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Impressions from Holbrook

Impression 1

My first impression of the students of Holbrook was, “aww, they’re so sweet.” Especially the younger girls. The older kids have their own groups and are less shy – but they don’t really talk to us. Hopefully that will change.

During chapel the first night one little girl wanted me to sit with her. It made me feel very welcomed. That’s how it usually is. The younger girls want us (the older girls) to sit with them during meals and worship.

Coming to Holbrook made me realize how fortunate I am to have what I have. I hope throughout this trip we and the students become closer to each other and we grow closer to Jesus. The kids here are super sweet and I hope we bring them closer to God.

– Anonymous

Freshman at Weimar Academy

Impression 2

We all have choices we have to make. Choices that hardly affect our life and some that determine our life. Choices always, however, determine our character. They build who we are and each choice we make affects our next action. However, there are some choices that are made for us already: whether or not we grow up rich, where we’re born, who raises us, etc. Most of us can say that we grew up in a good home; Christian parents, enough food, a safe place to sleep. However, there are children in this world who don’t grow up with these things. There are children whose parents abandon them. One girl’s story in particular really impacted me. Her mom has just deserted her. She doesn’t know yet, but she’s not dumb. She notices that the deans try to come up with other things to do when she asks to talk to her mom on the phone. She sees the other girls still allowed to call their mothers. Her home leave started today. She looked at me and said, “I’m so excited! I want to see my parents. I love my parents.” And I had to fight back tears just knowing that she wouldn’t be able to go home. She would have to stay with staff instead. And she’s not the only one. These kids go home and come back to school out-of-it. Not because they don’t like school or because they miss home already, but of their home situations. While student’s from my school look forward to homeleaves, some students here dread it. Some won’t even be going home for the summer just because they don’t want to be at home for that long. These kids don’t get the love they need at home. You can tell, because as soon as they see you, all they ask for is a hug. That’s it. A hug. Because that’s not even something they regularly get. They just want to be truly loved. And maybe, just maybe, we can be the last chance they get. We aren’t here to be superheroes. No, we’re just here to be friends. Why? Because they don’t need something that isn’t real. They’ve seen plenty of those in their lifetime. We’re here to be something that’s real. Something that’s true. And the most important thing that they can learn from us is that no matter what they’ve been through, no matter how they feel, there is an amazing God who will love them no matter what. And yes, maybe that sounds cliche to them, or unrealistic, but that’s what we’re here for; to show them that He is real and that just as real is His love for us.

Daniella Hasel – Senior at Weimar Academy

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The Journey – Arizona Mission Trip

There were problems. There are always problems. The simplest detail when presented at the moment of departure, can become a delay which stretches from 10 minutes to 45 minutes, to 60. And in our case, 2.5 hours! But God is good, and complications were resolved, the vans were packed, seats were found, seatbelts were buckled and the journey began.

Our first day was a 7 hour drive to Barstow, California. The miles slipped by with beautiful weather, cheerful chatter, car games and uplifting music. We were finally on our way! We stopped for a quick lunch at Taco Bell and everyone found out just how far their $5 lunch budget could stretch. Then it was time to get back on the road.

California has be inundated with so much rain this season, that the Central Valley (typically a brown and dusty place) was green with long, thick grass and early blooming trees. It was lovely! Before we knew it, we had arrived in Barstow. We checked into our hotel and picked up our 9 foot Subway Sandwich, ate and tucked ourselves into bed.

Day two began clear and cold. We packed up the vans and enjoyed a breakfast of waffles, toast and fruit. There was excitement as we piled into our seats again. This was the day we would arrive in Holbrook! As we crossed the border into Arizona, we were all struck with the stunning rock formations and long stretches of straight road disappearing over the horizon. It was beautiful.

It was shortly after dark when we finally pulled into Holbrook Indian School. The cafeteria staff had very kindly held a delicious and generous dinner a few minutes late for us and we all filled our plates and our stomachs. After dinner, we joined the students for worship in their dorms. As soon as worship was over, some of the students helped us find mattresses and settle in our rooms. We felt welcomed and so happy to finally be here! Just what the coming days will bring, we don’t know, but we know God has a plan and we cannot wait to find out what He has arranged for us!

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Curaçao Mission Trip Day 3

Students carrying metal frames to work on.

Today, our mission trip truly began as we had the opportunity to serve at Santa Marta SDA Church. We are helping them finish a sabbath school building.  After much much prayer, the materials arrived and we were able to get to work. Despite the heat, we were able to have a great time and work hard. We also had the opportunity to go and meet some of the families that live around the church. We were inviting them to a children’s program we will be putting on at the church site tomorrow.

 

We are quite tired from such a long day, but excited to see the opportunities God has for us for tomorrow.

