Thursday, January 29, 2009

Explode Winter Camp 2009

Winter Camp was amazing! That is the only way that I can describe this years camp. About four years we decided to do High School Winter Camp on our own to really focus on Discipleship and help our students get connected with eachother. The result has been a huge learning experience for me and our team.
This year we had Chad Blood from Lifeway Church in Arlington, WA as our speaker. Charity and I interned under Chad in Eastlake, CA. Chad taught on the Full Armor of God and really brought the truth of Jesus this year; it was great to spend the weekend with him.
Marc Faircloth lead worship and just nailed it! I love the room we meet in because its not a show room; the place allows students to really connect with God.
The main thing that I have learned from doing camp on our own (literally we do it all: rent houses, rent vans, rent town hall, bring all the food) is that we cannot do it without our leaders. Leaders, if you read this thank you so much for loving our studetns and impacting their lives!
Once again, Kyle Rock made an amazing video to wrap up the weekend.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Visiting Daddy at Work

Sophie stopped in the office to see me today. This is before she spit-up on my leg

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cutest Kid Ever

Sophie is cutest kid ever!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sophie Chilling with Daddy

Got a quick video of one of Sophie's favorite things to do

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Encouraging Day

So I know that I haven't blogged in a long time and that is due to me being a slacker! Yesterday was such an encouraging day that I have to share with you guys who are praying for us and watching what God is doing here in Vegas.

On Sunday night I went to a families house to talk with their son, Stephen, about his drug problem. We had a great conversation and an hour and a half later I left to have small group. I received a call from a friend of Stephen sharing with me how Stephen gave his life to Jesus after I left. So I called Stephen yesterday and was able to talk with him. He shared with me about how he is not depressed anymore and that he is finally happy in life.
A little preface is that Stephen was in a car accident two months ago where his girlfriend was ejected from the truck and died on scene, needless to say this has been a hard time. He continued to share with me how he flushed all his pills and cocaine down the toilet. I was so happy I almost cried!

That night I spoke at church and here are two comments that students texted to me after the message was down:

"Wow so todays lesson really made me realize that I've been just surviving. I made the decision to give my life to Jesus tonight and I'm so happy I'm so excited for camp and I truly want to thank you so much"
This is another comment from a student leader who brought her friend for the first time, her friend sent her this and she sent it to me:

"That was amazing ;) thank you so much for inviting me. Its opened my eyes i guess you could say ;) however you put it. But yeah. Thanx ;)"
I am so excited about what God is doing here. As a youth pastor trying to encourage other youth pastors, dont forget these times that we have the chance to impact lives. I am so proud of our students and how they have reached out to their friends, last night was a great night of ministry. A special thanks to our leaders who are always there to love on kids and who I get to partner with; I dont want to do ministry without you guys!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Wrapping up 2008

Today Charity and I were talking and I shared how I wanted to give an update on all that we did this year. She came up with a great word; "Reflect". We both decided that too many times we fail to reflect on life and remember all that God has done for us. I know this post may be long, but I hope you enjoy reading/seeing what God has done for us this last year.

Winter Camp 2008
This year we did our own winter camp in BrianHead Utah. It was amazing! My buddy Joey Ross came and spoke and Aaron Hoffman lead worship. It was great to see our leaders all jump in and make it happen. We just rented houses and Town Hall and spent time with students. It was so good we are doing it again in 2009

Mexico Mission Trip

I was able to lead a team to a town just south of Ensenada Mexico to build a home for a family who didn't have one. There are some super cool missionaries down there; Rick and Tammie Romano. They have great hearts and run a super effective ministry down there called "The Ensenada Project". If you are looking for a place to serve, contact them!

Translating the Book of Ephesians
This year I took a class through Fuller Seminary where I was able to translate the book of Ephesians from Greek into English. I would say that it was the hardest assignment that I have ever accomplished. I was so happy to turn all the 150 pages of homework in for that class!

Italy Vacation
If you missed the posts from Italy you gotta go check them out! This was by far the best vacation that Charity and I have ever taken. We feel so blessed that we were able to do this before Sophie came. (Little unknown fact: while we were in Italy we thought that Sophie was going to be "Zachariah Charles Benson")

Sophie Marie Benson in the oven
Sophie is by far the best thing to happen to our family this year. Neither of us would know what to do without her!

Hume SD: Middle School
Middle School Camp... was rad! I had a great time with the 8th grade, soon to be 9th grade, boys. They were great and Evan Faircloth is a rad leader, but Chase Feindel really led that camp well! Thanks for all your hard work Chase.

Hume Lake: High School
The students that we brought this year were great, but our leaders did even better! I always tell other pastors that our leaders are one of the main reasons that I keep serving. Without there help and support I don't believe that our ministry would be as effective as it has been out here. Thank you leaders for all your hard work. It is not un-noticed!

Baby Shower
Thank you all so much for all you gave. A special thanks to the McComb's for opening their home to allow us to have the shower there; you guys are truly amazing!

The Arrival of Sophie Marie
You can search the blog back in August to get more updates (click here). Sophie was born on August 26th 2008. She is by far the most beautiful little girl that I have ever seen in the world. Thank you Jesus for letting us have her!

Learning Hebrew
In the Fall I started on my Old Testament work for Seminary. I am currently, almost, half way done with my masters of Divinity from Fuller Seminary. Hebrew has been a huge challenge, but has taught me so much! Wanna see the Hebrew Alphabet? Check this out!

Thanksgiving in So Cal
We had a great chance to do a little So Cal tour this year at Thanksgiving time where we were able to see Charity's parents and my family. It was a great time with family. Click for pics

My Expanded Role at South Hills
This year we had an opening that I noticed on our staff: we had no one championing missions. I prayed that if God wanted me to help with it that my pastor would ask me. About a week later him and I were talking and now I am creating an Outward Team at our church that will be focused on evangelism and serving. I am pretty excited about this opportunity and the chance to grow in my leadership. Thanks for trusting me and letting me lead Bret!

These are just some of the memorable events from the year. Thank you so much for all of you that have prayed for us, supported us to reach students, helped me go on a mission trip and have just been there as our friends. You appreciate all of you!