Friday, June 29, 2007

We're in La Esparanza!!!!

Wow, we cannot believe how fast time is passing by. We are now in La Esperanza Corp and although it is very different from the one in Buenos Aires, we are very excited and happy to be here.

Well, we had a great day on Monday with all the people from Buenos Aires. All the young people got together with the group and went with us shopping in the morning and then went to a park in the evening. We had such a great time playing games and talking with them. Then we went back home and said our goodbyes which was very sad.

Then we got up early in the morning on Tuesday and we moved all of our stuff to La Esperanza Corp. We arrived at the corp at about 10:00 that morning. As soon as we got there, Captain Samaniego and Major Alvarado welcomed us to the corp. We had our first meeting at five that afternoon. We met with the children from the corp and had a rehearsal for a special number we are doing with them on Saturday night for the campaign. It was great to see the passion the children have to participate. We were all very excited. The girls were so nice to us and they made us feel like at home right away.

On Wednesday, we were in charge of the Home League meeting which actually was wonderful. We had so many people and they were all so nice to us as well. We played games, sang songs, read the Bible and even had a contest. Since we are having a campaign this weekend; we got the idea of getting all of them to make an invitation. We provided them with construction paper and other materials and they had to be very creative. We were so impressed with the invitations. All the women really put their hearts into it when they wrote their invitation. Therefore, after the contest, we decided to ask them to take their invitation with them and give it to their neighbors. They all agreed that they were going to do their part in helping their church to grow, it was amazing.

Then we went out to give out literature and reach out to people on Thursday and we were able to meet a lot of people from the surrounding area. We invited so many people to the campaign as well and we are praying that many people come tonight and the next two days. Then at seven we went to the Central Corp to the united service. All of the three corps got together and La Esperanza lead the meeting. Stephanie and Josh were able to give their testimony and SJ translated. It was really amazing. A lot of people showed up and we had a wonderful time praising the Lord together.

Today we went out and handed out some more literature to the other side of town. It was great because the whole team felt so much more confident about doing this and we praise God for that. We thank the Lord for giving us the words and the courage to go out and reach people. We've had a few doors closed on us but many, many of them were opened.

Please be praying for La Esperanza Corp and for the ministry we will be doing this weekend during the campaign. We pray that many people show up and that we are able to reach many souls. Please keep us all in your prayers!!!!!!!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Jambo from the Kenyan Team

(Jambo is some sort of greeting)
Thank you friends and family for all of your wonderful comments! Keep it up, because it is good to hear from you that way, and it makes us all feel loved!
Since the last time we updated, we have been very busy!
We worked at the Korogocho outpost in the Korogocho slums from Monday to Wednesday. We tore down a concrete platform and constructed a new one with 3 tiers and a tile floor. Of course, we had help from local construction workers and soldiers from the outpost. We also painted several coats of white paint on the newly plastered walls. Much progress was made in only 3 days!
Here are some highlights from our experiences:
- Visiting homes in the Korogocho slums
- Visiting an HIV/AIDS counseling center in the Kor. Slums
- Eating chapati everyday at Capts. Muwue's home Monday through Wednesday
(chapati is like a thick flour tortilla with small vegetables in the dough)
- Leading a service at the newly renovated Korogogho outpost on Wednesday night (the energy in the room was explosive)
-Visiting the 2nd largest slum area in Africa- Kibera slums- on Thursday
(Kibera has somewhere around 1,000,000 people living in the span of about 3.1 miles....crazy!)
- Getting the opportunity to pray with people infected with the HIV virus who were living in Kibera.
- Sleeping in on Friday morning after a very long week
- Haggling for souvenirs at a local market in Nairobi

It has been a jam packed week, and tomorrow we leave at 7 in the morning to go to western Kenya for another jam packed week. A week of nothing but 6 o'clock mornings and beautiful country. We are told that down one 15 mile street in Western Kenya, there is a corps on every other street corner. Also, there are over 130,000 soldiers in western Kenya. God is really blessing that area. New unauthorized corps just seem to pop up all over the place. Praise God!

We are excited though for tomorrow and for next week. And I (Lindsey) am even celebrating my 20th birthday while we are in Western Kenya. So I am of course excited about that. (It's on the 26th of June...leave comments! lol)

God has been using all of us in a powerful way. We have all given our testimonies while we have been here, and we have used our talents to glorify God in various meetings. They can't seem to get enough of our gospel arts dance!

