Boston #1: The Heights are coming, The Heights are coming!

 
Our team of 12 students and 3 adults 
bags are checked, plane tickets are in hand, and we are sitting at the gate, ready to go to Boston! This week we will be joining six other churches in Boston to be apart of a missional week called SummerSalt Global. We will primarily be serving with Encounter Church, a church plant that The Heights supports. We will be staying in Dedham, a suburb of Boston.  

We should arrive in Boston early this afternoon and will go to check in at our hotel. Then we will get to spend the evening exploring Boston and getting acquainted with the city and culture. 

Just to paint a picture of the spiritual climate of Boston, less than 2% of people go to church or consider themselves religious. Boston is located in the third least religious state in America. The largest evangelical church in the town of Dedham is Encounter, with an average of 125-150 people. This is exciting, but also raises up gospel urgency. 

We are excited to come alongside Encounter, and several other church plants in town, to help build relational bridges this week. Join us in praying for the light and hope of the gospel to shine brightly through our team and the churches that we’re partnering with in Boston. 
As I was reading in the final book of the Chronicles of Narnia last night, this quote stuck out to me–“The light is dawning, the lie is broken.” Praying that the light of Christ would shine brightly and that the Spirit will break the lies of the enemy in Boston this week and beyond.

We will be posting daily updates from our time in Boston, so stay tuned! Follow @heightsstudents and check out #thsmboston16 on Instagram and Twitter to keep connected. 

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England Post #5: Abundance.

Ever have those days where so much happens you don’t know where to begin? I think it’s safe to say today is one of those days (and if I’m honest, this week is one of those weeks). Today there are an abundance of awesome stories to tell you about how God is has shown us His glory and has been moving in incredible, unexplainable ways.

Choosing two of the many stories was hard, but don’t worry, the others will be shared soon!

These past few days in Middlesbrough have been truly amazing. The Lord has moved in some awesome ways! We’ve received many challenging questions that have led to great conversations that builds relationships. Through building relationships here, we’ve been given awesome opportunities to clarify misconceptions about Christianity and wrestle through hard topics that challenge us to grow in our faith and understanding. Many of these kids are eager to know more about what we believe and practice as Christians and we are so eager to share.

Today in a year 10 (9th grade) class, I had three students engage me in a great conversation after Marisa and I shared our stories. The students were eager to know the answers to such questions as “How do you make moral decisions?” “How do you know God answers prayers?” “Why don’t all Christians live in accordance with the teachings of Jesus?” Finally, one boy (Ethan) asked the big one. “Do you think that all people who aren’t Christians go to hell?”

Fortunately the question was asked right before a break, so I had all the time I needed to give him a full answer, walking him through the fall in the garden, and explaining man’s separation from God. God gave me the opportunity to lay out the Gospel for him, while also emphasizing how separation from God breaks our hearts and fuels our sense of gospel urgency. He was very receptive. He thanked me for the answer (that was maybe more extensive than he had hoped for) and we parted ways.

It’s conversations like the one I had with my friend Ethan today that let me know that the Spirit is moving and planting seeds in King’s Academy. Ethan came away with a better understanding of what we believe and live out, as well as our purpose for being in his school.

The Lord is good as He is working through us in King’s Academy. Please pray that we will continue to be challenged, seeds will continue to be sown, and that the Lord’s presence will be known in the school.

-Clint Kruse, upcoming senior at Plano Senior High

As I write this, I sit here still in amazement of what the Lord did today in Manor! We finished up our last few formal classes with the students. The last class that we went into was one of the most rewarding.

When we walked into the class room there were a bunch of 12-13 year olds hopped up on sugar, running around with candy in their mouths, and the only thing I could think was how long, tiring, and hard this class was going to be. When we started getting into group, I began telling my story. I noticed a kid that was super interested in what I had to say. When I finished my testimony, a lot of them started getting up to get more candy, but the one boy curiously started asking questions.

I explained the gospel to Him and he told me what he believed. He said he believed some of the same things about creation, but was confused on the things about Jesus and how that affected him 2000 years later. The children around us were being crazy, but the boy (Charlie) was totally focused and wanted to know more.

It was amazing to see the Lord work on his heart. After about an hour of talking I finally asked him what he would consider himself. He said that maybe he would say he was a Christian, but he wasn’t for sure. He said he knew he was a sinner and he was in need of saving, and that Jesus died to save him. He realized it was not about anything he did or could do, but about what Jesus already did. He wanted to put his trust in something so much bigger than himself.

Eli (the gap year worker), Charlie, and I talked alone for a bit about the decision that he wanted to make. After our conversation Charlie decided that he wanted to become a son of the King and placed his faith in Jesus!!!

Looking back on this conversation I know that all the words that came out of my mouth were not mine but God’s. To all the glory be to Him, because it is the Lord that saves and not us. God just showed His goodness today as he opened the eyes of a boy to see that he was missing something. God continues to remind me of how good He is and how He continuously pursues us, day in and day out, even when we are not pursuing Him.

This reminds me of the passage in Matthew 18:10-14 that when out of 100 sheep one went astray the Shepard left the 99 to go and find the lost one. The Lord showed me how he chases after the lost people and rejoices when his child returns. I am so joyful tonight as I realize that we now have a new brother in Christ and that God is working in many people here in England! Praying for more fruitful times in the next few days and I am so thankful that the Lord lets us be part of His plan of redeeming His people.

-Payton Esparza, upcoming senior at Allen High School

Well, those stories pretty much do all the talking. God is active and moving, working perfectly to redeem all people, places and things to Himself!!! The Lord led me to this Scripture tonight as I sat down to reflect on all that He’s doing. This sums it up–

“Oh sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. The Lord has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations. He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.” Psalm 98:1-4

Our God has worked salvation on our behalf. And we have the honor and great joy of sharing that wherever we go, with everyone we meet. Pray, asking the Lord to keep stirring up a sense of gospel urgency in us as we finish out the week strong and for Him to change hearts in response to the gospel!

Also, for more photos and updates from our time here, check out @heightsstudents on Instagram and Twitter and our Heights Students Facebook page. You can also search the hashtag #thsmengland15 to be apart of the journey!

Honduras Bound!



Coming at you live from the hustle and bustle of DFW airport! 

After six months of training, prayer and preparation, a team of 11 students and 9 adults from the Heights is taking off to Honduras. We will be doing painting and work projects at the Promise Home Orphanage to continue the preparation for it to be ready to open it’s doors. We also get the privilege of putting on some Kid’s Clubs at the Promise Home Church and local schools. 

They are beginning to call for us to board our plane as I type this! We are heading to Miami, where we will have a quick connection to our flight into San Pedro Sula, Honduras tonight. We are set to arrive around 8:00 pm and then will journey about an hour to our hotel in El Progreso. 

Tomorrow morning we hit the ground running! We are looking forward to leading Children’s Church in the morning, celebrating baptisms of some locals in the afternoon and then attending church tomorrow night. 

I (Mollie) will be updating from Honduras throughout the week with pictures and blurbs about what wemre experiencing and what the Lord’s doing. 

Join us in praying 

  • For God to open our eyes to what He’s doing in Honduras
  • For Him to break our hearts for what breaks His
  • For the Lord to move and build relationships and bridge the language barrier
  • To humble us and rid us of ourselves so that we might know Him more clearly and fully
  • For the Father to rock our worlds and change everything this week

To follow what’s happening, you can keep up with this blog, @heightsstudents Twitter and Instagram, and the Heights Student Ministry Facebook page. Our official trip hashtag is #THSMhon15 for you to keep up with all the happenings of the trip!