Monday, July 18, 2016

The final day

Hi everybody it's Carleigh, It's been a busy week for everybody on the team here are a few highlights of this week! Worshiping on Mt.Royal, Playing Ultimate Frisbee, Watching the Gospel Choir Family One, Playing Soccer, Playing Cards, Banana Rave, Riding the Metro, Watching Levi carry Graham up 284 stairs and Getting to know people!

Back to Brooklyn. We are home! After a slight rain delay, we have gotten through four hours of waiting at the airport and have made it back to Winnipeg. I am writing this from my bed. You have no idea how wonderful my bed is. And air conditioning! I love air conditioning. It's going to be a bit of an adjustment for us. Georgia offered up this great idea of ESSOR Montreal being a "Kingdom Glimpse." That has stuck with me. I hope it will give me perspective as I attempt to share the impact this trip has had on me. 

I wish I could write down all the stories from our time. We're planning on having a service at LSCF in a month or so, so make sure to listen for when that's happening. Thank you for all the love and support. It was great to see so many of your smiling faces when we got to the airport. 

We've come away with a new perspective of the world. I think this trip has given missions a new light for us. I am so excited to see what God is going to do with each and every one of us. I couldn't help but smile when Curtis said "We'll be back in 4 years, when we're youth leaders!" 

I will miss my family. I will miss Hangry Abe. I will miss giggling with Erica. I will miss Carleigh's creepy sleeping. I will miss Jenna's sarcasm. I will miss Cara's patience, Jessica's dancing, Camille's smile, Georgia's leadership, Jamie's trouble-making, Jordan's honesty, Kennedy's never ending Sean comments, and Abby's questions. I will miss Adrielle's energy, Graham's parkour, Ryan's James, Reiss's prayers, Justin's outgoing-ness, and Curtis's worshiping. I will miss so many more things, but I am excited about what youth in the fall will look like. This has been an intense experience. I wouldn't trade it for the world. 

So once again, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Christ est ma joie!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Day 9 On the Mountain

We worshipped on Mount Royal last night (Saturday night). I have sweat so much this trip that it's not even something I think about.
The view was breathtaking. We could see all of Montreal. We gathered outside a pavilion and danced in a big circle and praised God. At one point, Abe turned to me and yelled "WE ARE PRAISING GOD ON TOP OF A MOUNTAIN!" It was a good day. We tried to watch fireworks after, but there were a lot of people and trees in the way. We got a ride back to the college with another youth group on their bus. I am so thankful for that bus.

Today we debrief. There's worship and session this morning, and then we're heading the Bio...dome. Sphere? As a team. We have to be out of here by 7:45 tomorrow, but I feel like tonight's going  to be a late night.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Day 9 On the Lawn

Kennedy and I are blowing bubbles in the front lawn. It is gorgeous outside. The breeze is cool, the sun is out. The rest of the group is off cleaning Chinatown. We've got matching shirts, gloves, and garbage bags. Hopefully that's going well. It's a nice day for our last day of ministry. We're going to worship on Mount Royal this evening. I'm excited.

Day 9 As if This is Almost Over

Thursday was our roughest day. Thank you for your prayers. The anxiety and fear were overflowing. People wanted to go home. Our PAX was cancelled that day due to rain, so we were sent into the Underground City. But we got lost. We seperated into smaller groups so we could cover more ground. Only a few of us ended up in the right place. It was frustrating. It was a long day of wandering. We went out for poutine afterwards, but Riley and I took a taxi back to the college with Kennedy because she wasn't doing well.

Kennedy has been collapsing every evening around 6pm for the last 3 nights. We decided it would be wise to go back to the hospital. We had been feeling disconnected from each other as leaders, so we all went to the hospital together. Fiona, who's part of the lead team, stayed with our girls. One of us stayed there with her all night, and the rest of us went home so we could sleep. They got back at 4:30am. It was a long night with no answers.

So that was Thursday. Stressful, tense, just plain not good. But Friday. Friday was amazing! From the moment people woke up, you could feel the change in attitude. We started the day with a powerful worship time. Then we went outside as a team and sat on the lawn. Kurt shared with us about laying down our burdens and finding joy in God. He talked about the difficulty in trusting God both with your head and your heart. It was just what we needed to hear.

We ate our lunch outside on the grass, the headed out to a park to do PAX (public acts of Christ). We brought a soccer ball, chalk, bubbles, face paint; we showed up with no agenda, we just wanted to spread joy. Camille, Jenna, and I spent a solid hour writing and drawing with chalk. We covered a huge portion of a sidewalk with bible verses reminding people of God's love for them. I made my way over to the playground where they had set up the face paint station. There was a splash pad in the playground. I walked up to chaos. Kurt, Jessica, and Abe were running around with a bunch of kids, spraying each other and getting soaked. More of us joined in. It was awesome! They had become friends with two families sitting there, and their children were excited to play with us.

