Jade Landis in the Philippines

Jade Landis recently graduated from Lancaster Bible College with a degree in Social Work. Jade has been attending Grace Church for nine years and is an 11th grade girls POD leader on youth staff as well as a vocalist on the worship arts ministry team. Her passions for serving and investing in young people extend across the globe and she is leading a team of students on a trip to the Philippines this summer.

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I have the opportunity to lead the Operation Barnabas International 2014 team to the Philippines from June 26-July 18. The group consists of 7 students and me. We will have a 2 day orientation out in Orange County, California and then fly to the Philippines on June 29th. From there we will serve almost 3 weeks on the islands of Boracay and Panay. Our team will be working with Dan and Tori Beaver who have served over there for many years with First Love International. This ministry is the same one that I worked with in 2010 with OBI as a student and again last year with Lancaster Bible College.

While there we will do manual labor to continue building the ministry center on the island of Boracay. In addition we will love on the children of the island at feeding sites. Feeding sites provide the opportunity for our students to share a Bible story, play games, feed a meal, complete simple wound care, and just love on these children who are sometimes neglected. We will also spend a few days traveling over the nearby island of Panay to work with the Ati Tribe. The Ati Tribe has bee neglected and forced to live up on the mountain in huts and without much civilization. Dan and Tori have worked with their staff to build a school up there for the Ati children so we will have the opportunity to do some tutoring up there as well as help with some Typhoon relief from November. In addition we will use some of the normal OB programming (puppets, dramas, pantomimes, choir songs, etc.) to share the Gospel in the local schools.

My role as the leader of OBI will be to be in communication with the missionaries as well as lead my team spiritually. Though I have been to the Philippines twice before and led Operation Barnabas last summer, this leadership position will be one that will stretch me. It will be a leadership role that will challenge me and push me to step up and lead in a new manner. I covet your prayers in many ways but especially as I prepare to lead this team.

Other specific prayer requests:

  1. That the hearts of the 7 students would be teachable
  2. Wisdom as I lead this team as a single female leader
  3. Many would come to know the Lord as their personal Savior
  4. That as a team of 8 we would be unified as one team with the same purpose
  5. That we would be an encouragement to the missionaries and their staff

Thank you for your support and prayers!

Jade Landis

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Join us this Sunday at our 9:00am and 10:45am services for Jade’s church send off! We will post updates of her trip beginning the last week of June.

Grace Church has had significant involvement with Operation Barnabas (Domestic and International) for over 30 years, including sending many students and leaders from our church, hosting orientation at Grace Church, and providing finances for buses and other practical ministry needs. In addition, Grace Church financially supports “TK” (Timothy Kurtaneck) who is the Director of OB through the parent organization, CE National. For more information about Operation Barnabas and Operation Barnabas International, click HERE. If you are interested in going on OB or OBI, contact Jeremiah (Director of Student Ministries)

Steve Weaver UPDATE

5/29

Greetings to those back home from the Philippines! This is Katelyn writing the update for our last Thursday here.

This morning we were blessed with the opportunity to go island hopping. Our team started off by getting on a boat and go to two different parts of the ocean to snorkel around the islands. It was incredible to see a world that is right under us that we never get to see. The fish and sea creatures were so clear and vibrant and seeing them helped me to see that there is so much to this world that we don’t even know about. Even small creatures like fish are breathtaking and through snorkeling we were able to see God’s creation through a different lens and experience part of our world that we have so often overlooked. Following our time snorkeling, we went to the Puca beach and that beach was the most amazing beach that I have ever been to. Up to that point, I had thought that Boracay was the best beach there was, but it turns out that this one is up there too. The water was completely clear towards the shore and it turned into a beautiful blue as it got deeper. Along with that, the sand was so soft and it was so relaxing. Being on the beach, looking out into the ocean makes me feel so small and realize that God’s creation is so vast. Even half way around the world, I realize that there is no possible way to see all of the beauty that God has put here on this Earth but we need to appreciate the things that we are blessed with.

In the afternoon we had a few hours of rest, and then we split up and went out to our feeding sites for the day. One team went to the island of Panay for their feeding site, and the other team stayed on Boracay. I was a part of the team that was on Boracay and we drove a short distance to get to the lady’s house who was hosting the site. When we got there the kids were very excited to see us and we shared the Bible story of Jonah, made balloon animals, and played with the kids. Being at each feeding site, even though we don’t spend much time there, was such a great opportunity to see how much joy the kids find in the littlest things in life. The impact that we have on the kids is far beyond our understanding. They have incredible joy from the simplest things in life that we don’t always get to see.

