real life RADICAL

we made it safley home from ecuador! i am thankful for an amazing babysitter (morgan) who allowed jeff and me to enjoy our trip worry free!  acclimating to real-life has taken a couple of days. my old laptop not agreeing with foreign internet providers made communication difficult. (and we were crazy busy.) at the end of most days we wanted to shake out our brains like a sandy beach towel ~ absorbing the wonder of the day. then it was group talk (and guaranteed laughs),  luke warm showers and sleep.  as filling as a thanksgiving dinner!

 it was an amazing experience ~  i may sound cliche, but yes it was life changing. jeff and i have grown in more ways than we ever could have imagined. we have experienced God's presence like never before. so many times i felt like a child getting their cheeks squeezed by an exhausted parent saying, "look at me when i am talking to you!" 
in january i read the book radical by david platt for the third time. this book is a must read ~ a life changer! before we left, i purchased the followup, radical together.  i bought the audio version for the plane ride. 

i was unaware that i would soon see the live performance of this book.

so as i dive into my 2000+ pictures, first i want to share (one of) my many radical experiences. 

this experience was with the quechua youth group.   the youth and their leaders were taking part in a day long prayer fast and worship services. the group met at 7:30 am and traveled by (a public) bus to an old farm on the outskirts of macahchi. 

the farm itself took my breath away! it was a rustic pintrest daydream. the leaders  apologized (?) for the rustic conditions. 

they apologized when the roof leaked and when the fire place popped and for the broken windows. we kept our coats on the entire day, yet i felt like i was in a beautiful dream ~please don't pinch me!

this sets the stage for radical's live performance. 

i was asked to speak about "purity." the day before maureen and i poured through literature, coordinating scripture with the topics. (she is an amazing leader!) i would be alone with my interpreter and i should plan to teach for 3-4 hours (with translation  two hours of material.) jeff and maureen were planning to visit another church where jeff would give a sermon on tithing and maureen would just be her awesome self. and sharon, bless her sweet soul, on this day she was down and out with a migraine.
we gathered. we worshiped. we praised.
we laughed. we cried.

 i experienced their "style" of worship. all so pure, sweet and simple. so powerful, i imagined the windows were shattered by previous powerful worship sessions just like this one ;)  

the drama was powerful. the actress was really crying. there were a few props; a wooden prayer block, magic marker tattoos, and quick wardrobe changes. despite the language barrier  (i wanted to give my translator a break.) i clearly understood the story line. 
worship, singing and dancing. my dance moves brought a lot of attention...
 imagine elaine on seinfeld. but worse ;) 
then it was time for the closing worship.
 for this south carolinian baptist ~ it was time to buckle my seatbelt and hold on tight.
Jesus is in the house!
 this was worship like i have never seen before.

it was amazing.  at s i stood their i wanted to video every minute to share back home. the leaders intentionally pouring into these teenagers. tears flowing, the adults were filling them to the top. every adult prayed with each and every young person. not a short canned prayer, but a personal prayer. 

the song looped so many times as i stood in awe. i was trying to keep my stream of tears in (somewhat of) control.  hearts were being penetrated in powerful ways, mine included... 

as i struggled to keep myself from melting into my own tears, the chapter (in radical together)  genius of wrong, kept coming to my mind. is this what david platt meant when he said to, "strip away the elements of american corporate worship?" 

this worship wasn't taking place in an extravagant building. the roof was leaking on our heads. but i was surrounded by extraordinary believers!

what attracts youth to church? this. intentional Jesus.

 the holy spirit was holding my cheeks saying, "look around you! this what draws youth to the church."

at 5pm, they broke the fast. a sandwich and hot oatmeal.

and this is when you say, 
"yes. this trip was life changing." 

i will never forget this day.
i felt like i had run an emotional marathon on an empty stomach. but pictures (amercian style) were a must! i fell in love with this group!

after a long day, i was invited to their home in the city for dinner. 
chicken soup topped with popcorn! ah-mazing!

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