Sixth Grade Party 2019

Tomorrow night, from 7:00pm-8:30pm we will be celebrating our Sixth Graders at our Annual Sixth Grade Party.


The goal of our party is to welcome the graduating 6th Graders into EBCYG which is our youth group at Eastport Bible Church.  Youth Group is for teens.  It runs all year round and our goal is to love and support teens while teaching them all sorts of great things about how much God loves them.


We’ve done our Sixth Grade party for a few years now and it’s always a fun event.  Also fun fact, the three to the right below are all graduating Seniors this year.


And these girls all just finished their first year of college.  I share this to say, the time really does fly by.  If you’re a parent, you know this all too well.  And if you’re a parent of a teen, you know how challenging these years can be.  But I have this theory that life was never meant to be lived alone and that it really does take community to not just survive, but to thrive during this time.


So parents, this is your invitation as well.  Let us help your awesome teens as they navigate throughout the Jr. and Sr. High years.  We have some amazing summer events that your teen can come be involved in.


First off, July 7th-11th, we are taking our teens to NTS Camp.  You can find all the info here.  As a parent and as a youth leader I could not stress more the positive impact a week of camp can make on your child.  NTS is absolutely incredible and we would love to have your son or daughter join us!  Feel free to reach out anytime for more information.


In addition to camp, we run Youth Group at the beach all summer long.


We meet up on Wednesdays from 6:00pm-8:30pm for drop off and pick up at Eastport Bible Church.  Then we head down to the beach for games, a lesson time and small groups.  It’s an absolutely beautiful and fun way to spend a summer night.


And then August 5th-9th from 9:00am-10:00 noon, we have our annual VBS Kids Camp and your graduating 6th grader is invited to join us!  Camp is for Kindergarten through 7th Grade and we have an absolute blast.


Registration can be found at and VBS Kids Camp is the perfect way to end the summer.  Your child will have an incredible time with friends and we would love to have them join us.


Also, there is slime and a nice family picnic on the last day that you won’t want to miss.


As a parent of a soon to be 10th and 7th grader, I know how tricky these years can be.  But I’m also so thankful for the amazing impact that EBCYG (Eastport Bible Church Youth Group) has had on our son and will soon have on our daughter.  If you have any questions at all, please feel free to reach out to me on Facebook or email: and I’d be happy to help in any way that I can.

And if you have a graduating 6th Grader, please send them down to our Sixth Grade party, tomorrow, Wednesday June 5th from 7:00-8:30pm.  Our 6th Grade party is also open to all Jr. and Sr. High students.  We will have some snacks and we are playing fun games with water balloons so they will want to prepare for that.  Hope to see them there!


Breakaway 2019

A few weekends ago, we loaded a bus full of leaders and students and we drove to Pennsylvania to break away.  What follows will seem like a lot when it comes to pictures, but really is just a small glimpse of the great weekend that we had.  Words will be shared as needed and thank you for stopping by.


She was two and a half months old when we took her to Breakaway for the very first time and this year was her twelfth year coming to our retreat.  And while she’s still technically too young for Youth Group, all that will change in just a few months.  How that is possible, I do not know.





In honor of our Superhero theme, we came up with a game that we called “Soup or Hero.”  Let’s just say that it would have been better had the soup been hot and the hero’s pre-made.  Oh well.  You win some and you lose some when it comes to made up Breakaway games.  If sixteen years of winter retreats has taught me anything, it’s that.


Quick shout out to this guy.  Jeremy and I met Rick Pilieci when we were young and in love at Grace Bible College.  In the years that would follow, we’d continue a friendship with him and his amazing family while they moved to Michigan from Long Island and we to Long Island from Michigan.  Rick is currently the campus pastor at the now Grace Christian University, and he was our Breakaway speaker this year.  He did a phenomenal job connecting with our students and sharing God’s word and we are so thankful for him!



Ah, fun memories at the Tubing Hill.




Also shoutout to our Breakaway DJ, Zach Rosado.  He’s one of our former Youth Group Students and now grown with his own beautiful wife and baby girl.  The three of them joined us for the weekend and we had a blast!





Probably one of our most memorable Breakaway acts ever.


The crowd was delighted.



In Sunday morning Breakaway tradition we prayed over our Seniors.  We have a small group this year and as a youth group we’ve gotten pretty young again (many of our students are 9th grade and under).  But that being said, it makes me excited to think of seeing yet another wave of students up through their Jr. and Sr. High years, just like we got to see these awesome kids.






