Friday, July 31, 2009



I just got home about an hour ago and I'm starting to wind down from my trip.

Every evening that we were in Maine, we did something called "Reflections." We'd go around the room, one by one, and talk about our day. What we liked, what we learned, what we hoped would get the picture.

If I were to reflect on the week I guess I'd have to say something like this; "The kids, who formed part of our team, Jesse Anderson, Mattie Klouse, Hannah Scruton and Marcel Anderson, are four of the brightest, most intelligent and waaay awesome kids I've ever had the pleasure of working with. They were a perfect example of God's love shining through. The neighborhood kids were drawn to them and almost immediately became friends with them. The adults from the Rootcellar and the neighborhood all commented on "what great kids they well behaved...their parents must be proud!" Their parents should be proud because they've raised their children in Spirit filled homes and it shows outside the home.

Lars and Marie Anderson are two people who are not afraid of hard work and heavy lifting! No matter what had to be moved, lifted, shifted or just sliden across a floor, they were there. Plus, their interaction with the kids was great to watch. No nonsense Marie was the disciplinarian. Paired off with Lar's easy going, "let's get a game going" style, they were a perfect match. Tracy and Sarah have the VBS and Arts and Crafts thing all sewn up! They came up with Bible stories, songs and crafts when the Rootcellar found themselves in a bind, and they did it with very little or no time at all to spare. That was amazing to watch!

Every one of the above mentioned worked hard and without complaining. Individually their goal was to bring happiness into the lives of children that might not see it all the time. Collectively, they all wanted to make a difference while we were there. If that meant playing a game, coloring a picture, holding a baby, preparing lunches for 40 people, or helping to distribute food or clothing, they did it with a genuine smile and no complaints. They truly are an awesome team and I was lucky to work with them!



Day 4 - Thursday

Greetings from Portland!

Today is Thursday, day 4 of our trip. It is probably my favorite day of the trip as we had a chance to really connect with the kids on a one to one basis. The root cellar sponsors a "beach day" once a week for the kids during the summer. They pack about 60 kids on their school bus (a donation from someone in an area church), and head off to one of the area lakes.

This week was Sebago Lake, which the kids informed me was one of their favorite beaches. We made millions of PB&J sandwiches (all of which were gobbled down), some chips and cookies that you senders lovingly baked and sent us off with. The kids are so appreciative of the food as many days when their parents are working in some cases multiple jobs, they don't always have food available for them at home.

What I loved most about this day, is to see the pure joy in the faces of the kids as they lightheartedly splashed, swam and were able to just be kids. I especially saw this in the older kids as they are burdened by the responsibility of their younger siblings all day. They could just relax and have fun.

When I handed out sandwiches I had them each give me one fact about themselves before I handed over their bag. They seemed to enjoy telling me their stories, some of which are hard to hear or imagine for such young lives. I know that God has used us this week to help to share the love of Christ with these happy little wet faces! We are homeward bound tomorrow [Friday] , see you all on Sunday. Thanks for your prayers and support as senders into this mission field.


Thursday Evening ...

Hi Mel!

Everything here has been great in Portland and I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your efforts on our teams behalf.

I will be making one more blog tomorrow [ Friday] evening when I get home. I will wrap up the entire trip and there will be no more pictures. We leave Portland around 3:30PM and I should get home roughly about an hour and a half later. I will sit down at my computer within a half hour of arriving home and send the last blog off to you. Thanks for all your help.



Today was a great day. All the kids behaved very well. Me Marcel, Hannah and Mathew helped serve drinks and vegetables. After that we went upstairs to the game room while everyone else went to the conference room to prepare for my surprise birthday party. It was fun and I was surprised.

Today at the beach I played with Elizabeth, Hannah and Fatma who is a volunteer and helper at the Root Cellar. She is kind and silly. She is 16 and from Iraq. We had a lot of fun swimming and playing games. The bus ride back from swimming was very loud because the kids were singing lots of loud songs and cheers all the way back to the Root Cellar.

Greetings OSLC!

We are having a wonderful time. It is amazing how God works. We have a plan and God has a better plan.

VBS on Wednesday our plan was gather 20 or so kids at from the local park, herd them to the Root Cellar for VBS at 12:00. Our team gathered 6 kids by 12:15 and we figured that was it, 12:45 the word had gotten out and we had 40 kids singing, doing crafts and hearing The Word.

During reflections every evening the common theme is that we go into the day with our plan and reflect on the fact that God had an entirely different and better plan. Today Marie and David stayed at the Root Cellar to work on the clothing distribution while Tracy, Sarah, the kids and I rode the Root Cellar school bus with 50 Root Cellar kids to Sebago Lake. Everyone had a great time. It is awesome to watch the OSLC kids playing with the kids from the Root Cellar.

