i had no idea how to pick 10-15 pictures from our mission trip to colorado out of the 600 that i took! :) you can look through way more pics on facebook, but i posted some of my favorites. colorado was awesome, and watching the kids of our youth group step out of their comfort zones and minister to the kids in montrose and olathe was worth all of the drama and complications that this trip entailed. it was a blessing for sure!

this is a view from the bus window making our way to colorado...beautiful!

on the way to colorado, the kids sang at the palo duro canyon in amarillo. they did such a great job! we had a good time watching the texas play and eating a steak dinner. it was a nice break in the long drive.

once we got to colorado we were split into three groups. the largest group stayed in montrose and did vbs at rosemont baptist church. that church was amazing. they fed us all week, and were the most wonderful hosts ever. another group went to a trailer park, also in montrose, and did a vbs outdoors for the children there. i was able to meet some of those kiddos when we distributed flyers in the neighborhood before the week began...they were adorable. the third group, my group, went about 10 miles north to a small town called olathe to do a sports camp. we planned to have cheerleading, basketball, and soccer. the first day we arrived it had been raining a lot so the soccer fields were soaked and the basketball courts were non-existent, so we did cheerleading for the 4 girls that came. the others in our group helped around the little church doing yard work, cleaning, painting, etc. it was not what we expected or planned for, but it was fun and a lot of work. here is a picture of most of the olathe group on the first day, including our guests, breanna, angel, hope, and paige. love those girls!

one of the projects we did while in montrose was working at the salvation army. it was overwhelming, but a lot of fun! here is a picture of some of our guys on the top of a HUGE pile of clothes bags...

one night, for fun, we went to a nearby reservoir to have dinner, play, swim (in 40 degree water), and just hang out. i took this picture from the playground, just looking over at the mountains. could you imagine seeing these views every day of your life?!

here is a picture of the little church in olathe where our sports camps was. as you can see, day 2 was much more sunny!

we were able to play soccer, which made me happy! :) i am not much of a cheerleader. haha!

this is one of my best buds, kristen, with a girl from olathe, summer. these girls loved our youth and enjoyed hanging out with them so much! it was a blessing to see kristen really open up and minister to them. she did a great job, as did all of the kids. we ended up having about 9 kids/teens showing up throughout the week at olathe, still a very small group, but it was such a blessing. these kids dealt with so much, including poverty, homosexual parents, disabled parents, suicide, prison, all kinds of things that many of our kids could never imagine dealing with. they all learned so much from each other!

one night we went to the trailer park where one of the vbs camps was and the students did their concert. some of our youth performed their drama that is soooooo good. it deals with a young girls who struggles with sex, popularity, self esteem, money, drinking, and suicide. it is very emotional every time i see Jesus pull her through that mess and bring her to His arms. they did a great job!

this is paige, one of the two girls that accepted Christ into their lives at olathe! she was so excited and we partied with her and breanna after their big decision. kristen and taylor were able to talk with paige and the Holy Spirit used them to lead her to Christ. such a great experience for them!

another project we did during the week was picking up trash on some main roads in montrose. we did these projects split up middle school and high school. when the high school did their project, we went white water rafting. so fun! and then we switched the next day. the middle schoolers collected about 450 lbs. of trash!!! we were proud of them.

the last night of the trip, all of the three groups got together at rosemont baptist for a block party and end of the week celebration. all of our friends from olathe got rides to the church, and we were so glad they made it!

the students all took turns working the inflatables, face painting, food booths, petting zoo, etc. the kids had fun and the students worked really hard!

brett and haley hanging out with one of the students. our buses had gone to the trailer park and picked up the 50+ kids that had attended all week and brought them and their families to the block party. it was so much fun!

this is a picture of what it looked like the night we all said goodbye. this little girl was from olathe and she really attached herself to jenna. she did not want to say goodbye. jenna gave her her sunglasses to remember her! :) all our of students had found at least one kids that they really connected with, and there were lots of tears on both ends when it was time to leave. lots of them exchanged numbers and addresses to keep in touch. there was more of a connection than i have ever seen on past trips like these. they affected our students as much as our students affected them. such a blessing to see!
i hope we get to go back to montrose some time soon. i will miss my friends in olathe and i love every time one of them texts me...it makes me feel like God has used me to impact lives more than i ever thought possible. amazing what we can do if we surrender to Him!

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