All in all, we had an absolutely amazing time at Breakaway.


And tonight, we took time to share about our trip at our annual Spaghetti Supper.


Our students came to serve and we are so proud of them.


And everyone enjoyed a delicious meal all together.



A huge thank you goes out to the amazing kitchen crew that was assembled.  One who was just out of frame actually celebrated his birthday while serving at our supper.  Which brings me to the fact that we have an absolutely amazing church family and we are so thankful for them!



We ended our supper with some worship from our amazing band this year.  Our friend Emily Prott recruited them and they did an incredible job!



And that pretty much sums up our Breakaway retreat and Spaghetti Supper.  It was a fantastic and full weekend followed by a delicious meal all together at Eastport Bible Church this afternoon.  A huge thank you to everyone who joined us and we look forward to seeing you all again next year!


The Perks of Being

There are many perks of being a Youth Pastor’s wife, one being that sometimes you get to spend your weekends celebrating your amazing Youth Group students.


This past weekend’s festivities include watching our friend Joseph wrestle in his County Championships.


If I’m being honest, wrestling is absolutely crazy to me.  I cannot believe how precarious the positions are that a wrestler could find himself in.


And amazingly somehow they mostly come out of the matches unharmed.


Not only did our friend Joseph come out of his matches unharmed, he was victorious in the first one that we got to watch.


He ended up winning a second which placed him in position to get to wrestle in the championship.


In the end, he placed second in the County and we were so glad that we got to celebrate the culmination of his wrestling career.  While terrifying at times, it was pretty exciting to watch and we were so very proud of Joseph and getting to see his hard work pay off.


Then tonight, we got to go and celebrate this amazing girl at her Sweet Sixteen.  We’ve known Sara since she was in elementary school and it’s been a blessing to watch her grow into a wonderful young woman.


It was Ellee’s first party and she was a little nervous at first.  Thankfully, she had Ms. Esther to encourage her through the night and eventually she warmed up to it all.


One of our sweet youth group students dragged her out to the dance floor.  She’s not much of a dancer, but she did stay amused by watching everyone else, and especially her brother’s friends.


She also had fun with her very dear friend


Who also happened to be the sister of the girl we were there to celebrate.


And coming full circle, our wresting friend Joseph was also at the party celebrating Sara and her birthday as well.


Yes, there are many perks to being a Youth Pastor’s wife and this weekend highlighted a few of my favorites.  Getting to share not only life, but big life celebrations with our students is something that makes our jobs in ministry that much more special.  Congrats to Joseph on counties and to Sara on your Sweet Sixteen.  We love you both and are so proud of all that you’ve accomplished!


Need to Breakaway?

Does your teen need to Breakaway?  The answer, if you were wondering, is 100% absolutely they do.

Parents of teens, I’m talking to you.  And for the record, I get it because I AM you.  I have teens (well, one official teen and one pretty close) and let’s be honest, it is NOT an easy stage of life… for them, or for you.  And let’s be honest, sometimes we all need a break.  And the good news, is that I can help with that.


On February 1st-3rd, the Eastport Bible Church Youth Group will be taking it’s annual Breakaway Retreat and your 7th-12th grader is invited.  We WANT them to come with us and we will love them and support them and teach them good things and keep them entertained ALL weekend long.


Everyone’s teen needs a break.  And that is what Breakaway is all about.  It’s a break from home, a break from school and a break from… technology.  YES, technology.  We do what we can to strongly encourage our students to put the phones down.  To get out and engage with the world and even the great outdoors.


It might be a foreign concept to your son or daughter, but it won’t take them long to catch on.  And spoiler alert, they will survive the weekend without their phone.  And not only survive, they will thrive.


Every year, I think this concept of breaking away is getting more and more important.  Our teens have a lot on their plates and a lot of pressures all around them.


But Breakaway is also a time for them to reconnect.  To take time for themselves, or with friends while being encouraged by our incredible team of leaders.  We’ll have some sessions for them to learn good things as well as some time for worship and reflection.


Also, there’s a talent show.  And you can or can not have talent for it and it won’t even matter.  Because it will just be fun.


There is never a better time to invest in your teen than now.  They need more than ever to know they are loved and created to do great things and that is what we will teach them through our weekend retreat.


They will come home changed, but in the best possible way.