Tonight we helped a local church put on a dinner for the Root Cellar community. The kids helped serve dinner, and we lead the kids in a mini VBS of prayer, bible readings, and Sunday school songs. We surprised Jessie with a cake and party to celebrate her 9th birthday! All of the kids have done an amazing job, and have been complimented by the Root Cellar staff on their excellent behavior, kindness, work ethic, and how well they work and play with all the other kids at the Root Cellar. The Root Cellar ministry is truly a blessing, especially when you see all the ways that the spirit of Christ is working here.


I would be remiss in my duties if I failed to mention the Rootcellar Staff. Kurt, Clark, Peggy, Christine, Martin, Becky and Jamilah, just to name a few, all work hand in hand to create the best christian atmosphere possible.

he rootcellar does look after spiritual needs but, there are other needs as well. The community is very diverse and many of it's inhabitants are in need of jobs, schooling, and just all around support. They have a learning center here where after school homework is worked on, important meetings may be held, kids can go online for various purposes and, I even observed to people studying for their citizenship test!

If you think the staff here do all this alone then guess again. The keyword here is Volunteer! The Rootcellar has many volunteers that do many different things here. There is the clothing distribution once a week here...volunteers. The landscaping around the property...volunteer. The people helping out with afterschool homework...volunteers! The list goes on for the needs are many but, God has provided the building, the resources and the help! Plus, with the full-time staff here to oversee everything plus perform their own duties, The Rootcellar will be here for many years to come.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Day 4 -- The Four Musketeers

The Four Musketeers

One of the greatest joys anyone can have is working with young children who are eager to learn and to help. The four kids that are a vital part of our team, Jesse , Matthew , Hannah , and Marcel have been working hard since our arrival on the 27th. Their easy way of connecting with other children and even with adults is the stuff that dreams are made of.

But, the bonds the four of them have formed will undoubtedly cement their friendships for years to come. Although, not one of them is over eleven years old, they are as adult acting as they are childlike and the results are interesting to say the least. They are as comfortable at leading our daily devotions as they are with playing foursquare with the neighborhood children.

Their times with just each other for company are no less exciting and very entertaining for me. We've been kidding and teasing each other all week, usually started by me and finished (quite ably) by them! The fact that they have banded together (and not just to get me) has caused me to secretly call them "The Four Musketeers." They are, indeed, "all for one and one for all!"


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Day 3

Hi! Today at VBS we learned about Jesus feeding the 5000. We also had movie night tonight. We watched "The Incredibles." I am looking forward to taking the Root Cellar to the beach tomorrow.


Day 3

Harder to get up this morning that it has been since we have been here. Thankfully Marie was able to tempt us out of bed with a big breakfast. Today was our first VBS and it was quite an experience. We went down to the park and gathered up kids. Knocking on doors and getting permission was a new experience for me. The kids really seemed enjoy the songs and the crafts. We have a new dance to show everyone when we get home. It was great to relax with the group in between events. David cooked us dinner and then we made popcorn and lemonade for movie night.

It has been fun to get to know the kids and for them to get to know us as well. Everyone seems very excited about tomorrow and going to Sebago Lake. We have been told that there is a huge turnout for beach days. The kids were watching Marie and Lars make PB and J sandwiches and hoping that they would be getting them tomorrow.

Pray for us as we continue to support each other and the community here in the Kennedy Park neighborhood. Patience gets a little thin as we all get tired. Looking forward to getting some sleep tonight.


Hello OSLC family,

Although we are only an hour away, we find ourselves amidst such cultural differences that we feel much farther away from Topsfield.

Day two was a test of trust and patience for us, especially for me (the queen of planning). Our day took shape in ways that we hadn't planned or expected--we took the kids who came up to the Root Cellar looking through the window waiting for us, down into their neighborhood to pick up trash.

Their reward was a well air conditioned play room full of pool tables, video games and snacks. It's so evident that these kids depend so much on this center for their supervision during the day, meals and a sense of community. May God continue to bless this ministry as I don't know how some of these families would get by without them. It has been awesome to watch our team's integration into this community through the eyes of our kids. The Root Cellar kids have already adopted us as one of them (as they truly see the Root Cellar as an extension of their families). We spent the afternoon handing out lemonade on a walking trail. Our kids working with their kids having fun, playing together.

Hi I got to see new kids in the park. I got to tell kids about Jesus. I had fun doing the lemonade stand with Mathew and the other kids. Matty and I are having fun playing ping pong, kickball, and pool.


Hi Everybody !

Today was a great second day. It was packed with activities that helped us get to know the Root Cellar Kids. Three of the activities were, picking up trash around the town, the women's tea party, and giving away lemonade.

I'll see you soon.


Hi everybody things are going great.

It's nice to actually see the Root Cellar in person. The kids are developing excellent friendships amoung themselves and the Root Cellar kids. Plenty of projects; organizing the food pantry/closet, sorting clothes, playing kickball, whiffle ball, etc.

