Sorry for the lack of “update” yesterday.  I shall get you up to speed with this haiku:
We rode in the bus
We ate some McDonalds food
We rode in the bus
Ok… so maybe it’s a little general… but seriously, that’s all we did yesterday… so I promise you that you haven’t missed anything amazing.  When we arrived in Powell, Ohio yesterday we were met with youth pastor Mark Artrip who gave us a rundown of his ministry at Grace Church Powell.  After the talk, students were split up into their host homes for an early night to get to know them and have dinner.
This morning, OBers showed up at the church at nine A.M. to begin the day with an hour with God.  It was awesome to start our day first thing by dedicating the day to the Lord as a team on our knees coupled with a solid hour hanging out with the creator of the universe and the creator of our day.  After the hour was up and we shared what God had shared with us that day and put on our hearts, we began some manual labor.  The majority of the students pulled weeds at the church and homes around the church.  But other students raked rubber mulch back into the playground at the church.  We even got a chance to clean our bus from the inside out!
After manual labor, we had lunch provided by our host homes (thanks Powell) and we gathered together to watch a final Driscoll video about anxiety and the gripping hold it can have over our lives.  The students really responded well to what Pastor Mark was saying; asking good questions and even feeling convicted in their own lives to clear out some the worry they have disguised in their lives as “Godly concern.”  Sarah made a good point today in that a lot the times we rationalize our worry and say it’s not a distrust in the Lord because it’s over the salvation of a family member or something like that.  However, in reality, what are we saying about our all-powerful God if we worry over things that we know He is more than able to do… and even exceed?
After the Driscoll video and discussion, students got a chance to ask questions of us as leaders and Mark about gray areas in the Christian faith.  The panel was open to anything that had been weighing on the students minds about the more controversial questions of faith.  We had an excellent time in God’s word working through our view points and trying our best to always point back to Scripture as God’s inherent Word as our source for them.  If our beliefs are not based in Scripture, then what good are they and what weight do they hold?  None.  The only way these questions could even be remotely answered is through the gift of faith through the Holy Spirit and His working in our lives to reveal them to our hearts.  After the panel, Ashton did her teaching time on discernment to wrap things up like a Christmas present!
After the teaching time, we loaded the bus and headed to Taco Bell for lunch.  DELI-ICIOUS!  Anyways, we had some great opportunities to speak with some people there and to share our purpose as a team and the gospel with customers.  We made our way back to the church to set up and ready for a bon fire Bible study held by the Powell Church involving the entire youth group.  OBers lead games, worship, and conversation as we met and had fellowship with leaders and the young people in this congregation.  One of the best opportunities we have in this church is the youth’s willing and open hearts to consider going on Barnabas themselves next summer!  Pray that God will work in the hearts that He desires to see grow in this program next summer and pray that He will be able to use our students as a positive and Godly example of what true Christ followers are.  After the bon fire and some great and encouraging discussion, it was time for our students to head back to their host homes to do more work for God’s purposes in the lives of the families who’s homes they’re staying at.  Continue to pray that the Lord will push these guys hard for these last six days of tour and that His love will penetrate their every deed!  Good Night!

Amanda sweeping.

Abbey pulling weeds.

Colin pulling weeds.

Becca working hard in the sun.

Luke moving tire bits.

Holli and Bekah hard at work.

Skylar pulling weeds.

Playing a game at the bonfire.

Kristina and Jessie playing games.

Angie and Bekah playing link tag.

Amy and a new friend.

Listening to the teaching at the bonfire.