So what do you need to do to sign them up for this incredible weekend?  Not much.  You can actually just click on this link and check out our Breakaway page as well as get your permission slip.  If you have any questions at all, you can feel free to reach out to me or Jeremy anytime as well.  If money is an issue, don’t let that stop your teen from joining us (we have scholarships that are available).


You might need a break and your teen might need one as well.  And our Breakaway retreat is the best possible place for that to all happen.  We hope to see you there!


So, like many of us, I’ve spent some time both looking back over the past year and forward in anticipation of the year to come.  And when I look back, while there were a tremendous amount of things to be grateful for, there were definitely parts of 2018 that were pretty challenging and hard.

One of the biggest things for me was that we spent half of the year without another pastor at our church.  And for some reason, I took this really hard.  Because I knew the impact it would have on my marriage, our family and on our ministry having gone through such transitions before (we’ve now had five Senior pastors since we started here).  There were many days that I felt so down about everything and it really did take a bit of a toll.  Maybe it was also a bit of burnout after serving 15 years in ministry with Jeremy.  Or maybe there are just seasons of life that are harder than others.  Whatever it was, I know that I spent some good chunks of last year just trying to make it through my struggles and emotions.

But, on a happier note, I did survive.  And thanks to Facebook, I learned that people are doing this thing, where they pick a word to be their theme for the year.  And after a few days of reflection, I decided that my word for 2019 is THRIVE.  Looking up a dictionary definition of the word, I found that thrive means to grow or develop well or vigorously.  It also means to prosper or flourish.  And that is what I want to do in this coming year.


Even though things were challenging at times last year, I absolutely love our church and the ministries that we get to be a part of.  My heart, of course, belongs to Hangtime, which is our church’s K-6th after school program.  I’m excited because I know that God has laid it on my heart this year to continue to grow and develop well this program.


I will also continue to serve along side of Jeremy in youth ministry.  This year we are looking forward to many youth group activities, including Breakaway, NTS Camp and an in-development Missions oriented trip this summer.  I absolutely love my husband and though it is exhausting at times, we continue to feel God calling us to minister to teens and I want to look for ways to THRIVE as we serve this coming year.


Last Saturday, Christian threw me a surprise as part of my Christmas present this year.  The surprise was him getting together this amazing group of girls, each one being a dear, dear friend that I’ve been able to invest in at different times over the years.  It made me cry to have them all together and so thankful for the ways they’ve blessed my life.  I’ll continue to love and support them and cheer them on to doing great things for Jesus in this coming year.  Because I truly think that a big part of thriving is doing what you can to grow those around you.


This year, I also want to continue to THRIVE in connecting with our extended family.  It’s a bit hard since between Jeremy’s family and mine, we are all literally spread out across the United States.  But they are a blessing and any time we get in this coming year will be a great blessing as well.


Another challenge that was quite great this past year for me, was accepting the fact that our kids are no longer little ones with little problems.  And there were parts of the year that I spent trying to survive the fact that we’re now parenting teenagers (well, one officially, and one close behind).  Friends, parenting teens is NOT easy, or pleasant at times, or frankly all that enjoyable when the going gets tough.


But there are many, many ways to THRIVE in doing so, and this is what I want to find in the coming year.  I have a daughter that is moody, but absolutely delightful and this year, I’m pursuing the good while enduring the bad and the ugly.


And last year, while there were times when I thought this kid and I wouldn’t actually make it… this year, I am trusting God as I get to watch our son pursue so many great things.  In addition to family things and church things and school and his club volleyball, he also picked up a job busing tables at Trumpets on the weekends and we are so very proud of his hard work.  Raising a teen to love Jesus and to do the right things seems impossible at times.  But this year, I want to find ways to trust God and to THRIVE in it.


Last year, this incredible man rode over 8,000 miles on his bike.  And it wasn’t my favorite because it’s terrifying to think of all the possibilities of what could happen while he’s on the road.  But thankfully, through lots of prayer, I’m realizing that loving him and supporting one of his passions is a beautiful way that we can THRIVE in our marriage.  We’re also taking a trip in April, so that will help too ;).  In all reality though, I do adore this man and am so very glad to get to do life with him.


Yes, when looking forward to 2019, I truly want to find many ways to THRIVE.  And part of thriving will include a bit of self-maintenance.  So for that, I’ll look to Hot Yoga and my goal to read through the entire Bible in this coming year.  And being transparent, I learned last year that it also helps for me to connect and talk with a great counselor that I started seeing.  She’s incredible and every time I left a session, I felt lighter and more at peace.  It was something that helped me tremendously and something that I want to continue to utilize this year.


So friends, hold me to to it.  My word for 2019 is THRIVE.  I’ve shared a plethora of ways that I’m going to try to accomplish this, knowing of course that some days will go better than others.  But I’m good with that, and ready for all that God has to show me in this coming year and I strive to THRIVE and serve Him.


The Eve

When I looked out our window at 1:00am this morning, the first thing I thought was that someone must be dreaming of a white Christmas.


I have to admit, it was pretty.  So pretty that I grabbed my camera and walked outdoors into it’s pretty but still silence.


Like many people I kind of feel like Christmas snuck up on me this year.  I still have quite a few things to finish up before tomorrow, but the first task of today was to get to bed so I could rest up for a full day of Christmas Eve.  So I did just that.


The first thing on our agenda, was our annual Jingle Bowl Flag Football game.  Except we loaned our flags to a friend on Thanksgiving and only realized this morning that we forgot to get them back.  So it because our first annual Jingle Bowl Touch Football game.


Some came all cozy in Christmas jammies to observe.


And the kids on the field played some fantastic games.








Sweet Karis was so adorable cheering on the teams from the comfort of her Grandpa’s shoulders.  We are so thankful for the Kempers and so happy that they are here serving with us.


Clearly someone’s family gets super excited to dress up for the Jingle Bowl.  It’s possible that they forgot to let everyone else know that they could as well.


All in all, it was a great morning of football.  So thankful for all the fun friends who came out to play.  The rest of our afternoon consisted of dropping off gifts to some dear friends and then stopping in to our beautiful friend Connie’s Christmas Eve party.  Since we don’t have extended family close by, it’s always nice to be included in the Christmas fun of our church family.


And then the last events of our Christmas Eve happened here.


Every year, Eastport Bible Church has two Christmas Eve Candlelight services and they are my favorite ones of the year.




After an encouraging message from Pastor Kaleb, we finished our nights with Christmas songs by candlelight.



Our first service was at 7, and our second is starting up now, so I’d better finish up this post.  Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas Eve and a wonderful Christmas tomorrow as well!


Most Wonderful

In many, many ways, it really is the most wonderful time of the year.  And if you’re looking for great ways to celebrate Christmas, I’ve learned that Eastport Bible Church is a great place to be.  At our church and for our family, December means a wide variety of Christmas activities and parties and we enjoyed two of them this past Sunday.


The first event was a Christmas Cookie Exchange.  Which basically just means that for the price of baking a few dozen of your own cookies, you then get to go to a party and pick from a huge variety of other cookies to take home and enjoy.  There were tons of cookies to chose from and it really was the best kind of party you could imagine.




Our beautiful friend Susan Reiley hosted our party and in addition to the exchange of cookies, she also came up with some fun games for us all to play.


This one involved passing presents to the left or right and everyone ended up with something fun to take home.


A huge thank you to Susan and to all of the amazing friends that came out for our Cookie Exchange!  It was a delightful and delicious way to spend the afternoon.


Afterwards, we hosted a Christmas dinner for Living Room, which is the small group for teens that we have each Sunday night… in our living room of course.  We started off our night with a few games of “Left Center Right” which is an easy but super fun game we discovered recently.


We had asked our teens to bring dinner foods and they did not disappoint!  Jeremy roasted a few chickens on our Traeger grill and combined with the sides and desserts we had a nice feast.


Since our extended families live all over the United States, we never really have to configure big holiday meal set ups.  But we did for our teens and were able to somewhat comfortably seat all twenty of us around a nice long L shaped table.  And it made my heart so happy to be able to break bread with the students that we love so very much.


And that sums this past Sunday’s celebrations.  That being said, there are more to come this week!  Ellee will participate in Christmas Caroling Tuesday night with her Pioneer Girls Group (3rd-6th grades).  We’ll have a mini-Christmas celebration at Hangtime (K-6th) on Wednesday and the Stockade Boys (3rd-6th grades) will be Christmas caroling that night as well.  Thursday night will be our Youth Group (7th-12th) Christmas Party and then next Sunday our Young Adults Group will have their Christmas Party as well.

And if you are local, you should totally check out Eastport Bible Church’s Christmas Eve Candlelight Services which will take place next Monday night at both 7:00pm and 9:00pm.  It is my absolute favorite and one of the most beautiful services of the year!  All of this info and more can be found on our Church website:

If you are looking for wonderful ways to finish the Christmas season, we have lots of opportunities for you and your family and we would love to have you join us!


