We are in Big Sandy, Texas at the ALERT ACADEMY. It is a beautiful campus. We have joined the rest of the Great Expeditions Team here and they are a fine group of young people. I’ll postg a nice picture here as soon as possible.
We are enjoying a briefing now for our trip to Monterrey and Guadalajara, Mexico. On the tour we will be training fifty young people while ministering to orphans, learning conversational Spanish, doing evangelism and work projects, and visiting city leaders, among other things. We are all plotting how we are going to use our talents and to capture the interest of people so that we can love them. The boys are planning to juggle. We have musicians and chalk artists with us, too. Matthew Powell ties animal balloons and brought thousands of them with him.
Saturday morning we started our day with a meeting with Mr. Gothard and we were thrilled when we discovered that he decided that he would go with us on the trip.
Our first act as a group was to get on our knees. Mr. Gothard said, “We will begin on our knees and we will end on our knees, and we will fall to our knees repeatedly during our trip. We will be in a continual spirit of prayer without ceasing through the whole trip.”
To the delight of the young people, one of the first things Mr. Gothard did was appoint one of the Matt Hinton recreational director. He instructed Matt to see to it a volleyball and volleyball net, football and Frisbee were packed for the trip. Then he quipped, “That way if the bus breaks down we can set the net up by the roadside, attract a crown and share the gospel with them.”
After brunch we each began to share our personal testimonies. During the testimony time Anthony Burros shared his testimony and broke out into singing “I’m So Glad Jesus Lifted Me”, in Spanish. In less than three minutes the entire group was on their feet heartily singing the song.
Often the simple testimonies of salvation were spoken through tears and around the circle tears were shed. Once when one of the young people apologized for crying Mr. Gothard quoted Psalm 126, which seemed powerfully appropriate as we prepared to travel into the country of Mexico with the gospel. “He that goeth forth weeping, bearing precious seed, will doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaved with him.” In my heart I silently prayed that that would be fulfilled on our missionary tour.
This evening the Great Expeditions Team sang a song in Spanish for the group assembled for dinner. For the first time in her life Lois sang in the choir. She was adorable and our hearts are happy as we prepare for our missionary adventure in Mexico.
Keep an eye on our site and I will be posting events, prayer requests and pictures, teaching and reports as we go. Please pray that our beautiful “new” coach will run well and safely and that we will have boldness and creativity as we try to nudge everyone we meet along the way toward our generous, merciful God.
International ALERT Academy
Big Sandy, Texas
May 7, 2006