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Advent Lutheran Church

Serving In Puerto Rico
June 10, 2017
Community: Ponce
Partner: Iglesia Metodista McCabe Memorial
Staff: Local Leader

Arrival!!!

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 12, 2017 9:32 AM

Advent Lutheran Church from Cedarburg, Wisconsin is in Puerto Rico. After months of planning, the team is excited and full of joy being in the Island of Enchantment. The team had a safe flight. Now they travel to Ponce, where they will fulfill their call for missions on the island. Can't wait to see what God has in store for.

The Day of the Lord

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 12, 2017 9:53 AM

It is a beautiful Sunday morning. Cloudy with no chance of rain, and a great breeze comes from time to time, which makes the day even better. Huge blessings from God. 

The team has it's breakfast at the church. Afterwards they join the congregation of McCabe Memorial for their Sunday morning service. The team enjoys the Bible study, the worship service, and the message God put in Pastora Luisette Beranstain's heart to bring for all to hear. God's call to missions and unity is the main topic in the whole service. The local church and mission team are excited to see what God has in store. Glory to Him be!!!

The Day of the Lord

Banquets of Puertorican Food

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 12, 2017 9:59 AM

It's lunch time on Sunday, and the wonderful Jacky has prepared an awesome, delicious, and typical Puertorican dish for the team. White rice, pink beans with pumpkin squash and jam, Puertorican fried chicken, and green beans for the main course. The team just devours this homemade meal. Nobody does it like Puerto Rico. Thank you Jesus.

Banquets of Puertorican Food

Getting Ready for Afternoon Prayer at the Communities

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 12, 2017 10:06 AM

The mission team poses quickly before heading out to various houses in the community to pray. They are joined by Pastora Luistte and a few church members who lead the teams to various homes with many physical, economical, and spiritual needs. It's the first step they take to the mission field in La Playita, Ponce. This is a time for them to meet members of the community who do and do not attend the church. It allows the team to know what the church does and with whom they service.

Getting Ready for Afternoon Prayer at the Communities

Theresa's House

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 12, 2017 10:11 AM

The team with Pastora show their love and prayers with Theresa, who sits in the chair. Do to a few months of troubling health, Theresa hasn't been able to congregate at McCabe Memorial. But this visit uplifts her hearts and spirit, letting her know that the local church and missions team care for her and God never abandons His children. He always sends His angels when His people need them most. God is good, All the time. All the time, God is good.
Theresa's House

"Limber"

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 12, 2017 10:34 AM

Before heading out to another part of the community, Pastora Luisette treats the whole missions team with a local treat known as "limber". It is an ice cold dessert that is offered in many flavors, from fruit flavors to cookie flavors and many others. It's a great treat for the walk and for the team to explore the islands many cultural offerings. Smiles all over.
"Limber"

Los "Guaches" Family

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 12, 2017 10:43 AM

The last house of the day. Coincidentally, it is the house next to our lodging. This is a family that the church has adopted and helps with their needs as mush as possible. The family Los Guache show smile and joy even under extreme difficult circumstances and the team shows them their love and support with Pastora Luisette. One sister, Lucy, takes care of eight mentally and physically challenged family members; her cousins, brothers and sisters; under one roof. Many prayers are needed for this family. 
Los "Guaches" Family

Celebrating One More Year

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 12, 2017 11:02 AM

The local church and team surprise Sarah, the Advent Luthern Church group leader, with a birthday cake and some ice cream. Moment of celebration of the church for God giving another year to this wonderful person. His mercy is just so much than we can ever imagine. 
Celebrating One More Year

Playing Volleyball

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 12, 2017 11:08 AM

The Advent Lutheran Church team plays volleyball with young members of McCabe Memorial during their flex time before heading home. It's a great moment for everyone to interact with each other and know each other. Fun and fellowship... and maybe a bit of fierce competition. 
Playing Volleyball

Monday: First Day of Work

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 12, 2017 11:14 AM

A few members of the Advent Lutheran Church volunteer to help serve breakfast to the kids  before heading out to their VBS classes. The meals are provided by the local school administration and brought early and counted for. Afterwards, the missions team enjoys their breakfast.
Monday: First Day of Work

Monday: VBS Orientation and Preparation

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 12, 2017 11:32 AM

Everyone gathers together at the sanctuary after breakfast, where they receive a cordial and warm welcome to the VBS. Pastora Luisette allows the kids and local staff to present each other to the missions team and vice versa. Later, the kids take their class with the local teachers. During this moment, the missions team prepares themselves for their part in the VBS schedule. They have been preparing for months for this moment. God will do His will for His glory. We will share His love to all of them and everyone else.

Monday: VBS Orientation and Preparation

Monday: VBS Sports

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 12, 2017 3:14 PM

The missions team divides the children from VBS into two groups to do two activities at the same time.  This group of children are doing the sports activities set up by the missions team.
Monday: VBS Sports

Monday: VBS Crafts

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 12, 2017 3:22 PM

The missions team divides the children from VBS into two groups to do two activities at the same time.  This group of children are doing the crafts activities set up by the missions team for them. 

Monday: VBS Crafts

Monday: VBS Birthday Celebration

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 12, 2017 3:46 PM

After the morning is over and the kids have had their lunch, a young man's birthday is celebrated by those that love him: his family, his friends, the church, and the team. Music, chips, cake, soda, and candy make all the kids smile... and some adults as well. Is just an environment of festivities and celebration for those who have another year of life and thanks to give.

Monday: VBS Birthday Celebration

Monday: Afternoon Projects

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 12, 2017 3:51 PM

The team embarks on it's mission of the day, but this time through work projects. The team is tasked with painting various classrooms for the school, a few outside walls, and clean a small yard. This group has finished the few outside walls the church needed to be painted and has started painting the classrooms. All the walls inside are being painted and finished for this one room today. God is good giving us the strength the team needs to continue with this schedule.

Monday: Afternoon Projects

Monday: Afternoon Projects - The Mural

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 12, 2017 4:37 PM

The young artists of the group start drawing their design for the mural they will do of God's Creation at the school. It is going to be a beautiful piece of art. God is who giveth us our talents. Praise be to He, and all those give it to Him when they see this mural.

Monday: Afternoon Projects - The Mural

La "Guancha" Beach

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 14, 2017 8:31 AM

Part of missions is to explore the culture and what the land offers. It's more than just about the food one should enjoy, sometimes it is just about standing on a beach after a hot day and enjoy getting your feet wet and the breeze that hits you. God created this Earth for our pleasure. We join Nature in harmony to praise and worship Him for all of it.

La "Guancha" Beach

La "Guancha" Beach: After the Water

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 14, 2017 8:35 AM

The team momentarily poses after getting ready from the water to walk along the boardwalk and have their team meeting. Beautiful night.

La "Guancha" Beach: After the Water

La "Guancha" Beach: Team Meeting on the Boardwalk

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 14, 2017 8:41 AM

God is great. During the team meeting, everyone in the team shares what their favorite part of the day was and where they saw God move. His spirit is really moving through all of us; with Advent Lutheran, McCabe Memorial, and the VBS kids. We hope he keeps doing so the rest of the week for His glory. So we can keep testifying to others and each other of His great walk. It truly was a wonderful and God moment at the boardwalk.
La "Guancha" Beach: Team Meeting on the Boardwalk

Birthday Gift from Advent Lutheran Church Team

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 14, 2017 8:47 AM

Advent Lutheran Church group leader, Sarah, gets a gift from her team for her birthday. It just shows the love, unity, fellowship, respect, and greatness this team has for each other. This is where God just manifests Himself more and more. Happy birthday Sarah!!! May God grant you many more to come.
Birthday Gift from Advent Lutheran Church Team

Tuesday: ALC Team Prep

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 14, 2017 8:51 AM

The missions team start preparing themselves for their VBS participation. Everyone is super excited. Emotions running high. Just excited to share God's love with the kids.
Tuesday: ALC Team Prep

Tuesday: Arts and Crafts about The Creation

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 14, 2017 8:55 AM

The missions team shares a craft with the kids about God's creation. "He's got the whole world in His hands."
Tuesday: Arts and Crafts about The Creation

Tuesday: Sports

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 14, 2017 8:59 AM

The missions team shares different sports with the kids. Everyone cheats and alters Four Square and Dodgeball. All you hear is the joy and laughter from everyone playing; well maybe an occasional objection. LOL
Tuesday: Sports

Tuesday: Projects

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 14, 2017 9:05 AM

A few members of the missions team continues to work on this beautiful mural while the rest continue to paint the other classrooms. Efficient: word to describe how this team is working together. They have each others back, encourage one another, and do the job giving %100. More ways this team shows the love of God here in Ponce, Puerto Rico. 
Tuesday: Projects

