Sunday, July 22, 2012

It's Sunday Morning Worship

"At the table Jesus sets, all are welcome. We are one community in Christ." --Bishop Mark S. Hanson, 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Service Project - Deconstruction

 Waiting to board the bus to the service project for Practicing Justice day.

Lots of hands on today...deconstruction of homes on corner of 4th and Dereigney St. We are in the group assigned to removing nails from cypress and pine boards that they want to keep for reuse. They are also saving bricks and restocking them.

Friday, July 20, 2012


If you would like to share in the Superdome (aka Lutherdome) speakers and music this evening, the live web link is available at

Friday's Project...

At 1pm today the youth were trained and then started building the frame for a home. Nails and hammers...and a bunch of Lutheran "studs", pray for steady hands.
They are building three homes for Slidell, Louisiana families.  These homes will be delivered to the families by Sunday.

Friday Morning Worship

Morning worship....getting us all up and pumping. The message: "You are mine, I have called you by name. You are my beloved child," says the Lord.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thursday update...

Here is what I (Mindy) have learned  about their day:
They practiced discipleship today and were marked with the cross of Christ...
As they walked around the city today they found multiple little notes from God...
 Then when they got to the Superdome (aka LutherDome) they waited outside watching another storm approach.
The main speaker tonight was Shane Claiborne. "Sometimes we are waiting on God, and God is waiting on us."  Think about it.
And, ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson says the youth attending the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering are making the connection between faith and life and God's work in the world with their hands. "It's just totally amazing," he says.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wednesday Evening

It was an amazing evening of music and speakers including Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson, Pr. Nadia Bolz-Weber, and more.  Then there were thunderstorms.  But that didn't keep our group from finding a place to let off some energy and meet new friends!
Katie writes: Rocking the Superdome's roof off in NOLA tonight! great start to the ELCA Youth Gathering with 33,000 of our closest friends!:D

River Boat- You Too Can Share in the Gathering!

Today, our youth explore the Mighty Mississippi on a river boat cruise before the gathering officially begins.  If you would like to experience the evening gathering in the Super Dome, the Youth Gathering evening program will be live streamed each night, July 18-21, 7-8:30 p.m. Central Time with the pre-show beginning at 5:30 p.m., and worship on Sunday, July 22, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. Central time.  Here is the link...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A bit blurry, but they made it to New Orleans and are ready to explore!  Check back for updates each day.  :-)

On to New Orleans...

Today, Incarnation youth will begin their trip to the ELCA National Youth Gathering in New Orleans.  This event will be attended by over 35,000 youth and their adult leaders.  Discipleship, peacemaking, and justice are the themes they will learn about and live.  Please pray for their well-being and their spiritual growth over the next week.  We will post updates to this blog as they come available from the youth's Facebook page.  To visit that page go to

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Our travelers have arrived home - safe and sound...look for them on Sunday at church! 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Traveling home...

The team is on their way home - except for Joan who is heading to Kigali Rwanda.  Many of  them will arrive in San Diego on Wednesday evening.  Scott will be driving home from Newark.  Please keep all of them in your prayers.  We hope to post some airport reunion pictures soon, so check back.    


Friday, July 6, 2012

Elias has something to say...

The following contribution is from our own traveler-comic, Elias. Enjoy his witty reflection...
Greetings from Cameroon,
   Approximately two days ago, we ran out of food and water. This unfortunate circumstance has wreaked havoc on the sanity but more importantly, the team spirit of this year's mission group. As a result, the group has split into two factions, a mildly-Presbyterian Lutheran group and a somewhat-Catholic Lutheran group.
   The Presbyterian team managed to establish a guarded perimeter around the station's main water supply, much to the dismay of the parched Catholicites, who, nearly a day ago, ate Trevor. They are happily in possession of his fancy laptop and camera.
   In spite of this slight bump in the road, the LCI mission team has managed to participate in several large service projects including the following: building a replica of the Eiffel Tower from nothing but toothpicks and saliva, trying out some local food, giving away half eaten local food, and hosting Cameroon's first ever Harry Potter Movie Marathon.
   Thank you for your thoughts and prayers thus far; they have helped all of us (except Trevor) immensely. We hope that you continue to pray for us as we endeavor to serve God.

