Mission Trip Update Blog

Sanctuary’s short-term mission teams work directly with our ministry partners in order to expand the Kingdom of God in the countries and cities in which they are working.

Our desire is to keep you connected to our Global Mission Trip teams as they are being the hands and feet of Jesus and spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ to people around the World.

Ethiopia Mission Trip Update #1

By | Ethiopia, Mission Trips
The Ethiopia team has landed. Praise God the flights were easy. Some were tired when they landed but all were troopers. We had breakfast and headed right out to Sunday school at one of the churches. The Sanctuary team was amazing!!! I shared a message for the children and then we organized the children into teams for this weeks VBS. Team leaders (our team members) learned the children names and took some team pictures. I have attached some pictures from day 1.  Praise God for a great first day!

Blue Skies #5

By | Blue Skies, Mission Trips
WHAT A DAY! (see the end for the best part!)  It was a beautiful morning at Port St. Joe, we started by drinking coffee, eating donuts, and overlooking the ocean as we had our last Chapel of the week.  Pastor Brent talked about Responding to God, whether it be to surrender life to Jesus, get baptized, or maybe just take the next faithful step in following Him.
We ended chapel with serving and receiving communion with our host families, it was a beautiful sight and very emotional.
We had to move most of our activities inside for the day, as thunderstorms rolled through, but that was ok for most of the families, it had been a busy week, and everyone was tired.
The guest families participated in their last Kindred Journey meeting, and it was very powerful. God is moving and showing up in the midst of their challenges in major ways. He is not finished yet!
We did our final goodbyes and send off to the guest families. We cannot describe how much we have come to love them.  They are now family!
Then we headed to the beach for 2 SUNSET BAPTISMS! 2 of our youth volunteers, Thomas and Savannah responded to God’s pursuit of them by surrendering their life to Him and desiring to be baptized TODAY! Praise God for our growing faith family!
They told us before we came, that this was going to be the “best week ever”, well I think they might just be right!

Atlanta Dream Center Update #4

By | Atlanta Dream Center, Mission Trips

Hey parents,

Sorry our updates are coming out to you pretty late, but our days are FULL!  Check out a new update below!

Hey it’s Annamarie and Sarah! Today we started off with amazing worship with the worship team. Then we did a group activity called special words of life. We got to know a little more about each other and our selves…. ask your girl about it when she gets home! For our afternoon outreach we went to an apartment complex on the most diverse mile in the country. We got to ask the children to come and hang out with us and had a lot of fun in the bounce house and many other activities. Although there were language and culture differences we were able to connect to not only the children but also the parents. We also had the opportunity to go out for Compassion night. This is where we are able to provide food and clothing to the homeless people of Atlanta. We also got to listen to their stories and understand what they are going though. Being able to love on the hurting and pray for them unified our team. We were able to talk about our experiences and share how we were impacted and feeling after a full day of serving. We are so grateful for this amazing opportunity and we can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for the rest of the week! We love you all and appreciate all of your prayers!!!

Blue Skies Update #4

By | Blue Skies, Mission Trips

Today was our best day at the beach!  We spent the whole day with the families fishing and boogie boarding in the clearest most beautiful emerald waters you can imagine at Cape San Blas.


We ended the day with “Red, White, and Blue Skies Night”  It was what you would expect on a big 4th of July party, but we also did a parade with the local police and firefighters, who gave”Courageous Heroes” medals to all the cancer survivors and their siblings, it was a beautiful way to honor their fight together.

As our week at Blue Skies comes to a close, I think we would all agree that we have developed a special bond.  A bond that has connected the host families and the guest families. And After the red white and blue celebration tonight we might even agree we’re feeling somewhat like a big family….how cool is that? Maybe it was the fried chicken Or the awards for the  siblings and the cancer patients ? Maybe it was The humor we found  in running across the courtyard four times during the parade to act as A stand in crowd. Whatever it was there was something very special about tonight. I’m pretty Sure it is a memory most of us will not forget.

