to have more fun now so I can’t write any longer.


Additional Prayer Requests:
- Please pray for Mrs. Kellogg . A fly ball came out of nowhere while we were at the park and injured her arm today. It is a bit swollen and we picked up a sling for her tonight at CVS. Please pray that it would heal quickly!
- Tomorrow we lead our first praise and worship time. Our kids will be performing a skit and Jason will be speaking. One of the individuals here with us, Elizabeth, will be giving her testimony.

Thanks for your prayers!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Days 1 & 2

Hey everyone,

Hope that your weekend has been great. It's hard for me to believe that we just arrived here yesterday. It feels as though we have done a ton! Here's a quick summary:

We arrived at our hostel shortly after 3pm. Our flights got delayed a little because of rough weather in New York. After a brief orientation from our coordinator, Bobbi Jo, we ventured out into the city. We hopped onto the subway and made our way to Central Park. Andrew and I got particularly excited when we thought we spotted the bridge that the main characters of the movie "Cloverfield" took shelter in.

We then headed over to Rockefeller Center. We bought tickets to go to the "Top of the Rock." It started to rain as we got in the elevator to go up 67 floors, but fortunately the rain stopped once we got there. We had an awesome view of the city at night. Everyone loved this part of the evening.

After that we needed to get back to our hostel, so we made our way through Times Square to the subway station.


We got back on the subway and traveled to the end of the line so that we could go on the Staten Island Ferry. Not only was this free, but we only had to wait ten minutes. We had a great view of the Statue of Liberty.

We wrapped up our afternoon by going to Ground Zero and then back to Times Square to check out the Virgin Record Store and Toys 'R Us.

After all of our sightseeing and running around town, it was time to remember why we are really here. :-) We participated in worship at Uptown Community Church, a church plant in Washington Heights. At the end of the service, one of the kids said to me, "Look! They've got a table of snacks just like our church!" We followed the service with our final orientation as we prepare to go to Operation Exodus tomorrow morning.

Thanks for praying for us! We made it to all of our destinations safely and without getting lost! Catherine is also feeling better. Please continue to pray for us. Please pray for our first day at Exodus tomorrow. Pray that we'd start making relationships with the kids and tutors there and that we'd work well with the other church and individuals that are also here.

I'll try to get some other people to share their thoughts in the next few days.


Saturday, August 2, 2008

airport LOLz

It is 8:15 in the am in the orlando airport(no one is really awake in case you were wondering) and we are all sort of just chilling. We barely scraped through security...Daniel had a water bottle in his backpack that the security guy took as part of "basic procedure". Daniel has been saying lolz a lot because its fun to say. And we were checking out Rileigh's security on her wallet. She had her wallet in her backpack pretty much deadbolted to the rest of her backpack. That was just a little fun fact to float your boat.


Friday, August 1, 2008

NYC or Bust!

Hey everyone,

Hard to believe it, but our team is meeting at the airport at 7am tomorrow morning to head to New York! It's crazy to think that it's finally here. We should arrive in New York around 2pm. After taking a cab ride over to our hostel, we are planning on doing some sightseeing. Hopefully we'll get to check out Times Square, the Empire State building and Central Park.  

In case you don't know who all is going on the trip, our team is: Daniel, Andrew, Audrey, Rileigh, Jonathan & Rachel. Catherine and I are going as the leaders. It's a great group of people. I think I'm most excited about getting to serve alongside all these folks while we are in New York.

We will try to update this blog as often as we can with pictures and stories about what we've been up to. If you think about praying for us while you wait for the next entry, here are some things we would appreciate prayer for:

- safe flights and that we would be able to navigate our way around 
- unity among the members of our team, as well as the other teams we will be joining in NYC
- hearts that are excited about serving the Lord during our week
- that we would trust God is accomplishing His will even if our plans get changed
- that our project coordinator, Bobbi Jo, would feel refreshed even after hosting teams for the past six weeks

Thank you so much for supporting us! Can't wait to see what God has in store for us.