Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hello Everyone,

We have continued to be amazed and inspired by all that we have witnessed this past week. From working with kids to painting and painting and painting, God has continued to bring us out of our comfort zones and equip us with patience, strength, and joy to complete our tasks.

Every night we have had the opportunity to listen as Joel (Sunshine Director) has challenged and stretched us to look beyond preconceptions of the inner city and fully open our hearts to the people we have been able to serve. Today, we had the opportunity to put these lessons into action as we handed out bagged lunches in the downtown Chicago area. We heard the stories of many homeless people as we showed them God's love through a sandwich, chips, fruit, and conversation. Through this experience we learned that even the outcasts of society are important as they were created in the image of God.

The picture you see was taken at the Sunshine Gospel Ministries summer day camp. Students working in this program were able to reach out to kids through drama, crafts, games, music, pudding (it's a good story) and dodge ball. The lesson for the kids was based on one way to serve. The lesson focused on Jesus washing His disciple's feet. Not only have we been able to help the kids, but they have taught us that the gifts of time and love and truly caring about others can go a long way.

We look forward to a day at the beach with the kids for the Peace and Sunshine Blast groups and more manual labor for the Yes! group. These will be followed by some sight-seeing downtown and then a hotel stay before the ride back home.

And for now, well, we're enjoying talking and packing and playing a good game of Apple, Apple Open, Open. We can't wait to share with you all the many things that we have learned through this experience.

His Clay,

Chicago Missions Team

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Love you God and Live Humbly

Hello Everyone,

There is something to be said about being surrounded by concrete. It brings forth the desire to play basketball, hopscotch, Four Square and a plethora of other games involving concrete. While being in the city the last few days it is becoming apparent that our group is capitalizing on these activities with the people of the Woodlawn Community and experiencing fellowship through the common ground of competition.

In the past two days the three groups have given out groceries, alongside the Chicago Food Bank, helped run three different youth outreach programs, and have begun helping Chicago Embassy Church restore a park beginning the process of community beautification. It has been a privilege to work alongside the Woodlawn as we are both discovering how much the urban world has to offer to the suburban community and vice versa.

We will be updating again soon, but in the mean time enjoy some of these pictures of our escapes so far in the city.

His Clay,

Chicago Missions Team

Monday, July 20, 2009

Shalom = City Renewal

Hello Everyone,

We just finished with our first official day with Sunshine Gospel Ministries, and it is apparent that with only 5 hours of sleep 9 hours of ministry can be draining. However, I think God purposefully planned our exhaustion so that we would be in a physical state of readiness for the Holy Spirit to move and teach us new things. Tonight, while Joel taught us our first lesson it was apparent that the LORD was starting to open the eyes of the entire team.

Joel taught on the concept of "Shalom". The Traditional understanding of "Shalom" is "Peace". However, the Jewish concept of Shalom goes further than our modern understanding of peace. It touches on three aspects of peace that ascertain to our daily lives. The concept of "Shalom" is an intense peace with God. This is the kind of satisfaction that you might find when you connecting really well with someone who is your best friend. "Shalom" encourages us that we have this same connection with God on a daily basis. The second understanding of "Shalom" is to have a peace with with people. Not just your kind of people, but people from every tribe, tongue and nation. Lastly, the third concept of "Shalom" is to have a peace with your environment. This is not being comfortable with where God has placed you, but desiring to do more with where you are. This is a calling to bring the God of the Universe into prevalence in your community. This can be done by beautifying a particular eye sore in your neighborhood or making the building of your church a desirable place to be: a place that communicates "Shalom".

The group is really excited about exploring what it means to participate in bringing "Shalom" to the inner city of Chicago, but also to the ever diversifying community that is Woodbury.

His Clay,

Chicago Missions Team

Sunday, July 19, 2009

12:31 AM

Hello Everyone,

What a beautiful day to travel to Chicago. Our group pulled into Chi-city a little after 6pm. Upon arrival our group met up with Joel Hammernick, the director of Sunshine Gospel Ministries. Joel was gracious enough to invite us into his home for a spaghetti and meatball dinner and, after 7 hours on the road it was a welcome treat to have a hot meal waiting and ready!