Heres A little something from Kerregan Graves:

Well not only was today amazing this whole week was amazing. I have learned so much from these kiddos at blue skies . I love to see the smile on their faces not even worrying about cancer .This week has been full of activity’s ! Seeing the kids enjoying chapel is also really amazing . Pastor Brent has done a fantastic job at leading chapel .I have made new friends , got new nicknames , Seen everything in a different perspective. I have seen what god has done for these kids . Over the week kids open up and let loose ! Thiago, Blair , and Hannah Make our pool days fun .Lee will bring out the water guns and than the pool can’t get better than that .Its so cool making new friends coming in to this mission trip i kinda  new a few people but now i feel like we are all family . We have got to go watch the sun set a few times as a Blue Skies family. But down here in Port Snt Joe  where doing just fine !!!

Atlanta Dream Center Update #3

By | Atlanta Dream Center, Mission Trips

Sarah Haney & Jenna here reporting to you live from ADC day 2!! Today we realized that God’s Love & word doesn’t only have to be spread to those who are sexually exploited, those without homes, & children who live in low income areas, but His love can be spread to people just like me & you. We walked around the heart of downtown handing out waters, and asking for prayer. It was surprising to see the contrast between the acceptance and rejection of our works throughout this outreach. After this wonderful experience, our team had fun with MeTrO KiDz!! These kiddos were so so sweet, and seemed to really enjoy playing with us. (We both painted some ~interesting~ pictures on kids’ faces. LOL) Then, our knight in shining armor appeared to us around dinner time: Craig Bowler with Antico’s pizza- what a sight for sore eyes. We had fun eating, laughing, dancing, and singing together in the park on a gorgeous day. We ended the night with Words of Life (you’ll hear about it from your girl) and it was TeAr JeArKiNg, but great words of encouragement.
Thanks for all of your prayers, and God is doing great things this week.

Ps- MOM & DAD I miss y’all, give Charlie a big ole kiss for me 😉 xo Sar
PPS- hi mom, can’t wait to see u soon:) and hi Jadin and AGB. I. MISS. YOU. 💖 -Jenna

Blue Skies Update #3

By | Blue Skies, Mission Trips

We woke up to a cool morning rain, and moved our chapel inside. We had a sweet time of worship and Brent talked about “Receiving from God”, and the greatest gift to receive is Jesus.  He also talked about receiving the gift of being yourself.  There is no one like you, and you are exactly what God had in mind when He created you. Psalm 139.

In our Kindred Journeys time, the parents had a chance to share more about their journey of having a child with cancer, and how God showed up in amazing ways through out.  It was an emotional time, but beautiful to see how many ways God is at work even in the midst of the hardest moments of life.

Meanwhile, the kids played LEGO’s and card games, watched movies, and just had a blast getting to know each other better!

After the rains cleared and lunch was over, it was another fun day at the pool with all the Blue Skies families!

For dinner we had a Hoedown!  Checkout the photos from our Wild West BBQ dinner…it was so fun!

Tomorrow we head to the beach with all the families for another full day.

Please continue to pray for these families, and for our team. God is moving, and it is an honor to be a part of His work!

Check out these beautiful words from Jenny Jack about how she is experiencing God at Blue Skies:

Today at Blue Skies we mixed things up a bit because of the weather, but as we let go of our plans we saw that it is God Who holds it all together and it is His plan that is perfect. And as time to reflect was presented He revealed more of Himself in these thoughts…

Whatever is happening or not happening, God is using all of our experiences, both good and bad, hopeful and hurtful, to develop our character to match our calling. C. S. Lewis said it best: “We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”

The only thing that will stop the anxieties, uncertainties and insecurities is for the Spirit of God to lay across our hearts and make them still. The blanket of His presence and His protection is the only perfect fit for the deep creases and crevices carved inside us. He is the lifter of our heads. The remover of our pain. The healer of our hearts. And the One who sings over us in delight.

God’s love isn’t based on you and me. It’s simply placed on you and me. As these truths flood our hearts, peace comes. Peace that gives us permission to live like we are loved. Because we are. Deeply. Abundantly. And with a love that will not fail.

He is good, and He is good to us. Our lives are in His hands. We trust Him to care for us and our families. We want Him to stir up our spirits, like He did for Zerubbabel and Joshua in Haggai 1:14. Make us fearless, brave and bold as we commit to following Your call and building Your kingdom above all else; here at Blue Skies, in these precious families and wherever else You may lead.

