Summer is a great time for families to break out of their normal routines and experience life in a fresh way. Over the past few months, three teams of incredible Chase Oakers did just that by participating in our short-term summer mission trips. Through their faithful service, they were able to make a difference in the world as they shared the love of Christ and felt the power of His presence. There is so much to celebrate!
Highlights of Summer 2016
Dates: Sunday, June 19-Saturday, June 25
Leaders: Jarrod Brock, Terry Butler, Ashley Gonzales
Chase Oaks Church has partnered with Mission Discovery down in Jamaica for several years. Our relationships with Blossom Garden Orphanage and the Jamaican Christian School for the Deaf have flourished, blessing everyone involved. This summer, 21 of the 23 team members were returning from previous trips—obviously their experience left a lasting impression on their hearts, calling them back.
During their week in Jamaica, the team worked on several projects, painting and pouring concrete at the School for the Deaf. They spent much of their time engaging with the children, and the highlight of the trip was the graduation ceremony, where 16 students received their diplomas.
“I loved being a part of graduation,” shared Ashley Gonzales. “Going in, you weren’t sure what to expect. You knew some of these students had experienced hard lives, and it will continue being hard for them as they go out to find jobs, so I loved walking into a room of anticipation and joy. The students were happy to have made it to this day. There was a sense of pride from teachers, families, and friends. We were all in there with the common goal of celebrating them.”
Nuevo Laredo, Mexico
Dates: Thursday, June 23-Sunday, June 26
Leaders: Anita & Thad Maddox, Sara & Sean Trautman, Shelby & Eric Haugarth
Chase Oaks Church provides multiple opportunities throughout the year for teams to serve at Casa Hogar Elim Orphanage in Nuevo Laredo. This summer, we sent a team of 17 people to help provide for the children. They did a lot of cooking, a lot of playing, and a lot of planning for future building projects—the orphanage will be expanding a bedroom in the boys’ dorm.
Anita Maddox shared, “This is a unique trip in that we stay at the orphanage and take over certain core responsibilities while we are there. This means it is ‘all hands on deck’ for those two days. Whether it is cooking, cleaning, building, playing with children or holding sleeping babies, the opportunity to connect and make a difference is available, literally from the moment we arrive to the moment we leave. All it requires is a willingness to hear God’s prompting and then jump in with both feet!”
The most common question heard during their stay was, “When are you coming back?”
Dates: Sunday, July 17-Saturday, July 23
Leaders: Beth & Steve Crowe, Russell Walker
This summer, a team of 10 Chase Oakers joined with a youth group from The Gathering Church in Crandall, Texas, to build two single-room houses, side-by-side, on one concrete foundation, for a family with seven children.
“They were living in a mice-infested rental,” Beth Crowe explained. “The ceiling was in such bad shape that the mice would drop on them at night! Because of the generosity of God’s people, we were also able to purchase a large wooden trundle bed, a full-size bed, and a set of bunks, as well as groceries, school supplies, school uniforms and other household goods.”
It was Tonnya Blaylock’s first mission trip, and while she doesn’t consider herself a “construction person,” she had the opportunity to befriend the family’s daughter, Marlyn.
“I was nervous about stepping into such an unfamiliar situation since I am naturally shy, but I was praying for the opportunity to make relationships and share about Jesus. It happened that my name was the same as the mother in the family. I think because of that, their eleven-year-old, Marlyn, was able to remember my name… That started a bond that continued to grow through the week. I was able to share about how much God loved her and how I hoped she would continue to talk to Ana (our local contact and a pastor’s wife) about Jesus so that she might one day ask Him into her heart. I will never forget the experience. For me, it started by God providing the connection through my name.
“My heart is forever changed,” Tonnya went on to share, “and I have a new perspective for how some people in the world live that I could only have truly understood by walking alongside them for that week. I realize in a new way how much I have been blessed with, and it makes me more grateful, and gives me a deeper desire to share those blessings with others.”
Additionally, the team gathered around 35 kids in the community to enjoy Bible stories, games, crafts, snacks, and face painting.
Whether you enjoy hard labor (construction, painting, pouring concrete, etc.), ministering to the locals, sharing the Gospel, playing with the kids, or preparing meals—just to name a few of the serving opportunities—God can use you to make a difference around the world! Everyone is welcome to join a team.
For more information on our upcoming short-term mission trips, contact our External Ministries Pastor, John Stanley at .