Safe And Sound
by Jacob Kauranen | March 12, 2023 10:50 AM
St. Luke's team safely arrived late last night in Washington DC. After a short night's rest, breakfast, orientation, and devotion they are headed into DC for some sightseeing today.
As we begin our week please pray for our team to be a light to others and show the love of Jesus to each other and all those we encounter throughout the week. We appreciate all of you back home supporting us.
When in DC
by Jacob Kauranen | March 12, 2023 10:07 PM
Today we had the privilege of visiting several monuments throughout the day. It was a pleasure to see the Lincoln memorial first. Lincoln's words and actions have inspired so many throughout time. Visiting this historical monument and seeing how God used Lincoln for good in our country's history was a blessing.
Freedom Is Not Free
by Jacob Kauranen | March 12, 2023 10:18 PM
The team got to see the Vietnam and Korean War memorials, as well as the World War I and World War II memorials. It was a somber moment seeing all the men and women who laid down their lives for our country, but it served as a good reminder and a healthy perspective on what our freedom costs. It was an honor to visit their memorials and remember their service and sacrifice for our nation.
Reflecting On God And Our Country
by Jacob Kauranen | March 12, 2023 10:31 PM
The rest of the day consisted of visiting the Washington Monument, and several museums on the national mall, such as The National Archives Museum, National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of American History, and National Museum of Natural History. After splitting up into groups and visiting these places we reunited at David's Tent to enjoy a part of the 24/7 worship that they do. It was great to see our nation's history and reflect on God all in one day. We look forward to tomorrow as we partner and work with Kids Konnection and complete the projects that they have for us.
Get To Work
by Jacob Kauranen | March 13, 2023 5:36 PM
Sherrita, the leader of Kids Konnection, gives us instructions on the projects we will be working on for the day.
Sound Booth Scour
by Jacob Kauranen | March 13, 2023 5:44 PM
One of our first projects of the day was cleaning the sound booth. We emptied the supplies, wiped the sound booth down, organized the materials, and put them back where they were they were needed.
by Jacob Kauranen | March 13, 2023 5:51 PM
Another group, as we were cleaning and organizing the sound booth, was sorting and stacking storyboards into categories. The stories were great lessons that Kid Konnection teaches young people in their community. It was awesome to hear some of the stories they share with their youth.
In For A Penny, In For A Pound
by Jacob Kauranen | March 13, 2023 5:57 PM
One of the fun activities we had cleaning the sound booth was sorting through pennies to try to find anything of value.
by Jacob Kauranen | March 13, 2023 8:09 PM
After we finished cleaning the sound booth and storyboards, we convened for lunch. It was nice to break for some food and fellowship before we continued working on more projects around the building.
Fashion Show For The Ages
by Jacob Kauranen | March 13, 2023 8:18 PM
One of our next projects was cleaning out a room full of 30 years worth of costumes. The squad tried on the outfits and showed off some great costumes. We got some great video footage of it too, so try and find who has it and watch it if you can.
Frozen in DC
by Jacob Kauranen | March 13, 2023 8:21 PM
Our cold weather this week was a sign of things to come. Olaf and Sven from Frozen made an appearance.
Tidying Up Upstairs
by Jacob Kauranen | March 13, 2023 8:53 PM
The other project another team conquered is cleaning up the third floor where a lot of toys and school supplies were stored. We also took down some barriers they had set up as well.
by Jacob Kauranen | March 13, 2023 9:03 PM
The last project we completed for Kids Konnection today was running new wires to multiple security cameras because they need to be replaced.
