Operation Central America

Come and see what is happening on the Operation Central America missions trip. Also learn about the teams and their prayer requests.

Friday, June 16, 2006

What a day!

This is the fifth time I´ve taken students to Central America. I´ve traveled to many cities with our students, but I don´t recall ever having a better day in ministry than we did today. Our students were too busy to type an update. They have been going since 8:00 this morning.

They will be updating the blog tomorrow with their own thoughts, so I´ll save a lot of the details. But, let me tell you about one very special thing. Our basketball, children´s and mime teams traveled together all day long. It was a unique fusion of teams that we have not tried in this way before. To say that the day was powerful would be an understatement. We began the day in a city park. We were all disappointed to see just a few kids gathered there. But, we prayed, and felt that if just one of these kids saw Christ working through us it would be worth it. We got a sound system set up and started playing Christian music. Soon, a crowd began to gather. Then, we sent some members of the children´s team and basketball team to go door-to-door with our interpreters and invite people to the presentation. Within 15 minutes we had over 100 people gathered at the park. By the time the mime had finished their presentation and William had spoken, at least 50 people accepted Christ as their savior!

From there we traveled to a rural school. We were immediately struck with the poverty of the community. Children greeted us in tattered clothes and I´d say about 20% of them had open sores on their body. It was so sad. Then we walked into their church/school and saw a dilapidated basketball court that doubled as their playground, gathering area for assemblies, etc. It had been dedicated to the school in 1978 and looked like it had not been taken care of for years. It would be impossible to play a basketball game at the school. If we did players would turn ankles, the ball would bounce out of control, etc. The aunt of one of our students had given me $100 to use for a need if we saw one arise. This school and community had a need. I told our students that I had $200 that we could put towards giving this school a new basketball court (Isn´t it great when buses don´t come that we had planned on paying for? God opened up at least another $100 that way!) and asked them if they would be willing to contribute so that we could gift the school the court. Our students responded, "Absolutely!¨ So, I was able to tell the pastor that we would like to give them a new basketball court. I had found out from the locals that we had with us that it would cost approximately $500 to do this. I gave the pastor $500 and our team, which has no games scheduled for tomorrow morning will be tearing up the old court with pickaxes and hard labor. The new court should be ready by the end of next week, all because of the generosity of our students, the Lord, a bus company that didn´t show up, and a generous aunt. The new court will be a source of pride for this impoverished area. We´re hoping that it will spur the school to fix other areas of needs. I couldn´t be more proud of our students. They wanted to name the court after Wooddale Church, but we encouraged them to name it after the local church that we are working with.

There are many other great stories that you can look forward to reading some time tomorrow. Thanks for all of your prayers for Derek. He was actually feeling better by the time we left Campur. We have a couple more students that are feeling nausceous, so keep them in yoru prayers. This is normal for this trip, and the students are in good spirits and good health.

Your comments are being passed on to your kids. They love knowing that you are reading.

God bless you all!



  • At 11:41 PM , Anonymous Deb Decker said...

    Dear Matt, I hope you are feeling well and drinking lots and lots of water. It sounds like you are having a holy goosebumps kind of day today-Friday.I am so glad you talked me into letting you go, yea right,as if I have any control over God's plans.There are many people praying for you and the group. I pray the rest of the trip continues to be as fruitful as today. I am enjoying reading the updates, thanks so much. We're heading up north tomorrow, hopefully I can find a computer to stay updated.Miss you, Love you, God bless you. XOXO Mom and Jeff

  • At 12:38 AM , Blogger Jan said...

    Okay, another posting that brings tears to my eyes. I love seeeing the Lord work in and through you all.

    I had a rough night sleeping. You all were on my mind all night. I kept lifting you up to the Lord but still my mind raced. When I finally slept I had a dream that Sean helped deliver a baby! Oh, my, what silly things our minds do.

    Glad Derek is better and praying for good health for the whole group.

    What a blessing to read how our kids responded to the needs of the town. It is the best Father's Day gift ever, to hear how wonderful your child is.

    Amen, and again I say Amen.
    Jan Kitchen

  • At 4:11 PM , Anonymous Aunt Marlene said...

    WE ARE PRAYING LOTS FOR YOU, BRIAN, AND FOR THE WHOLE TEAM!!! When Uncle Larry and I were in Eden Prairie babysitting Andy's kids we saw Brian's wife, Cyndi, and Christopher, Jeremy and Zachary at the mall!!! Brianna was home with Cyndi's parents. Cyndi said she had talked to Brian the night before (that would have been Wed. night the 14th MN time) and all was going well! Love, Aunt Marlene

  • At 6:06 PM , Anonymous Breanna Schulenburg said...

    Dear Dad,
    I really miss you while you are so far away from home. It is father's day today and i just wanted to widh you one. I love you so much and i am praying for you every single day. Have a wonderful trip. See you on Sunday!


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