Group in Times Square

See our Group in Times Square on a web cam … click here!

Worship with our family … saying good-bye to them …

New York City!!!



Kellee’s Final Post

What an amazing trip.  I am so glad that I was able to be a part of this past week.  The people at Newborn Wesleyan Church were some of the most generous, giving, sweet people I have ever met.  There was rarely a day when they didn’t surprise us with some kind of treat, plantains, freezie pops on a hot day, or even just nice cold water bottles.  Our week of VBS was one I think we will all remember for a very long time.  Some of the children touched a very deep place in our hearts.  The girls loved playing with our hair, painting our nails (we bought the nail polish to do their nails, the next day they did ours!) and just hanging out with us.  The boys were active, but I found two little boys that just craved the hugs that I gladly gave them.  The Worship Service on Sunday was like none I have ever been to!  Those people love to sing…loud!  We talked to one of the men of the church after the service and asked him if there were any new people this week because of the VBS.  He said he figured there were about 20 extra people that are not a part of the church.  That’s a pretty big number for a church of just under 100.  Another of our highlights was the teenage boys who hung around most of the week then showed up for the Sunday School hour on Sunday.  They got scared off before the worship service, but we were so glad they made that first step.  Mark got two of the boys email addresses and one of them has already communicated with him.  Pray that he will continue to have an impact on those boys lives.  Many of us took addresses of the children.  My prayer is to continue to show those children the love of Christ even if just through our letters.  Many of them will face difficult lives in the city, hopefully they will overcome. As we left there were many tears and hopes for a chance to meet again some day.  Thank you again for all of your prayers, I hope that you will continue to pray for Newborn Wesleyan Church and the children that we were able to minister to this week.

Kellee Ruhl

Steve Arnold-isms

This post is not written by Steve Arnold, but by the group about Steve Arnold.  He is our prime motivator … taking a few minutes each morning to get our blood pumping and the Spirit flowing!  Here are just a few things he has inspired us with:

  • If you take the letters in the word “attitude” and assign them a number (such as a=1, t=20, and so on) … they will add up to 100%!
  • You can’t spell “Jesus” without U.
  • You can’t spell “Wesleyan” without WE.
  • We’re in NewARK, the ark was in the Old Testament, so get out there and give them some Old Testament.
  • Now get out there and give ’em heaven
  • And the “Golden Plaintain” award goes to …

Mission Team … feel free to add more through the comments …

So last night we got back from Newark, New Jersey around ten o’clock and I have had some time to think about what has happened and how it impacted me. When we left for Newark last Saturday, I was going there to share God’s love to the kids in the city with the mission team. I have learned many things since then because of the people in New Born Wesleyan Church. The thing they always say is “you visit once, then you’re family” but I agree with Pastor Ray when he says that after about not even a minute in their church, you feel like family. They made us feel so welcomed and loved that it seemed like we had known each other longer than a week by the end of the trip. The first night we were there, they made a huge dinner for us to welcome us there. They were the most hospitable group of people I have met in my entire life. Their kindness reflected how much they loved God and how important He was to them. They taught me how to show that a relationship with Christ is the most important thing in my life and material things don’t matter as long as you and Jesus are best friends. Their services were so passionate for God and it was a lesson I personally needed to learn. God has been so good to give us those people in our lives and I hope whoever is reading this will continue to pray for these people because they deal with a lot less than we do.

Even the VBS kids from the city who didnt know Jesus taught me some things even though I was supposed to be teaching them about Christ. Lots of kids that came had many family members with them. Kids would be telling me about their brothers, sisters, and cousins that were also at VBS all the time and it was hard to keep track of who was related to who. But what I learned about myself from them is that family is the best thing on this earth and to my family, I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!!! The kids and their families were so close and they all looked out for each other like a family should.