Laying The Foundation
by Jacob Kauranen | March 14, 2023 9:43 PM
Today we had the opportunity to partner with Hughes church and work with the food distribution they run every Tuesday. This is a picture of us helping set up and organize the tables. It was a blessing to help hundreds of people and families in need of food. Jesus tells us in Matthew 25:40, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." We need to show the love of Christ to others in need, not just because it is for them, but because it is also for God.
by Jacob Kauranen | March 14, 2023 9:53 PM
The line was long, but the proverb, "Many hands make light work" was true for today. Our team did a great job working together to keep the line moving and get all the food to the people that needed it.
by Jacob Kauranen | March 14, 2023 10:01 PM
Once we got back from our work day and lunch at Hughes United Methodist Church. We headed back to Kids Konnection to finish a couple more projects. This project pictured here is finishing organizing the third floor and counting out school supplies. Sherrita gave us instructions and we put her wishes to work.
by Jacob Kauranen | March 14, 2023 10:05 PM
The rest of the group took a huge roll of carpet and cut it up into smaller pieces to make it easier to dispose of. It was enjoyable to slice and dice away at something that had caused Sherrita so much pain.
Taco Tuesday Tour
by Jacob Kauranen | March 14, 2023 10:21 PM
After finishing our projects and honoring Taco Tuesday. We went to DC to enjoy some monuments during the evening and night. The first one we were able to see was the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial (one of Ashleigh's personal favorites).
by Jacob Kauranen | March 14, 2023 10:25 PM
Our tour continued by seeing the Jefferson Memorial across some water with a beautiful sky behind it as well.
Visiting Mr. King
by Jacob Kauranen | March 14, 2023 10:31 PM
As Martin Luther King said, “The time is always right to do what is right.” The right thing to do on our adventure was to visit his memorial.
Lights, Lincoln, Action
by Jacob Kauranen | March 14, 2023 10:35 PM
Next, we hit up the Lincoln Memorial. It was beautiful to see it all lit up and watch the sunset on our wonderful day.
by Jacob Kauranen | March 14, 2023 10:45 PM
After we visited the Lincoln Memorial the wind started biting harder and the cold chilled our extremities. We needed the safety of shelter quickly. This is one of the views we passed in our search for warmth. Even in the dark and cold times like this one, you always have some light you can turn to. We know Jesus is the light of the world. We can always turn to him in our darkest and coldest moments in life.
God Is Our Refuge
by Jacob Kauranen | March 14, 2023 10:52 PM
Psalm 46: 1 says, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." We found refuge today in the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and were able to thaw out our bodies there. Our group leaders got an Uber, got some bussin' cupcakes, and picked us up to bring us back to Kids Konnection.
Special Thank You
by Jacob Kauranen | March 14, 2023 10:59 PM
Our group leaders deserve a special thank you for this week. Adam, Amy, Anthony, Ashleigh, (a lot of names starting with A, eh?) Brooks, and David.
The Walls Fall Down
by Jacob Kauranen | March 15, 2023 7:09 PM
On our last work day, part of our group was upstairs screwing apart walls, sets, and stages for plays. We took them down from the third floor and stacked them in the garage.
Admiring Our Handiwork
by Jacob Kauranen | March 15, 2023 7:13 PM
Organizing the third floor was one of our biggest projects of the week. Here is a picture of it almost complete.
by Jacob Kauranen | March 15, 2023 7:19 PM
While part of our group was upstairs, another team was smashing chairs apart that were not structurally sound. The group created a huge pile of chair limbs at the end of the project.
Welcome to the Himalayas
by Jacob Kauranen | March 15, 2023 7:23 PM
by Jacob Kauranen | March 15, 2023 7:29 PM
Kasen had to beat away 50,000 pounds of ice with a crowbar and had to remove the stash of food. The floor experienced a flash flood of water and ice like the seas of Iceland.
by Jacob Kauranen | March 15, 2023 7:42 PM
One of the other projects we completed was emptying a storage room full of furniture, appliances, TVs, and all sorts of boxes. Sorting it into categories and organizing it back into the storage room for easy access.
