Category Archives: 2018 Spring Term

New York: Arts – Friday – 3.30.18

Sitting in the airport waiting on our flight back to Atlanta, my heart is so full from this amazingly full week! Wow! There’s not enough room to list all the blessings. Seriously …. These kids amaze me. Todd, Nate, and I pushed this team to see everything we could possibly fit in the schedule, while also physically pushing them to walk literally everywhere in the city.  

I, personally, loved witnessing the multitudes of cultures, hearing all the accents, and soaking in the fact that we were all in this one great city to experience the awe of NYC together. But even greater, I loved watching the sparkle in the eyes of our team. I loved watching them share, encourage each other, laugh, be goofy and make memories together. I loved that they were ALL IN during our workshops with Broadway cast members. They laughed and sang, and gave their all!! I loved as they pointed out different parts of the city to one another. Shoot, yesterday one of our girls had worn the wrong shoes (she didn’t realize I would be having them walk so much!) and another teammate swapped shoes with her! I mean … these are the things I love.

I watched in awe as our kids sang the gospel in the middle of the busy Port Authority Terminal on Wednesday!  My heart was overflowing with pride seeing them share … singers and non-singers alike.

And even this morning, as we toured the city in a double decker bus, I knew the kids were super tired from this crazy exhausting week, but I heard their conversations of how they loved this trip and how they’ll miss the big city. They were still wide-eyed soaking in everything they could. They seemed to love the beauty of Grand Central Station, just as much as the chaperones! They could’ve chosen to be super whiny, tired, and blah. They had every right to be that way, but they chose to make the most of their last day.

See? I told you I could list a multitude of blessings! I am exhausted, I haven’t walked this much since college (haha…let’s just say I’m thankful for ibuprofen!), and I miss my sweet family so much, but I know the Lord had His hand all over this trip. I am so thankful He made a seat for me on this trip! I’m so thankful He trusted me to help lead it. I’m so thankful for Todd & Nate, our super navigators, looking for every turn and thinking ahead for every event. I’m so thankful for the kids on this trip, their love for the arts, the amazing gifts and talents they’ve been given, and that they are using those gifts for His glory. I have no doubt He has whispered His dreams, His plans for them in their hearts, and I pray this trip was one more chapter in their great adventure with Him that draws them closer to His side, and fine tunes their ears to hear His voice.

Amy Wallace


Appalachia – Friday & Saturday – 3.30.18 & 3.31.18

Friday, March 30

We woke up bright and early and were ready to kick off our last day of working on the work sites. I was working on Mrs. Jennifer’s worksite and today we had to finish de-shangling the other side of the roof. We almost finished and the groups that come to Red bird next week will finish this job so that the Smiths can enjoy having a roof that does not leak. I feel so accomplished to have worked on a roof. This is something that was scary at first, but it was so much fun and a place where will be able to remember so many memories that took place. Even though it was raining, we still had a great day. We had the best leader, Donnie, and we are so sad to leave him. This week Jesus has been shown to us in so many different ways and we can not wait to come home and tell all of to our family members back at home. I was so glad I was to go on this trip.
– Lily King 10th grade

Tonight the entire camp joined together for worship and story telling time. It was very interesting to hear the other group’s stories and experiences throughout the week. Red Bird Missions has impacted so many lives, and not just of the people we helped, but also of the helpers. Personally, through listening to the different people’s stories I realized that you don’t know everyone’s full story. It was very cool to see how Red Bird has impacted so many helpers and campers. There was a short message near the end of worship and we all took communion. It was a great way to end Good Friday. I am so thankful for this opportunity to come to Red Bird Missions and help the community. We tend to forget that there is tremendous poverty in America. If I could describe this trip in one word it would be, eye opening. God has a plan for everything, and there was definitely a reason I was placed on this trip. I wouldn’t trade this week for anything. ~Chloe Collins 10th Grade

Today we finished up at our worksite finishing up with glueing the floor down and nailing the trim. Then we went to lunch at Stevie’s Place and came back to the camp. After we got back to camp some of us helped unload the work van while another group helped clean the bus. While helping unload the van I crushed my finger under 3 pieces of plywood and it turned blue but only for a few hours. At dinner we had pork and potatoes and they were pretty good – then we went up to the worship service at 7:30. During this service we sang and shared stories and observations that we had throughout the week. After that we had devotions and shared personal stories that we had throughout the week and it was a wonderful thing to listen to some people who were so humble. This week was an amazing experience and I would do the whole thing again in a heartbeat.
– Catie Sander 10th grade