Turkey Bowl 2018









Turkey all the way


Oh what fun


It is to play football


On Thanksgiving Day




And now that my song is through (if you missed it, it’s to the tune of “Jingle Bells”) I thought I’d share just a few pictures from this morning’s annual Turkey Bowl.


It was a balmy 20 degrees, that felt like 7.


And while the football was pretty fun to watch,


And our friend Hank didn’t seem to mind,


As an innocent bystander of the morning, I have to say it was FREEZING out.


Most of the players on the field didn’t seem to mind it, which was pretty amazing.


But if you looked closely, you could see evidence of how very chilly 7 degrees can feel.





I was pretty proud of all of the people who came out to play.



To me, even flag football can be a little intimidating.


But seeing people like Jade stand fearless in the face of Wyatt running full speed at her?  It was quite an admirable way to start off the day, in my opinion.


At the end of the morning, we took a moment to thank Jesus for the fun games of football and for everyone remaining injury free.


Despite the cold, I was so thankful to be surrounded by so many amazing people.  It was the best way to kick off our day.


These were the brave souls who celebrated our annual Turkey Bowl this morning.


Not pictured were a few dedicated parents and the awesome group of girls who watched the games like reasonable people on our warm bus while listening to Christmas music and drinking hot chocolate.


And that sums up Turkey Bowl 2018.  Hope everyone is enjoying a safe and warm day and here’s wishing a huge Happy Thanksgiving to all!

15 Years of Thankfulness

This past Sunday, our beautiful church took time to acknowledge and celebrate our past 15 years of serving in Youth Ministry.  It was a complete surprise to Jeremy and I, we had no idea what was going on and found out at the end of church when our new pastor, Kaleb Kemper stood up to make the announcement.  What followed, was a time of sharing and then the most incredible 15 minute video I could have ever imagined.  Put together by one of our former students, Sam Nankervis, it was the most touching journal of video messages from some of our past and present students.  We laughed and cried through much of it and it was probably one of the best gifts I’ve ever received.

And ever since then, I’ve been trying to find a way to process what that video meant to me.  Because really, truly, it was more than just a nice thank you for the years we’ve been blessed to serve at Eastport Bible Church.  For me, it represented so many incredible interactions and conversations and time spent together and trips taken with some of the most wonderful people on this Island and in this world.

I wanted to think of a way to then express my thanks and that would be what will follow.  A forewarning.  This is a long post with a lot of pictures that I spent the past day looking up.  Because I wanted to do all I could to honor our amazing friends and youth group students who took time to say thank you.  So here goes…

Hey Eastport Bible Church and EBCYG,

Thank you for thanking us this past Sunday.  But honestly, we’re the ones that should be thanking you.  Thank you for letting us be here for 15 years, loving and serving Jesus while reaching out to the incredible teens in our town.  What follows are a lot of pictures of most of the people who sent in their videos.  I don’t know why, but for me, I just wanted to share these pictures to acknowledge how much each person has meant to us.  It’s mostly pictures because there are a ton of them, but I figured I’d also share a few words here or there as well.





I did want to thank you John Caprari… for coming to Youth Group and for sticking around.  Thank you for being one of my husband’s best friends and for watching all those sports with him for all of those years.  Thank you now, for loving Jesus so much that you answered His call to Africa where you and your family are now serving.



Zack Skarka, thank you for being on that very first Breakaway, and for pretty much coming around for everything after that.  Watching your faith stay strong through two different cancers strengthened our faith and the faith of so many around you.  You are one of the best people we will ever know and for that, we are incredibly thankful.



Zach Rado, we know every single story you mentioned, and love you that much more for all of those memories.  Those moments all built up into seeing you grown and loving Jesus and your new baby and we are so very proud of you.


15 years in ministry gives you the chance to watch kids grow into deep and meaningful relationships with Jesus and really, there is nothing greater.




And so you know, I started crying the first time when I saw your video, Victoria.  It was an incredible blessing to get to be your friend and to watch you love and serve Jesus.  And it still is, my friend.




And oh, Matt Mattia…  Thank you for your video!  You were there at the very beginning when we basically had no idea what we were doing.  So thankful to know that Jesus used us, even then and we loved getting to spend that time with you and your family.








Sam Nankervis, we loved having you in Youth Group and then to help us serve in our ministries as well!  The video that you put together was just incredible and we could not be more thankful to see you using the amazing gifts God gave you.