Let There Be Light
by Jacob Kauranen | March 15, 2023 8:26 PM
Adam took the lead on fixing many of the lights this week. He replaced bulbs and rods all over the building. Sherrita was very grateful for giving her a fully lit building. (It wasn't even a project she had for us. We just took the initiative. It was a blessing to be a blessing to someone else).
by Jacob Kauranen | March 15, 2023 8:37 PM
After finishing up and cleaning up our workspaces, we reunited around the dinner table for some pizza, pasta, and salad. It was a wonderful treat to have Sherrita, her sister, and her daughter join us for the evening. It was awesome to hear her appreciation for all we had done for her and Kids Konnection this week. We are thankful for the opportunity God gave us to bless Sherrita and equip Kids Konnection to be a future impact in their local DC community.
The More, The Merrier
by Jacob Kauranen | March 15, 2023 8:58 PM
I think this phrase was true in two ways this week. We were merrier as a group ourselves because of the size, but I also believe we made other people merrier because of the number of people we had to help. We had a great group full of amazing people with different personalities, backgrounds, abilities, skills, and talents. God brought us all together into one group. He united us into one force. Together we were always looking for work to do. After completing one project everyone would joyfully ask for another. God can use a group in amazing ways if they are united in serving others and serving Him. We hope the community here in DC is impacted by the work we completed this week. We hope God is pleased by the way we served. All glory to God for anything we did this week. All glory to God for what Kids Konnection does in the future. We are excited to see what St. Luke's, Kids Konnection, and Praying Pelican Missions do next and where the Lord will lead us.
by Jacob Kauranen | March 16, 2023 9:10 PM
After biscuits and gravy, we headed to the Bible Museum. Nothing better you could ask for in the morning than God's Word and a hearty breakfast. This photo was taken in the room showing the Bible translations we have completed, partially completed, and not yet translated. God's Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path (Psalm 119:105). A lot of people in the world still need the Bible as a lamp and a light. Without God's Word in their language, they are in spiritual darkness. The Holocaust Museum that some went to later was a moving experience that made you sick thinking about the evil that was done but also thinking about those who don't have the Word of God in their language was hard to see as well.
That's The Book For Me
by Jacob Kauranen | March 16, 2023 9:21 PM
The B I B L E. The Old Testament and the New Testament. It was awesome to see the history of the Bible and how it has impacted culture here in America and around the world. The Bible Museum was one of many people's favorites. It had a great layout and lots of interactive exhibits. We recommend everyone to go themselves if they get the chance.
Spying Out The Spy
by Jacob Kauranen | March 16, 2023 9:39 PM
After lunch at Cosmo Cafe, we split into smaller groups and went to three separate places. One of those was the International Spy Museum. The great thing about the Spy Museum was the interactive part where you would get a name, hometown, occupation, mission, and codeword. Throughout the museum, you complete your mission. It was a great experience and learning experience about the danger people experienced trying to provide intel to save lives and help their country.
by Jacob Kauranen | March 16, 2023 9:54 PM
Another group took the trek to Capitol Hill. They got to walk around the building and see where our government operates. It was awesome to see the beautiful place where our government officials serve our people and nation.
by Jacob Kauranen | March 16, 2023 10:20 PM
The last group headed to the Holocaust Museum. It is important to remember tragic and horrific history, so we can learn from it and it will not be repeated in the future. Even though it is sorrowful to remember this dark part of history, it gives us focus on doing better in the future. May our memory of the Holocaust never be forgotten, so we never see another one in the future. I don't have a picture of their trip to the museum, so here is another of the group at the Capitol.
Meal On The Mall
by Jacob Kauranen | March 16, 2023 10:29 PM
We gathered on the National Mall for dinner and enjoyed a great meal from food trucks. It was absolutely beautiful weather. After dinner, we enjoyed some scrumptious ice cream and played some catch with a hacky sack.
by Jacob Kauranen | March 16, 2023 10:33 PM
Several boys from the team tried to feed seagulls from their hands. We had seagulls peck at a piece of chicken as they flew by, but nothing took the bait.
