Tag Archives: Spring Term 2014

Baseball Missions Team – Day 5

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What an incredible week!

We woke up yesterday morning, got packed up and loaded everything onto the bus. After cleaning our cabins thoroughly, we went down to the dinning hall at Camp Grace and ate a fantastic breakfast. Then we hopped on the buses and made our way to Turner Field home of The Atlanta Braves.

The funny part about this portion of the trip is that NO ONE stayed awake except for Coach Pager and myself, of course.

We got to Turner Field and it was pouring down rain, but we started our tour anyway. Getting to hear some things about the stadium that we never knew was really cool – which window is the press box, where does the announcer sit, who keeps the official score, how they keep up with statistics during games. All of this was really interesting. I think for me the most interesting part was getting to go on to the field and seeing it from the perspective big league ball players see it from. We were then able to sit in the Braves dugout and dream a little bit, then went through the museum and saw the history of the oldest baseball franchise to date. It was just a really neat experience over all.

After our tour, we continued up interstate 75 a couple miles and ate at the Varsity. This is always just a great experience and for me a tradition after going to a Braves game. So it was only fitting that we went as a team and enjoyed our last meal of the week together.

What a cool way to close out our week!

We had the privilege of serving at a homeless shelter, playing baseball with the Miracle League, serving at Camp Grace, and touring Turner Field. In between all that, we also managed to pick up two region wins! But more importantly, and above all else, we were all able to bond closer together as a team and see each other open up, become more vulnerable with each other, and found new ways that we can encourage each other with confidence and God’s perfect love. I personally was blown away this week and based on the response from the guys, I think they were too.

Thanks for such a great opportunity and for sending these guys on this trip. We had a Blast!

Blessings to you all!

Coach Poplin
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Gettysburg Team – Day 5

Our final day at Gettysburg started wet and cold, but our kids were troopers anyway. We walked Pickett’s Charge in the rain and mud, imagining the bravery of the men who did it in heat and gunfire. We then got to tour the cavalry operations of the third day of battle, followed by touring the national cemetery at Gettysburg. Talk about powerful!

We followed up our box lunches with a tour of the Hall of Presidents, seeing replicas of the presidents and their First Ladies and hearing a brief description of each.

From there, we loaded the bus and are on our way back to BWI and, from there, gorgeous Atlanta!
Thanks be to God for the terrific kids we’ve had on this trip. No complaints and great attitudes and punctuality and responsibility! Thanks be to God for safe travels and no illnesses or injuries. He is abundantly good to his children; His love endures forever!

Zack Shaffer
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Makers Team – Day 5

Our day began with a visit from the adorable kindergarten children from Mrs. Thaxton’s class. We thanked them for praying for us and then showed them around. Each student showed them something he had been working on (lights that light up, noises, buttons, etc.). They also learned a little bit about a few tools. We let them put some wires into the breadboard, too. Then Josh & Jesse demonstrated the robot. We enjoyed the children’s enthusiasm!

The rest of the day was self-directed and the guys stayed on task quite well. Looks like we hung an Arduino board or two, but at the end of the day everybody left with a working kit. That alone is amazing! Everyone made progress. Bill completed his wood box for his music box, made up a new song on the Arduino, battery-powered it, and began creating the enclosure to house it. Jason added another row of LEDs for his cube. Jesse cut apart his strip board and moved a few steps closer on his LED project. Joseph got his Simon game soldered, snipped, and working. Vinnie put knobs on his potentiometers and finished mounting the audio jack. Josh, well, he gets the perseverance award for the day. Due to a frustrating “feature” he spent most of the day trying to figure out how to fix a hung Arduino. We were unable to revive it, but fortunately I picked up an extra Arduino the other day so he will be able to continue working on his proximity-sensor project at home.

While we enjoyed pizza for lunch, Vinnie shared a favorite verse for his devotional:
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” I Timothy 4:12
He said that even if others seem to dismiss you because of your age, don’t believe the lie that what you do isn’t valuable and important. Youth can make a huge difference. Youth can accomplish important tasks. What youth do matters. However, it’s important to remember that this will only happen if good choices are made concerning speech, conduct, and how others are treated. He challenged the students to be an example that others could follow.  It made me think about how all those little 5-year olds were looking up to these guys and who knows what kind of impact they could be on these precious little ones.

Everyone’s favorite part of the day was cleaning up the lab – well, not really – but I’m pleased to say that everyone had a good attitude and our goal was to make it cleaner and nicer than when we arrived. I think Mr. Carr will be pleasantly surprised when he comes back to school!

In closing, I had such a blast this week watching these young men grow and learn. Watching them struggle and succeed. Watching them encourage each other and serve other people. Watching them grow in self-discipline and self-confidence. What a blessing to be a part of this rich experience!

Barb Fox
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Local Missions Team – Day 5

Today we headed to Seven Bridges to Recovery where we joined forces with Cornerstone Prep School. We assembled sack lunches to give to the homeless who live under the Interstates in downtown Atlanta. We learned that the D.O.T. had gone in on Thursday and cleared out the area, so there were not as many people as usual. We were dreading going out in the rain, but we were reminded that we have a home to go back to and the homeless do not. Once we arrived at the Interstate, we realized that what we were doing was very meaningful. We found many homeless people wrapped up in blankets in order to stay warm and dry and gave them sack lunches and prayed with them. All of the people we met were so gracious.

