Party @ Penuel!


It has been a very long time since my last blog post, so here is a quick update on the mission trip I was on to Camp Penuel in Ironton, Missouri with our high school youth group from Christ Memorial Church.


Fast Facts:

62 High School Students
25 Adult leaders/volunteers
1 Greyhound Bus
1 15 Passenger Van
2 12 Passenger Vans
1 Motorhome
1 Work truck with a Trailer
3 Weed whackers
3 Chainsaws
2 orders of 90 Jimmy Johns Subs

Countless laughs, smiles, and memories made.


Worksites during the day from Monday through Thursday included:





Campers Duty


Food and Kitchen Prep




Cement Prep and Laying


Every one of our high school students had the opportunity to work 2 days, interact with the campers at Camp Penuel and serve meals at the camp for 1 day, and then go off-campus 1 day to the Johnson Shut-ins and Elephant Rocks State Parks.

IMG_1407Jumping off the rocks at Johnson Shut-ins


It was an absolutely amazing trip for these reasons:

  • the high school students and leaders worked so hard in the 100+ degree heat
  • we were able to see the difference we made with the work projects
  • watching our high school students interact and love on the Camp Penuel campers
  • having campfire conversations every night with 87 people
  • waking up students at 6am so they could have quiet time devotions on their own
  • physically seeing the spiritual growth and transformation of numerous students in how they interacted with others and hearing their conversations
  • the numerous hilarious quotes that were said throughout the week

Memories were made, authentic community was formed, numerous laughs were shared, faith was deepened and lives were transformed. Cheers to God!


Campfire talksIMG_1771


Are parents/friends helping or hurting your job chances?

One of my good friends passed this article along and I thought it was good enough to post the link to share it with high schoolers, college friends and parents out there. This world is becoming increasingly competitive to find internships or jobs, and this article provides insights into how we can help friends, siblings, cousins and students find jobs without crippling or coddling them!

Enjoy this quick read: 





Making an American-themed craft!

All these incoming 3rd through 7th graders have so much energy on Tuesdays and Thursdays that I find myself needing to sit on the couch I’m so tired on these evenings! Today was another day of great fun at HYPE. It was “MURICA” theme today since it is the 4th of July on Thursday, and plenty of the HYPE students donned some red, white and blue for the occasion! We had a group game of Jeopardy to test the level of US History knowledge among the students, and they did great! Additionally, we played a game called “Knight at the Museum,” where the students had to act like statues and find American flags hidden all over the youth room without the “museum guard” turning around and seeing them move (similar to red light green light).


Knight at the Museum game

For our lesson today, we talked about freedom and how privileged we are to have the many gifts we have been given, which many people have sacrificed for. In comparison, Christ sacrificed his life for us so we can have the “free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). That’s the beauty of grace – it’s free! And what are we to do with this freedom? Hoard it to ourselves? By no means! We are to share this free gift with others, loving our neighbors, family members and friends in the name of Jesus.


9 Square in the Air

Today, I enjoyed playing several games of “ball tag” with a group of guys and girls, 9 square in the air and watching Andrew and Becca (2 high school interns) help the students memorize Philippians 3 verses 12 and 13. It is highly entertaining to watch 30 3rd through 7th graders yell Bible verses at the top of their lungs with motions to go along with it! If I can ever figure out how to upload a video for free, I will attach a video from Thursday’s group “rapping” Philippians 3:12 and a chunk of verse 13! They are getting it and memorizing it!


How great is her face?

I have to say that I  absolutely love watching these high school interns teach these young students about God through what they say and teach them as well as how they interact and deeply love them.

No HYPE this Thursday due to the 4th of July holiday, and I am getting excited to leave Saturday for a week-long mission trip to Camp Penuel, Missouri with a group of 88 high school students and leaders! Have a great holiday weekend everyone!