Well, we love you all, and hope that you are all doing well, whatever country you happen to be in!
Keep us in your prayers,
The Kenyan Team
(and Lindsey the Journalist)

PS sorry about no pictures.....none of us have a USB cord to transfer pictures. = (

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

From Your Brothers In Peru!!!


Well, it seems we've been slackin' in the blog area, so Josue(Josh) and I(David) are taking over.

We don't really know when we posted last, so we're gonna start with the weekend...

On Saturday, we hit up some ruins in the middle of nowhere. I'm not quite sure it's what we were expecting...I know I was thinking more grass and pyramid-style stuff as opposed to just dirt and rock, but never-the-less, it was alright. There was some crazy statue thing in a hole and that was definitely the ruin highlight. Well, that and the fact that we pretty much went in to every roped-off area with Mayor(Major). After the ruins, we went to the beach and all got sunburned. Nice. The water was too cold to go in but we had a pretty nice time walking around and got some pretty nice views of the culture. When we returned in the evening, we had a youth meeting with the young adults and teens from the corps. They tought us some fun games and we did the same for them. It was a great chance for fellowship and to get to know them even more. Their youth group is at least 20 strong and all of them participate in corps activities and evangilism regularly.

On Sunday, we had a meeting that started at 8 in the morning(nice). The CSM spoke and brought the fire. Even though we didn't understand anything he was saying, you could still feel the Holy Spirit and the power coming through. It was pretty amazing. Then we all went to Sunday school in groups and got a chance to spend time with the kids of each age group. It's been great to be able to get to know the kids and spend as much time with the youth as we have thus far...they've really embraced us and welcomed us. Even though the people here don't have a lot to give, they're offering us everything they do have. It's quite humbling and inspiring. God is doing amazing things in this country with the people. Never have I seen people so in love with the Lord as we have here. After sunday school, we split into pairs and ate with different people from the corps at their homes. They sure did know how to feed us well. We then had an open air and passed out a bunch of flyers to people in the area. That night at the Salvationist meeting, they had an attendance of almost 90 -- more than double any other meeting until that point. Mayor Montoya spoke and, again, you could feel the Holy Spirit in the room. At the end of the meeting he opened up the alter to people who felt led to go and it was great to see so many people just break in front of The Lord.

Monday began at 12 AM with the beginning of Mayor's birthday celebration. All of the young adults and teens from the corps came to the school at 11:30 on Sunday night and at midnight we started singing and setting off bottle rockets, one of which landed in a neighboring house, to start off Mayor's special day with a bang. We all sang and danced for about an hour and the party continued when we woke up later on that day. We spent the morning preparing for this coming weekend's campaigns and then went to a corps member's house for a party for Mayor. At Pepe's house, we all experienced something new because it seems he trains chickens for cock-fighting, which is a big thing down here. Definitely something that none of us had ever been a part of before. He put some boxing glove things on the birds and gave us a little exhibition, but no birds were harmed during that time... Mayor then came over and we ate...again...and partied it up for a couple of hours before returning to the corps where all of the corps members had a surprise party waiting for Mayor. These people really know how to party. We sang some praise choruses for the party and, again, ate and danced. It was a great day for everyone.

Yesterday, we went to Chiclayo and did some work projects with the corps there. We got up around 6 and headed downtown to board a bus for the 3-hour ride there...during all of which Josue had a baby kicking him in the side. Once we arrived with ten people from the youth group here in Trujillo, we got to work. We moved a bunch of rocks and dirt to build the foundation for a new floor before lunch and after we cleaned and painted the new chapel. We got a lot done to help out the people and corps officers there and it was nice to get our hands dirty and put our able bodies to good use. On the way home, we were defintely in need of team massage time and we embraced the opportunity to relax for a little while.

Today has been fairly eventful as well. We started the morning by going in full uniform to the Mayor's(of the town) office to meet with him and discuss issues within the town of Buenos Aires and to discuss how they are helping and can help the army here. Sadly, he wasn't there but was represented by the deputy Mayor. Afterwards, we had to go downtown to a drug store and get medicine because pretty much everyone on the team has caught a cold or "stomach issues" from the cold, damp air and food. We have a lady cooking for us here, so it's like we've been eating at the same restaurant for a week and half...not in a bad way though. We just returned from passing out flyers to the surrounding houses for this weekend's corps campaign. We passed out about 60 flyers and we're praying that there is a good turn-out for the corps this weekend.

Well, sorry about the length of the post, but that's what happens when you go a week without an update! We'll do our best to keep everyone posted more on the goings-on here.

