Monday, September 22, 2014

BSMS 2014

What a week.
When 12 students dedicate their life to Jesus and decide to set apart 8 months for seeking Him...
powerful things happen.
The camping trip began two days after moving in.
A time of testimonies and community building.
Entering as acquaintances and leaving as a tight knit community.
This group of students is so on fire
Ready to lay down everything to know Christ more
Passionate, and dedicated to a life sold out to Christ.
I am over joyed to have the privilege to be on staff and walk alongside these guys
I'm ready to learn from them
I'm ready to see God move in big ways

the boys!


The students!!!!

praying for the trip and the start of an 8 month journey together


Friday, September 5, 2014


The incoming students:


Megan Swa.
Megan Slo.

Please be in prayer for these 12 students as they commit the next 8 months here on Bridge Street for our 2nd mission school!!

Move in is Saturday the 13th.

Also, be in prayer for our two outreach locations for this winter; India and Guatemala


Monday, September 1, 2014

What's Next?

So Immersion is done.

It far exceeded expectations.  In review, Immersion is 10 days - 3 camping, 7 downtown. Biblical teachings in the morning, work projects in the afternoon, and evangelism at night.

We had 5 youthgroups:

Each group was so unique. From all different high schools and family backgrounds. All different skills and interest in camping. All different personalities.

Each group was fantastic. Although so different, each loved so much!

Immersion is a time of high schoolers experiencing intense community:
They encourage one another - 1 Thessalonians 5:11
They confess to one another - James 5:16
They serve the least of these - Matthew 25:31
They are set free - John 8:34-36
They experience living in very close quarters, and sharing every meal together.
Overall, I learned a lot as well!
  • serving
    • I learned about serving students well even if I was exhausted and needing a break. Learned more about leading by example, and servant leadership.
  • loving
    • 24/7 for ten days = a lot of work....and a lot of time to learn to love students and team members :)
  • studying
    • It was vital for me to stay in the Word, and be making time alone for Jesus to be able to be serve, love, and rest well.
  • kids
    • I LOVE WEST SIDE KIDS. being in charge of Kids Ministry this summer was one of the most challenging things I've done, but I loved it!
  • community
    • I loved having community around me amidst the chaos of students coming and going,  programs switching, moving living spaces, taking vacation, exhaustion and excitement, and the day to day norms. I love them!

So What's Next?

Bridge Street Mission School 2014
when? September 13, 2014 - May 2, 2015
who? 7 girls, 5 guys
why? To learn all God has for them, and go into the next season of life equipped to live a life on mission for God and disciple more youth to follow Christ.

Friday, August 15, 2014


I'm learning so much about HOME. It's definitely not anything to do with a building.

From going from my parents house to the DR, to Brazil, back home, to the Lincoln on Barker, a few months in Guatemala and now getting ready to move a few houses down.....I have been learning a lot.

You have all heard the quote, "Home is where the heart is." I think this is partially true, but a more accurate quote would be, "Home is where God calls you."

I have been called many different places for all different spans of time with all kinds of different people.

I feel like I am home when I am with my family.
I feel like I am home when I am with my community on Bridge.
I feel like I am home when I have gone overseas.

I feel like I am home when I am walking in God's will for my life.

So my house is changing.
From a two story maze of an apartment complex with some great neighbors....
To a 4 bedroom house, well decorated with flowers, on a busier road with new neighbors to meet.

But it's already home :)

---Pictures to come!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

That thing called LOVE

A few posts back, I wrote about how I was learning about LOVE.

A few months ago, I was telling people how I was learning about LOVE.

Still doing it.

Still so much to learn.

Each time an immersion ends I think there is no way the next group is going to be this great! And each week I am amazed at how much I love the 'new' group. There hasn't been one group the same as the other. Out of 5 youth groups, there hasn't been one student the same.

