Thursday, July 8

Challenge 2010

I'm back!  After some technical problems with the computer and being gone for nine days.  I got home on Sunday the 4th in time to get together with friends and watch the fireworks from a pontoon on Lake Bemidji.  But I don't have any photos of that because my camera fell and broke its hip, couldn't recover from the fall, and is now in camera heaven.  I feel as if I have lost a close companion.  :( 

On the brighter side,  I had a great time with some of our youth attending the EFC National Youth Conference in Columbus, Ohio last week.  In the words of one of the guys who went it was freaking awesome!!  Imagine 4,700 teenagers all out worshipping, learning, praying, serving, seeking God, making life-changing decisions and commitments and just having fun!
Here's our group from Bemidji, minus our youth pastor, who was taking the photo.  We picked up two other groups on the way so we had a full bus.  We took two days to get there, I don't even know how many miles or hours, like a gazillion!  We did lots of sleeping, reading, playing cards and games.
Here's the four girls that I got to be mom to for a week,
very sweet and fun girls even though they kept me up until midnight every night.
Our theme for the week was the Beatitudes and we had some REALLY good speakers
 and music by Kristian Stanfill Band.
One of our projects was making red canvas backpacks (5000 of them!) for kids in Haiti, India and the Congo.
This was for an organization called 

The first few rally times we were up in the balcony,
quite a ways from the stage.
Here's a couple videos to give you a taste of what it was like.
This one is Caboose, a rapper from Bemidji (!) who was there all week.

One afternoon we played games and did some face painting
 with some kids in a park.

This is where we had our meals,
a huge arena and I was very impressed how they fed 5000 very quickly and efficiently!
Now that's a lot of sandwiches!
We visited a topiary garden in Columbus...
One afternoon we prayer walked in a neighborhood where the guy with the tattoo on his arm
 is working to plant a new church in Columbus.

It was a great week of worship and growing and serving and having fun.
I'm very excited for Leanne to go to the next one in two years. It will be in New Orleans!

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