We are heading into our final weekend of work here, and we will be on our way home before we know it. With the end in sight, we are still going to give everything we have into serving and just end strong and leave an impact on the lives of the people here as God has intended for us to do. -Katelyn Eitner

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(Steve is in the red shirt)

5/28

Hello from the Philippines! We hope everyone is doing well in the States! This is Katie Drudy, the non LBC’er on the trip! Your loved ones on the trip have been incredibly welcoming and loving and I wanted to let you all know they are some of the most inspiring and amazing people I have come in contact with in life yet. Their hearts for Christ and their desire to follow his callings is overwhelming. You should all be very proud of them. It is currently close to ten o’clock here so our day is winding down.

It was another beautiful day on the island of Boracay, I mean how could any day be less than stunning on this island though? We started our morning off with some fantastic breakfast as per usual, making our way through the numerous emails we received overnight—which was fantastic! WE LOVE THEM SO MUCH! KEEP SENDING! Bec gave her testimony and then we were back to work.

We returned to the ministry site at the Philippines Red Cross today. The group continued many of the jobs we started the day before. Many of the team members have become pretty awesome at plastering if I do say so myself. A handful of the boys carried bags of sand that were at least 100 pounds up three flights of stairs! They are getting their workouts in for sure! We finished the structures for two cement columns and the group also sifted some sand as well in preparation for making concrete.

The team has been reaching the point where we are experiencing our physical exhaustion, so please keep that in your prayers. Our leaders were gracious enough to allow us to have the afternoon off in order for us to regroup and rest so we will be ready to go for the rest of the week! It was definitely a blessing and something each of us were needing. Many of us spent the day by the beach or looking through shops and experiencing the hidden treasure – the Market. Many souvenirs are coming your way!

We had another great meal for dinner and were blessed to hear Heather’s testimony. There was more free time tonight and many of us had some delicious food and milkshakes at De Mario’s. It has been such an awesome experience and every day we are here the Lord reveals his beauty in so many different ways. Nothing beats waiting for dinner and looking out the window watching the sun paint its orange and pink colors over the ocean. Breathtaking.

With all of the work we have done I know each of us has found a new appreciation for all of the little things we take for granted in the States. This includes being around friends and family, minimal difficult labor (such as not constructing steel beam contraptions for cement columns), and having a structured clean environment.

We appreciate all of the thoughts and prayers you have sent and are so excited to be home. At the same time I know each of us are excited to see how the Lord will continue to work through us and for the Filipino people. Please pray for continued endurance and that the Lord will provide us with his never-ending strength. We love you all!

With love, Katie Drudy and the Journey Team!

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Steve Weaver UPDATE

If you’d like to receive daily updates via email, send your name and church name here. Each update is from a different student on the team. Please continue to pray for the team during the last week of their ministry!

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5/27/14

Hello from Boracay!

It’s that time of day once again that we get to share with you about our wonderful journeys for today! I will let Alex do most of the share but I will ask that you please continue to keep our team in prayer. We are right around the half-way mark of our trip which usually means that people are getting to a point of feeling really tired and possibly more prone to sickness. Our bodies are adjusting more and more each day which allows us to work harder, longer, and withstand the heat a little better which means we need to be more cautious about drinking enough and not getting sick.

So far we have been incredibly blessed on this trip when it comes to health, but we would ask that you all continue to pray for good health for the team as a whole. we are definitely bonding well with each other and the support we do show when someone is not feeling well is amazing. You should be very proud of the various members on this team!!

Thank you for your continued support and love for our team. Please remember that you are more than welcome to send emails to people on the team and I will be sure to share them with them.

 Much love from Boracay,

Christina

 An Update from Alex:

Happy Tuesday Morning back in the States! We have just finished out our 5th full day here on Boracay, and I can honestly say it was jam-packed. For the first time all trip, breakfast started at 8:00 am instead of the original 7:00 am, and we couldn’t have been happier about the extra hour of sleep. Speaking of food, we had another fantastic meal to start off our day. Unlike the other days when we have traveled to Panay, our construction was completed here on Boracay at the mission center.

The group was split into various stations that included moving sand, spackling, and twisting wires. Our boss, who we call “Boss Bong” expected us to just finish moving this one pile of sand for the whole day. Our team surprised Boss Bong with our incredible work rate. We not only finished the first pile of sand, but also the two other piles. We finished these three piles by lunch break.

We were all tired, but went back for more. Our team then proceeded for another two hours to exceed Boss Bong’s expectations. We brought up a pile of rebar to the second floor then cut and bended them exactly the way they wanted us too. Then, we finished picking up 70 pound bags of sand up two floors till the pile was gone. Needless to say we were a very tired team. We have found a groove and are able to work efficiently and together.

 The rest of our day was much more relaxed as some of our group were able to go sun set sailing and the other did beach ministry. We had around 20 or so kids come to our beach ministry of playing soccer and swimming in the ocean. The sailing group had a nice long ride, because the wind was non-existent.

 They rewarded our team with milkshakes from a local place called Jonah’s and that was a perfect way to end the night. Hope you can continue to keep us in your prayers and send those encouraging emails to each person on the team as they are read to the group. Still serving the Lord in the best way we can here in the Philippines. From all the team, thank you for your daily encouragement and support.

 Sincerely,

  Alex and the entire Journey Team

5/26/14

Bec, Cheyenne and Heather reporting to you from the Vista House on Boracay. Today we finished our work at the school on Panay. We worked hard at making and pouring a cement floor for one of the classrooms they have been building. We had people carrying buckets of rocks and sand up to the top of a huge hill (we all got our leg workouts in for today) and we assisted in the making of and pouring of the cement. It was a humbling experience to see something be created that we know will be used to further education, and spread the Gospel. At dinner we all sat down and talked about how it was a bonding experience for our team because when you’re carrying heavy buckets up and down hills in the heat of a Filipino day, the thing that kept us going was the encouragement passed between teammates. Bong, the construction man in charge, had very high expectations for our team and we knew we passed his test because he allowed us to finish early!

Later in the afternoon, we (Heather and their feeding site team) split up into two different teams. Our team went sunset sailing with the Red Pirates. It was a calm evening and we didn’t have a lot of wind, however, it was such an amazing opportunity to be able to sit on a sailboat and see God’s beautiful creations all around us. The water was warm and so clear, we could see down to the bottom, and before we knew it, the sun was setting a beautiful pink color. It was a relaxing ending to a very eventful day.

 Bec and I (Cheyenne) were a part of the second group. Our afternoon and evening were to consist of sports ministry down on the beach. Due to our sports manager Clod not feeling well, we were unable to do that. But, as our team’s saying has become, expect the unexpected. We found some kids we had been playing basketball with and played down on the beach with them. Most of the kids and us students too ran straight for the water and began swimming far out but one kid who was around 15 years old didn’t. Jacob Watson was able to sit down with him and talk to him about all sorts of things from favorite sports teams to favorite foods to God. As he said to us at dinner tonight, it’s in our natural instinct to gravitate towards the younger kids who are cuter and bubbly and jumping all over us but sometimes it’s the older ones who God wants us to reach out to and plant a seed.

Tomorrow is a new day that everybody on the team is excited for. For the first time since we got here, we are staying on Boracay to do some different work on the island. We are all excited to see what the Lord has planned for our last week here. We thank you so much for your prayers and encouraging emails! Please feel free to keep sending us messages, we enjoy hearing from our loved ones at our meal times.

 With Love,

Heather, Cheyenne, Bec, and the rest of the Philippines 2014 team!

5/25/14

Family and friends,

Greetings from the Philippines! We are so thankful for all that has happened while we have been here in the Philippines. We have been amazed at the beauty to be found here, from the gorgeous sunsets over the mountains and ocean to the humble beauty of the simple way of life. I have been humbled over the fact that in spite of what we Americans would view as lack and poor living, the joy and the happiness of the Filipino people.

Today, we had the opportunity to go to a local Filipino church and worship with them. The pastor shared from 1 Peter 2 in a message called “An Inspired Description of the Church.” This was also really cool in an ironic way since while we were at breakfast, Scott challenged us with a devotional thought from the same passage. Going to this church was an awesome reminder of the fact that while we live in a completely different culture than the locals, we worship and serve the same God. It was definitely a highlight of the day when a few of us sat to the side with a few of the Filipinos and sang some acoustic songs together.

We met this awesome little boy named Joseph, who quickly became attached to everyone’s hips. He enjoyed taking selfies on all of our cameras, and would climb up onto our shoulders and ride around. Don’t worry, Joseph will pop up more throughout this email.

