The first bit of 2011 has been a bit of a whirlwind for the Whitlers and YWAM Modesto. I realized this past week that there are a few things I would have blogged about that I didn't. Here's a little scrap book of posts that I never got to...
Modesto Youth Reach Out in San Francisco
In January, YWAM Modesto and New Hope youth in partnership with YWAM San Francisco and Eastridge Church of the Nazarene spent an evening reaching out on the streets of the "Tenderloin" neighborhood of San Fran. Here, the YWAMers in the big city brief our team on life on the streets and ways that we can be a blessing to the marginalized in the city. We had a profound experience as well as a lot of fun together. If you're local and/or looking for a great location to take a mission team, pray about joining up with the YWAM team in San Francisco!
Tsartlip comes to Modesto!
Together with our friends at Global Youth Network and YWAM in Victoria, B.C., March brought us a team from the Tsartlip Native community on Vancouver Island. Our family (the Whitlers) visited this community in 2008 and we are planning to visit again (with our church youth group) this Summer. These guys came down to spend a week with us on their school break to learn leadership skills, the basics of reaching out to others, to interact with Native Americans and have a bit of fun in the process. This picture is during a BBQ for the struggling community on South 9th St. They did a great job.
This team also blessed the Whitlers greatly by helping us with a surprise, short notice move from our home of 4 years..our landlord was foreclosed on and lost his house :( They had all our stuff transferred to our new place (walking distance from our church!) in 5 hours! Thank you Tsartlip!
Steps of Justice
For the season of Lent, YWAM Modesto hosted a Steps of Justice group to go through the Steps 30 day Prayer and Action Guide. This is a great way to gain awareness, fuel intercession and take action around issues of global injustice. Our group of 12 or 13 dwindled down to a small group of 5 by the end of our study (I hear folks are pretty busy these days :), all who participated said this was a really good experience. It's a great way to carry with you the plight of the poor and let it help inform your choices, lead you to prayer and help you to give. Read more about my experience HERE.
YWAM Pismo Beach Discipleship Training School (DTS)
Now this one is truly pitiful. I did not even take one picture of a great team that came to be with us in the beginning of April...the Isaiah 61 DTS. 12 girls and the DTS staff joined us for a week of training and outreach on evangelism. This was an awesome team. They hit the streets with passion and purpose to love and pray for our city. It was a special privilege for me to set these folks loose in Modesto. They touched quite a few lives and are now reaching out in Israel and China! For more info in a DTS in Pismo Beach, go HERE.
New Hope Youth Car Wash
We wash cars waaaaaaay better than we spell, we promise. We spent the first of a few Saturdays washing cars at Yosemite Lanes here in Modesto to help raise money for our group to go to the Tsartlip community this Summer. Be on the look out for other fundraisers...more car washes to come as well as the classic bake sale and plain ole asking for donations. If you want to give toward this trip, let me (Chris) know! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Blankets of Hope
We were able to link up recently with this great group of folks from a local church in Salida that have started a group to make and distribute blankets to the homeless. Deb brought 30 new, clean, handmade blankets out to our most recent 9th St. BBQ to give away. Everyone loved them and were so thankful for this meaningful gift.
Which leads us finally to...people from Fresno continuing to rock!
Like LAST YEAR and THE YEAR BEFORE, we hosted a team from Fresno First Baptist Church for Easter week. A couple of newbies (including the new youth pastor) and a couple of veterans joined us for a week of outreach in Modesto. This group spent the week praying, feeding, and helping all over the place.
A highlight for me was they day we had the high schoolers pray without us leaders and come up with the agenda for the day. What'd we do? Well, we bought 36 pairs of socks and 50 tacos and drove around handing them out to the homeless, that's what. Drive by Sockos. Then we spent the afternoon at the park with some kids that YWAM Modesto has been involved with for some time. A great day.
So that's a lot to cram into a little space but we did it! Our thanks to all the teams, churches and new friends we've been able to make in this first part of the year. And here's to more as we continue on in Spring and into the Summer...this week, the Whitlers head out on a month long North American tour to visit friends and share stories and songs with congregations and households and YWAM bases across the country. In June, we'll host John Wason from YWAM Canada's Word To Life Theatre Arts. In July, we'll have visitors from Stanley Park Church in Kitchener, Ontario. We'll also take our youth group to Tsartlip and I (Chris) am looking at visiting Thailand in August. All the while continuing to partner with our church and many other organizations to be a light in our city and neighborhood.
We need your prayers, support, friendship and encouragement now more than ever!