Memphis Day 2

Posted: July 18, 2018 by keystoneyouth in SOS Trip


Today was a hot one again. Around 2:00 the temperature was at 92 but felt like 105 because of the humidity. Add to that being on a roof with shingles and it made for instant sweat anytime you set foot on the roof. Our groups did a great job working through the heat either putting shingles on or prepping another part of the roof for shingles. Every evening is made up of some free time before dinner and then dinner is followed by chapel. Each week they bring in a different local pastor to speak each evening in chapel. This week are speaker has been a local pastor by the name of Robin. He’s been walking through the first couple chapters of Genesis so far showing us how it answers some of the big questions we have – like who we are, what our purpose is in life, and how we can know God personally. After chapel, we finished off the evening by driving to Chick-Fil-A and debriefing our day as a group over some milkshakes:)


  • Getting ice pops from a local church! There really is nothing better than an ice pop at 2:00 in the afternoon. It’s also really neat to see the partnerships that SOS has built with the local churches and the ways the churches support the ministry of SOS.
  • Sharing testimonies at lunch today. We spent our normal devotion time over lunch sharing our testimonies over lunch. Everyone opened up and shared the story of how they’ve became a Christian along with how they’ve grown and see God be faithful through some very difficult struggles in their lives.
  • Getting barbecueJA group of us went out for a pre-dinner trip to Central Barbecue. Memphis is famous for great Barbecue and the Nachos and Pulled Pork sandwiches did not disappoint!


Memphis Day 1

Posted: July 16, 2018 by keystoneyouth in SOS Trip


We arrived in Memphis at 3:00 yesterday afternoon. After getting settled in and eating dinner, we had an eventful evening. Right in the middle of our evening program a powerful thunderstorm came through and knocked out the electric. We split up into work teams with minimal lights and then took a team run to Sonic. Just as we were getting into bed the electric came back on. The dorms both exploded with shouting because it meant we got to sleep with A/C instead of 80 degree temperatures:)

This morning after breakfast we headed for our worksites. Our team is split up into three different work teams each about a quarter mile apart. We spent the day painting, tearing shingles off the roof, and putting new shingles on. We are the 6th of 7 weeks of summer camp here at SOS so most of the houses are getting pretty close to being done. The morning always tends to go a little better because the heat isn’t so bad, but by 2:00 in the afternoon everyone is feeling the combination of lunch, hot weather (90s and HUMID), and exhaustion from being on the roof all day. We packed up about 3:00 came back to SOS base for showers and a quick nap before dinner. After dinner and the evening program we drove to a local Chick-Fil-A to get some milkshakes and debrief as a team before coming back to head to bed and then do it all over again tomorrow:)



  • Meeting the homeowners we are working with: Ms. Morgan, Robert and Eugena, and Mr. John. My group is working at Ms. Morgan’s house. She is an extremely friendly 65-year old lady who started the day by taking a picture of everyone so that she could get our names memorized. She also made sure that we were well stocked with ice pops throughout the day!
  • Seeing people on our team try new things by getting up on the roof and working. You could tell that most people were pretty nervous in the morning as they stepped up onto the roof, but by the end of the day they were all looking like naturals up there and doing a great job!
  • Getting to worship together as a large group in the evening. We are one of eight groups here this week with probably a total of about 150 people. Each evening we come together to worship as a large group. There’s something special about a large group of students who have just spent all day in the heat and sun praising God at the end of the day by singing together.


Fold Day 2 and 3

Posted: June 13, 2018 by keystoneyouth in The Fold

We spent the past two days doing two main jobs: staining and wood chipping. Half of our group spent time staining decks, stairs, and the front of the school building while the other half spent time chopping up tree branches and sending them through a shedder in an effort to clear out an area for a parking lot. The team has worked extremely well together and incredibly hard over the past couple days! Wednesday is often one of the hardest days because everyone starts to hit a breaking point where they feel tired and worn down. It’s great to have a day off tomorrow to look forward to and rest a little more before finishing up on Friday.

We also got to spend more time with the students and staff here at the Fold over the past couple days. This evening we had a cookout and bonfire with all the students and staff and got to hear some of them share their testimonies. It was good to hear the ways that God is working in the lives of teens who come here, but it was also neat to hear how God has worked in the lives of the staff during their time at the Fold. We’ve been able to spend more time with staff and students then other years which has helped us to get a better picture of what actually happens at the Fold on a regular basis.

I’ve been really impressed with this team. They love to serve and they work hard. But they also love God and have been quick to talk about the ways they are seeing Him at work this week. One of my highlights has been the nightly prayer times after our daily debrief. This group is quick to praise God and pray to Him with almost everybody jumping in. I’ve walked away each night encouraged by what God is doing and excited for the rest of the week.