Tuesday: "Plaza de las Delicias"

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 14, 2017 9:09 AM

The team enjoys a couple of hours of site seeing, after working very hard, at the historical plaza of Ponce. The streets are full of beautiful Spanish architecture, beautiful colors, local street art, and awesome stores. 
Tuesday: "Plaza de las Delicias"

Tuesday: "Plaza de las Delicias"

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 14, 2017 9:19 AM

Before heading out to the church service, the team poses in front of the "Parque de Bombas" firehouse pavilion; a historical building not only to Ponce, but to all of Puerto Rico in remembrance of where men gave their lives in protecting Ponce from a blistering fire in the past that wiped part of the city.
Tuesday: "Plaza de las Delicias"

Tuesday: Church Service - Testimonies & Prayer Requests

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 14, 2017 9:30 AM

McCabe Memorial during it's week has a service of prayer and testimonies. The night was full of them. The local church testified and asked for prayer; as well as Advent Lutheran Church. The testimonies of every one just shows God is in control of everything. This trip is God's purpose to happen. The lives are forever changed here. God has revealed a small part of His plan He wants for everyone involved this week. Many tears of joy were shed and of how proud everyone is of everyone. After all the thanksgiving and prayers, the missions team shares a couple of songs with the church. God is just indescribable.
Tuesday: Church Service - Testimonies & Prayer Requests

Tuesday: Church Service - Final Prayer

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 14, 2017 9:34 AM

McCabe Memorial and Advent Lutheran Church pray and greet each other before heading back to their lodgings. More hugs and tears and words of encouragement. Transformational fellowship. 
Tuesday: Church Service - Final Prayer

Tuesday: Surprise

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 14, 2017 9:42 AM

The missions team is surprised with a reward. They are taken out to eat ice cream at a local ice cream shop at the "Plaze de las Delicias" that offers a variation of fruit flavors. After ordering their ice creams, the team encounters a street musician and join him for a couple of songs. They sing "Imagine" from John Lennon with the him and hear him play his saxophone with backtracks to other famous popular songs. Then, the team briefly meets and heads back to their lodging to sleep. Tomorrow God has new things he wants to show us.
Tuesday: Surprise

Wednesday: Eating with the Kids

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 14, 2017 9:54 AM

It's a new day and His mercy for us is renewed. The team helps the local VBS staff to hand the students their breakfast meals before eating theirs. The Advent Lutheran Church kids are given again very cold chocolate milk from a bag after the local kids finish their meal. Afterwards, the team heads out again to prepare for their VBS participation. So far, so good. And God is good all the time. 
Wednesday: Eating with the Kids

Wednesday: Arts & Crafts I

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 15, 2017 10:59 AM

It's still a beautiful day in Ponce. The missions team help make the bracelet design for the kids at VBS outside the classroom. It is a great moment for everyone to use their creativeness.

Wednesday: Arts & Crafts I

Wednesday: Arts & Crafts II and Work Projects

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 15, 2017 11:01 AM

Inside the classroom, the kids work on their family tree craft and share with the team about themselves and vice versus. 

Later in the afternoon, the team finishes painting the classrooms. They went above and beyond the expected. New paint, clean rooms, organized for use, and all the materials still in tip-top shape to use again and lots of paint leftover for the school to use for their other five classrooms left. The team from Advent Lutheran Church is completely amazing in whatever they have done. True servant hearts and to be admired, modeled after, and envied. May God continue to pour His blessings upon them.

Wednesday: Arts & Crafts II and Work Projects

Wednesday: Bio Bay

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 15, 2017 11:13 AM

The team enjoys another moment exploring the island. This time they do it by going to the bio bay at "La Parguera". This is one of three bio bays Puerto Rico has. They enjoy local meals like empanadas and pop. They get a history lesson about the bay and dinoflagelants. It was an awesome and unique experience seeing these little sea creatures glow at night. God was so good that He hid the moon and let the stars shine for the bay to glow. God is in the details.

Wednesday: Bio Bay

Thursday: The Creation... Made from Snacks

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 15, 2017 11:35 AM

It's the last day for the Advent Lutheran Church missions team to participate at the McCabe Memorial Methodist Church VBS and they are going out with style. The team sets up the final craft for the day. The kids will take the individual snacks and learn what they represent in God's creation. It is a fun way to teach, knowledge with great food.