Something that has been surprising is the amount of hurt in high schoolers. It brings me to tears. Pornography addictions, sexual sin, eating disorders, self-harm, suicide attempts, broken relationships, drug and alcohol abuse, the list goes on. It has become increasingly clear that the enemy trying hard to steal, kill and destroy. 

But we have a God fiercely pursuing us even stronger.

We have a God forgiving us, fighting for us, and freeing us.

And that HOPE, that REDEMPTION, that PROMISE, gives me the strength to love all 70+ of them.

I LOVE how God is freeing students, and allowing me to see the change, and the freedom.
I LOVE how God has created each one of these students so differently, yet each in His image.
I LOVE how God is being glorified as each student is made strong in him.

We had an 'ice-breaker' game and one question was to share your dream job. I could honestly answer THIS. Working at BSHOP; whether that's the Mission School or Immersion, I am where God has called me and have never felt more peace, more of His presence, and more of His power than I have while walking in His will.

I'm still learning to LOVE.

LOVE my neighbors, the kids around me, the students spending a week here, the students here for 8 months, the West Siders, my family, strangers, people I don't agree with, and everyone.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

CONFESSION, community, camping

The Camping trip has an intentional time of confession on Saturday night. The last night of the camping trip we spend time in worship, and then break off into youth groups for their leaders to lead their group into this time.

This year we had the privilege of hosting two youth groups in the same week. Forest Hills Bible Church, and Immanuel both came this past week.

As Immersion staff, we take a step back for the youth group to be able to have it's own time. Derek and Chris play guitar, and we keep the fires going.

They all have the opportunity to confess, throw their paper in the fire, and have their youth group pray over them.

What I was able to witness had me in tears.

One student shared what he was struggling with, and started to cry. He was extremely vulnerable, and wanting God to heal parts of his heart. Another student came around him and held him as he cried. His youth leader came behind him and started to pray for him. As he was praying he was crying over his student. The compassion this group had for one another was so powerful!

Confession, COMMUNITY, camping

For this past Immersion, we hosted two youth groups. In years past it has always been one youth group at a time, but we decided to spice it up!

Forest Hills Bible Church came with 13 students&leaders.

Immanuel Reformed Church came with 15 students&leaders.

We got to cram those 28 people in the Lincoln with 5 Immersion leaders and myself. It was so fun!

the trip started out a bit awkward. Both groups standing on opposite sides of the room to chat, riding up in separate vehicles, sitting by their groups around the fire, etc. But as the week progressed that slowly changed.

The guys started hanging out together, long boarding and late taco bell runs.
The girls led drama's for KidsGames together.

soon the youth groups were meshing tables for meal times.

everyone was getting along, hanging out, and enjoying the new dynamics of meshing youth groups.

But the best was Thursday.

response night.

A night dedicated to laying idols down, worshipping together, praying for one another, etc.

What happened that night was awesome!

Kids were going to other students that weren't in their youth group to pray over them. Hugs were exchanged between youth groups. And we all got a taste of the unification of the body of Christ! When it doesn't matter what church, what denomination, or what specific struggle, but instead everyone can support anyone.

Saturday night was another testament to the unity possible in the church. Families from both churches came to Saturday night worship for their child. At the end of students sharing testimonies we have a time of prayer and sending. The two churches prayed over the students as one group of students, one group of their kids, one group of the generation.

then goodbyes.

It's easy saying goodbye at the end of the week when you'll see them tomorrow in church. But for the friendships formed between the two youth groups, the next hang out time is scheduled, and goodbyes are a bit harder.

Overall, combining two groups this week opened my eyes to unity, the body of Christ, and fellowship!

I love these two youth groups, and even though it was only 10 days I feel like I knew some of these kids way longer. I was shocked for the week to end so quickly.

p.s sorry for grammatical errors. I don't re-read and my grammer & speech are terrible to begin with. hopefully you still understand the message :) basically, Jesus is moving in the hearts of young people, and in the West Side!