Crossroads, First Trinity, Mission Work, Youth Ministry

Workcamp 2013 Reflections: Wednesday’s Theme

WC Wednesday This weekend at First Trinity, the 2013 Workcampers will share a little about their workcamp experience and lead worship on the theme of “What Do You Stand For?” As we head into that time, the next few days will have some more of their reflections from the week.  Here are some from Wednesday’s Workcamp theme, “Why Do You Doubt?”


“My favorite daily theme was the question dealing with doubt.  I relearned that God has a plan and the rough parts are still part of that plan.” – Sarah Bissell

“Humans rely on themselves but aren’t perfect so our failures make us doubt others.” – Abbie Stone

“My favorite daily theme was ‘Why Do You Doubt?’ because recently I have doubted and I know that I’ve questioned God, but this helped me learned that this is His plan that is in store for me.” – Paul Gettman

Crossroads, First Trinity, Mission Work, Youth Ministry

Workcamp 2013 Reflections: Tuesday’s Theme

The question we explored on Tuesdayof Workcamp was “Why are you so afraid?”   For me, as I considered this question through out the whole day, all I could come up with as an answer to Jesus was, “I don’t really know, but I know that I am.”  As I thought about some of my most common fears and doubts, I could not truly come up with a good reason WHY to be afraid in those situations, yet I often am.  That’s what I love about Jesus when he asks this question to his disciples in Mark 4:35-40.   The disciples are scared in the middle of a storm.  They are afraid that they will die and there is Jesus sleeping in the back of the boat.  What I love is that BEFORE Jesus asks “Why are you afraid?”  he understands their fear and does something to calm them down… he calms the storm.   I’m not saying that God always takes away the things that cause me fear, but He does always understand my fear and accepts me in my fear.  Jesus knew they wouldn’t drown… not with him there.  He could have let the storm rage while he asked “Why are you afraid?” I’m right here, but he didn’t.  He knew their need. He knew their fear and he showed them WHY they didn’t need to be afraid by calming the storm.

Here’s what a few of our students said about their interactions with this question:

“I liked when Elizabeth (the M.C.) said that maybe fear is good; maybe it’s not.  I learned that fear can help us grow closer to God.”  – Lauren Trautwein

“Day 2 – ‘Why are you afraid?’ was my favorite.  Jesus asked his disciples this and followed with “Do you still have no faith?”  I love this verse because my fear is unanswered prayers which makes me hesitant to pray about things. I realized that it doesn’t make sense to fear unanswered prayers after all He’s done for me.” – Luke Ciminelli

“What do you fear? It was almost a rhetorical question because any answer is silly when put in the context of God’s greater power.” – Jordan Trautwein

One big fear many of our students conquered this week was the fear of heights!
One big fear many of our students conquered this week was the fear of heights! This is Crew 1 on their FINISHED roof!
Crossroads, First Trinity, Mission Work, Youth Ministry

Workcamp 2013 Reflections: Monday’s Theme

The question we explored on Monday of Workcamp was “What do you want me to do for you?”  Through our morning program, lunch-time crew devotions, evening program, and night-time youth group devotions we looked at this question that Jesus asked Bartimaeus in Mark 10:46-52.   A few of the participants listed this as their favorite of the daily themes.  Here’s what they said.

“What do you want me to do for you?” was my favorite theme because we should be the ones asking God for what He wants us to do for him!  He does so much for me in my life that I realized how lucky I really have it.” – Keelie Baumer

“This was my favorite theme because it reminded me that God not only looks after our needs but our desires as well.  He didn’t say “What do you NEED me to do for you?”  and Bartimaeus didn’t respond, “I NEED to see.”  He said, “I want to see”.  I’m excited to be challenged to come more to God with my desires as well as my needs and trust Him to provide what He sees best.” – Rebekah Freed (adult leader)

At the end of Monday’s evening program, we had a chance to shape a paperclip into a symbol of something that we wanted Jesus to do for us.  Some of our requests he answered even during the week, others will take time, and still others may be answered in a way completely different than we desire or imagine, but as we gave our paperclips in offering to God, many of us took one step closer on our journey to completely trusting God!

Crossroads, First Trinity, Mission Work, Youth Ministry

What Do You Stand For – Reflections: Theme

As you’ve figured out if you’ve been following this blog the past couple weeks, the them for our Workcamp Trip was “What Do You Stand For?”  It was a great week of service, but also a week of sorting through what we believe in and what we are willing to stand for in life.  Here are a few Workcampers’ reflections on what they learned about/through this theme:

“I know that I stood for God and my family before I got here, but those are easy.  One this trip, I learned that I need to stand for MYSELF.  Also this week I learned that I need to stand for service and I need to serve others all the time.” – Alex Hartnett

“I learned that despite fears and doubts, I need to stand up for what I believe in.  No matter what the circumstances. I also learned that God will be with me always. I knew this already but this week just reiterated it.” – Megan Cheyne (adult leader)

“‘What Do You Stand For?’ was a perfect theme for me I think.  Throughout the week we got different questions to think about. These questions like ‘Why do you doubt?’ and ‘Why do you fear?’ really stood out to me.  I think in tough situations it’s hard for me to believe sometimes.  There’s always the fear of if God will answer my prayers…. fear for ‘what’s next.’. I think this week I was able to push everything aside and trust in God.  I stand for trust.  Trust in God and trust in myself.” – Sydny Hoffman

“I learned that there are some things I wish I could say I stand for, but I really don’t.  This week gave me the courage and reassurance I need to actually start standing for those things despite what others may think.” – Rebekah Freed (adult leader)