Thursday: The Creation... Made from Snacks

Thursday: Face Painting

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 15, 2017 11:37 AM

The missions team paint the kids' faces (with washable paint) before heading out to do the craft.

Thursday: Face Painting

Thursday: VBS KIds and Team

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 15, 2017 11:44 AM

Everyone poses together for one last shot before the week is over. The kids head home. The team has their lunch. But before all that happens, the team and kids say goodbye to each other with everyone in tears. The love that has been poured on one another, the fellowship developed, and the addition of new family added to the hearts makes it hard to let go and say goodbye. No matter how short a trip might be, when these things flow together; it becomes part of you, it seems like you've been here forever. That is what God does. He allows things like this to happen. He shows us His way, His plan. He brings us all together. It might be a short trip here on this Earth, but we will all gather together in Heaven as one family. Thank you God and we love you.

Thursday: VBS KIds and Team

Thursday: The Mural

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 15, 2017 11:51 AM

The Mural of the power of God. He has this world in His hands and control of what happens. Thanks to the team and children who participated on this, but a shout out goes to Charlotte and Lily who designed and drew this piece of art. It is a testament to all those who walk into the school and church of who God is and of his immeasurable power. McCabe Memorial is thrilled to have this. The hands are from the kids and missions team with a few others. 

Thursday: The Mural

Thursday: "Cana Gorda" Beach

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 17, 2017 9:11 AM

After morning VBS, the team enjoys themselves at the beach. It has been both hot and cool with breeze on both days, but today it doesn't matter. The team cools of in the cool sea. Everybody enjoyed themselves and had fun. Plus, the team meet the other PPM team that was enjoying their beach time as well.

Thursday: "Cana Gorda" Beach

Thursday: Dinner Out

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 17, 2017 9:36 AM

A look at the delicious and awesome meal the team had with Pastora Luisette, her husband Rafael, and son Rafi, Jr. at the "La Guancha" Boardwalk. It is the final meal the Advent Lutheran Church and McCabe Memorial Church has together before they part ways the next day. It's an emotional night as both team share their appreciations of everything that has happened during the week and exchange gifts. The environment of lights, music, cool breeze, and great music just makes the night more special and unique. God is beautiful. 

This great looking dish is stuffed mofongo with chicken in red sauce with a side of salad and mayo-ketchup sauce. 

Thursday: Dinner Out

Friday: The Final Goodbye

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 17, 2017 9:53 AM

Before the missions team leaves to the airport at San Juan, they say their final goodbyes to the children and church. It has been an amazing, unique, and beautiful trip. God had His hands from before the trip started and will have long after it ends. To Him be the glory and praise. 

Friday: The Final Goodbye

The Last Glory Road

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 17, 2017 12:21 PM

  People say things happen for a reason, and they do. The group gets their faith tested when a tire from the driver's side blows up and shatters completely, leaving the groups, since their is another PPM team also serving in Ponce, stranded in the highway. An hour later of waiting, the teams get picked up and head to San Juan, only to find two traffic jams along the way. The pressure is on. Only one hour to do everything.

Unfortunately, the team misses their 1:15 pm flight. But God was in control for His glory. The team gets everything fixed. First they get put on the next flight out at 3:30 pm with no charge, which is usually $200 per person. Second, the flight which is usually full was empty. Third, the team would make it on time for their flight connection in Pennsylvania. Finally, the ladies at AA that  helped do this testified that we had angels on our side. God is just great. 

The Last Glory Road

All Aboard

by Samuel Perez Figueroa | June 17, 2017 1:58 PM

The final moment just before the missions team heads through the gate to finally go home. Mission accomplished. 

All Aboard

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Comments

Tyler Joseph

June 14, 2017 3:44 PM

Hang in there Anna! Only one day left!

Mary Meyer

June 14, 2017 10:41 AM

Happy Birthday Sarah! The pictures brought tears to my eyes. We miss you all but love to see all that the team is doing. This will be an experience that I am sure will stay in their hearts forever.

Bethany Thiede Wray

June 12, 2017 8:44 PM

Such an amazing mission for these young people of Advent. Thank you for sharing such wonderful pictures. Happy Happy Birthday dear Sarah. What a wonderful project you planned and are giving our kids to experience. A trip of a lifetime.

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