 

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Curaçao Mission Trip Day 1

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We arrived safely in Curaçao with very little trouble at all. After getting our bags and finding our rented vans, we headed out to the Adventist Hospital for lunch. After traveling for so long we were quite hungry, and the food they gave us did not disappointment. Definitely a great way to start our trip! After lunch we headed over to the apartment villas that we would be calling home for the next two weeks. Then we were off to explore the island. The ladies went to a floating market, where Venezuelans come over to sell their fresh produce. We learned that nothing is grown on the island, everything has to be imported. It was great to get to know the culture of the island a little before we begin working with the people.

 

Please continue to keep us in your prayers as details are still coming together for our weeks here. We are excited to see how God works during our time on the island of Curaçao!

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Mission Curaçao Update

Alex Carr, eager and excited to begin the journey!

We have safely arrived in Panama where we have a layover. Our last flight was not completely full, so some of us were able to have a little extra room to sleep. Definitely a blessing! Our next flight leaves in a couple hours, so I am sure we will be doing some exploring in the airport. We will let you know when we have made it to Curaçao.

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Ready

I am the type of person that before any event I like to be fully fully prepared for anything that could happen. So naturally, throughout the day today my mind seemed to wander back to the same question – are we ready for mission trip?

Weimar Academy has the privilege to embark on four different mission trips this year. We will be going to Arizona, Belize, Bolivia, and Curaçao. One of the things that I love about Weimar Academy is that every student has the opportunity to go on mission trip. Throughout this school year, students have been working with staff and representatives at each respective location preparing talks, programs, meal plans, and other details. We have not left on these trips yet, but we have already been able to see God work in amazing ways to bring details together and solve problems that we would not have been able to solve on our own.

Even though God has done so much for us already, it is so easy for our minds to slip back to the notion that somehow WE are the ones that need to worry about each detail. It can be so easy to forget how God has led in the past. But we can not go on a mission trip saying we are going to share Christ’s love with the work until we have hidden ourselves behind the cross. It is because of the sacrifice that Jesus made for each and every one of us that we are able to go and heal the world.

As we are going our separate ways today, I ask that you keep us in your prayers. Updates will be posted on this blog and on our social media accounts if you want to stay up to date with us. We are excited to share how we see God work on each of these trips, and we are ready to be God’s hands and feet. 

Mackenzie Gallant 

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Starting a New Year with Christ

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It was different. Compared to all I’ve ever known, it was more. It was more than just the overwhelming sudden realization of how many Adventist friends you have. It was more than exploring the random art designs around Houston. It was definitely more than the vegan food served there. GYC was an experience where I learned of Christ, I worked with Christ, and I learned why I love Christ.
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Everyone who attended GYC 2017 had struggles. Everyone had questions. Every single person was searching for something better than what they had. John Bradshaw said, “Jesus works best with faulty people. As a matter of fact, Jesus works ONLY with faulty people. It’s ok to be broken and we don’t have to stay that way.”

It ended almost as soon as it began. My closest friends and I celebrated the New Year overlooking the city skyline. It was at that moment we felt nothing else besides infinite happiness. This was the place where we talked for hours, this was the place where we changed. This was the place that marked another start into a new year with Christ, our source of infinite joy.

Remember your Creator in your youth. When all has been heard, Fear God, keep His commandments, for judgment will take place.

Ecclesiastes 12:1,13,14

-Eryka Liu

(Photo Credit: Rich Constantinescu)

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Day 3&4 Choir Tour By Linda Martinez

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Little Exciting Adventures

Day 3

        Our last morning at Fallbrook was pretty packed. I don’t really know about the others, but I found that church very confusing, even though it wasn’t that big. Most of us cleaned. I was charging a borrowed camera battery, so I sat on the floor beside the outlet for the 30 minutes I had left before I had board the bus. Our bus ride to the beach was gorgeous. I hadn’t been feeing so well, so i was a little down that I wouldn’t be able to swim. Once we arrived there everyone went running toward the ocean, but not even a minute later they got called back to Mackenzie for some rules. A surfer’s advisory had been sent out warning about the crazy waves, which meant we could only go waist deep. I wasn’t even planning on even getting in the water, so I went to the little lagoon that seemed more like a fast lazy river. (Just a little fyi the water was freezing.) A couple hours later I was feeling better, so i decided that I would take a dip in the water. We ate hot dogs for lunch. The seagulls came by and were bothering us getting too close to our food, so some of the boys would shoo them away once in a while.We stayed for a little while more, although most of us only had enough energy to bounce a ball around and make sand castles. A lot of people got red like a tomato. I got a little golden… but not much. I just have to say the winning award for a farmer’s tan went to Miguel. Boy did he get a farmer’s tan. So the fun had to end and it was time for us to go back to the bus. The bus came and we were gone, off to Orangewood academy.