Justin made it his personal mission to talk to 10 people in the park. He talked to 16. That guy has a gift.

While I don't think there were any crazy conversion stories or huge changes in peoples lives, our team was greatly impacted by the experience. We were given hope for what we're doing. We got to have fun. I found real joy in those moments.

We got back to the college to find out public worship had been cancelled. So we started our own worship. Then Levi put on some FNL songs and we danced like crazy people. It was awesome. We even had a banana rave later on. We got to be ourselves and it was perfect.

As I lay here, thinking about going into our last day of ministry, I am blown away by the strength of our team. We have faced so many personal demons, and we have grown so strong in God. It's going to be hard to say goodbye to this family. I'll let you know how today goes!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Day 8

Hi there, it's Riley! We're sorry about the lack of blogging these past couple days. It's been pretty crazy for us here in Montreal. But I'd love to tell you about our Wednesday #drimetime.
So we were split into two groups based on which dramas we knew and then we were sent to different spots in the city to present! Drime wasn't something that most of us saw as something we were comfortable with. It's not what you would call a subtle ministry. However, as the day went on we performed in the blistering heat and had some amazing encounters with God, the people of Montreal, and each other.
And so in the evening, we asked our students what was one bloggable moment of their days. Here are their answers:
-Jordan got to feed a homeless man lunch.
-Carleigh had tons of fun on our escapade in the metro with singing, dancing and rapping included.
-Jess loved the dance parties during public worship and Levi's grandpa inspired dance moves.
-Jenna said that her knees got roasted on the sidewalk during the drimes.
-Cara said that she loved being a part of the public worship in the park.
-Jamie loved having the opportunity to talk with some people from "Doctors without borders" and learn about them. She also befriended a couple dogs named Chenelle and Bonjour.
-Adrielle claims that she's a gangster now.
-Abby wanted to highlight the amazing/loud singing on the metro that our team participated in.
-Erica wanted me to quote that "Rie Bread hit the dab" as well as "Lendog do it for Abe and Er Bud".
-Georgia approached a lady in the park to chat but sadly she only spoke Russian.
-Camille didn't  think that people woild respond to the drimes but was so excited when they did.
-Abe said that  God gave her courage to approach, talk, and pray with strangers.
-Curtis says that the french girls keep saying no.
-Justin says that he loves walking because he feels like he's going somewhere.
-Graham is pumped that he met the great value version of Ed Sheeran
-Ryan says vitamin c is life
-Reiss #alive&authentic

So I believe that it's quite apparent to everyone that we all had diverse experiences throughout Montreal.

Thanks for reading and checking in on us. Stay awesome.

The SOAR team :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Day 6 It is Wednesday my dudes. (Ahhhhhh)

The title is a vine. Check it out.

Yesterday was hot. So. Hot. Kennedy and I stayed back so she could rest. Watching our team stumble through the door, I was grateful for our air conditioner. Some went out to the park to Drime. Some did maintenance stuff. We all got a lot out of it.

The guys on our team are wonderful. Erica's knee has been acting up, and they had to walk up a hill to get to the park. She had offers from all the guys to be carried. They are such men of God; I am so proud of them.

The team went out to do ministry today, but Kennedy and I stayed behind. We ended up going to the Children's Hospital just to get her checked out to be safe. We took the metro alone (!) And totally rocked it! We spent a good four hours to hear everything was pretty normal, had to find the team to get the key to the school, then came all the way home. We left at 2:30 and got home at 8:30pm. She's a trooper, and while I wish I hadn't miss the ministry today, I had an amazing day, and I wouldn't change a thing.

I've included a few pictures from our day. Maybe I'll get Riley to fill you in on their Drime time.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Day 5 Still so Sweaty

Hey guys this is Jenna! We've had some amazing experiences and have learned many new things recently during our time in Montreal. Our theme for the week has been venturing into unchareted territory and I guess this is a way for me to venture into my uncharted territory because i'm not very "gung ho" into writing...Yesterday many of us experimented with acting. This scared most of us,but surprisingly alot of us really enjoyed what we learned and were able to have fun. As as a group we have also learned that after this trip our legs will be looking pretty good due to climbing 4 floors of stairs ( 94 steps) everyday. And if you think we don't love steps enough, someone thought it would be a great idea that before bed we should run up the the Basilica stairs. I think most of us pulled multiple musscles, however the view was amazing! Hope you enjoed my little blurb, jenna 

Back to Brooklyn here! We spent the morning at Mount Royal Park. We focused on prayer. It was nice to walk around in the city and feel the breeze. We got to go off on our own in the park and spend some time listening.

We got back for lunch, and we've split off into our groups for our ministry portion.