Monday, July 25, 2011

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Final Post (I hope)

Well parents and friends,
I hope that this will be our final post of the trip.  Hopefully everything will go smoothly with flights tomorrow and we will be home and giving you all hugs tomorrow evening.

I let the kids sleep in this morning so most of them didn't wake up till like 10 or 11.  We got lunch and then did some shopping and the it was to the beach.  It was great weather wise so we had lots of fun in the waves. Had our final meal at a great Puerto Rican resturant.  My steak was great.  The kids are currently doing their final devotion for the trip and then it will be time to pack and head to bed.  We are leaving for the airport tomorrow morning at 8:30 EST so when you wake up we should be on our way to the airport.  9 hours of flight time and we will be home.

Thanks for the prayers.  Look forward to seeing you all.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Pics from San Juan

Please be sure to read the post from AJ and Brandon about what we did today.  Here are some pics from yesterday and our time in Old San Juan.

Saturday, July 23rd

Hello how are juu guys? It's AJ and Brandon tonight so you mine as well keep reading.

So first off our snorkeling was cancelled due to a Category 5 hurricane no we're just playing weather was a little rough. But that's alright because we ventured up into the rainforest and hiked up Mt. Britton it was like 3,600 ft up or something ridiculous like that.

There were all these sweet springs with the most beautiful waterfalls. It was so pure and relaxing it almost made me forget about snorkeling. It gave us the opportunity to see what true beautly lies within nature.

We had the afternoon to do whatever so the boys went to the beach and into the pool. The water is almost perfect temperature it just isn't cool when people decide to ride jet ski's and totally kill all the waves. Who knows what the girls were up too.... there girls. Anyways we ordered up pizza and had our devo in Elise and Julia's room. We talked about how to be like-minded with Jesus as we serve him throughout life. Paul's letter to the Philippi talks more in depth in chapter 2 it says in verse 4"Not looking into our own interests but the interests of the others." This verse really shows the meaning of what serving others is about. We made a list on our cloth of words that represent the obstacles that come with service, the list included Ego, Desires, Wordly Things, Age, Fame, Greed... etc. Anyways were going to go on an adventure around the hotel so we will talk to you guys tomorrow.

Much Love. God Bless

No Snorkeling

We are having lots of rain today and so the company had to cancel the snorkeling for today.  While the kids were bummed, they all climbed back into bed and fell back asleep.  I think we will try to do the rainforest today and I am trying to set up a snorkeling event tomorrow but it might be tough this last minute and the weather might not be better tomorrow.

San Juan was fun.  The kids got a chance to shop and we got to tour the fort there.  It was very hot and humid but had a great lunch and then headed out to the Wyndham Rio Mar.  Big thanks to Ryan and his iphone for being my navigator.  Hotel is nice.  The boys went in the ocean and pool last night before we did our kayaking.

The Bio-Bay Kayaking excursion last night was incredible.  No one fell in however AJ and Brandon started a water fight with one of the tours so she tipped them over.  It was all in good fun and they got her back with a cold water bucket when we returned.  I am supposed to get a link with the pictures they took from last night so once I have that, I will post it and you can check it out. 

As the trip begins to wind down, I just want to remind you of a couple of things.  First is that we arrive at 8:30 p.m. on Monday.  We are flying US Airways (I hope) in from Philadelphia and will be arriving at concourse 2  If you would like to park in the cell phone lot and we can call you when we are ready to get picked up that is fine.  Otherwise you will have to park and ride the shuttle.  If you have any questions, please email or text me.


Friday, July 22, 2011

we have snorkeling tomorow morning early. Have a great evening.
Had a great day. Toured San Juan and had lunch there. Checked in to our hotel and then headed of to the kayaking bio bay which was awesome!!!!! It is late and

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thursday; Final day of serving the community

Hey Everyone!

     Today we spent our last day working at  our ministry sites, which was definitely bittersweet. 

Most of our group (besides AJ, Dylan, and Jim) went to Villa Blanco to help at a Kids Club.  The highlight of my day had to be the massive water fight with all the kids; after we ran out of water ballons the kids were sneaky enough to fill up buckets of water and pour them all over us.  Although we were soaked, it sure felt good to escape this Puerto Rican heat.

     Aaron, Brandon, and Ryan started their own Puerto Rican pop band, [trying to] sing all the weird spanish songs on the radio.
     After lunch we spent our time scraping paint off walls and repainting other ones.  We were all glad that we had shower time after sweating from that job.
     We had a barbeque with the community for dinner tonight, they were all so impressed that we came here to help them out.  We followed with club, where we read about Jesus washing his disciples' feet.  Jim and Elise washed our group's feet.  It was moving to feel their hands washing our feet and imagining our Savior doing the same thing to his disciples just before he died.
     It's sad to be leaving all of our ministry sites, leaders, and new friends tomorrow, but I have seen how our servant hearts have grown, and will carry on with us through the rest of the trip and beyond.  We're reallllly excited to relax on the beach and take showers longer than 5 minutes, though.  All in all, working here in Puerto Rico has been beyond rewarding, I'm so grateful to have enjoyed this experience thus far.  While leaving the children and everything we've created behind, I know that our youth group has made an impact this week. Now it's time to relax!

P.S. Mom--thank you for the note you snuck into my suitcase, it made my day!  :) Tell everyone I say hi, and I love and miss you all.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Miercoles- Julio de veinte de 2011- Erica y Alana

Hope you're appreciating the California weather back home cause we're sure not..Right now at about 10:30 in Puerto Rico, it is 88 degrees with 70% humidity. IT'S HOT. But no big deal cause Alana and I are mobsters.
We worked with little ninos and ninas today at an apartment complex. It was cool to see all of them enjoy our company and to regain some long forgotten Spanish from school.
The best part of the day was when a little girl named Carol drew a picture of Alana and whispered in my ear, "Ella es muy bonita". It was pretty much the cutest thing ever.
Our night time activity included worshiping with the local church group the air conditioning...we're spoiled. Singing is spanish was even more fun for Alana due to the fact that she can't really sing in the public showers with the other 30 girls surrounding us.
We miss you all and keep us in your prayers!

Erica y Alana

P.S. Be ready for Rico, Tito, and Shawn...the Puerto Rico pop band with Aaron, Ryan, and Brandon that we witnessed in the car today.

P.S. We will have some pics from where Elise and her group have been serving tomorrow.  Because they were working with kids, they have not been able to take pics but they will be given the chance tomorrow.  Here is one from where Jim, Dylan and AJ are.

P.S. Alana wants to make a shout out to KITTY! <3333....and other family too.

P.S. Erica wants to make a shout out to mama y bapi!! Can't wait to see you on Monday.

Final Note from Jim - Parents, everyone is very healthy.  We are all keeping well hydrated and your kids have worked very hard.  The Site Director complemented our group on their work ethic so you should feel proud.  Looking forward to a bed and a nicer bathroom though.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Buenos Noches Chicos es tu favaritos Brandon y Dylan.
(Good night friends this is your favorites, Brandon and Dylan)

Today has been quite the day. So first off everyone keeps asking Aaron and I if we are brothers and mexican?! What's up with that? Anyway, today we started Kid's Club and everyone else worked at Pastor Frank's house scraping paint, painting, and pressure washing his basketball courts.

The Kids are the cutest and even though they're not the most fortunate, they all have a smile that could light up the world. Even though the language barrier is hard they still think we all speak spanish, it's pretty funny. During our evening activity we spent the day at the beach

and I'm not saying San Diego beaches are paradise but the water was grey and a little over salted for my liking. We have just started Puerto Rican pop band Rico Suarez(Ryan), Tito Cortez(Brandon), and Sean(Aaron). All is good so please parental units, don't worry.

At Club today our theme was Act Different. We read the story about the Good Samaritan and how he not only spoke of his beliefs but took action. When we come home we will try to take action more instead of just speaking and we want you guys to take the challenge with us. We all know the devil is quite good at what he does and we also know it's easy to give into these temptations. Well anyways it's lights out; Much Love. Tito Cortez and Dylan are out. Dios le bendiga (God Bless)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday July 18th

Hey Parents! This is Elise [none of the kids felt like blogging tonight, it's been a looooong day]
We're in Puerto Rico!! It was such a process getting here; it's really lovely to see how appreciative everyone is just to be here now.

Our first day with Youth Works was spent doing a lot of cleaning. Jim had Dylan and AJ cleaning out a church around the corner

While I had the rest of our group cleaning out the stairway of Catacumbas [the church/school we're staying in]
After lunch Jim AJ and Dylan went back to manual labor around another corner, scrapping paint off of walls. While the rest of the kids got to prepare for a kids club we get to run tomorrow morning [this included a pretty great skit I'm going to try to capture for your entertainment tomorrow]

After dinner activity was a walk down to a plaza which housed Rexcream. Delicious ice cream in all sorts of awesome flavors [all in Spanish, ordering was fun]

Here's some pictures of the rest of the day.

More tomorrow, Jim's taking this away from me. I can't complain though, I can't wait to sleeeeeeep!
great day.
Got some sleep last. Not a lot but some. Kids all said it was tough to relax after all the stuff from yesterday. We are headed out to servant sites now. Have a

Saturday, July 16, 2011

We are through security in San Diego and waiting for flight. I will update when we get to Charlotte.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Meet at 8:30 pm at the US Air ticket counter at the San Diego airport on Saturday, July 17.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Puerto Rico Bog is Up and Running

Parents and friends of the youth heading to Puerto Rico.  Here is the blog that we will try and update every night so you can see what we are up to.  We will try and post some pics as well.