SWAM New York Mission Trip 2011

Welcome to the official blog for Idlewild High School Choir's SWAM New York Mission Trip. The trip will take place from June 19-25, and throughout the week we will be posting pictures, videos, and updates for friends and family to enjoy. So subscribe to the blog or continue to check your email as we embark on our journey to New York City to spread the message of God's love through our worship music and service to the community!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Friday Update... Airport Info

In the morning, we met Boto at a Queens park and did our last service project clean up work. Boto expressed his gratitude to us for coming to his community and doing the work we did. After lunch we split into groups and went out to Manhattan for our "free/fun day" (although they were all fun ;) ). Depending on which group, they got to see the statue of liberty, Ellis island, Chinatown, central park, ground zero, times square and many other places. In the evening some of the groups went to see Spiderman on Broadway and the Yankees game. I can tell you that the Spiderman show was spectacular and all the kids that went to see it were truly astounded. After the performance, the girls wanted to wait outside in the street by the stage back door to meet the actor who played Spiderman. He was very sweet to the girls and gave autographs and took pictures with each on of them. I'm sure you'll see them up on Facebook. ;) I overheard one of the girls say "This is the best night of my life!"...they're so funny... Heading to the airport early Saturday morning. We arrive to Tampa at 1:30pm unless any delays. Please pick up your child promptly at the Delta baggage belt for flight 1931 from LaGuardia. This is the end of the trip and it's been an unforgettable experience for the students. Very proud of them. Everyone is healthy and safe. Please make sure to thank our adult leaders/chaperones for taking great care of your children. Don't forget homeconcert Sunday night...students need to arrive to worship center for sound check at 4:30pm. Wear RED NY Good News tshirt and jeans. It's been a pleasure ministering with your children this year and here in New York - Leo


Video links from Friday:
Boto singing in Hindi
Redeemer Remix at Queens Park
Tai Chi in the Park
Brooklyn Bridge Prayer Walk
Jesus Worship in Hindu Temple

Friday, June 24, 2011

Thursday Photo Slideshow

Thursday Update

Today was the best day. I began the day by reminding the team that God's strength is perfected in our weakness and that therefore the tiredness and wear out we're experiencing is actually an advantage for our Mission...we cannot depend on our talent or skill or looks or energy anymore so we are forced to now depend ONLY on HIS power. And so we did and sure enough, God showed off. We met up with pastor Boto Sema at our first Queens park. Boto is Indian and is a man ON FIRE for the Lord with a great passion for reaching the lost in NY, specifically Hindus and Muslims. We cleaned up the park and began our concert. Halfway to the concert we got rained out but not before Boto gave a passionate gospel invitation to the mainly Chinese audience in the park. Our kids went around the park, greeting people and doing one on one evangelism. It is so exciting to hear them speak so enthusiastically about their experiences sharing Christ. Boto then took us to a Hindu temple. This was an eye opening and very educational experience as we were able to witness hindu worshipers coming in and doing their ritual. Boto explained what was happening every step of the way and contrasted it with Christianity. He challenged us that we need to be as disciplined and have as much respect for the Scriptures as they do for their rituals because we have the Truth in Jesus. He borrowed a guitar and basically led us in a mini (Christian) worship service inside of this hindu temple. Pretty mind blowing. We did our second concert of the day at another Queens park mainly to an Indian crowd and this time the weather cooperated. A highlight of the concert was that Boto and the praise team from his church led the crowd in worship songs in Hindi. At night we closed the day with Big Group and we had each of our seniors come up and do a little speech. It was moving and humbling to hear from them how our SWAM ministry has impacted and even changed their lives. It was a very special meeting and all I can tell you is that the Spirit of God suddenly took over to the point that I knew I wasn't in control of the meeting anymore. The manifestation of love, grace, mercy, unity and students ministering to each other is unlike anything I've ever seen in my entire career. God is good. Both, students and adults are pretty worn out...please pray for continued health and renewed strength and vitality. One more day to go...we're almost home. ;) - Leo


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wednesday Photo Slideshow

Interview w/ Charlie

Wednesday Update

In the morning we did a Brooklyn Bridge prayer walk. We split into family groups and prayed for the city as we walked across the mile long bridge. Among the topics we prayed for were 1) the NY school system, teachers, students, 2) the financial district 3) stranded people, aliens, homeless, 4) the NY Church, unity among churches, 5) and tourism. It was of course a great photo opp for beautiful Manhattan scenery and I'm sure you'll see all the pictures your kids took. Once across the bridge we went to a well populated park and did one on one evangelism. The challenge to the students (and us adults) was to be able to share Christ with at least one stranger by the end of the day. It was cool to see the students engaging people seated on benches around the park in eternal conversations. I got reports that some of them were led in a prayer to receive Christ by our students. How exciting! Very proud of them. In the evening we led worship for chapel back at NYSUM and performed some of our concert material for them. Afterwards we split into small groups and went to do Homeless Compassion ministry in various parts around the city. We gave out bibles, toiletry packets, sandwiches, and water bottles. It was another late night for us so please continue to pray for stamina for our team as some of them are already showing signs of getting worn out. Still they've been troopers and going out back out there into battle again and again and maintaining a sunny, loving disposition. Everybody is safe and still healthy so that's a praise. Thursday will be another big day with our last 2 concerts of the trip at different Queens parks. Keep those prayers coming...our Help comes from above! - Leo

Video of "Waging War" on the deck of the USS Intrepid: