Saturday, August 1, 2015

Summer Team #4- Austin Stone Youth

Our 4th team of the summer was a group of 33 high school students and 4 leaders from the Austin Stone. Their youth pastors, Scott and Stan, have come on previous trips and have become like family to us. They brought several returning students, so it's always fun to have familiar faces return!

We did a lot of the same activities that we have been doing throughout the summer: VBS, Soccer Camp, and Projects. However, we wanted to highlight 2 of our favorite activities that happened this week: a basketball game and baptisms.

Basketball Game

Makarios hosted a basketball game in one of the communities where we serve- Pancho Mateo. Cakito, who is our chaplain, lives in Pancho and coaches a local team. It was so fun to see the community come out to cheer their hearts out! It was an amazing night and definitely one of our highlights! The night was full of energy, enthusiasm, joy and competitiveness! It was a highly competitive game and Pancho Mateo edged the American team 47-45.  Needless to say, it was exciting.  At halftime, Nathan (a high school student) shared about his life and some of his struggles, which were similar to the struggles that are faced here. Many of those who heard his story could relate to his situation. Nathan didn't just share about his struggles, but he also shared about the hope he found through putting his faith in Christ.  
Nathan Sharing his Testimony at Half Time

Margaret Baptizing Chloe

We had a meaningful end to the week. Three students who came on the trip asked to be baptized! One student placed his faith in a Christ for the first time, and the other 2 had never been baptized as a believer and while in the DR, through their devotional time with the Lord, decided that they wanted to make that public declaration. On Friday, we had a special time of worship on the beach led by the students, followed by 3 baptisms. It was a powerful moment. Stan, the youth pastor, summed it up beautifully by saying, "Our time of worship and baptism on the beach was one of the most powerful things I’ve ever experienced in student ministry. To see this group worship Christ for the new life He brings to us, as well rally around Hanan and celebrate for him was unbelievable."
Chloe after she was baptized

One of our personal prayers when we moved to the DR was that we would create an environment in the MAK House where those who came would experience God in new and powerful ways. It's been encouraging to see God answer those prayers throughout our time here, and this week was no exception. To God be the Glory!  

Thank You, Austin Stone Youth for an unbelievable week!  See you next year!

The Beck's

Look at our new FUN playground for the little kids!
This team helped us paint and position the tires!

Crazy Crew Cheering at the Soccer Game!

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