The Fold Day 1

Posted: June 11, 2018 by keystoneyouth in The Fold

We arrived at the Fold after a long day of travel last night at 8:00pm. We got situated in the house we are staying at (which is on the same property as the offices and school), and most of us went to bed pretty quickly. Although several decided it would be a good night to stay up until 2:00:) After breakfast and devotions this morning, we headed out for the day’s work. Part of the group spent the morning scraping and re-staining the deck at the house we are staying in, while the other part worked on replacing a window and clearing out some brush and weeds around the school.

It seems much busier around here then the other years that we have been here. The students are still in school (they have 7 currently). Several students graduated last weekend and several more graduate this coming weekend, so parents have been in and out over the past couple weekends as well.

After lunch, half of the group packed up and drove the boys home to mow the lawn. It was a group project since we only had push mowers and the property includes about two acres of area that needs to be mowed (this usually ends up being a weekly chore for the two boys who currently live in the boys home). The rest of the group continued to stain decks around the main property and work on the widow.  We finished off our day with pizza (made by Nicki, Caroline, and Mariah!), and lots of games throughout the evening.




Leaving Soon!

Posted: June 8, 2018 by keystoneyouth in The Fold
Tags: , ,

The Fold team is packing, double checking that we didn’t forget our toothbrushes, and just about ready to head out for Vermont! We will be leaving this coming Sunday and driving 8 hours to Lyndonville, VT to serve with the Fold Family Ministries. We would love to have you pray for us and follow along with our trip all of next week. You can follow along here for daily updates and you can follow us on Instagram at keystoneyouth for daily pictures.

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Attention Funnel: This or That


  • Perhaps one of the most common AND most difficult objections to the Christian faith is the problem of evil.
  • Bad things happen in this life. Painful things happen in this life. And they often cause us to ask where God is or why he would allow such things.
    • A pet that you loved dies. A girlfriend or boyfriend breaks up with you unexpectedly. The sport you love to play is suddenly taken away by a bad injury. You get abused by someone you love. You come home one day to find that your Dad has walked out. Your parents sit you down to tell you that your mom has cancer. A close friend commits suicide. These are only some examples… not to mention large scale things like hurricanes, famines, genocides, and war.
  • How in the world can we believe God is all-powerful and a good Father in the midst of all of this?
    • Because if he is really a good father, then he would want to get rid of all this evil, right?
    • And if he is an all-powerful God, then he would be able to get rid of all this evil, right?
    • Take your pick… it’s a this or that. Either he can be all-powerful OR he can be good, but he can’t be both. He can’t be the God of the Bible, right?
  • This is not simply an intellectual question… it’s a personal one.
    • This is a problem WE ALL have to deal with when things go wrong in our life or we witness horrible suffering in the world.
  • This is by no means a new problem. It’s a problem that people have faced since the dawn of the world.

Big Idea: God doesn’t work how we expect him to.

 Read John 11:1-6

  • Notice the sisters don’t invite or ask Jesus to come. It assumed that as soon as he hears his friends are suffering he will be on his way. To think otherwise is inconceivable.
  • Which is what makes Jesus’ response so shocking… He stayed where he was for two days. Why???
    • Because he loves the sisters and Lazarus… that makes no sense to us. God doesn’t work how we expect him to.

Read John 11:28-32

  • “Jesus if you had just been here this wouldn’t have happened. You could have prevented it.”
    • The hidden questions behind the statement is “Why weren’t you here???”
    • Don’t you care? Were you unable to come? Why weren’t you here?

Read John 11:33-44

  • There are many things this passage as a whole teaches us about evil and suffering… I want to draw out several of them.

 Main Points:

  • Christianity allows us to see evil for what it is.
  • Our pain is not pointless.
  • God got his hands dirty with evil.
  • Evil and suffering have a deadline.

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Attention Funnel: Greatest Enemies/Rivalries


  • We started a series last week called Faith Inspection. We said that in this series we want to take a closer look at some of the common questions/objections surrounding faith.
  • Tonight, I want to look at the Question: Doesn’t Science disprove Christianity?
  • At the core of this question is the idea that Science and Faith are rivals and enemies. Either you are a scientific person dealing with facts and evidence or you are a person of faith dealing with beliefs and old holy books.
  • I believe this is a false disagreement that has been painted.
  • My goal tonight is to point out that Christianity and science should go hand-in-hand and that what we believe is based on good evidence.

 Big Idea: Christians have good reasons for what we believe.

Main Points:

  • Christianity and science aren’t enemies.
  • The existence of God makes more sense of the facts.
  • There is evidence that Christianity is true.

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