After leaving church, we took a long hike up a steep and winding mountain trail to go to a local waterfall where we had the chance to go swimming. This was a good time to take a little break and refresh ourselves for the rest of the day. We then went down the path again to go play some basketball with some people from the Ati tribe. After a close, back and forth game, we won the game 30-29 on Tyler Smith’s game ending 3-pointer. During the game, it was so cool to hear little Joseph cheer, “LBC! LBC!”

One of my personal highlights from the day came as we were hiking down the path. Someone told Joseph to say hi to Jacob, and I heard Joseph yell, “Hi Jacob! What’s your name, Jacob?” The team couldn’t help but laugh at him. He also began to chant, “USA! USA!” on the way down the mountain. Another great highlight from the whole trip is just seeing kids lined up along the streets, just to watch us pass by. All we have to do is smile and wave at them, and their faces light up in joy. It’s so awesome to see how something so simple can bring such happiness to people.

In closing, I would like to thank you all for your prayers and support. This trip would most definitely not be possible without you. As much as we love serving here, we also love getting to share it with you all through these emails. Also, thank you so much for the emails that you have been sending. We love being able to hear them. I’d encourage you all to keep sending them, for they encourage us to keep going. We thank and love you all.

With love from the Philippines,

Jacob Watson

Steve Weaver UPDATE

Safe and sound in Boracay, the LBC Journey team got news that the final amount of funding for the trip had been supplied! Please continue to pray for this team of college students (see specific requests at the end of the letter).

Here is an update from one of the members on Steve’s Philippines team:

After 38 hours of travel on 3 planes, a bus and then finally a boat we finally made it to Boracay. It was such a relief for all of us to be able to take a shower, eat some food, and then go to bed. However, after a great night sleep, we started bright and early so that we could get right to work.

The first thing we did was take a boat to another Island Panay, which is right near Boracay. When we got to the Island we began doing construction on a school they are building. Some were digging, some were painting and some of us were plastering, which was extremely different than American plastering, and extremely frustrating. We worked all morning, and about noon we ate lunch. After lunch we took a break from construction, and went swimming in a nearby creek. After swimming we split up into two different groups, and finally got to head off to the Feeding sites.

The Feeding sights were the thing that everyone was looking forward to the most. At the feeding sites all of us finally got the chance to interact with the kids. The village that my group went too was an indigenous village of people called the Ati people. These people are completely separated from the rest of the people of the Philippines. These people live off the land, even when it comes to medical care. While doing our feeding sights we also did basic medical care, and many of the kids had simple cuts and bug bites that just were not taken care of. So we cleaned out their cuts and put Neosporin on, and covered their wounds, and prayed that they would stay clean long enough to heal. Other than this, we also played with the kids, and got a chance to share a Bible story with the kids.

A few comments from the other feeding sites team. “The Kids are so cute.” Another thing the other team said was they had trouble with was the language barrier. However, once they started singing and acting crazy the kids warmed up, and had a blast. Apparently crazy doesn’t need to be translated.

After we finished up the feeding sites, we headed back to Boracay, and all got a chance to go for a swim, and then to eat dinner. It was an extremely long and tiring day, but we are all grateful for the ministry we were able to, and the relationships we were able to form not only with our team, but also with some of the missionaries.

 Thanks you so much for all your prayer and support, there is no way we could be doing what we were are doing without your prayer. There are a few specific things that you could all pray for. First, some of the team are already sick, and could use a lot of prayer. Second, even after one day everyone is tired, please pray that we rely on the Lord for strength, but also that we know our limits. Again thank you so much for all your prayer, we miss you all, and can’t wait to see you again.

-Paul Fulbright

Steve Weaver UPDATE – Hello from Hong Kong

Don’t forget to be praying for Steve Weaver the the LBC Philippines Journey Team! Here is a quick update from their travels so far…

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The team praying together before departing LBC.

May 20th, 2014. 7pm.

Good (evening) Morning from Hong Kong!

Thankfully all 22 team members successfully made it through our very long 16 hour flight from Newark to Hong Kong. We are enjoying a brief layover of stretching, eating, using relatively normal bathrooms, and not being confined to the same area for hours on end.

So far health of the team is well aside from a few uneasy stomachs from flying/airplane food and probably some minor lack of water. We are taking this time to get re-hydrated and ready for the next leg of our trip. From Hong Kong we will fly to Manila and meet up with one of the missionaries there. Once we collect our luggage, we will check in for yet another flight that will take us to a small island called Kalibo. From there we will take a bus ride to the shore, jump on a small boat, and head over to Boracay. Lord willing, we will be at our permanent destination by early evening.

Thank you for all your prayers as we traveled thus far, and we ask that you continue to pray. Specifically be praying for our hearts and attitudes. Often travel has a way of causing us to become self-centered and begin complaining. As we draw closer to Boracay my prayer is that our attitudes will reflect humility, grace, and patience so as to begin our ministry even as we travel.

We are grateful for each of you who have made this trip possible for us and we look forward to sending you another update as soon as we can!

From Hong Kong, Christina, Scott, and the Team!

Steve Weaver in Boracay

Steve Weaver had an opportunity to go on a missions trip to France in the summer of 2010, and has been anxiously waiting for another chance to serve overseas. His desire was met when he got the opportunity to go to the Philippines with Lancaster Bible College through First Love International Ministries. Steve, along with a team of 22 people, will be serving in Boracay from May 20-June 3. They will be serving at a ministry clinic that works with a variety of areas including sports camp, feeding sites, first aid, and construction.

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Here are some prayer requests from Steve in regards to his trip next week:

  • Please pray for the travel, that as we enter various countries and airports, we be presented with opportunities to tell others the Good News
  • Please pray for relationships to be built and strengthened in our group so that we can effectively minister as a team
  • Please pray for the people we will be in contact with while in the Philippines
  • Please pray for health, energy, and strength
  • Please pray that we will make an impact in each area of service
  • Please pray that each member would have the funds provided that they need in order to participate in this wonderful opportunity of service and cultural experience

Join us this Sunday during our 9am and 10:45am services for Steve’s send off!

If you are interested in supporting Steve, contact him by the end of THIS WEEK here.

Salamat Po – Thank you!

Cydney Vance has grown up in the ministry of Grace Church, as well as in it’s backyard. Cydney attended Lititz Christian School for some time, but would eventually graduate from Warwick High School. After graduation, Cydney headed to Liberty University, where she is currently studying Psychology. In the beginning of the year, she had an incredible opportunity to go on a missions trip to the Philippines with Light Ministries (a partner of Liberty University). Below is a “thank you” letter from Cydney in response for the support Grace Church gave towards the trip in order to enable her to serve Christ in this way.

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Dear Grace Church,

            Thank you for all your support throughout my time raising money and sharing Christ’s love in the Philippines. While in the Philippines, our team was able to help in various ministries. One of the ministries we participated in was Kids Jam, where we were separated into four teams to help do a fun Bible lesson for the kids in various locations of the city of Manila. While at these locations we sang, played games, and helped hand out snacks. It was a time of fun and perfect way to share God’s love.

            While in the Philippines our team traveled to the Island of Bantayan, a province of Cebu, which was extremely impacted by the typhoon that hit the Philippines in early November 2013. While there we attended a church service where Dr. Wheeler (My Team Leader) spoke about God being there through the struggles of life. Also, on the island we were able to help at a feeding center where many of my teammates and I led games, songs, and Bible stories for the children and some teens there. My favorite part of the island though was the time our team spent helping rebuild the church, literally. The typhoon that hit the island completely destroyed the building, but used our team to build the new church for the congregation. I was able to help lay bricks and put cement down for the wall. Some of the team cut down trees for a new garden being planted and painted walls within the current church building.

            The third location we traveled to way Iba, Zambales where there was a camp. This 24 hour camp was a daily event where up to 1,500 students from ages 13 to 25 come for a possibly life changing experience. At the camp each student has the opportunity to hear the gospel, accept Christ, be counseled, be baptized, and be discipled. While we were there, we assisted in counseling and sharing the gospel with teens. Personally, I was able to share the gospel with 12 girls and had 10 of them make decisions for Christ. Overall, in that one night approximately 500 students came to Christ! In the morning, following a night of rest, students had the opportunity to be baptized. This was my favorite part because while the guys on our team baptized, along with our ordained leaders, I prayed for the students as they stepped into their new life. Overall, 200 students were baptized and many students wanted discipleship. God is so good! Thank you again for all your prayer and support. Through you God accomplished and is still accomplishing his mighty works.

In Christ,

Cydney Vance

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