Hope all is well at home and keep praying for us!

- Josue y David

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Finally...We made it to Kenya

We made it safely to Kenya and have been having such a good time that we haven't had the opportunity to get on the internet.
After sitting on the runway for 2 hours in Atlanta, we took off over a week ago for Kenya. 16hours of flight time later, we landed in Nairobi, after a 10minute stop in Amsterdam (we were supposed to have 3 hours in Amsterdam).
We arrived in Kenya on a Tuesday night, and we have been up to so much since then!
Here are some highlights:
3 open air meeting in 2 days,
An amazingly long and exciting soccer game at the children's home
Taste testing Kenyan dishes....ugali and chapati
Visitations in 2 different slum areas in Nairobi
Building relationships with our friends here
Breathing in the wonderful Nairobi pollution
Drinking 2 cups of tea during every tea time

It's incredible that we have been able to do so much in such a little amount of time! Only a week!
During 2 of our open airs, 82 people raised their hands saying that they accepted Jesus as their savior.
The people here are so nice and friendly. They are soooo warm here, and they never meet a stranger. They have accepted our entire team with open arms, and they believe in us so much. These people have so much faith and believe that prayer really works and is powerful- Which it is, but sometimes we can forget.

So we are having a very good time, and we are all in good health, no malaria to speak of, and no bug bites either. Well, I have one bug bite, but that's it! And we are being fed very well here.

Next week, we are going to a rural area for 7 days (it will take a 9 hour car ride to reach the area), so that will be interesting. Malaria is worse in that area, but Jesus saves (as Kris says everyday).

We love you all
Kenyan Team
PS .. some extras
-we are learning a lot of swahili
- we have had a wonderful driver here named Arnold who we do not like now because he is leaving us
-Daynes spoke at the open air woah
-Nathan preached amazingly, but despite the power of his sermon, Kris feel asleep
-We have a maid named Meble....she does everything- makes our beds, taught us to cook Kenyan dishes, washes our clothes, cleans the house. She is great!
- We are staying in a beautiful 4 bed, 2 bath home.....for now, and it is great! It has hot water on most days, which is a luxury we won't see much here!
And now I am done
from Lindsey the journalist

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day from Gulfport!

So here we are with almost one full week under our belts.

Since the last time I updated Captain Monique led a prayer meeting where I (Shannon) did a mime to the song "Praise You in this Storm" by Casting Crowns. We also went to a Bible Study on Old Testament characters and got to sit in on a Home League meeting. On Friday, we went to a nursing home and led a program with Tony giving the devotion and a skit about the Tree of Life. After the program we visited with some of the residents and passed out War Cry's. On Saturday we held an outdoor Sidewalk Sunday school focusing on a few of Jesus' miracles. We had about 13 kids from the neighborhood show up which was great.

We did one home visitation to and older couple called the Youngbloods. This couple is 80+ years old and lost everything in the storm 2 years ago. Since then, Mr. Youngblood has rebuilt their house with just him and his son and brought up an absolutely beautiful garden filled with gourds, beans, and banana trees, among other things. We were all inspired by the Youngbloods' courage to carry on after the storm and their initative to take charge of their lives to rebuild instead of sitting around thinking about what used to be. Mrs. Youngblood said "I think that they (the Salvation Army) help me a lot because I help myself." (not a direct quote) Mr. Youngblood even came out to help us when our van almost got stuck in the ditch by their house because it was raining heavily. After we got over that obstacle we came to some large branches that had fallen in the road as a result of the high winds. After Leo and Tony had cleared them away, we were on our way again.

Life in the warehouse is good. There was a mouse sighting last night but we have traps set out to catch those little rascals.

This morning Andrew is doing preliminaries and a united Sunday School and then a few of us are participating in the Holiness Meeting in different ways including a skit that we are all in.

We will be working in Pascagoula shortly and we have no idea what awaits us when we get there so please be in prayer for that.
Happy Father's Day!

In Christ,
Shannon & the SSC Gulf Coast Team

Friday, June 15, 2007

Bienvenidos A Peru!!!!

