Mission Belize 09 – Day 6

Our final day in Pomona was such an encouraging day.  It was hard to leave tonight.  The people have been so welcoming and warm.

We began the day with another wonderful breakfast of oatmeal and fresh pineapple.  The children began to arrive for sports camp early and we were into full swing.  I prayed today that the Lord would save someone from their sin.   I first went to Mattison’s group and during his Bible study a child, Jeremiah, kept getting up and walking away from the group doing his own thing.  I pulled him off to the side and picked him up like a baby and started talking to him.  He was a cute 8 year old.  I asked him if he knew who Jesus was.  He said, “No”.  I then one on one shared the gospel with him.  I asked him if he wanted to follow Jesus and be baptized.  He said, “Not now.”  He was a cute kid.

Then I began to walk across the field and an 18 year old that was in our worship time last night came up and asked me what he could do to get his life back on track.  I told him that it was impossible and kept walking.  He followed and said, “What?”  I said, “It is impossible to do on your own.  The real question is What do I need to do to be saved from my sin?”  The night before he was very engaged with the gospel message even during invitation.  He told me he became a Christian the night before.  I then asked him to pray and confess Christ as Lord right then.  He did.  Then we encouraged him to be baptized.  His name was Alex.  His friend, Jerrel, walked up and also asked almost the same question as Alex walked away to get a Bible.  I told him the same thing and he prayed and confessed Christ as Lord.  They both came tonight to the closing worship time and met Pastor Wayne.  He encouraged them to come to the baptism classes next week.  So the Lord answered my prayer times two!  We had a closing ceremony where the kids recited their memory verses and we sang a few songs.

After lunch half of our team went back to the children’s home and the other half painted children’s furniture for the preschool.  It was very rustic furniture.  Nothing like what we would use in the states.  I had the opportunity to talk to the pastor’s oldest daughter Christy.  The Lord has his hand on her life.  She is such a strong, teenager in her faith.  It was good to listen, encourage, and pray with her.  As I listened I couldn’t help but think about how similiar teenagers are all around the world.

The team came back and we all gathered in the worship center with the cooks, the team, and the pastor.  We presented him with a tee shirt, left over soccer goals, and a love offering.  He presented me with a Belize flag from their worship area.  We plan to hang it in the merge.

Then they prepared a feast for us!  Fresh Lobster tails, fried shrimp, and some type of bread pudding made from a root and ginger.  To top it off our third coke product this week in a glass bottle.

The final worship service was awesome.  We had a sharing time.  Many from the village came out.  The women’s group got up to share and their was a black out in electricity.  When their is a blackout in the village, it is dark!  I guess this happens all the time.  A few of the children got a bit scared and the ladies calmed them as they lit candles and told them to sit down, we weren’t finished.  They began to sing worship songs by candle light.  At the end of their song the lights were restored.  It was one of those Wow moments.  Pastor Wayne shared a brief message and thanked us, and then we sang Shout to the Lord (which was a song I learned with our students my second year in student ministry at Barnwell on our first mission trip.)  There was many hugs and tears and we returned home.  The people of Belize may not have as nice of things as the average American, but they have each other and they value relationships.  If there is one thing I have been challenged with it is this:  We should use things, and value people…Not use people, and value things.

Now starts a beautiful partnership with a missional church in Pomona, Belize.

Check out pics from the day at www.facebook.com/leeclamp

Wednesday Night Wrap Up – May 6, 2009

Sorry I’m late posting this, but I didn’t get bombarded with calls so I sure hope someone is reading it!

Wednesday night we looked at the story of the Good Samaritan.  If find it quite comical that Jesus uses a preacher and a worship leader to be the two that passed by the beaten man and some guy (probably didn’t even go to church!) helps this dude out.  A Levite was the tribe that produced all the preachers and it was also the levites that lead in the people into singing if I am not mistaken.  They were probably late for church or something!

In reality, I heard of a seminary class that sent young preachers out to preach on the good samaritan at a church and planted a homeless man en route.  A very high percentage of preachers did not stop and nearly all of those who were late to preach did not stop to help. 

Reflections on the night.

