Where has this week gone? This is Andy Gleiser, and I have been asked to write the blog post tonight! We have so loved having SBT here! Of course, SBT is such a special church to us. Bringing Indiana to us for a week has been awesome and good for our soul! Today was the Lord's Day, and we all gathered at the Tilson's house for our Sunday worship service. Our theme for the day was that Jesus seeks and saves those who are lost. Pastor Andrew (your Pastor Andrew) read the Scripture and then I preached the morning's message on Jesus seeking and saving Zacchaeus. Then we all united our hearts in gratitude to our great Lord!
We ate lunch at the Original Mel's Diner...a Reno destination! Food was good, but spending time together was even better. I believe the group then went shopping and hiking after lunch. I have no idea what happened because I took a nap - let me be honest, after all we did this week, I was worn out!
For dinner, we all gathered at In-N-Out for burgers. If you have never eaten at In-N-Out, I want you to know they will be found in heaven. They're that good. It seemed like half of Reno was there with us tonight. It was packed!
Then we made our way back to the house and had a special time of rehearsing the week and rejoicing in the Lord for all He has done in our lives this week. Thank you, guys, for including my family! We will miss you greatly. They say you never forget your first love, so therefore, we will never forget our first mission team in Reno! You advanced the cause of the gospel in this city, and we cannot thank you enough - PLEASE COME BACK! For all of you who read this back in Indy, make plans to visit us and see what God is building here. Your church is incredibly precious to us, and we thank God upon every remembrance of you! Love you!
Andy, Bryn, Charis, Drew, and Amberly Gleiser
Good evening and welcome to the newest edition of the Reno Blog. It is the old people's turn to write tonight. I would like to start with telling you about all my aches and pains from putting in the miles while canvasing and hiking back up a mountain that I was sure did not have an elevator before we started. In all seriousness seeing Gods creation and how amazingly he can paint a landscape is breath taking.
We had an exciting day today! Early this morning we drove to California side of Lake Tahoe to Emerald Bay. You will need to ask Bekah about the ghost story that she read about concerning the tea room that is located on the island in the bay. We hiked down the mountain 1 mile down hill, it was a nice stroll, and we walked around on the beach. Pastor Andrew, Josh, Branden, and Maria jumped into the freezing cold water for a nice polar bear plunge. Brrrr! Then came the hike back up the mountain where my knees are still mad at me. We are so thankful for the clear skies and beautiful weather we had today. The views are amazing! Probably one of the warmest days we have had since our arrival. Our drive home from Lake Tahoe was the quiet. The hike back up the mountain wore them out! We also did a little shopping while at Lake Tahoe and bought a few souvenirs.
After Lake Tahoe we helped a local church, Calvary Baptist Church and passed out invites to their Easter service and egg hunt. The neighborhood had a lot of Spanish speaking people. Maria was able to speak to someone in Spanish while telling them about next weeks Easter Services. We also helped them fill easter eggs with candy and had pizza with their church members. The Pastor and the staff at Calvary were so grateful that the teens were able to help and many were impressed by the work that they did earlier in the week by cleaning up the back of their property. We walked almost 9 miles today. Gracie said it best, "My everything hurts."
What a blessing it has been to be here with the teens. However, we are reminded daily that we are not as young as we once were. We are so proud of how hard they have worked this week and are so thankful to have been a part of this amazing journey!
Matt and Stephanie
Welcome to our blog from Gracie Rowell and Keagan Green, the most normal people in the group. Today we woke up to the smell of Gracies bacon ( which Mrs. Stephanie hates but we like her anyways), ego waffles in the toaster, and the best pot of Folgers coffee this morning. The first message was from Pastor Telson about the meaning of being a church planter and how we can become church planters back at home or anywhere. He gave us many examples of different people in the Bible who ministered in and outside the church, but would still be considered church planters. Mr. Telson message was so long that he even felt the need to bribe us with donuts to stay awake during the message, which worked in some ways!