Hola desde Peru!!!!! We flew into Lima an hour late from Atlanta and were welcome by the DC's of the Peru Territory. After being so tired from the trip we were told that we were going to fly early the next morning to Trujillo. So after a couple of hours of sleep we woke up to find out that our flight to Lima was cancelled because of the weather in Trujillo and had to fly into Chiclayo (a city three hours away from Trujillo). Everything was great and when we were waiting for our bags we come to find out that they left one of our bags in Lima because we had "explosives" they said. The only way we could get to Trujillo was by bus so we had the great experience of traveling by bus. During the bus trip we were able to see the beautiful "Zonas de Dunas" too. When we finally got to Trujillo we were welcomed by Majors Montoya which by the way are amazing people.

Everyday we have been going with people from the corps to evangelize to people from around the neighborhood. The people have all been very receptive to our visitations. They are always willing to listen to what we say and very loving too. We were also able to help the people from the corps with the children's meeting on Thursday which was great. We sang songs with them, made crafts, listened to Bible stories and much more. They all enjoyed it very much and we did too.

On Thursday night the corps had a prayer meeting and we definitely saw the Lord working on all of us. It did not matter what language we prayed or sang, we felt the Lord present. We were all divided into different groups and were asked to pray with people from the corps. It was just amazing to see how we all forgot about the language barrier and praised God. It was awesome!!!!!!! Then Major Montoya asked the team to come to the front and just hug each other and pray for each other. It was so wonderful and we were able to thank God for the opportunity He gave us to be with the people from the corps. Then we had time of healing prayer. There were two people in the corps who were sick present in the meeting and so they called them to the front of the altar and we all started praying for them. It was such a great experience. We all felt part of the church and part of their family. At the end, each of the members of the church came to hug us and welcome us to their church.

Today the corps had a celebration for Father's Day. The different classes from the school they had here in the corps performed different dances, recited poems and even sang solos. They asked us to perform a special number as well and we were more than happy to do it for them. Afterwards, the parents shared with us the food they brought for the celebration which was great too.

It has been a great week and we are so thankful to our Lord for all the good things He has done for us. We pray that He may keep working through and in us and that He may keep doing his work.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Gulf Coast team checking in

Curtis told me I didn't have to update this and the myspace but I figured that I should, so here you go!

Our team is finally here in Biloxi/Gulfport Mississippi.
The ride down was smooth without much incident (minus the overly numerous bathroom breaks!) We went straight to the warehouse where we had already been told we were staying, but when we pulled up in the darkness of southern mississippi the warehouse loomed ahead with very little light and we were all a little bit terrified of what layed in wait for us.

Our living area consists of a few rooms with beds and dressers and everything we need, a living room area with a tv, full kitchen, bathrooms (with no lights but we still use them) and a shower room (but you have to go out in the warehouse to get to them). The warehouse is absolutely huge. It still has a lot of supplies in there that Major Vincent said we can use, so pretty much it's like living in a Wal-Mart where you don't have to pay for anything but there is a good chance that it is expired or has a funny smell. We are so blessed to be living here because it has absolutely everything we need. God has provided us an awesome place to stay.

Over the past couple of days we have been eating our meals at Yankie Stadium, an old football stadium that the Salvation Army purchased for a Kroc center just 5 days before Katrina. Here they feed a ton of volunteers everyday and house many of them in rooms converted under the bleachers. The food here is much better than you would expect..we are definitely NOT going to go hungry here. We took our very first trip to Wal-mart which was pretty exciting. We have been getting to know a few of the corps people and the people that help at Yankie Stadium so it is good to be making friends.

Tonight we were in charge of the youth programs here at the Gulfport Corps. Kirbi did an amazing job of arranging a lot of fun games with the message "Words have power." Before we started we walked around the neighborhood for a while and met 7 kids who came to the meeting and had a blast. Pray that they latch on here and become a permanent fixture at our youth meetings and Sunday meetings. We fixed pizza and the kids enjoyed that and apples, oranges, chips, capri sun, and some awesome strawberry lemonade that I made :-)

Over the next few days we have a prayer meeting, Bible study, Home League, nursing home visits, and a Sidewalk Sunday School (which actually is on Saturday). Be in prayer for those that God will work through them and it won't be our words but His.

The team is working very well together and we are getting along great. We are a pretty hilarious group so laughter is not something we are missing.

Hopefully our van is getting fixed as we speak. The engine overheats unless we have the AC on high all the time so Captain Monique went to get it fixed. The Gulfport Corps has given us their van for the summer to use so that is a blessing.

Well I think this is long enough for now. If you have any questions for the team then feel free to leave a comment or message or something!

In Christ,

Shannon Rogers and the Gulf Coast SSC team

Monday, June 11, 2007

Gulf Port Team Updates

For the most recent updates from Gulf Port click: