“I saw God in the woman who was checking me out” (2012 mission trip day 3)


Yes, that was a Teri quote that was quickly followed by “well, not checking me out, but the woman who scans your groceries…the check out person…” (hey, it was late after a long day! And she was very awesome.)

back home group time

Each evening we gather in the living room of our cottage to talk about where God was moving today. Often we have seen God in random strangers, in new friends, in small moments, and it’s nice to stop and reflect on those moments and be more aware of them.

Today we had our first full day of the Youth Conference. The day began with energizers, including Teri’s favorite to the song “Istanbul” (the energizer involves running from camels. awesome!).


After we got our energy flowing, Loli offered a great opening keynote about how “all God’s creatures got a place in the choir”—even the ones we disagree with, even the ones we don’t notice are missing, even the ones who looks different from us. She went on to discuss the idea that Jesus was a real, 100% human being…the money quote from this morning was “even Jesus tooted!” (that’s stuck with the kids especially, as an image of Jesus’ full humanity and the lengths to which God will go to identify with us.)

After keynote it was off to small groups—everyone to a different group. There are nearly 40 small groups, each with about 30 people in it. The groups play, learn, talk, and grow together. So far all our small groups seem really great and everyone is making good friends.

afternoon fun

Worship this evening included lots of singing and a great reflection on the Ten Commandments from John Bell, focusing especially on the 10th commandment as one of the most difficult, because we are all (especially teens) so prone to compare and judge ourselves based on what others have (or what they are or what they do). A couple of memorable moments included the phrase “mystery is not something we figure out, but something we are embraced by” and “we often care about Having, but God cares about Being and Loving.” At the prayers of the people, we each wrote people and places we want to pray for on paper, then folded them into paper airplanes which we sent into the air, then we picked up nearby planes and prayed for the things on the paper. It was a fun way to engage in praying for one another.

Excitements of the day: rain. lots of rain. amazing tacos and homemade guacamole. really hilarious quotes (including “they’re our Montweeps!” and “you can always go despiderfy the porch…” and Chris saying “be calm!” ).

Things we learned today: Some of the members of the band The Youngbloods are Canadian. Girls can (and should) play Ultimate Frisbee even if no other girls are playing. How to use the washing machine in our cottage.

skipping to worship

portrait artist and subject!


5 responses »

  1. Hello to you all,
    It sounds and looks like you are enjoying your time together and also working very hard doing Gods work. We miss you and thank you and are keeping you in our prayers. Love to you all.
    Nancy and Bill Blakely P.S. XO to Marissa 🙂

    • Yes, sounds like you all are doing wonderful work for others and for yourself… the gift of giving is a wonderful act! Special hug to Marissa Blakely! xo Aunt Julie

  2. I is amazing to see God in surprising places and unexpected people. Christ is truly all around us even when we don’t expect it. Keep your eyes open, be awake, be alive… to the challenge of today and everyday. I pray that Christ move in each one of you in a special way this week, God’s love will be fully known and revealed. Let the Spirit lead you!

    Chris Pickett

  3. Sorry about the typos – the good news is we don’t have to be perfect to be loved by God! I think I have some sticky keys on my laptop. First word was supposed to be “It”

  4. Cool stuff, I’m proud of the advances made on the washing machine front. Sounds like a good, fun day all around. I really like the concepts presented in the messages, I think they’re powerful. I think John Bell’s message ties back to a comment made earlier that God didn’t create someone to fail. When you’re comparing yourself to someone else, you’re usually assigning a winner and a loser in the comparison. God didn’t create someone to be a loser. Differences are just different. And even if you feel someone else has more or is more or does more, it doesn’t really have an impact on what you have, are, or can do. One of my favorite new quotations at the moment is “If you choose to be rather than not to be, go one step further and be something amazing.” Doing this doesn’t require comparisons.

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