  • Kenneth had the swine flu and still led in worship!  Well, maybe it wasn’t the swine flu but he had a fever and was sick as a dog but still made it through the singing.  He’s a warrior!
  • Low crowd because many students were out supporting the softball and soccer teams.  I find it disturbing when people say, “Nobody is here!” especially when they are talking to me.  I’m thinking, “So I am nobody.  What about those 65?  Are they no bodies too?” 
  • I’m glad we don’t make students feel guilty for not being at church on Wednesday nights because they are off doing something else.  I just hope that they are being the church where they are!
  • About 15 students fasted last Thursday!  Wow!  That is awesome.  That was the homework assignment.  Even more practiced the two cookie principle.

Parents, here are a few questions to ask your teenager.

  1. What did you feel when you watched the video of the people just walking right past the 78 year old man who was hit by a car?
  2. Can you think of a time when you didn’t help someone because it would be inconvenient to do so?
  3. Do you find it hard to have compassion for people that you do not know?
  4. One of the points this past Wednesday was that a missional life will cost you?  How has it cost you recently?
  5. Encourage your teenager to give $10 to purchase a soccer ball for a child in Belize.  We are personally taking them in July.

Homework assignment this week was to do something fro someone that you do not know that will be an inconvenience for you.

Wednesday Night Wrap Up – April 29, 2009

Tonight we talked about the downfall of Sodom.  Ezekiel 16:48-50 reveals that not only did Sodom fall because of great evil and immorality they also fell because they had an excess of food and were prosperous but did not help the needy.  Sounds a bit like a America doesn’t it.  Here are some quick facts about America.

Quick Facts about the US

 

  • US produces twice as much food as is needed by Americans.
  • 25% of the food that enters your home is thrown away.
  • 40% of all food produced in America is not eaten
  • Average American wasted more than half a pound of food a day.  That’s a quarter pounder for lunch and dinner.
  • Every day restaurants throw away 6000 tons of food.  That is 12,000,000 pounds of food.
  • Costs Americans $100 Billion annually

Yet 1 out of every 8 children in American go to bed hungry, and in our community there are 65% of the students on free and reduced lunch at school which means that there is a possibility that some of them don’t have more than a jug of milk and ketchup in the refrigerator.

Your child’s homework assignment this week was to 1) practice the two cookie principle.  2) Fast on Thursday. (You can guide them in this especially if they have diabetes or something that they take medications for that requires food.)

Here are a few questions to ask your teenagers.

  1. What is the two cookie principle?
  2. What was the story about the ice cream cone?
  3. What is one fact you learned that really stood out about food waste in America?
  4. What was it like to fast?

Wednesday Night Wrap-up April 22

I was on a sugar rush or something last night!  I just get jazzed up when we talk about living a missional life.  Our first encounter with Jesus was the story of the fantastic four, a group of guys that carried their paralytic friend to the foot of Jesus by literally tearing open the roof of Peter’s home and lowering him down.  Last night we discovered from Mark 2 that …

  1. A missional life requires effort
  2. A missional life is powerless without Christ.
  3. A missional life ends in amazement.

Reflections

  • Jesus always meets our needs in priority.  He first healed his spiritual need, and then his physical. 
  • I wonder what Peter was thinking.  I bet he wanted to jump up and look at the Pharisees and say, “Bam!  Now what do you think about Jesus!  I’m on his team.  I wasn’t good enough to be on yours and had to fish.  But he chose me!  Who’s next?”
  • If Jesus would have just healed his legs, he would have walked out of the house; but in 50 years he’d be dead.  Then what.
  • I bet he is still dancing right now.
  • Don’t waste your life.
  • If he got up, he no longer could have been considered disabled!  He would not have been able to have others take care of him.

Parents, you could ask your child these questions to have some God conversations.

  1. Tell me the story of the parayltic.
  2. Why did Lee lay down on the stage?
  3. What can you do to put forth more effort in bringing your friends to Jesus?
  4. How can I pray for you?

Wednesday Wrap-up – April 15

Tax Day!  Hope you didn’t have to pay the government as much as I did today! 