Throughout the trip, we went through the book of Philippians and answered questions about what Paul wrote to the church in Philippi. Although the questions were challenging at times, they made you think about what you were reading and learn from it. The devotional book PRay gave us was a great tool to help us to challenge ourselves. Paul was telling the people of the church how to live a Christ-driven life. One of the days the passage spoke to me because one of my favorite verses was in the reading. Philippians 1:20 says “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed but will have sufficient so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or death. For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Paul was in prison at the time and was telling the Philippians that he would rather die because he would be with God, but if God wanted him to live he wanted to share God’s love to more people. The things that Paul said about your relationship with Jesus was what I saw in the people at New Born Wesleyan Church. They were so loving because they had God’s love to share.

VBS went great this week and I had about four or five kids in my group accept Christ as their Savior. Whether they will remember it later on or not I don’t know, but it is in God’s hands now and I ask you to pray for those kids at VBS. If they do live with Christ in their lives then in their environment it will be hard to keep their focus on Him. The kids at VBS were great and I will never forget them. This week was one of the most impacting weeks of my life and I hope the kids saw God through me as I saw Him through them.

I want to thank everyone for their prayers and support in this trip, because without you guys, the trip couldn’t have happened. It was definatly what I like to call a “God thing”. I love you guys so much and thank you!!!!!

The activities we did was go swimming in a church member’s pool, visit New York City, and the girls got their hair done. When we went swimming, we had a lot of chicken fights and Shaun got everyone to make a whirlpool which got going really fast. In New York City, we went to the crown of the Statue of Liberty and walked around Times Square. It was awesome. Then Saturday night we went to a habotchi resturant where they make your food right in front of you. This past week was a great week and I want to thank Ray and Mary for putting it together and putting up with us for 9 days. 😀

The Last Morning

I don’t know if this will be the last entry or not.  My plan is to encourage the teens to write up a final entry with all of their thoughts on the weekend, but to have them do it before we leave this afternoon will be crazy.

As I sit and type at 6:09 AM after a week filled with work, fun & excitement, I can’t help but to feel content — not simply because I am so exhausted that I might not wake up until Wednesday morning.  No, my contentment comes from above.  There were PLENTY of things that didn’t go according to my plan, things that we didn’t accomplish that many of us wanted to do.  However, those things are over and out of my control and what was accomplished pleases the Lord as they were His things, His desires.

We touched lives this week … around 40 VBS kids came and heard the Good News of Jesus Christ (and found out that some white people from Buffalo, NY really love them).  Untold other stories of conversations & ministry that happened with those who walked by the church during the week.  The New Born Wesleyan congregation has been touched by our love and desire to serve our common Lord.  Also our group has been forever changed by this experience.

The church service is in a little less than 5 hours.  Our group will be conducting most of that worship time.  I can’t say that it will feel like being back in Orchard Park, but rather a little more like the eternal Kingdom of God.  Last Sunday, the people in Newark at this church were just faces in the sanctuary; this Sunday, we are among true friends and our brothers & sisters.  I believe our group has learned about true Christian community, why we call those who are Christians by the family terms of brothers & sisters.  I believe someone already wrote about how Pastor Frantz says “You visit once and then you’re family.”  I told him that he was mistaken … I believe the moment you walk in, you feel like a visitor, but you are family almost instantly.

Thank you for your prayers this week.  Don’t stop.  We covet your prayers as we read, sing & preach this morning.  We desire the Lord’s protection as we drive home today (for the parents reading this, we’re shooting to be home around 10 tonight).  Pray for our group as we process all that we have done & seen.  More importantly … keep praying for this congregation.  They are dear to us and they face so many struggles that we don’t even comprehend.  Pray that the Lord would grow them in numbers and in depth of their faith.  Pray for Pastor Frantz that he would continue his growth as a pastor and is able to move closer to his people (he’s currently living in Brooklyn, more than an hour away with no traffic).

Again thank you for your support & comments.  They have been dear to us these past 9 days.  Blessings on you … we’ll be home tonight

Day 8 of our Devotional

Sunday, July 19 Devotional