I must say that I have a completely different perspective of the homeless after this experience. It is one thing to hear about it and study about it, but seeing it first hand is eye opening. I am ashamed for complaining about anything. I have so much, and these people have so little, yet they remain faithful to God. I believe this is exactly what most of our students came away with also. I feel that we were far more blessed by these homeless people, than they were by us.

Kelly Staud
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Xtreme Men – Day 5

Because of rain, Xtreme had to change up our plans. We started with a great breakfast at Paradise Donuts! Zach Bollinger said the Oreo donuts were awesome. We had to cancel our paintball activity, to Mr. Williams’ sad regret. Instead we played Ultimate kickball and then we went to lunch at Subway.

After a good hearty lunch, we headed over to Skyzone. The guys had a great time playing Skyzone Dodgeball and Dunk Contests. All in all it was a great week for Extreme men. We had a lot of laughs and a great time and we learned being extreme is pretty tough!

Aaron Williams
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Offstage Atlanta Team – Day 5

I’m so sad for this to be the last blog! What a super week we’ve had!

Today was a perfect ending to a perfect week. We started off the day by driving over to Decatur to meet up with Terri James at Thumbs Ups Diner! We all enjoyed some FANTASTIC breakfast while we chatted with Terri. If you haven’t heard the name, she is an actress on lots of television shows and has a good resume! She has worked on The Vampire Diaries, Drop Dead Diva, Nashville, and Army Wives, to name a few shows! On most of these shows, she’s had a couple episodes where she works in a multi-episode arc. We were all amazed to hear from all her experiences!

She talked to us about how to get in the business and gave us advice about how to get acting work. It was super interesting to hear all that it takes, but it definitely sounds like a fun job! Terri loves her job and loves all the things she is able to be apart of, so it really inspired all of us to do what we love.

After leaving Thumbs Up, we headed over to Icon Studios where we met with Nate Butler. Nate is an awesome singer-songwriter and producer, but even more – a strong Christian believer! Even in the short time that we had with him, he went into a few “preaching sessions” before getting back on track!

In the studio, he shared his life story with us and how he came to be where he is. He continually stressed having connections and making friends with everyone, which is one thing that everyone we have encountered this whole week has stressed! When one of our group asked how to avoid getting discouraged when you are trying to get some work, Nate told the story of David and how even though he was a shepherd boy, God was already watching him and knew just where he was, along with where he was destined to be! It was so good! He also encouraged us by telling us that if we really want to do something and we know we are called to it, we can’t stop for anything to get there.

Nate has done tons of work, and has sold over 45 million records with songs that he has written! One interesting thing that he talked about is that with his work in the music industry, he often produces rappers and artists that might not always be considered the most appropriate. Because of this, he explained to us that he often receives criticism from the Christian community. We all loved when he described that despite this, he remains solid in his faith and lives it out strongly. He explained how he feels that it is possible he might be the only reflection of Jesus that some people see, and even in the short time that he is with them, he can try to be a light to them. So inspiring! We all were absolutely blown away by Nate’s knowledge and unwavering faith, and he was definitely a highlight of the week.

After this, we went over to meet with Palmer Williams, who is an actor for Tyler Perry. Mrs. Wallace has gotten to know him over the years through a neighbor of hers. He has done a little bit of everything in acting and singing! We met him at his friend’s recording studio, and he talked a lot about recording. He and his friends had such a great knowledge for everything concerning entertainment, and we were able to get some great advice from them. All of us stepped away super happy that we were able to end the week there!

We took a quick lunch stop at Cumberland Mall on the way home, and it was super bittersweet that it was our last moments together for Spring Term. By the time that we got home, we were all so excited for Spring Break, but so sad that this week was over. Overall, Offstage Atlanta has been absolutely amazing, and truly such an incredible experience! I’d say it was a huge success for all of us!

Austin Geter, 9th grade
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Xtreme Men Team – Day 4

Day 4 was the toughest day for the Xtreme Men. Mr. Faulk did an devotion on how to treat women- that was good. Then we went to Publix in Alpharetta to take a grilling class. Keyshawn and Hunter were “killing it” on the grill. The grilled up some flank steak, potatoes, and squash. Then everyone got to eat what they cooked. They guys were much better grillers than the girls (Proverbs 31:30) according to popular sentiment. We were told their steaks were much more flavorful, tender, and juicy!

After lunch, we went to Blanket’s Creek Mountain Bike Trail in Canton. It was a very hard trail, almost straight uphilll. So hard, we found out, that some of the guys’ bikes were not so extreme. Half of the Xtreme men had to turn back because their chains broke, tires popped, or they crashed. Hunter Ware almost took out the entire basketball team! Conner Kailey flipped over the handle bars twice. After a very high climb up the mountain, we had a very fun downhill. It was crazy fast with huge roots, big rocks, and fast-sharp turns. We ended the run going down the EXPERT trail. Stephon rocked the run going very high on a 90 degree-banked turn. All the guys were cut up, torn up, and worn down after day 4 of being extreme!

Aaron Williams
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