“I stand for shining the light.  I learned that it’s easier to draw people towards God if I shine His light as opposed to simply talking about His light.” – Luke Ciminelli


Crossroads, First Trinity, Mission Work, Youth Ministry

Workcamp 2013 Reflections: God-Sightings

A God-sighting is a place where we see God at work in and around us. Each day we took time in evening programs, crew devotions, and/or youth group devotions to stop and share where God was at work. Here are some of our group’s favorite God-sightings from the week:20130801-070820.jpg

“I was in the cafeteria talking to another workcamper who said ‘I’m not much of a Christian music fan, but I could enjoy you play that sax for God all week.’ It relates to me shining the light for others so God will be glorified.” – Luke Ciminelli


“Being able to share our food with the neighbors of our resident and getting hugs from our resident.” – Sarah Bissell

“How our resident gradually became more comfortable with us and in the end was very grateful.” – Keelie Baumer


“My favorite God-sighting of the week was our resident and how each day our resident would be more interactive with us. On the first day he just said hello and opened the garage door, but after a while during the week he came out of the house more and more.” – Paul Gettman

“My God-sighting is that I found out who my true friends are.” – Pat Fretthold.

“When Patrick had the courage to go up and share his amazing God-sighting with the whole workcamp audience.” – Gina Boccolucci (and many others!)20130801-071901.jpg



Crossroads, First Trinity, Mission Work, Youth Ministry

Workcamp 2013 Reflections: One Word

At the end of Workcamp asked all of the workcampers to reflect on the week and share some of their thoughts as well as what God did in and through them that week.  One of the questions was to describe the week in one word or phrase.  Here’s what some of them said:

  • Shine
  • Fearless
  • Refreshing
  • Reflective
  • Empowering
  • Growing
  • Absolutely Amazing
  • Life Changing
  • Building Relationships
  • Inspiring
  • Mind-Blowing
  • Love
  • Boosting
  • Heart Changing
  • Inclusion and growth
  • Change
  • God-sightings

As you can tell, even just from these few words/phrases, God was at work in the lives of our students and the people we met in Hastings.  Throughout the next few days keep watching for explanations of some of the stories God wrote in the lives of our youth!

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Crossroads, Mission Work, Youth Ministry

Workcamp 2013 Reflections: Rebekah Freed

Our youth mission team got back from Workcamp this Sunday! It was an amazing week with countless stories of God at work in and through the 25 youth and adults that attended. The theme of the week was “What Do You Stand For?” and each day of our trip we had chances to explore how Jesus stands for us and what he calls us each individually to stand for. Throughout the coming weeks leading up to our Workcamp Sharing Event in worship services on August 17 and 18, I’ll be sharing here some reflections from the participants about their week. Today I’m going to kick things off with some of my own reflections.

There truly are too many amazing stories of God at work this week that if I tried to tell of my Workcamp experience, this blog post would be forever long. I may share bits and pieces interspersed with other participants in the coming weeks, but for now I just wanted to share some of my answers to our theme’s question of “What Do You Stand For?” What I loved about this theme is that while some of the things we stand for may overlap, God truly has created us each unique in what we stand for. Below is a list (in no particular order) of things that over the past few months God has been showing me that he’s created ME to stand for:

  • I stand for celebrating the gift of each day God gives me to be alive.
  • I stand for resting in God’s presence and taking care of myself so that I’m able to care for others.
  • I stand for who God has created me to be, refusing to live seeking the approval of anyone but Him.
  • I stand for speaking only words that build others up and make souls stronger.
  • I stand for those in need; for those who can’t stand for themselves.
  • I stand for seeking the wisdom and truth of Christ, not worldly “wisdom”.
  • I stand for running to Christ in times of need.
  • I stand for GRACE!
  • I stand for being okay with needing help and surrounding myself with those who will strengthen and sharpen me.
  • I stand for those who stand for me.
  • I stand for investing boldly in the lives of others.
  • I stand for God’s Word and prayer.
  • I stand for family.
  • I stand for friends.
  • I stand for those who don’t know Christ and for helping people know Him for the first time and a lifetime.
  • I stand for having my priorities in the right order.
  • I stand for seeking and giving forgiveness.
  • I stand for what I’m called and created to do.
  • I stand for my teammates.
  • I stand for high schoolers.
  • I stand for young adults.
  • I stand for parents of high schoolers and young adults.
  • I stand for helping others find the identity that God has given them and break free from the lies of Satan.
  • I stand for hospitality.
  • I stand for laughter and fun!
  • I stand for encouragement.
  • What do YOU stand for?


    Crossroads, First Trinity, Mission Work

    2013 Workcamp Prayer Guide – Day 7

    Today’s Theme: “Do you see anything?”

    After Jesus gave a blind man his sight, he asked him, “Do you see anything?” That question, and Jesus’ words that followed, share truth that applies to all of us. After our eyes have been opened, we can’t just go home and be the same. Jesus wants to open our eyes and give us new vision for the rest of our lives – starting today. (Mark 8:22-25)


    • Pack tools/lunch/Morning program
    • Work at work sites morning and afternoon
    • Free Time
    • Evening Program with the residents
    • FT Team Devotion

    Prayer Ideas:

    • For teams as they wrap up on their worksites.
    • For last interactions with residents and again that in every moment God’s love would be shown.
    • For connections that have been made between our youth and youth from other congregations.
    • That we would think about how we can continue to see God and stand for Him once we are home and prepare us for our return.

    Pictures from Yesterday: