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Preparing for Outdoor Education (OE), I prayed that my ten 6th grade girls would be overwhelmed by God’s love for them personally, would grasp the value He has placed within them, and that they would desire to read God’s Word daily to cultivate their personal relationship with Jesus. We prepared as a squad for OE by rehearsing our squad introduction, planning the review game and play time of our ministry day, having squad devotions together, answering questions about the week, and praying for one another. But nothing could have prepared any of us for the experiences we enjoyed together over the past five days.

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At least one of us forgot a swimsuit, a sleeping bag, a pillow, spending money, or lunch at some point. During our five days & four nights straight with one another, my amazing girls shared with each other, hurt one another, extended forgiveness, were flexible when circumstances didn’t work out how we thought they would and we needed to make last minute changes, included each other, were challenged and stretched as individuals and as a group, prayed with and for each other, encouraged each other, looked out for each other, held one another accountable and much, much more.

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Although I enjoyed the entire experience, my favorite day was Wednesday. That was our ministry day. Seeing my girls feed, clean up after, sing/dance/pray with, and explain salvation bracelets to local Filipino students blessed my heart beyond the ability to express in words. Some of my girls were able to lead someone to the Lord for the first time in their lives on this day.  The joy in my girls’ hearts and on their faces was unforgettable. After leaving the site, we talked more about how to lead another person to the Lord. (Two days later, one of my girls was able to talk with a man who worked at a snack shop about being a Catholic and being a Christian. She was able to pray with him and gave him her Bible!) Wednesday afternoon, we killed a chicken and prepared our own dinner. For some of us this was a stretch and for some of us it was a blast. Wednesday evening, the speaker’s message was exactly what I’d been praying over my girls leading up to OE. Each girl responded to God’s voice in her life and sensed God’s presence with her. Some from our group made Christ their personal Savior and wrote 2-5-14 in their Bible as their spiritual birthday. Some were challenged to give something up. Some committed to serve God no matter where He took them or what He asked of them.

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Some of my girls introduced themselves to a Filipino they’d never met for the first time. They all hiked and hiked and hiked and hiked and hiked on a volcano for the first time, seeing hardened lava flow, volcanic ash, and active fumaroles. They swam in a sulfur lake. They bathed in a lake. They slept outside on the ground twice. Some girls made Christ their personal Savior this week. Some girls had their first opportunity to lead another person to the Lord. Together, they killed a chicken and prepared chicken, veggies, fruit, and dessert for dinner. They participated in a table decorating contest. They rode a banca boat. They dissected squid. They snorkeled, went scuba diving, and lived away from family for five days/four nights. Way to go, girls!

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Watch our OE video to experience some of these firsts with us. Pray for us, that when we’re back home in our routine surroundings we would not doubt what God spoke to each of our hearts, but would continue to seek Him. Thank you for your partnership with us. You are making a difference in the lives of these MK’s (missionary kids) and TCK’s (third culture kids). I can only imagine the impact each of these girls will have as they obey God and use the gifts He’s given them to serve Him across the globe.

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