Rising or Setting?
by Jacob Kauranen | March 16, 2023 10:43 PM
The sunset on our last full day together. During the week we made many memories and built many relationships, but we don't have to leave them behind. We can continue them, we can further develop them, and continue what was started this week. This does not have to be the sunset of St. Lukes's, Kid Konnection, and PPM partnering together. Hopefully, it is a rising sun, and what was started this week will only continue to shine more and brighter in the future.
Our Week Was...
by Jacob Kauranen | March 16, 2023 11:08 PM
These are the words of the people, by the people, and for the people on this trip.
Ecstatic, worth it, elevating, educational, cold, humbling, amazing, beautiful, inspirational, extravagantly, memorable, demanding, complete, growth, enlightening, eye-opening, eventful, astounding, monumental, exhausting, exquisitely, tireless, extravagant, magnificent, monumentous, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, fabulous, flexible, adventurous, faith-rejuvenating, converging, humble, reviving, discerning, rewarding empowering, enlightening, exemplary, gratitude, eventful, extravaganzalorious, worth it, super, rewarding, youth, perseverance, exhilarating, crock-pot, storyboard, stupendous, impactful, entertaining, joyful, serendipitous, excellent, constitutional, adventurous, serendipitous, exhausting, enlightening, rewarding, and thriving.
Known But To God
by Jacob Kauranen | March 17, 2023 8:06 PM
This morning St. Lukes's said their goodbyes to Kids Konnection and the PPM staff and headed to Arlington National Cemetery. They got to see the grave of the unknown soldier and the changing of the guard. God knows everyone who sacrificed their lives for our country, and even though we don't know all of their names, St. Lukes's was able to honor them today by visiting their grave.
Into The Belly Of The Beast
by Jacob Kauranen | March 17, 2023 8:11 PM
St. Luke's got to ride the metro in DC. This is a picture of how insanely long the escalator was to get down. It was a miracle no one was lost on the metro (I am only serious).
Safe And Sound Again
by Jacob Kauranen | March 17, 2023 8:20 PM
The team had lunch at Assembly Before flying home to Oklahoma. That Purple mattress is going to feel amazing tonight.
Through Heaven's Eyes
by Jacob Kauranen | March 17, 2023 9:56 PM
This week is one I will never forget. I loved spending time and working with all of you. I wish I had more time with each and every one of you, I feel like I only scratched the surface of getting to know you guys. I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for giving me the opportunity to lead you this week. I hope you take something you learned or grew from this week and help someone in Oklahoma with it. If I am ever around OKC I will definitely take the opportunity to visit you guys at St. Luke's. If you guys are in Michigan you are always welcome to visit me as well.
Many of us gained a valuable perspective this week. Often we build our perspective around our home communities, but visiting other places gives us a fresh perspective that we often need. Ultimately, the perspective we need to have is not a worldly one, but a heavenly one. The song Through Heaven's Eyes by Brian Stokes Mitchell has some great lyrics about looking at life through a heavenly perspective. I will leave you with those.
A single thread in a tapestry
Though its color brightly shines
Can never see its purpose
In the pattern of the grand design
And the stone that sits on the very top
Of the mountains mighty face
Does it think it's more important
Than the stones that form the base?
So how can you see what your life is worth
Or where your value lies?
You can never see through the eyes of man
You must look at your life
Look at your life through heaven's eyes
A lake of gold in the desert sand
Is less than a cool fresh spring
And to one lost sheep, a shepherd boy
Is greater than the richest king
If a man loses everything he owns
Has he truly lost his worth?
Or is it the beginning
Of a new and brighter birth?
So how do you measure the worth of a man
In wealth or strength or size?
In how much he gained or how much he gave?
The answer will come
The answer will come to him who tries
To look at his life through heaven's eyes
And that's why we share all we have with you
Though there's little to be found
When all you've got is nothing
There's a lot to go around
No life can escape being blown about
By the winds of change and chance
And though you never know all the steps
You must learn to join the dance
You must learn to join the dance
So how do you judge what a man is worth
By what he builds or buys?
You can never see with your eyes on earth
Look through heaven's eyes
Look at your life
Look at your life
Look at your life through heaven's eyes