Then we began our fourth canvasing this week as Gracie, Brandon and mom ( Stephanie) and me became amazing Samaritans and saved a small dog from a busy street. After we heroically saved her dog we invited her to the church. During this same time Bekah, Pastor Andrew, and Maria talked to a Catholic woman who accepted the invite and seemed interested. After a gruesome 3 miles we came back to the house and ate lunch.
The 2nd message of the day was from the one and only Andy Gleiser who discussed why we still continue the battle with sin even if we are saved with grace. Then as nodding heads and batting eyes were afoot he gave us the 3 points on why we continue to fight with sin. They were New Lord, New Loyalty, and New Life. During our study of romans 6 we learned the how and why we should battle our sin even when we are saved by Grace. As we piled in to JimBoy (the Van) and traveled to Idlewild Park and played volleyball with the Telsons and Gleisers. We walked around the park and gave out some more information about the upcoming new church plant Living Hope in Reno and some accepted the cards.
After we left the park we made our way to California as we just passed the sign and then turned around to see Reno all lit up. We then came back to eat some of Gracies German Chocolate Poke cake in which all of the adults said they would get fat off of. Then we settled in to play serval rounds of mafia in which Mr. Matt and Gracie eliminated everyone on multiple occasions. This was typical behavior of Mr. Matt but know one expected Gracie to be such a ruthless eliminator! After Gracie so "rudely" eliminated everyone we decided to play among us and to settle on for the night. Overall Day 5 was an immaculate day filled with lots of up hill walks and delicious food.
Signing off the best blog writers ever the chef Gracie and Keagan.
Coming from the past, because by the time that you are reading this we will have already written this. Anywayyy! This is E-bear and Mars Bar, if you can manage to guess who that is.
We started the morning just like the last three days, we started off early at 8 a.m.. For today's first service, we had Pastor Daniel Kelting on zoom. He talked about that God created us to be communal people. His sort-of overarching theme was to find people who, even though they might not have anything else in common with you, have a love for Christ; and to make close friendships with them based off of and surrounded by God.
Then we had outreach and today we passed out a thousand flyers! We had some people who were interested be we also had some who rejected it, but even though some people rejected it we did what we could and we let God do the rest. Elanna and I (Maria) will say that with hanging flyers for several days we actually were not nervous if people came to the door to talk to us, instead we actually got really excited to talk to them.
For the second service we had Andy Gleiser who preached from Romans 6 about Christian sin and how we should give ourself to God and not to sin - yielding.
Then some of us were exhausted so we took a break, meaning Elanna and I passed out for a little over an hour - yeah. After our break we played soccer, which was so much fun!! We also had a few encounters with a some people.
The last service that we had was also by Pastor Andy Gleiser who preached on encouragement for Christians. My (Maria) favorite point of his message was his first point which was to find disciple making partners. I just found a lot of encouragement and excitement in finding people who also love God and have a desire to serve Him.
Overall some of my favorite things that I have learned or gained from this trip were becoming closer to my church family and how my love for this city and the people here seems to grow each day. (Also its a great picture taking place!)
In loving memory, Mars bar and E-bear.
' This is Big BK and J Ruley man coming at you live (not really) from Reno, Nevada!! This morning we had a great challenge from Pastor Steven Weiss about the finance it takes to open up a church. After a great time getting absolutely roasted by pastor Weiss we got a wonderful opportunity to go out canvasing in the local neighborhoods. We met a man today from the midwest while canvasing and when we told him about the church starting up he seemed pretty interested and excited. We hope to see him Friday for the meet and greet at Idlewild park. We also encountered a guy working outside, cutting stuff up for his house. he was also interested in the church and going to Idlewild park on Friday. We then met an older couple bringing stuff in and were pretty excited about hearing there was a church opening!
