Category Archives: Wichita

Wichita – July 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

This day was scheduled as a very long and busy day.  We would begin with devotion as usual, then head to Nueva Vida for our last day of VBS.  The craft was the Ten Truths bracelet.  It was a lot of fun and the children really seemed to enjoy it.  We combined the two younger groups so we could have a time at the end for a big group session.  At the end of the group session we presented a love offering to the Carreions along with a baby gift.  Vicky is about 3 months pregnant and due in January.  Afterwards, all the kids went outside to enjoy some watermelon.  It was delicious!

After watermelon and good-byes, we loaded up and headed to the Bel Aire Rec Complex to help the True Life Church with their Awesome Rockin’ Jam Camp. The craft today was a salvation necklace made from different colored guitar picks, black, red & white.  Black, we were are in darkness while in sin; Red, Jesus blood on the cross forgives us of our sins if we accept him as our Lord and Savior; White, we are now clean and all our sins are wiped away.  The children really enjoyed it.  This was our 3rd day with this group and one little boy raised his hand at one point and said, “I don’t mean to be rude, but why do you all keep talking about God?”  I was slightly taken aback since “talking about God” was the main reason we were even in Wichita but VERY impressed that someone of his age would be so polite and have the courage to ask such a question.  Sheila Sandefur and I were working the craft table and explained why we were in Wichita and working with them at their camp and then carried on with the craft.  It was a great learning experience for me.

After we finished the camp, we left and headed straight to the block party for the True Life Church that we were going to set up in a video store parking lot about 2 blocks away.  They conducted a block party every Thursday evening to meet people in the community and tell them about the True Life Church.  There was a bouncy slide/obstacle course, bouncy house, snocone machine, and cotton candy (my favorite).  It was a great turn out. A very steady flow of people.  We finished a little after 8pm by packing up the inflatables, etc.  Then we headed back to our base camp church.  My girls had gone back to the base camp church much earlier with Casey Rainer and Sheila Sandefur.  When Jason and I returned back to the church Sheila was giving my girls a shower.  I could have KISSED her!  She was my hero.  I was exhausted and knew that was still on my plate and could not have been more appreciative to have it done.

After we all got cleaned up we sat down for our last evening devotional and stayed up talking for a few hours.  Then off to bed and on the road headed home the next morning.  It was a wonderful experience for our entire family. I feel we each grew a little bit and I greatly enjoyed getting to know more of our church family more intimately.

I’m looking forward to next year.

Written by Karin Alvarado

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Posted by on August 1, 2010 in Judea, Wichita


Wichita – July 2010

After arriving home from a week in Wichita, I received the question many times of “How was your trip?” The traditional, “Well, it was good” usually suffices. But then I received a different question, or rather a demand of sorts, from a co-worker. “Give me one highlight of the week.” For me, that highlight was the same as it was last year. Getting to live in community with others from your church body is an experience that you can’t really explain until you’ve been a part of it yourself. For some of us, we were able to build on relationships established last year in Wichita and continued at UBC throughout the year. For others, we enjoyed beginning new friendships that hopefully will continue to grow as well. It was something really special to stand in the choir on Sunday morning and look out at four or five different families and have a new appreciation for each one of them. The smiles and greetings in the hallway are different now after having spent a week on mission together. That’s one highlight for me that doesn’t stop even though we’re not in Kansas anymore.

Written by Rebekah Burns

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Posted by on July 27, 2010 in Judea, Wichita


Wichita – July ’10

This has been an exciting week of ministering within our Judea here in Wichita.  Thirty-nine adults and kids from UBC have served tirelessly (or should I say selflessly – since we are tired!) all week.  Here is a glimpse into what our week has been like.

During the mornings we worked with Carlos & Vickie Carreron who are a Hispanic Church planting couple.  They have planted Nueva Vida Bautista Iglesia in the central part of the city.  Our team led in a VBS, teaching on the story of Joseph, as well as leading a soccer camp.  We had a full group of kids each day from ages four all they way up to teenagers.  On Thursday we concluded the VBS by sharing the Gospel (God, Man, Christ, Response) to the entire group and connecting how Joseph fits in the bigger redemption story and serves as a type to Christ.  We also served watermelon as we concluded our time with them.

In the afternoon we worked with True Life Church in the Bel Aire community of Wichita.  TLC, as it’s known, has yet to launch their weekly services.  They are currently doing monthly pre-launch services in anticipation of their official launch on October 10th (10-10-’10).  This summer, as a way to get the word out, they have been leading ‘Awesome Rockin’ Jam Camps’.  Our team helped host one of these camps which consisted of similar components to a VBS.  TLC’s leadership team is aiming to make connection points with families who come to these Jam Camps in hopes to build their core team.