This week we begin a new series with our teenagers – Don’t Waste Your Life/Live Missional.  We began the year with a similiar theme and plan to close out the school year talking about how we can live a missional life.  Our text for this Wednesday was Isaiah 1:10-17.  Check it out.  God told his people through the prophet Isaiah that he desired for them not to waste their life with rituals but to live in relationship with Him.  They were going through the motions of what we would call “doing church”, sacrifice, and offerings but their hearts were far from God.  The students were challenged with a story of BJ Higgins, a 15 year old who died after being on a two month mission trip to Peru.  He had lived out his life missionally at his school and over seas.  In this passage we saw three things that an unwasted life looks like. 

  1. An unwasted life listens to the Word of God.
  2. An unwasted life seeks a relationship with God, not ritual for God.
  3. An unwasted life repents.

Thoughts from the night.

  • The Fairfax FBC praise band did a great job leading us in worship. 
  • Their drummer was in the second grade and had a mohawk.  When I grow up I want to be as cool as him.
  • Got to hang out with a youth minister who is starting out in Augusta, Brandon.  He has a heart for students and a desire to serve God.  Dangerous combination for the future in student ministry!
  • We had a great turnout of adult leaders.  We are so blessed to have adults that want to make a difference in the lives of teenagers!  Especially those who are over the age of 60 and 70!  It does well for our teenagers to spend time with those in other generations. 
  • Kenneth was on vacation this week.  I had to do what he does.  Whenever you walk in someone elses shoes you appreciate their work that much more.  I’m  looking forward to him being back in the saddle next week!

Questions for Parents

  1. Tell me about the boy who died for his faith.
  2. What can you do at your school to live a missional life?
  3. What is hard about living a missional life at school?

Wednesday Night Wrap Up – April 1, 2009

Tonight we finished our series on Sacrifice with discussions of the resurrection.  We had a guest praise dance team from Rosemary Baptist church.  They were great.   Best of all, two students were saved from their sin!

  • The resurrection is the crux of our faith.  Without it we are idiots for worshipping a “good” teacher who decieved us into believing he was God.
  • Jesus appeared to a variety of people.  Check out 1 Cor. 15.
  • You can fool a lot of people…but you can’t fool your mama!
  • Mary was at the foot of the cross, and she was at the gathering of believers at the beginning of the church along with Jesus’ brothers.  She would know if he was an imposter and was not raised from the grave.
  • The disciples testimony for me seals the deal.  There have been men that have died for noble purposes, but to die knowing that what they were dying for was a lie.  I think not.
  • 10 of the 11 remaining disciples died a martyr’s death including Peter who was crucified upside down.  John’s the only one that made it out  alive, and even he was put into a pot of boiling oil!
  • Two students talked to me afterwards about being saved from their sin.  Pray for Emmit and Katy.
  • Whoever said Salvation was free is not telling the whole truth.  It will cost you everything.  It will cost you your life.  Give your life to Christ and die, and he will give you a new life.  One that is transformed.

Parents here are a few questions to ask your teenager.

  1. Read 1 Cor. 15 together.
  2. Why do you believe the resurrection is true?  (Because the Bible says so is too easy.)
  3. Why is the resurrection of Christ so important?
  4. Pray and thank  the Father for sending Jesus to the earth to take sin on his shoulders, pay the debt of death, and defeat death in the resurrection.

Wednesday Night Wrap Up – March 25, 2009

Well last night wasn’t the kind of night you leave from thinking, “I sure did enjoy that message. ” We have been looking at The Sacrifice over the past two weeks.  The first week was the Lord’s Supper and the reasons then and now for taking part in it.  This week was a focus on the sacrifice that was made for us by Jesus on the cross when he was crucified.  Kenneth Padgett spoke this week to allow me to join the preschool minstry for parent night with Caden and Connor.  He showed us the contrasting image of what scripture says about the King in his glory and the vivid images of Jesus being crucified from The Passion.  And to think that his love for us compelled him to be nailed to the very tree he created.  Here are a few thoughts and question to ask your teenager.