Saturday, March 31

Today we finished our trip to Appalachia. We started our trip home by leaving at 4:30 AM. It was a little hard to get up that early for everyone, but it was worth it to get home earlier! Although we didn’t do much today, I had lots of time to reflect on my trip to Appalachia. The theme of this week for us was “unexpected light.” We had many unexpected lights shown to us this week. We have had the amazing opportunity to help out a family in need with everyone chipping in and getting to know a great leader with a great testimony. We got to unplug from all of the stress that life brings and got to experience God’s grace and blessings through ministry and fellowship with one another. This week was such an impactful and eye opening week that I for sure will never forget! -Mary Andrew 10th grade


Guatemala – Friday – 3.30.18

I’m very sad to say that today is our last day in Guatemala. It has been a truly life-altering trip. I am so extremely thankful to the school, our parents, and the Hope For Guatemala ministry for allowing us to be able to come to this beautiful place. It was amazing to see how happy and genuine all of these people are, despite their situations at home. These people understand the importance of finding our joy in the Lord and not in material items – a concept we Americans too often forget. I will never forget how every morning we were greeted by tons of faces smiling from ear to ear as they walked down the “hug train.” It is great to see the Lord moving through this ministry. I cannot think of a better group to spend this week with. From Gabe’s “Oh my people” to Robert’s cube skills, this group was totally fantastic! Everyone put their hearts into their work and I think I speak for all of us when I say this was one of the best trips ever!! Thanks again to everyone who made this trip amazing!

Por fin, estoy muy feliz para la oportunidad a visitar Guatemala. Muchas gracias a todas las personas de Guatemala. Ustedes son muy amables y es un honor conocerles. Dios les bendiga todos los dias de su vida.  

Les quiero mucho,
Miranda Phillips (12th)


Washington, DC – Thursday – 3.28.18

We started off the day by visiting Mount Vernon, George Washington’s plantation for a few hours. To begin, we were given a tour of the mansion. It was amazing to see how everything was preserved or recreated how it was when Washington was living there. Then Abby Turner and Mac Dempsey gave a presentation on Washington’s faith, which was eye opening because while Washington was quiet about his personal faith, he still understood and proclaimed the importance of knowing God. After a short video at Mount Vernon and lunch at the mall, we headed to the new Museum of the Bible. The majority of us thought the floor that had an area set up like Nazareth, with a few people in costume was the best part. The other floors were very virtual and interactive which kept people interested. Next we made our way to the Holocaust Museum. Now this museum is very eye opening and humbling. Hannah Cloete said that it makes you realize how small your problems are compared to theirs, which I completely agree with. After I walked around the huge museum, I was just so speechless and humbled, like many other students and chaperones. Another student pointed out how strong the Jews stood in their faith. Even through all of the intense persecution, their faith was their rock. That to me is the most inspiring. We don’t know what’s going to happen in our lifetime, but we are going to have to defend our faith at some point. When that time comes, we must stand strong and not shy away from defending our Savior. We closed our day with a trip to Dave and Buster’s for dinner and games and a conversation about our thoughts on the museums back at the hotel. Overall, our last full day was a fun one, but was also extremely humbling and emotional.
-Avery Bayes, 8th grade

8th Grade Home Team – Thursday – 3.29.18

Our last day of the Home Trip was a great one. Our devotions centered around what “The Gospel” is, I Corinthians 15:1-6. The “good news” is that Christ died for our sins and arose again the third day according to the scriptures. We can have eternal life because of the price that Jesus paid for us- the greatest proof of how God SO loved us, John 3:16.

After a little time on the Mach 5 Club race track to kill time and traffic, we headed out to the Sugarloaf Mills Mall and Medieval Times. This dinner (lunch) show was their educational version and it centered around chivalry. The knights, king, and princess taught the students what the code of chivalry was, and how it can be applied today. Then the games began. The knights and their horses competed in the knights tournament with jousting, sword fighting, and horsemanship (if that is a word) that even Cameron Parke would appreciate!

We ended the spring term with a quick trip to The LEGO store and some final racing at Slingshots Speedway. The goal of the home trip was to be educational & fun – and the goal was accomplished!


Rocks – Thursday – 3.29.18

The group visited Emerald Hollow Mine in Hiddenite, North Carolina.  This site was formerly operated by Tiffany Jewelry.  In an educational tour, we learned that this facility is host to more than sixty different types of naturally occurring gems and minerals.  Many of these are very rare, including emerald, aquamarine, sapphire, garnet, topaz, amethyst, citrine, rutile, and tourmaline, along with an abundance of world class smoky and clear quartz crystals. Hiddenite is also famous as being one of the few places on earth where the very rare gemstone “Hiddenite” can be found!