And Emily Prott, this whole thing was your idea and it will have forever blessed our hearts.  Your dream gave us such joy and we thank you for that!

But also, thank you for being so amazing and for having the most wonderful heart.  We saw it from the very beginning and has been so blessed to have gotten to see it throughout these years.


On a personal note, thank you for loving not only us, but also our kids as well.  You’ve watched them grow up and have loved and supported them every step of the way, and as a parent, that means the absolute world to me.




Once there was a student named Ryan Daley that we knew and loved right from the beginning.  He’d sit in Jeremy’s office and make the weirdest faces because he was just awesome like that.


He’d run over to our house barefoot and sneak in through our attic.  We’d know and love him for years and years and considered our lives to be that much greater for getting to be a part of his.







As I’m writing and looking through these pictures, I have an incredibly overwhelming feeling of gratitude.  Which fits nicely  because it’s technically almost 2am on Thanksgiving Day.

And if I could just take a minute I want to share the incredible value that comes in long term ministry.  When we arrived at the church, I was told that the average time in a church for a youth pastor was 18 months.  So I just figured that we’d be moving around an awful lot.  But 15 years later, I’m thankful to say that that has not been our story.





When you serve in a church longterm, you get to watch people grow.



You get to see them as little ones, attending your program.  And then years later, they come back and help in those very same programs that they attended.



You get to go through the good times, but also the hard times too.  But it’s in those times, that the most beautiful things happen.





Serving in ministry gives you the opportunity to love on some of the most wonderful families you could imagine.


It also sometimes gives you the opportunity to watch people that you know and love grow to go and serve in Youth Ministry too.






All those years ago, I would have never guess that we’d get to stay and raise our family for so many years in the most wonderful church on Long Island.


And if I’m being transparent, which is something that I try to be, I have to admit that for me, there have been a lot of ups and downs these days.  Raising our own teens has given me a whole new challenge and a whole new perspective on just how hard it can be.  But this 15 year celebration and the beautiful video made was just what I needed to be encouraged and refreshed in what we do and why we do it.  I’ve learned that I cannot fix all that’s wrong or hard in the world, but I can love Jesus and reach out and help others to love Him as well.


So in closing…  How do you best show the gratitude that you have for 15 years of serving in ministry with a church that you love?  With an incredibly long blog post full of pictures from the past and present because that is just who you are and what you do.  From Jeremy and I, thank you for the beautiful service and for the amazing video that shared so many of your stories.  We love you all so very much and will continue to love and serve at Eastport Bible Church in all the ways that we can.

Operation Christmas Child 2018

Last night, we gathered together some pretty amazing teens for our annual Operation Christmas Child shopping trip.  If you aren’t familiar with the program, basically the goal is to fill shoeboxes with gifts for children that then get shipped all over the world.  Some of the children that receive these gifts have never gotten a Christmas gift, so it’s an incredible opportunity for our teens to do something great for others.


After a quick explanation, we loaded up our church van and bus and drove out to Target.  It’s always funny seeing the looks on the faces of the employees as we walk our big group of teens in.  Granted what they don’t know is that we do give them a big “don’t be a hooligan” speech beforehand, so for the most part, they are all usually amazing.


The one on the left is still technically a year away from officially being in our youth group, but as you can see, she tends to blend right in these days.





Part of the fun for me that night, was watching our teens figure out what gifts they wanted to buy for their box.  Kudos to these ones for being responsible and even using the price checker.



Also, kudos to Target, who happens to have some pretty nice lighting for the many pics I like to take during our annual shopping trip.




Our teens did an incredible job!  They were so excited to share the gifts they found.



After they finished shopping, they returned to the church to pack up their boxes.



They also had the opportunity to include letters about themselves that would go to the child who would receive their box.


Gifts were bought for both big and little ones.  And again, I smiled thinking of the joy that would come from the gifts that would be received.  Even better for us is knowing that with each gift, the children would also get the chance to learn about Jesus and His great love for them.


Sometimes it’s easy to give teens a bad rap.  Because they’re, well teens.  But in our lives, we often get to see their awesome side.


And on that particular night, we got to see the selfless side.



The giving side.


And the side that took time to put other’s needs above their own.


And all because of a simple shoebox.


A huge thanks to these kids for the 23 boxes that they put together for Operation Christmas Child 2018.  We love you and are so proud to call you our own!