Joan's Text - July 6

Update from Joan:
Busy last 2 days. Yesterday we drove 3 hours to Mboula which is the sight of the first Lutheran missionaries in Cameroon. Best roads yet-  like being in the US on the paved part and the Dirt part was not too bad. It is safe to say we were in the bush. When we got there they rang the town bell & many people greeted us. They had a short service; served us breakfast and then we got started painting. It had been raining fairly steadily since 1 a.m. and we were supposed to paint the inside and the outside of church. Well guess what I learned, you can paint outside in the rain. There were women dancing, men helping us paint and 80-100 kids hanging out. We finished the whole thing along with the menfolk. They served us lunch part way through. Afterwards we gave out gum to the kids –that  was a big hit. Katie Sauer almost got run over when she had the last gum. After, we hiked up to the original mission site and then went back to the church for a thank you and prayer. Then we went back to Ngaoundere, showered and had dinner.  It was a great day over all.

Today we painted the outside of the hospital church that we had painted the inside of on Wednesday. Tomorrow we pack, have lunch with the Bishop and get on the train back to Yaoundé at 6 p.m. our time, 10 a.m. your time.  Please pray we make the journey in 12 hours this time.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

TEXT update from JOAN

Tonight we went to a BBQ at Phil & June's. We had burgers, corn, potato salad & more.
I brought those glow in the dark bracelets and the kids had a great time outside in the dark with them.
Happy forth of July to all.

Monday, July 2, 2012

From Maria, Katie, and LIBBY...

An update...
MARIA: Yesterday (Sunday) we got to go to the church service at the hospital, which unfortunately will be our only Sunday in Ngaoundere. Double unfortunately, I had to miss it because me along with others in our group were having tummy troubles. But everyone is feeling much better today. Today has been a long but exciting day. We got up at 4 am and were off to a wild animal (animals actually in the wild) park a few hours from where we're living, called Buffle Noir (black buffalo). It was a bumpy ride, literally. And a long ride, but after seeing the hippos, monkeys, crocodiles, birds, giraffes (YAY), and about a bagillion antelope-type-things, it was well worth it. We're all pretty tired now.  In addition to being ridiculously tired, I'm quite possibly in a food coma, so that's all from me for now.

KATIE:  Maria pretty much covered everything we did today, it was quite a wonderful trip! And the church service yesterday took 3 hours, but it definitely didn't seem that long! There was so much music! It was amazing to experience another culture's way of worship - while there were many similarities, there were also many differences. There were numerous songs, none of which I could understand, we took communion differently, and just the overall atmosphere of the service was different. But even though it wasn't completely the same as back home, it was still a marvelous way to spend the morning.  The trip to the wild animal park was, as Maria said, exciting! The ride was definitely bumpy, but it was totally worth it! The animals we were able to see made the trip a unique trip nonetheless. That's all I got for now. Hope all is well in SD!

LIBBY:  I hope everything is going well state-side. It's really nice being away from all the hubbub and commotion that always seems to be a part of our lives in the US. Everything is a lot calmer here and people live by simpler terms. I've had a lot of fun painting offices and sorting through supply closets. Hopefully, we'll get some bigger projects soon. Everybody seems pretty anxious about having something to do that will take a whole day or even longer. As I mentioned before, we did take a little safari side trip today. Some sort of stomach bug seems to be nabbing everyone at the most inconvenient time. Yesterday, I woke up feeling very sick and nauseous. I missed the very long church service, sadly, and just sat around all day. Today, when we went out on our safari, I was feeling a bit better, but the bumpy road didn't help much. Nonetheless, those of us who were still a bit sick powered through and it was well worth it. You better tell the Safari Park they have some high expectations to uphold... ;) Well, I hope everyone is well and I cannot wait to see you and everyone else again!! Much love!