  • It makes me sick to my stomach to watch The Passion. 
  • I think everyone should endure watching The Passion by Mel Gibson during Easter.
  • The Passion is actually G compared to the real thing if you can imagine that.
  • Why did he have to endure great suffering and pain?
  • Because your sin is deserving of death, he loved you, he endured the cross for you and to save you from that sin in order that you could become children of God, adopted into his family, your penal substitutionary atonement (google that one and find out what it means.)
  • You can have the reaction that some students had, turning around in their seats and talking to those behind them, laughing and cutting up with their friends after watching something so repulsive…
  • …or you can repent and believe and be born again.
  • People wear the cross around their neck as a fashion statement. Madonna crawls up on one on her tour a few years ago.  I don’t think people understand the torture and humiliation that the cross was.
  • I’m glad we have solid people around The Mix to not skip a beat when I am gone on Wednesday.  It was a joy to be with my children and supporting the preschool ministry for family night.  Trina and the gang did a great job to let us join in with them to see what they do each Wednesday and also challenge us to read the scripture to our children.

Parents:  Here are a few questions to ask your teenager about last night.

  1. What is something that made you think last night at The Mix?
  2. Why did Jesus have to die?
  3. What does his sacrifice mean to you?
  4. Have you repented of your sin and believe in or trust in God through Christ?

Have a great week!

Wednesday Night Wrap Up – March 18, 2009

Tonight we began a new series leading up to Easter entitled “Sacrifice”.  We began the night during our hangout time asking the question “Tell me a time when you have sacrificed something for someone else”, and then we talked about the Lord’s Supper and the great sacrifice that Jesus was reminding them of in the Passover and established a new sign for the future ages in his sacrifice to save us from our sins.  Here are a few thoughts after last night.

  • Students (and us adults too) do not really understand what it means to sacrifice.
  • The economic times calls for us to sacrifice in order to survive the upcoming years, but the reality is that our sacrifice in America is very different to the sacrifice that people around the globe have to do in normal times.
  • Even the poor in our community have more than the average in other countries.
  • There was rich meaning in the passover meal that Jesus participated in with his disciples the night before his crucifixion.
  • It is not by chance that all of the events of Jesus death transpired around the Passover.
  • What is the passover you ask?  google it and read about it.
  • Instead of being overwhelmed at the depthness of the New Covenant that Jesus was establishing the night of the Lord’s supper, the disciples immediately began to argue over which of them would be the greatest!  Isn’t that just like us.  When the attention needs to be drawn to God, we redirect it to what it is going to do for us.  We are very selfish creatures.
  • A lot of students disappear from The Mix during the Spring because of spring sports.  My prayer is that they are being missionaries on their teams and being intentional about showing their teammates that they play differently and treat opponents differently than the norm.
  • There were a lot of new faces tonight!  Great to see everyone.
  • Parsley dipped in salt water is not very good.
  • Saw about 15 adults and students afterwards at McDonalds hanging out.  I wish I could have been in there too, but I had two little boys waiting on me to tuck them in at home.   Wednesdays are long days for me, but I love them.
  • See you Sunday!

Wednesday Night Wrap Up – March 11, 2009

Tonight was awesome!  We have over 100 students who came together and prayed.  So many times in our churches we talk about praying more than we pray.  So tonight we got our students together and walked through the Lord’s prayer with them in order to teach them what Jesus was talking about when he taught his disciples to pray.  Students were in groups of 8 and sat on the floor and just prayed through Praise, Daily needs, forgiveness, and protection from evil.  It was an awesome time.

Here are a few reflections

  • During the praise time, it was difficult for some to think of 5 minutes worth of words to express their praise to God.  This is difficult unless you are thinking about this all the time.  In the church we have been guilty of minimizing the greatness of the God we serve.
  • Sometimes we treat God like Santa Claus.  Someone we talk to occasionally and the only reason we talk to him is to give him a list of things we want.  Like God didn’t have anything to do and was waiting on a list from us.
  • God is already at work, we have the priveledge of joining him.
  • Students wrote their prayers on the walls on butcher paper.  Some of the prayers were very transparent.
  • www.poverty.com blew our minds as we were thinking about our own daily needs.  Teenagers in America include ipods and cell phones in with their daily needs!  While we prayed over 500 children died of hunger around the world.
  • There is a fear of praying out loud for many people.  I believe that fear spawns from the fact that many of them are not praying silently and don’t even know what to pray for.
  • Parents are you praying with your teenagers??  52% of our teenagers said that you never pray with them!  Our teenagers need you to teach them how to pray.
  • 4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.a 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.  Dt 6:4-9.
  • Could we be raising a generation that does not know the things of God nor how to communicate with him?