Later on, we got to hear a great message from Pastor Andy (not southeast Andy) from Romans 6 about having a battle plan to fight sin in our lives. What a blessing it was. Next, he treated us to a little leisure time exploring downtown Reno. We went to Coffeebar Reno, we had some great coffee and Bekah had an opportunity to share why we were in Reno to the barista. When we went back in to talk to her more we realized she left, but she was interested in why we were there which is awesome in itself. After this, we got to walk around downtown and see some of the awesome sights. We took pictures in front of the famous arch and watched Pastor Andy (Southeast Andy) jump onto some rocks in the Truckee River, which runs through the downtown area. Luckily he didn't fall in and experienced only minor injuries in the form of a peanut sized scrape and a wet shoe tip. We saw a lot of awesome things but also some sad ones too. There were lots of homeless in the area we were in, and it was awful seeing the looks of defeat and hopelessness on their faces. But in the end we know the Lord is here in Reno to give these people hope and to turn their lives around. As we were walking back to the van, there was this guy performing on the other sidewalk, and he yelled across the street asking what type of music we liked. I (Brandon) said "country." He was like "I got a song for you." He played I'll Fly Away, without knowing we were on a mission trip. So he asked us if we were a Bible college because of Maria's shirt. So we all said we are on a mission trip, and he played another song (I don't remember the song) but it was amazing!!!! It hit us because it showed there truly is people searching and in need of true hope for Reno. We gave him a card and prayed with him.
To end the day we had a great message about realigning our self-interests with God's interests. He ended the message with a great saying "People say "you do you", the Bible says "you do Christ."" What a powerful message! We're tired so we're going to sign off for today and hopefully some of the other girls will write updates for you all tomorrow!! Thanks so much for all the prayers and love!!! Goodnight!
The Alpha twins, Josh and Brandon
Hellooooooo everyone!!!!!!!! Coming live with Bekah and Esther Francesca Diane Seitz, we wanted to let all you cool cats know what's happening down here in little Reno, Nevada. In our first session we learned about the importance of a budget when planting a new church, then we went into A MOUNTAIN NEIGHBORHOOD!!!! and the weather felt like Indiana. Brandon got threatened by a no trespassing sign that said "he'll be shot" during outreach. And we took some mountain pictures. AND THEY CAME OUT REALLY COOL!!!! Hence our title ;)
Our second session of the day we focused on the first two verses of Romans 6 with Pastor Andy Gleiser, in which we discussed three main questions asked within these verses. And how to battle our sin, which always starts with the mind.
Next we went on to help Calvary Baptist Church with some landscaping in preparation for their community easter egg hunt.
THEEEEEEN WE ATE GRACIE'S TACO DIP AND TACO CROISSANT ROLL PULL APARTS. It was very good. We all loved it. Props to Gracie, what a chef.
Now we must go to bed, I hope this made your day a bit more interesting. Singing off, Esth and Bek.
We made it to Reno! Today's post is short because we are pretty tired from a great day of travel, orientation & getting ready for the week. Here are a few highlights from the day:
- Great flights and opportunities to share why we are going to Reno
- Orientation and worship service planning with the Gleisers and Pastor Tilson
- Prayer hike (hiked up a trail and prayed overlooking the Reno)
- Stamping and prepping 1,000 flyers for the week
- Getting acquainted with Reno
We will post more tomorrow. Everything officially starts at 8am Tuesday morning. We are excited because there is Hope for Reno!
A group of teens and adults will be heading to Reno for a short-term mission on March 22. Our group will be assisting with our missionaries, the Gleisers and their team, for a week of ministry. The week is "plant camp." We will learn how a church plant works, how it starts and what it takes to keep it going. We will also be involved in community projects and outreach.
Our goal is to fulfill Matthew 20:26 "But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister (servant);" We are excited about this opportunity to serve, grow in the Lord and enjoy our time with the Hope for Reno team.
Check back this week for updates and pictures.
...well to assure those who were left hanging from our last post, everyone survived (no one was attacked)! We actually have no clue what was making the noise. Some thought it was a wild pig, some thought a bird, others a big cat. No one will ever know.
Our last day was a travel day. We left the Lewis' estate at 3:30am to head to the Mayan ruins. After a 3.5 hour drive and waiting for the ruins to open, we climbed to the top. While at the top, our group was able to praise our great God by singing "How Great Thou Art." What a beautiful site over-looking Belize and Guatemala.
