Tuesday, June 19, 2007

CFM - First Mission Trip

NOTICE: This update is taking a while to get all the info and pictures together so check back often to read more and see some pictures!

Hey everyone! We got back from our first mission trip with Character Focus Ministries to Richmond, VA a few days ago! We had a blast teaching over 600 children the message of character, of conscience, and most importunately the message of the gospel! God blessed this trip in so many ways!

We left OKC on Monday, June 4 at 7:30am. The first obvious blessing was that we did not have any travel issues at all! The vehicles ran perfectly, gas prices came down just before we left, their were not accidents, and we only sat in traffic one time on the ENTIRE TRIP (Richmond, D.C., and more!)!

We traveled approx. 600 miles the first day and stayed the night in Dickson, TN at Restoration Church. They graciously opened their doors to us and allowed our group or 27 (including Elizabeth) to stay at no cost! In return, we were able to be ministers of Christ by leaving the church facility better than we found it. This completely shocked the janitor and pastor. They allowed us to stay their on our way home as well.

On day two we traveled approx. 650 miles to Chester, VA (south of Richmond) where we stayed in a Best Western and got a great nights sleep! The young people and adults enjoyed sleeping in the next morning while my dad and I went out and scouted the area. By the way, at McDonalds on the east cost they have an AMAZING steak egg and cheese bagel so if you are ever out there you have to try one! After dad and I scouted everything out we went to McDonalds before returning to the hotel.

We had a great time of preparation at the hotel that afternoon. God blessed us with a very hospitable manager who let us use a large conference type room in the hotel at no charge to prepare for the children's conference! We had a great time of planning, praying and ate a great lunch provided by Rachael and Kelli!

After lunch we headed over to Richmond Christian School (RCS) where we would be staying the night for most of the duration of the trip. They were VERY friendly and had a great facility that meet our needs perfectly! They had a gym that we used for a play area and the girls dorm, a chapel for worship and a guys dorm, showers and locker rooms, a washer and dryer, a kitchen area, a park area, and a cafeteria area for use to eat in! We had a great time practicing skits, preparing lessons, playing basketball and dodge ball, having worship services and more at the gym!

On Thursday we had the privilege of meeting the Richmond Volunteers. Thirteen Richmond Volunteers came to the training and all thirteen played a very significant role in the conference. In the training we covered conference logistics, teamwork, the power of praise and more! After the training, we all went to the conference exhibit hall and setup for the event! It was huge! About three times the floor space of building B at WHC! Roger made us a bunch of signs and banner that really made the room pop! He also helped us pull together a superior check in / security system that (from what I have heard) is unmatched by any of the other organizations that handled child care before! After setup we headed back to RCS for a good nights sleep before the big day.

The conference was OUTSTANDING! On Friday and Saturday we had three children come to Christ and over 75% raise their hand to ask their parents about who Jesus is that evening! 613 children attended on Friday and about 400 attended on Saturday. We were able to share Christ with the children on both days and on day two we did a parent presentation right after the key note speaker! The HEAV team was very organized and did a great job. All the volunteers (OKC and Richmond) did outstanding and I have no complaints! Way to go team! After the last day we let out a big cheer and sigh or relief as we saw what the Lord had accomplished through us.

Needless to say we crashed after that. We took it easy on Sunday; slept in, games, rest, etc. We ended the day with a worship service. It was a nice day to enjoy each others fellowship and rest.

Early Monday we took of for D.C. Most of the young people had never been so it was a big hit! We saw the clock tower, Washington Monument, Abe Lincoln Memorial, the Capitol, some Smithsonian Museums, the White House and more! We had a tour of the Capitol setup for Tuesday. It was so neat to be in a place that had been around for so long and to see the Christian heritage that was evident through the building.

One of the big hits and great decisions was to ride the rails into Washington from about 30 miles out. It saved so much time and traffic! The Lord really directed our steps.

When driving things couldn't have gone better. The Lord always put us in the right lane to take us through. At one time we took a lane that lead us around a big accident with an overturned semi! Praise the Lord for His protection!

After D.C. on Tuesday we headed back to RCS. It rained SOOO hard on us we could barely see! God protected us in the rain and we actually beat the rain back to the school by about 5 min... enough time to unload everything in dry weather!

The stories and the blessings go on and on and on for this trip! God has also provided us with new vision on how to reach more children and youth in the future! We are so excited to see what God is doing and how this ministry is positively affecting the lives of children, youth and families across the nation! Please be in prayer with us and feel free to talk to anyone that went to find out more about God's blessing on this trip.

To conclude, all the volunteers made it home safely, refreshed, and Spiritually motivated to impact eternity and walk in the Spirit. What a great testimony to end such a wonderful journey. Keep us in your prayers!

Check out the web album for more pictures!

In Christ,
Brandon and Rachael Werner

Monday, June 18, 2007

Little Fashion Queen

The trip was wonderful. Brandon will be posting trip details and pictures in the very near future. I had a few minutes and wanted to show you these few pics. Elizabeth is very blessed to have aunts that will keep her in style! Mommy is more into comfort clothes. : ) We made a stop at a Wal-mart during the trip and Aunt Lauren got Elizabeth some sun glasses. It was so cute! This was the smallest pair they had - they are a little to big.

Because of the size of the glasses her passy kind of overlapped them. Therefore every time she sucked on her passy to make it go up-down-up-down so did her glasses. We all thought it was pretty adorable!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Conference Update

Things are going very well! The Lord's hand of blessing was evident as we traveled. We made great time and the gas prices were not bad either. (cheaper than at home.) Currently we are staying at a christian school in Richmond. Today is Thursday and we are getting ready to begin the volunteer training and set up day. Tomarrow starts the real fun with all the kids! We are so excited to see what the Lord has in store.
Elizabeth has done great! She is a born missionary. : ) Traveling seemed to be no problem for her. We have some great pictures of her we'll post later.
Overall things are wonderful. I'm sorry I don't have more time to update - you can have the full version later.

Keep praying!

Brandon and Rachael