On Thursday evening we hosted a block party for TLC following the Jam Camp within the community.  We had the blow-up jumper games along with sno-cones and cotton candy machines.  Many new prospects were introduced to TLC throughout the evening as we displayed the love of Christ to the Bel-Aire area.

We pray all in all that the Gospel was displayed, demonstrated through compassion, and declared with boldness throughout Wichita this week, and that lasting fruit is born for years to come.

Written by Ryan Martin

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Posted by on July 23, 2010 in Judea, Wichita


Wichita – July 2009

Since the Wichita mission trip I have thought many times about what made the experience so unique and why I look back with such fond memories of the time we shared together. Someone commented during the trip that we had shared at least three years worth of fellowship in our week together. I don’t mean fellowship like we like to call it when we have a cookout in the backyard. I mean true koinonia…..sharing the love of Christ in the context of multigenerational biblical community. Koinonia was experienced as we ministered to the needs of others motivated out of a love for them and a love for the Gospel…backyard bible clubs, soccer camp, and construction projects. Koinonia expressed itself through serving our own team in love, meeting the physical, temporal, practical needs of the members of our team with an eternal mindset rooted in a love for others because of Jesus. This was seen as some worked to serve our physical needs through preparing meals for us or as others stopped loud games early for the sake of younger children who needed their rest. It was expressed through a thoughtful phone call from one team member to another to offer to bring back a favorite drink from Sonic. It was expressed through laughter, hard work, worship and sharing. Families, singles, teenagers, empty-nesters, newly weds, and grandparents all working together as the body of Christ….what a blessing to be a part of it all. I miss waking up each morning and greeting my brothers and sisters in Christ and going to bed at night after a long day of serving together and sharing our time of family worship together as one big family.

Before the trip I was feeling anxious about the details….what was I thinking? How would our baby do? Would he sleep? Could I really pull this off with our family of nine? As we got into the trip it became obvious that we were truly going to function as a team…as a family…I relaxed and enjoyed the beauty of the unity of the Spirit in action.

Written by Michelle McCollum

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Posted by on July 31, 2009 in Judea, Wichita


Wichita – July 2009

I want to write a couple of blogs touching on some of the key impressions that God burned upon my heart.  Before I move to the specific ministries we worked with or the people we ministered to, I want to share about our team.  I’m always amazed at how perfect the team is for the particular mission that God has called us to be a part of.  Whether it’s going to the end of the earth or across our church parking lot, God assembles teams that meet the specific needs and challenges of the mission.  This was so true of our mission trip to Wichita, KS. 

As you read through the various blogs and look at the pictures, you’ll see that we IMG_3575worked among three very different ministries.  What you don’t see is all that takes place behind the scenes.  When Ryan and I first went to Wichita for a vision tour, we sensed God leading us to three specific ministries.  The first was a cowboy church that expressed a desire to put on an arena event in order to reach into the western culture of Haysville, KS (just south of Wichita) with the gospel.  We didn’t know anything about cowboy events but were eager to learn and willing to give it our best.  A few weeks before we were to leave, the pastor of the cowboy church called and said that his church was not ready for such an event but would like for our team to do some projects around their facilities.  So that’s what we did.  Our team had the skills needed to accomplish all of the projects given to us.  The church needed wood floor laminate put down.  I looked over and one of our team members was putting on his kneepads.  Two members of our team had experience in laying flooring and did a beautiful job in completing the project.  

A good number of our team including youth and children cleaned out a couple of junk rooms, painted them, and converted them into functional rooms.  Sure, there was quite a bit of paint on our younger team members, but the rooms looked fantastic and our IMG_3576paint crew had a great time with the project.  The church also had some cabinets in storage and our team hauled them to their “chuck wagon” room and installed them.  Another handful of our team disassembled some fencing that connected their two building and converted the space into a double swinging gate.  Others built two large shelving units and installed several thresholds.  We also cleaned up the inside of their church and had it ready for their next worship gathering.  We closed out the evening with a jamboree and had several groups, individuals, and a family from our team share in song. 

Our second ministry was going to be working with a pastor wanting to plant a new church on the west side of town.  Several days before we left, we received word that he decided not to move forward with the church start.  We were going to throw a block party for the ministry and do some surveying in the community.  We were connected with another ministry that is in its formative stage. IMG_3616 This ministry is targeting youth by converting an empty church building near the schools into a youth outreach and ministry center.  We set up our block party on the grounds of the future ministry and canvassed the area.  Again, I was blown away by the efficiency of our team.  Everyone had a job and worked as a well-tuned machine in setting it all up, running it, and then breaking it all back down.  I won’t go into detail here, but it was a large outreach that seemed almost effortless.  The next evening I asked for volunteers to do some canvassing.  I was a little nervous because the survey was really not a survey but rather a door-to-door evangelist push.  We had not prepared the team for this type of evangelism.  Again, I was amazed at the willingness of the team to participate and at the wonderful opportunities we had to verbally share the gospel. 

