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Love | Redeemed | Renewed: a reflection from the Israel mission trip

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This reflection is from Jenny Kinsey (pictured above reading to the kids), who participated in the mission trip to Israel for the second year.

Loved | Redeemed | Renewed

Mimi Brookshire (Shandon's Children's Minister and leader of the Israel mission team) chose "Loved | Redeemed | Renewed" as this year's theme, which fit this year's trip perfectly and was a fantastic extension to last years theme "Trust."  

Unlike last year, we were able to visit Jerusalem this time around.  (Thankfully much of the previous turmoil had subsided so that it was safe for us to visit.)  I loved seeing and and experiencing the places where Jesus and His disciples walked and taught.  Knowing we were leaving a place that Jesus had touched gave me so much encouragement and motivation to go forward to teach and love the children we ministered to at the Vacation Bible School we ran the remainder of the week.

The team with our awesome guide (far right)The team with our awesome guide (far right)

Arriving in Nazareth (where we would spend the majority of our time) felt like coming home--especially when we were greeted with open arms and friendly faces from last year.  What a blessing to become life-long friends with the new people we met this year!  Once we arrived at the school, the children were so excited to see us and be loved on by us. There were a LOT of new little faces and some new youth workers as well.  

Two of the student workers were Muslim, and one girl in particular grabbed our hearts.  She was amazing with the children and a huge help with the classroom projects.  At our first worship time, we discovered that she had "disappeared."  She chose not to participate in the worship portion and understandably seemed very uncomfortable.  

But, as we served these children alongside her, laughed with her, praised her for her amazing work and loving spirit, we could see her heart changing.  At the end of the week, she was singing praise songs and actually bowing her head in prayer at the end of worship.


We are praying that the seed which was planted can grow and flourish in her life and that her future will be protected as she will be persecuted by her family for becoming a Christian if she accepts Jesus as her Savior.  For example, some of the children told us that they have quiet time with Jesus in their bathrooms so their family will not know!

Join us in prayer

Please join us in praying for this young lady to find Christ and pray for boldness and bravery for all the kids who have asked Jesus into their hearts and given their lives so bravely to Him.  For this reason, we specifically pray for the children's protection.  These children are precious in His sight!  They made us feel so loved--and we were there to love on them

Being in Israel where our Redeemer walked and taught allowed each one of us on the team to be renewed with a greater passion to be light in the dark in a world where there is so much darkness. 

Will you join us? Will you shine the light of Christ in your world?

See photos and videos from the VBS week on the camp's Facebook page!

Posted by Shandon Baptist Church with

A Letter from Awaken Church, Charleston

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The following is a letter from Brandon Bowers, lead pastor of Awaken Church in Charleston.  Awaken has been one of Shandon's church plant partners since their inception over two and half years ago. 

Dear Shandon,

As you know, last week was a tragic one here in Charleston as the massacre at Emanuel AME Church took place.  In the wake of these events, we made the decision to move our church service on Sunday to downtown Charleston, on the same block as Mother Emanuel AME.

We hosted a CHARLESTON UNITED PRAYER & WORSHIP GATHERING and invited anyone and everyone in the community to come out and be a part of it.  In just 36 hours, we were amazed at the response as thousands came out to pray, worship and show support to our brothers and sisters who had experienced this tragedy. 

I want to personally thank you for your partnership, your prayers and you.

Your Partnership

It is important that you know we are committed to the MISSION of making disciples and that includes going into the places we feel Jesus would go.  We are not a passive people wishing people to faith.  We are actively engaged and want you to know your partnership makes this possible and empowers us to move forward in this way!

...your partnership makes this possible and empowers us to move forward

Your Prayers

We have had an overwhelming response as God has raised up Awaken Church in this city.  We are fielding emails and phone calls of people with questions and who are seeking to know more about why we responded the way we did and how they can be part of it.  Pray for us in these days as the fields are truly ripe unto harvest.

Pray for us in these days as the fields are truly ripe unto harvest.


We want you to know what you are a part of as you partner with us.  We believe that we are an extension of your mission here in Charleston.  Because of your partnership, YOU have a vital role in reaching this city and helping us make a major step forward with the gospel.

Because of your partnership, YOU have a vital role in reaching this city...

Please know I love you and thank God for allowing us to labor together.  Keep fighting the good fight!

Brandon Bowers, Founding & Lead Pastor of Awaken Church


Posted by Shandon Baptist Church with