Quickly after dinner our group was introduced to Hixson Presbyterian Church from Chattanooga Tennessee. During our orientation to Sunshine's ministries we learned that we will be collaborating with Hixson in three specified programs. Our combined group of 26 will be divided among these three ministries for the entire week while we develop new relationships and friendships. The first cohort is made of Breana Schulenburg, Laura Nygren, Becky Markowski, and Emily Erickson. They will be working with "Summer Blast", a youth outreach in the Woodlawn Community. The second cohort will be Adam Niva, Derrick Erickson, Dan Boal and Chris Schulenburg. We will be working with "Peace", a Sr. High outreach that is part of "Summer Blast". Our last cohort will be Kayla M, Kayla Mo, Sam Strand and Fran Weess. They will be working with "Yes". A ministry that is closely associated with sunshine who is need of some volunteer for the week.

After our morning outreach events we will regroup in the evenings and go on a mission excursion to the Pacific Garden Mission on Monday, and Various other outreach's throughout the week.

Well, thats all for tonight or should I say this morning!!

His Clay

Chicago Missions Team

Chicago Team Departs!

The Woodbury Community Church Chicago Mission Team departed today after the first service for a week long mission trip to the Woodlawn neighborhood of Chicago. Please be in prayer for the team as they minister throughout the week. Team members include (from left to right)Adam Niva, Chris Schulenburg, Laura Nygren, Fran Weess, Samantha Strand, Kayla Pearl, Kayla Moechnig, Emily Erickson, Cherrill Erickson, Becky Markowski, Breanna Schulenburg, Derrick Erickson, and Youth Pastor, Dan Boal.

Pray that God would keep the team safe, that He would teach them about urban life, ministry, and the people that make up the Woodlawn neighborhood, that the team would be a blessing wherever they go, that they would have a spirit of unity, and that God would be glorified throughout the entire trip.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Chicago Mission Trip Announcement

Sunshine Gospel Ministries Trip! July 19th-25th

Hello Everyone,
My palms are sweaty with the anticipation of taking our youth into the inner city of Chicago, and my former stomping grounds. Nothing can be as life transforming as making a connection with the impoverished who dwell in our own back-yards. It is eye-opening, compelling and at times a little frightening to realize that whether you are in the suburbs or in the inner city you are just a few steps away from being in the shoes of the helpless, homeless, and hurting. This is why I am so excited to be working alongside Sunshine Gospel Ministries. Sunshine as been an established inner city mission for over 100years, with long standing relationships and a real time tested passion to be the hands and feet of Christ in the Woodlawn Community of Chicago.
This summer the youth of Woodbury Community church will be partnering with Sunshine to run a morning vbs/day camp for inner city children. They will receive urban ministry training from a variety urban leaders and staff members from Sunshine. In the evenings we will be visiting and helping a plethora of different inner city ministries such as the Pui Tak Center, Pacific Garden Mission, South East Friendship Center and Breakthrough Urban Ministries.
In order to attend this trip each student will have to fill out an application that will be due by May 17th 2009. At the time they submit their application a $50 dollar deposit will be required. This deposit will be non-refundable once students are selected to go on the trip. Along with the successful completion of the application there will be six pre-trip training sessions that student will be required to attend. These sessions will deal with inner city training, support raising and developing and finding prayer partners.
The cost of this trip will be $450 per student. It will include travel, a t-shirt, room board and food. While the cost may seem steep we trust that God will work in such a way that each student will have means above and beyond what they expecting. So please, join with us in prayer as we begin to seek the renewal of the city along with Sunshine Gospel Ministries.

-- Dan Boal, Youth Pastor

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Highlight Video

Here is our highlight video from the 2009 Woodbury Community Church Ensenada Mexico Mission Trip.

2009 Woodbury Community Church Ensenada Mexico Mission Trip Highlight Video from Brian Schulenburg on Vimeo.