Our third ministry was working with a Hispanic church plant in south-central Wichita.  Again, when Ryan and I first visited this ministry, the pastor mentioned IMG_3632that a soccer camp would be the perfect outreach for the neighborhood children and youth.  Two of our team members had experience in coaching soccer and one is presently a coach in our Fayetteville school system.  They did an incredible job teaching skills and overseeing games while at the same time interjecting spiritual truths into the teaching.  Others on our team lead various parts of a backyard Bible club including Bible stories, puppets, drama, music, crafts, snacks, etc.  All I can say is our team was incredible! 

Then, there is all that takes place outside of the mission projects.  Our ladies overseeing the feeding of the multitude worked miracles in the kitchen.  Our worship times and missionary lessons were a rich blessing.  Everyone involved in cleanup and a host of other responsibilities poured themselves out with hearts of humility and servanthood.  I consider it a huge blessing to have had the opportunity to serve alongside every individual on this team.

Written by John Mueller

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Posted by on July 26, 2009 in Judea, Wichita


Wichita – July 2009

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” – Galatians 6:9-10
This week in Wichita carried the special blessing of living out the gospel among our church family while serving those in various Kansas communities. It was such an encouragement to see the love of Christ displayed throughout the group as people volunteered to serve our team in a multitude of ways regardless of their health and energy levels. This Scripture was truly manifested in the lives of our team as we reaped the joy of serving the Lord together.

As I thought back on the week, though, I found myself wondering why we did find such joy in serving while on the trip. The tasks that were given to us were very similar to the tasks that we face at home – washing dishes, feeding babies, vacuuming floors, etc. In my own life, why am I so willing and eager to do those things on a mission trip while at home I find myself struggling to do just a simple task with a smile? Why do we see our Judea, Samaria or Ends of the Earth opportunities as being something greater than what we are given opportunity to do in our Jerusalem? Throughout the Scriptures, we see Jesus commanding His followers to return to their homes and to bless their own families because of the blessings that had been poured out upon them. May we now do the same thing in our own homes and among our church body.

Written by Rebekah Burns

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Posted by on July 26, 2009 in Judea, Wichita


Wichita – July 2009

IMG_3593Our entire trip was a blessing!  The church where we stayed blessed us with true Christian hospitality.  Not only did they let us invade their education wing and take over their kitchen, but they even invited us to get anything we needed for VBS from their supply closet!  Angela, Debbie, and Vickey worked constantly to provide wonderful meals for us, and all the children got along beautifully, even by the time tired and cranky might have been understandable.    The whole team worked together very well.

While the entire trip was a blessing, that doesn’t mean it was all easy.  We had some pretty tough kids at the VBS we held for the Hispanic church Monday through Wednesday.  Daniel and Jasmine, the pastor and his wife, have only recently moved to the area to begin this small church which currently has five families.  The need among the children who came is great.  Our numbers grew each day (60 by the end), likely because we were feeding snacks and sending lunch with the children each day.  Though some may have come for physical nourishment, we hope and pray that by God’s grace, they received the seeds of eternal, spiritual nourishment. 

It is heart-breaking to think of the circumstances in which many of these children live, in poverty and in the midst ofIMG_3613 gang violence.  A few of the older children seemed quite hardened already while others, like Luis, seemed to wage an almost visible war between their desire to hear hope and an obvious peer pressure to follow the older, more cynical children.  Luis would start out doing the motions to our music or listening to the puppet presentation and Bible story but then would glance behind or around him to see what the others were doing.  I could read the struggle on his face.  He wanted to participate; at least part of him wanted to hear.  Honestly, he tended to go with the tougher crowd, but the hope I saw was in his hesitation to follow them.  I am praying that God will fuel the desire for His hope and salvation beyond Luis’s ability to resist.   There were other children who knew the answers to the questions we asked and who eagerly participated.  Some just remained silent.  Only God knows which way any of them will turn in the end, but some of those faces are burned into my mental prayer list, and I hope God never allows them to fade.  I pray that one day we will all worship together, no hesitation, no looking around, eyes fixed only on Jesus.  Amen!

Written by Mitzi Bingaman

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Posted by on July 26, 2009 in Judea, Wichita