Following the lesson, students were allowed to dig buckets of dirt or simply search the ground for treasures.  Yes, valuable gems and minerals could be found just laying in the dirt; however, these were usually very small.  Our students who were now experts in sluicing, used the water in a flume to sift the dirt from rocks and potential treasures.  The students then engaged in a new form of mineral collecting: creeking. In a picturesque stream, they waded into mostly ankle deep water and used their sluicing box to “pan” in the way most people visualize the process used by gold miners. It was a great way to end our eventful and educational week: on a lovely and warm spring day, we could delight in beauty of God’s creation in the wooded setting enjoying the sounds of a water rushing over rocks.

For their final reflections, in a quite fatigued state, the students offered these pun filled geology related observations:  

Udochi:  Don’t take this ST trip for “granite!”

Jake;  This trip rocks!  It showed me how exciting playing in the dirt, hauling HEAVY buckets of soil, and playing in water, whether in a sluice or picturesque stream, can be.  If you didn’t like it, you’d be a stone-cold human being.

Noah:  The bus rocked a bit as we rolled for hundreds of miles to mines and caves in three different states.

Nikita:  I’m rich!  (But only because the geologist picked up the hundreds of dollars of valuable stones, including a large sapphire, I tossed in the dirt!)

John:  This trip at times was as hard as rock because there was a lot of difficult labor.

Ansley:  I’m rich because I found lots of valuable rocks, but I am even richer because of the experiences I was able to enjoy on this ST and the people I now know better.   

Nathan:  We persevered through tough conditions and challenges like Rocky training to defeat Apollo Creed.    

Eddie:  I rocked at embracing new experiences on this ST trip.  

Lily:  My birthday ROCKED this year.   

Mrs. Heitz:  How earth shattering to learn that when I enjoy some of my favorite treats, M&Ms and Skittles, I am consuming the mineral titanium dioxide!  

Mr. Vreeland (while ankle deep in the middle of the creek): Wow! Did you guys find as many awesome rocks as I am locating?  

Xtreme Men – Thursday – 3.29.18

Today was a great final day of Xtreme Men! After breakfast we finished up our devotion on Psalm 16. We looked at Psalm 16:9-11… “Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” There was so much for us to dive into with these verses. Ultimately, we wrapped up our discussion on being Xtreme Men of Xtreme joy, and today we learned that we can have real, lasting joy in the presence of God. In summary, we learned that Xtreme Men seek Xtreme joy in God’s presence. Today we talked about real practical ways to seek this joy in God’s presence… particularly we saw ways to see this presence and joy in prayer and in God’s Word. As David says in Psalm 16 this is the “the path of life” and the way of “fullness of joy”! Sometimes it is so easy for us to turn prayer and Scripture study and meditation into a chore or homework instead of a way of hearing the voice of God and entering into God’s presence… But, that is the MOST Xtreme thing that any man could ever do… to seek and run hard after the God and His joyous presence!

After devotion we were able to finish up our service with the City of Acworth… We were able to dig up old shrubs on main street to make the bush beds look more clean and lay more mulch to prepare for the Acworth Art Fest. The City of Acworth Parks and Recreation was so thankful for the help and service we gave this week! Please join us in continuing to pray for the Acworth Art Fest, and specifically praying that people would see the greatness of God in His creation!

Today we finished up our Xtreme sports with mountain biking. Students had a BLAST riding mountain bikes! We started our mountain bike adventure getting set up on bikes from Atlanta Cycles in Roswell. We were able to rent Trek bikes and everyone was so excited to be on such nice bikes! We then went over to Big Creek MTB Trails and explored around 10 miles of trails! There was a variety of singletrack trails with pump tracks, burms, loose rocks, tight turns and trees, roots, rock gardens, obstacles, tabletops, screaming downhills, and jumps. We all had a blast! Many students said this was their favorite outing of the week!

Overall the Xtreme Men trip was a blast! We were so blessed to serve the City of Acworth and prepare the city for a beautiful welcome of the Acworth Art Fest. It was also so great to see students dive into Psalm 16 and discuss the Xtreme joy we can have in God gifts, the saints, creation, and God presence! It was also so much fun to participate in so many Xtreme sports and activities this week as we laughed together, competed together, and challenged and encouraged each other.

Xtreme Men 2018 will be one to remember!