Atlanta Dream Center Update #2

By | Atlanta Dream Center, Mission Trips
Hey it’s Rachel and Jo !!
We just finished day uno at the dream center. This morning we woke up and kicked off ministry by helping out with the Dream center mobile closet. We organized clothes and just had fun bonding with the team. Then in the afternoon we worked with Metro Kidz and went to a neighborhood nearby and hosted a block party. We sang songs and taught a bible story!! We got to love on some cute kiddos  and did some crazy face paint and just hung out with them. Then tonight we participated in Princess Night and oh my goodness it was amazing!! We handed out flowers to a well deserving variety of people from women to children to men. It truly was an eye opening experience and Rachel and I (Jo) can attest to that. So far we are having so much fun and we are very excited to see where the Lord will guide us the rest of the week. Please keep us in your prayers throughout the week!!
Ps- I Love you Mom *waves* – Rachel
Pps – mom, I’m okay!!! Rileigh and I haven’t killed each other yet & also I miss my Peru peeps :))) – Jo

Blue Skies Update #2

By | Blue Skies, Mission Trips

Day 2 – We spent the entire day at the beach with the Blue Skies families, it was incredible.  There was fishing, boogie board riding, pool fighting, bird feeding, sandcastle building, LEGO creating, sea shell finding…and most importantly relationship building with each other in the indescribable beauty of God creation!

Anthony, 19 yrs old, catching a saltwater catfish (see picture below)

Anderson, 15 yrs old, catching 2 lady fish at the same time! (see picture below)

A quick testimony from Katherine Mullins:

It would be impossible for me to fully describe everything that I have seen and experienced in the past few days. Let’s just say it’s only Tuesday and it’s been the absolute BEST week ever for me. While me and my mom have been hosting a family of 5, it’s been a blessing to get to know the family’s story as well as getting to know the other 8 family’s at Blue Skies. Having the privilege this week to teach the Blue Birds babies class during H2O, I had the opportunity to get to know Mattaow. Mattaow is a very sweet boy and absolutely loved my sunglasses (he dropped one of his toys so I went to go grab it and hand it back to him.. when all of a sudden my sunglasses hit the ground. Somehow Mattaow managed to stretch while being buckled into the toy and grab my sunglasses. He instantly put them on his face. While I was turning back around to hand him his toy he had the biggest grin on his face and I immediately realized they were my sunglasses and just had to capture the moment!) Proverbs 139 – “You are a child of God, You are wonderfully made, dearly loved, and precious in his sight. Before God made you, he knew you… there is no one else like you.”

Blue Skies Update #1

By | Blue Skies, Mission Trips
It was a fun filled day at BlueSkies, where we have the privilege of serving families who have a child with Cancer.

We met all the families last night, as they arrived, but really got to know them today.We started the day off with Chapel with the families, where we talked about resting in God, and reminding them that “You’re the one that Jesus loves”…all while over looking the beach and eating donuts!

After Chapel, Pastor Brent and Amanda spent time with the parents allowing them to have a safe place to connect and share their stories.  Meanwhile, their kids connected with all our volunteers in the pool, playing sports, and doing LEGOs.

The afternoon turned into a pool party with a huge water gun fight, followed by Italian night with Red Carpet welcome. Then it was off to the beach to see God’s glory on display with a beautiful sunset.

It was a fun day and the group is starting to relax and connect, and the families are experiencing rest and love.

Tomorrow we head to the beach for a full day with all the Blue Skies Families.  Please continue to pray for them, their journeys are hard, and hope is sometimes lost…but God is pursuing them and He is not finished!

Pictured here is Ziggy, a 9 year old with Leukemia, and his brother Lahni, first time ever at the beach, and loving it!

Peru Team Update #6

By | Mission Trips, Peru

Hola Mis Amigos!!!

We came…We saw…We Machu Picchu’d!!!

What an incredible day!!!  This morning started with a 4am wake up call and some unhappy students.  It’s almost as if waking up this early is unnatural for them…

We had a beautiful drive through the mountains and into the Sacred Valley.  We had a 2 hour bus ride to the train station.  Then we quickly jumped on the train and rode through the beautiful mountains to the city of Machu Picchu.  Then we hopped on another bus and took that to the main entrance of MP.  We split into two groups and got to tour the Incan city on top of the mountains.  It was a little rainy and overcast, but it was still beautiful.  After our tour, a group of us hiked higher up to the Sungate…pics to follow.

Our day ended with some much needed dinner at a pizza restaurant in the downtown area and then the long ride home.  It’s off to bed and then we will begin the journey home.  We can’t wait to share all that God has done!

Team Alpaca!