Thursday, June 19, 2008


Hey Family and Friends!

Another great day here in Chicago! We started the day with Summer Blast (VBS) at Sunshine, which is great! We're getting more involved with the kids and the activities like reading stories, doing the drama and helping with games. The smaller group broke off and went to finish the jungle that was growing in Mrs. Johnson's backyard. It was CRAZY! We took before and after pictures that you'll have to see when we come back. It was a mess before, but we completely transformed it, and she was really grateful.

Then we got the afternoon off! We were supposed to go help a woman move out of her apartment because she was being evicted, but the landlord decided she can't do that, so we got a break. Some of the students hung out, some caught up on some much needed sleep. It was a nice break mid-week!

At 3pm we headed over to a place called Pacific Gardens, which is a homeless shelter that is completely green! Everything is reusable, recyclable, etc! It was a very nice place that offered 530 men and 200 women beds, and meals every night. It was awesome!

That night we got to experience some Chicago life by going to a White Sox game, which was SO fun! White Sox won 8-2 and we all had an awesome time! It was another great bonding experience for us!

This trip has been awesome so far and the kids have been great! We've had no problems what-so-ever and we're having an awesome time just serving and working hard for God. Keep praying for us, especially now that we're entering the later half of the week. Now we're starting to feel it--we're tired and need strength to keep going full speed. Also pray that we continue to have open hearts! Also pray for Katie, one of our girls, who came down with a fever. Pray for healing and strength for her!


~The Chicago Team~

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Hey Family and Friends!

Tuesday was an awesome day for us! We started the day with a little extra sleep...15 minutes! It may not seem like much, but trust us, it is! We definitely appreciated it. We started our day by heading over to Sunshine to do the Summer Blast (VBS) with the neighborhood kids. A smaller group of us headed over to a friend of Sunshine's house to do some MAJOR yard work! We worked on Mrs. Johnson's backyard armed with axes and attacking all the overgrown plants and trees in her yard. It was CRAZY! So crazy we didn't finish the job in one day and will be heading back over to her house today (Wednesday).

We also got a chance to experience the "L" train today. We rode from the beginning of the train to the very last stop on the other end of the train. We split up and sat on different cars and got to know some of the people who ride the trains. We were pushed out of our comfort zones, but it was an awesome experience. We got to experience the people of Chicago and the city, and we got to watch how both the scenery and the demographics of the city changed as we left one area and entered another. When we were done, all of us had stories to share about what we had experience and about the people we had met.

Finally, we headed home and made a spaghetti dinner. Joel, the Sunshine "boss", came over to wrap up the day by talking about what it really means to be rich, especially in the context of Christianity and wealth in the eyes of Christ.

Today (Wednesday), we're going to get the Chicago experience by eating some deep dish pizza and going to a White Sox game!

Keep praying for us! Pray that our eyes are continuing to be opened and that we keep seeing and experiencing God in this city. THANKS!

~The Chicago Team~

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Chicago Fun!

Hey Family and Friends!!

We made it to Chicago!! Finally! If you remember, we left at 10:30am and we didn't arrive until 9PM! We forgot that part of 94 was closed and ended up taking a detour that lasted 2 and 1/2 hours with stop and go, bumper to bumper traffic. But what could have been a bad (and grumpy) situation was actually great! It gave the group more time to bond and hang out and play games! So we really didn't mind the delay at all!

When we arrived, Shawn, the city host from Sunshine, met us at Ellis Avenue Church. Ellis Ave. Church is a church in the middle of a really nice neighborhood. It was a house originally, and still looks that way, but functions as a church. It's also on the same block as Barrack Obama's house...and yes, we've driven by to check it out already and the security is VERY tight!

Monday we woke up ready for a day of fun and hard work! The boys made breakfast and the ladies packed the lunches and we were off! We went to Sunshine's building, only a few blocks away, and helped with their VBS called Summer Blast! We did skits, crafts, snacks, games, etc, with the neighborhood kids.

The next stop was the Pui Tak Center in Chinatown. Some students went early, but eventually the whole group made it. At the center we helped make copies of files and record voices for the ESL classes they have. We also got a chance to work with and meet the Chinese immigrants who will use all those things. We even got to teach them a little about using computers. We worked here until 8pm, which was kinda a long day, but we enjoyed it!

We wrapped up the day by heading back "home" to Ellis Avenue and having a closing session with Joel, the head guy of Sunshine. We talked about Psalm 91 and the homeless people and how God views them and such.

Tuesday we're heading back to help with the VBS again. We're also going to get some experience riding the "L" train and interacting with the people on it while having them take a survey too. Then later we're going to head over to a person in the neighborhood's house who needs their backyard cleaned out.

We're excited for what God is doing and how He is using us here! Keep praying for us!

Also, if you'd like to leave comments click on the # comments link. Then leave your comments and sign your name and choose anonymous below it. THANKS!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Chicago Here We Come!

Hey Friends!

Our Chicago trip is getting closer and closer and I can't wait to see how God is going to work! It has been amazing to see how our group has bonded and grown in these past few months as we near closer to our send-off!
Speaking of send-off...Our send-off service for the Chicago Urban Missions Team is next Friday the 13th at 7:00 pm in the Hillside Rooms here at Wooddale. I hope all of you can come and help pray for and support our team before we leave. You'll have a chance to see what the week is going to look like for us and also here from the students on their expectations for the trip before we go!
Just a reminder for everyone we leave after the 9am service on Sunday June 15th and will return around 6pm on Sunday June 22nd. We appriciate those of you that are already praying for this trip and the students going and hope for your continued prayers throughout our week-long mission to the Windy City!

In Him,

Jeremy Lanning