The time had come to say goodbye to Belize and Pasta Troy. After a group hug-sandwich with Pasta Troy, we headed to our gate. Alex was the lucky contestant to be searched and patted down-he was so thrilled. Two plan rides and one layover later, we arrived back home in Indiana late Friday night.
How do you sum up ten days in one final post? I do not think it is possible, but I will try. Before we left for our trip Pasta Troy challenged us to ask God to do something big in our lives. Pasta Troy knew we would all be burdened with the needs in Belize and that we would leave grateful for what we have. But he wanted us to let God do more that just that. The second challenge Pasta Troy gave us was to leave an impression of God wherever we go. God truly did an amazing work in my life on this trip. I was challenged to spend more time with God and not miss all the blessings He sends my way. I cannot speak specifically for all of the team members, but this I know, God changed us all. Belize and what God is doing in Belize changed us. From seeing a teenager give his life to Christ, to seeing children pumped at race day, to blistering hands from hard concrete labor, we saw God do amazing things.
Thank you to Pasta Troy, Suzannah, Zach, and Abby for letting us be a small part of their ministry for Christ. God is using them to make an eternal difference in Belize.
For those who have followed our journey, we hope you enjoyed our unique perspectives! If you do not know Jesus as your Savior, will you put your faith in trust in Him to save you (Romans 10:9-12)? If you do know Jesus, will you leave an impression of Him wherever you go?
May God bless you all!
Today started like any other day, but better... Biscuits and Gravy. Pasta Troy shared a short devotional to us about leaving a godly impression wherever we go. As we drudged through the door into the van that bare no resemblance to an oven, but I can assure you, we cooked like turkey on Thanksgiving Day. Only to prolong our joyful suffering by tying steel and more digging. Today was the hottest day yet here and every single person got sunburnt and Andrew James almost died due to dehydration. Thankfully the day was short because we ended at midday and Andrew James was completely fine when we returned to the house.
For lunch we had panadas, rice, and tortilla chips, and it was wonderful as always. After lunch we fastened our aprons, pulled up our big boy pants, and we... cleaned. Perhaps the hardest work came from cleaning the bath house. Although, safe from the scorching rays, the bath house still had the heat of a thousand suns. Though drenched in sweat, we sang through the work and made the Lewis household spotless... until Pasta Troy dropped his pizza later on. Speaking of pizza, Mrs. Suzannah made more homemade pizzas than we could eat.
After dinner, David, Charlton, Trey, and Andrew James played a legendary game of horse. It was a long hard fought game between the four of us, but four turned into "tree", and "tree" turned into to two. Then the final showdown between rivals began. David versus Charlton. Mano e Mano. Fight to the death. Square or no square. To be or not to be. Horse or donkey. The game of horse has not been this legendary since Jordan versus Bird. Shot after shot and letter after letter, it came down to just one letter left. David stepped to the edge of the concrete, steadied his hand, and pulled up as if he were Kobe Bryant... swish. Charlton walked to the spot of the shot, and pulled up with confidence and moxie as if he were Shaquille O Neal, and we all know what happens when Shaq shoots... brick. David came out on top.
Once the game was done a bonfire was lit to commemorate this trip and what we've learned. We sang songs and shared testimonies of what God has done in our lives the past week. After the sweet time of song and testimony, is when we heard it... the growling out in the bush. That is when the hunt began. It first began with an expedition consisting of four men, the leader, Pasta Troy, the tourist, Pasta Andrew, the tall scared guy with the hair, Charlton, and David... the Asian. We went out deeper and deeper into the bush drawing closer to the growling. Pasta Troy was sure it was some sort of cat in the trees, like an Ocelot or some other Jaguar type of beast. After we realized we were ill prepared with dull sticks and little bug spray, we went back to the house to load up. We sharpened our spears, sprayed down our legs, began... the hunt... part two. We went even deeper into the bush than before, our hearts racing and our foreheads dripping with sweat. Pasta Troy had no fear... natives. The sound got closer and our curiosity grew. What sounded like one beast turned into what sounded like two. After much waiting and searching, then it happened... whatever the beast was started to run towards us and that's when...
David Clingaman & Charlton Seitz