       Once we arrived, we had to wait a little while outside of the gym door, fiercely guarded by Ms. Tara. I wouldn’t have been able to get past her even if I had straight A’s in her class. Finally, she let us in, and we rushed in with all our luggage, pillows, and bags. I set up where I was going to sleep and rushed to the shower after 2 days of not showering and I think what made it a little worse was the sand that I had stuck on every single strand of me hair. Once I got out, fresh and cleaned up, I decided to sleep and started getting my bed ready, but I got distracted when Daniella turned on her flash light and Emily started to make shadow puppet things. It was funny because they pretty much knew how to do 2 things: the dog shadow and a heart. Once they decided it was enough they turned off the lights and everyone applauded. It was fun even though it didn’t have a story line. Finally after a long, tiring day of traveling, I got to sleep.

Day 4

      I got up, got my things together and placed them next to the bus, and changed into the khaki skirt and black weimar music polo. I searched for my garment bag like a ‘gallina decabesada’ (a chicken without a head) for about 10 minutes to find it on the floor right beneath the garment bag rack. I was looking for my flats, so I had to go to the restroom and wash my dirty feet that touched just about every single flat surface imaginable (cement, wood, bleachers, etc.). Then I went to go eat breakfast and tell Mackenzie what I was choosing for dinner. Some of us went to the music lounge that the academy had before we got called to worship. After Payton did worship we had 30 minutes to practice before the Orangewood students came to hear the 45 minute concert. Besides that fact that we had taken 3 songs from the concert, didn’t have a piano, were in a gym, and only had 1 speaker, we didn’t lose hope that God would do something great. We prayed that the students would be impacted by the words and music. I am still praying that at least one of them would be convicted and know that God loves them, but I know that satan was trying to make the worst out of everything. I’m positive that there was someone in the crowd that is going to do great things, but was distracted with the almost “non-hearable” piano and our shaky nervous voices. But I am sure that God left something good at Orangewood academy.

      Once we left the school we went to a park where I got to talk to my mom after like… Thursday…last week… I’m such a horrible daughter. I was thinking about her everyday, so I’m good right?

      There was a library and art gallery there, so some of us went up to the art gallery and a little Japanese tea garden. After a while the staff brought us food and we finished eating at the park then headed to the bus. We had an appointment to go to sing at a retirement center. It was really nice meeting Mackenzie’s, RD’s, and Bailey’s grandmother. She was so cute! ahh! She thought I was the director of the choir, so she was trying to get my attention and once she did I told her I was just a student. We were waiting for the trailer with the instruments, barricading the entrance in the process. With the arrival of the instruments, we filed inside, unloaded, and attempted to line up in the correct order. Sound mind sang, and the choir and orchestra attempted to get by without both piano and percussion. After personal prayers with the residents, singing “The Lord Bless You and Keep You”, and a stampede for the refreshments, we went back out to the parking lot to wait for the bus and take pictures with Grandma Gallant.Finally, after waiting about 10 minutes (that almost seemed like an hour) and hearing many “El Guapo the third” stories from Jack, the bus arrived and we started loading up. We were headed off to Templeton SDA Church. A lot of fun little things happen during the bus ride like drawing a banner for Jack that goes with his crazy stories and hearing a recording of us singing to having conversations about relationships to stopping at a rest stop and getting scolded my mr.chad and mr.mike for buying junk food at the vending machines. I would write every single detail, but that would take up at least another whole page and my body is screaming for some nap time. Over all, these 2 past days have been full of little exciting adventures.

~Linda Martinez~

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Day 1 & 2 Choir Tour

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     Ecstatic and half-asleep, we piled onto the bus and shuttle at 5:00am. Finally, Fall music tour had arrived. With our destination 12 hours away, we settled into our seats for a long ride. With the old students fast asleep, and the new students singing and telling riddles, the drive passed by quickly. This was the first trip on which our shuttle and/or bus didn’t break down! Watching the wind turbines and counting the Joshua trees became our pastime. We stopped by a park to eat sandwiches and take a break about halfway through, then started up again on our journey. As we approached our destination, some of the students in the back of the bus started singing hymns. Soon everyone was joyfully singing. At last, we pulled into the parking lot of the Loma Linda Chinese Church. After a quick practice session and an amazing ramen dinner, we rolled our our sleeping bags and rested for the following day.

     After a much needed night’s sleep, we began to prepare for our first concert of the trip. Despite the sickness beginning to spread throughout the students, we trusted that God would send His angels to sing with us. The youth Sabbath school room was filled to the brim with academy students, and the encouraging message from the speaker gave us hope. We then restlessly and prayerfully waited in the back of the church for Miss Abby to call us onto the risers. Typically, our first concert is shaky, as we are still working out the bugs, but by God’s grace our performance went without much error. Both the congregation and the performers were blessed.

     With our spirits high, we traveled to our next stop: Calimesa SDA church. We spent some time praying over the concert before assembling ourselves on the risers. During his concert, however, we lost our sense of dependence on Christ, and we felt that the performance was only half as good as the first one. Thankfully, many were still blessed, but we were taught how desperately we need the angels to sing with us.

-Senior of Weimar Academy