In order to help the Root Cellar kids have a sense of investment in the Root Cellar community took a crew of OSLC and Root Cellar kids around the neighborhood to pick up trash. While passing out lemonade this afternoon, the kids had running races. It was the Root Cellar kids (the No Shoes Team) versus the OSLC kids (The Shoes Team) cute.


Hi everyone, we had a great time today. Wonderful fellowship this morning to start our day and we then branched off to do various tasks at the Cellar such as making lunch for the Tea for the local ladies.

The kids helped set up beautiful tables with linens and china teacups; cleaning and organization of the Cellar's store room; picked up trash at a local neighborhood site and gave out free lemon aid at the Back Cove Walk while giving out Root Cellar information pamphlets. It was amazing to see how many people were surprised that the lemon aid was free!!!! It was a wonderfully hot day to do this - thus it was well received.

This is a great place doing the Lord's work and it is a privilege to be here. The staff is wonderful, and the local kids are awesome. It is truly a blessing to be here we the Lord at the center of our team.

God Bless,


Monday, July 27, 2009

"Hi, today at the Root Cellar we got here and met the staff. Very nice people. The kids are great. I love this place already. When we went to the cookout it was inspiring to watch the kids and see how the older kids took so much responsibility over the younger kids when their parents were at work. I hope that tomorrow will be even better."


Kids to KIds - The Universal Language

"Today was great as we got a lay of the land and figured out our place here at the Root Cellar. The kids have been fun to watch. They got right into games with the kids and helped them understand rules. I was very impressed with their patience. The kids at Kennedy Park were happy to see us and probably did more to welcome us than we were able to do for them. I am looking forward to what tomorrow brings."


The Cookout

"Hi! Today we went to a cookout. We met lots of nice people. They were fun to play with. See you tomorrow"


Portland Day-1

"Wow! What a day we've had here in Portland. We arrived at exactly 11:15am and we unloaded all of our donations we had for the Rootcellar. That included bibles, backpacks, clothing, toys and even gift bags for the staff here. We had a quick lunch, and then we loaded up the rootcellars van with a huge barbecue grill, hamburgers, hotdogs, rolls, games and crafts and headed down to the local park.

On the way, kids in the neighborhood recognized the van and when we got down there it wasn't long before the park started filling up with kids of all ages. We set up the grill and proceeded to cook a massive amount of hamburgers and hotdogs. But, we were not alone. The North Deering Alliance Church were there conducting their own outreach program and were only to glad to help us out with ours. Peggy Hinnman, the Rootcellar's Missions Coordinator, told us that they would be doing an outreach program all over the city for the duration of the summer. So, new friends were made, and for me, old acquaintances were re-established. But, the most joyous part of my day was watching the rest of team actively participate in everything we were asked to do.

Instead of hesitating they jumped right in from the start. It was particularly interesting to see our kids, Mattie, Hannah, Marcel and Jesse interact with the other kids they heard so much about. They, like their parents, jumped in feet first. They helped with the arts & crafts, the parachute games and Mattie Klouse plays a mean game of soccer!! As for myself, I enjoyed every aspect of our first day here. It was a joy to come back here to Portland and it was just plain 'ole fun to be with the kids again. One more thing; This year's team is awwwwesome!


A Message From The Sudan Team


We want to wish Godspeed to our Maine goers as you leave tomorrow for Portland! Thank you all for putting Jesus' love into action with the families of African refugees at the Root Cellar. We love you all and are praying for you from this side of the Atlantic!


Saturday, July 25, 2009


In today's church services, we had a formal sending ceremony for the team. This consists of a prayer. During the prayer, people from the congregation place their hands on the team members.

The significance of this is:
a) It is a practice that was done in Biblical times;
b) it's a symbolic acknowledgment that the team is representing the people of the congregation; and
c) it is an act of corporate involvement of the congregation.

A Mission Moment During the Service July 26

the 2009 Maine mission team stood in front while Dan told everyone about the trip and preparations for it.

They will be traveling to Portland, on Monday to help at The Root Cellar, a faith-based social services organization assisting the new immigrant community. ( See link to their website at the right )

Praying for Their Trip

"And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,

teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. ".... Matt 28: 18-19.

This Great Commission is a significant passage in the Holy Bible.

It is the last recorded personal instruction given by Jesus to His disciples. It is a special calling from Jesus Christ to all His followers to take specific action while on this earth.

The Great Commission is found in the Gospel according to Matthew.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Maine Mission Team

Their purposes are:

· To strengthen our relationship with Jesus Christ and one another

· To strategically fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus—by putting into practice Jesus’ command to ‘love one another as I have loved you.’

· To teach Sudanese, Somali and American children the awesome love of Jesus through Bible lessons, games, music, crafts

· To distribute food and clothes to those in need in Portland, Maine at the Root Cellar. 90% of the population the Root Cellar serves are African Immigrants

· To help with community service projects near the Root Cellar

· To encourage the Root Cellar staff