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First Lutheran Church

Serving In Chicago, IL
July 7, 2013

The Team Has Arrived!

by Amanda Mataczynski | July 8, 2013 11:18 PM

The team has arrived! After long travels, the team is finally unpacked, set up, and ready to start the week. We are excited to be in the big city of Chicago with a great view of Willis (previously known as Sears) tower from the church kitchen window. It's so cool to have several first-time-mission trip people in our group! The teams are already working, talking, and hanging out together! Pastor Marvin visited us for dinner, and we are so excited for all of the food his congregation is going to prepare for us this week! His vision for his church and community is incredibly inspiring and motivational. We're all just so eager to begin God's work and help spread the Love of God.

Day 1 - God is on the move

by Amanda Mataczynski | July 8, 2013 11:19 PM

This morning, the team engaged in prayer walking. By walking up and down the streets of Chicago, the team prayed over houses, families in the community, local schools, and each other. Despite the rain, everyone had such positive attitudes and immediately stepped out in faith. As we gathered in the church again, we shared our life stories and after affirmed each other. It was interesting and inspiring to see everyone's vulnerability to sharing such personal life events. There were tears. There were smiles. And there was most definitely a better understanding of each other which helped us all grow closer throughout the day. After lunch and showers, the kids in the community had a blast at the sport camp hosted by the team! Tons of kids from the community joined the team and participated in kickball, four square, hula-hoop, and simply playing on the playground. There was laughter and smiles everywhere! Parents were overjoyed that older kids were interacting with their children and providing them with a safe and fun environment to play in. Dinner was remarkable! A handful of people in the host church congregation gave their time and made us a delicious Puerto Rican meal of chicken, white rice, salad, and plantains. It was absolutely amazing! Now, we can't wait to see what is planned for us tomorrow! During our closing meetings, we reviewed our highlights of the day. Numerous times we heard prayer walking and spending time with the kids as the main highlight of the day. We then each made goals for ourselves to try and meet tomorrow. Today was incredibly remarkable, and we just can't wait to see what tomorrow has in store for us. Please keep praying for God to rain in this city and for those in the community to become more involved with the local church. Also, continue to pray for good weather and participation from the local children during tomorrow's sports camp.
Day 1 - God is on the move

Sports Camp

by Amanda Mataczynski | July 8, 2013 11:23 PM

The girls loved the hula-hoops! They had so much fun trying to see how many hula-hoops they could manage at once.
Sports Camp

Day 2 - Cleaning Machines!

by Amanda Mataczynski | July 9, 2013 10:05 PM

Today was yet another amazing day of prayer walking. Everyone brought their Bibles along and prayed God's word over the community as they walked. The best part was seeing each participant reference scripture from their Bibles in such an eager and joyful way. Before lunch, the group split up and helped clean the host church by organizing closets, cleaning the children's room, sanitizing bathrooms, and cleaning the kitchen. The other half of the group went to Onward Community Center to help clean the classrooms and garden outside. Sports Camp was at North Lake community. The team had such a great time playing ultimate frisbee and baseball with each other. It is remarkable how a group of thirty kids who barely know each other grew closer and formed friendships so quickly. Dinner was once again unbelievable! Members of the congregation made pork, rice and beans, salad, and bread for us. The best part was the homemade pineapple cupcakes. Yum! For our closing meeting we played a great game that involved offering an unlikely gift and having to receive it with gratitude. Everyone was cracking up with laughter as each person shared their odd gift. The team has put a lot of effort into spreading the word of the camp and have planned a lot of great activities for the children. God has given this team a great passion and gift with children. Tomorrow, please be praying for our evening sports camp that children show up and that they are constantly engaged with the team.
Day 2 - Cleaning Machines!

Painting

by 50265830.9912 | July 12, 2013 5:07 PM

The team painting the women's room at the church.
Painting

Painting

by 61827213.7214 | July 12, 2013 5:08 PM

The team painting the women's room at the church.
Painting

Painting

by 2649784.08534 | July 12, 2013 5:08 PM

The team painting the women's room at the church.
Painting

Painting

by 25073062.2268 | July 12, 2013 5:08 PM

The team painting the women's room at the church.
Painting

Painting

by 56818986.9235 | July 12, 2013 5:34 PM

The team painting the women's room at the church.
Painting

Painting

by 5739710.75173 | July 12, 2013 5:34 PM

The team painting the women's room at the church.
Painting

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