Wednesday, July 31, 2013

18th Annual SLAMMED!!

Our 18th Annual SLAMMED Adventure Trip starts tomorrow in north GA!!! This is the event that started it all for GTD in 1996. Praising God for the longevity!! Can't wait for this God-awesome adventure <><


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Good Morning!

This morning students from Harvest Church (7.1 Student Ministries) spoke at the student conference!  Way to go Zack and Tate!  You guys did great!  

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Post From Tara - Harvest Church Mission Trip

Buenos dias! It’s day 5 here on our Costa Rica mission trip and I, Tara Green along with my little Costa Rican buddy Manuel are writing to you this afternoon. It has been an amazing 5 days down here with our first work day fixing up the church, our trip to the Hot Springs, our incredible VBS with the kids (over 100!), the visit to a local community who are in such poverty most kids can’t attend school because they can’t afford shoes, let alone food, our trip to the most beautiful waterfall and today our work day at a local preschool.
A couple blocks away from our camp there is a small preschool but it’s not like our preschools. This preschool is a place where kids who are sick, kid’s whose families can’t afford to feed them, and kid’s who just can’t afford to go to public school. At this preschool the kids receive schooling, a free meal, and medical attention. Today we were blessed with the opportunity to go and help out the lady who runs the school with some much-needed improvements. Our team jumped right in! We had students, along with some of our local kids, painting some new doors that had just been installed for the children’s bathrooms. There were students working outside cleaning the school walls and pulling weeds from their playground. Lastly, the lady in charge of the school asked us if we could create her a new garden because her last one had gotten ruined. This was so important to her and her school because they use the garden to grow vegetables and spices to help feed their kids. Y’all should have seen our team go to work on this, we had students with shovels, hoes, picks and some just using their bare hands. After four hours we finally finished and had left the school with a beautiful garden accompanied by a new compost box, and 7.1 Student Ministries sign towering over them. We are back at camp now washing the paint off of our faces, arms, legs, and any other place you can think of because in less than 30 minutes we will be starting our Youth Conference! It has been incredible to watch our team prepare for this conference, last night 4 of our students were invited to practice with the churches worship team so that at the conference they could all lead worship together, in Spanish and English. I ask that you would continue to pray for us as we continue in our work for the Lord. Pray for the conference we will be leading, pray for Zack Bishop and Tate Hawkins as they prepare their messages for the break out sessions tomorrow, and pray for the students who will be attending this weekend that they may encounter God in a new way. 

“Generacion De Fuego” - A Post By Jennifer

If waking up was not a big enough blessing then definitely today’s experience was. We started off the day gathering food supplies and basic necessities that we would need to deliver to the homes. After fitting everything we needed into the vans we loaded up and headed out on our journey to bless others. When we got to the church the first thing I saw was “generacion de fuego” meaning a generation on fire and that’s exactly why we were there, to be the generation on fire for GOD with a willingness to serve. We plopped ourselves down on the warm tiled floor and listened to our translator as we were introduced to a few members of the church that would be joining us on our journey. Like clowns into a clown car everyone packed into the van and we were on our way. Being squished in was not even on our minds as we sat in silence thinking of what was about to come. As we traveled, in the distance the once small blurs became clear houses of tin and wood. As we drove through the bumpy narrow roads we came to a stop in front of what looked to us like rusty tin barely adequate to provide shelter from the outside world and yet to these people they called it home. Not one of us could fathom what our eyes would see and then stepping into the house was when reality set in that the stuff we see on commercials about poverty was real. The situations that these families are in was more then I expected to see but what surprised me more was the positivity and delightfulness these people covered us in as we stepped into their homes. We were given the opportunity to bring food, clothing, and basic essentials and yet after giving these families these things we had only wished that we could keep giving. Children couldn’t go to school because they didn’t own shoes, single mom’s struggled to provide for 6 children because the father had left or in one case was in jail because he didn’t have enough money to pay the bills. Before leaving each home we asked what we could pray for and as we layed a hand on each member of the family you could see tears making a path through the thin layer of dirt covering their face as each tear hit the ground as the prayer came to a closing.  After saying our goodbyes still wishing we could give more, we were greeted by children walking on the streets. We gave out lollipops and stamps and even with the littlest of things like a lollipop or a stamp they were happier then a child back home receiving a new X BOX or an iPhone. This made me personally realize how gratefully blessed I am to have what I have and sometimes I have everything I want and yet I’m not as happy as that little girl who received a toothbrush and toothpaste. Coming out of our last house Ben, our youth pastor, asked me to pray over the family of 11 living in one hut and as I prayed I choked because even though I knew how strong prayer was I only wish I could have done more, I had so much to say and yet I couldn’t speak. After Laurie gracefully continued the prayer tears streamed down my face as we walked off leaving them a blur in the distance, and as we stumbled back into the van the thought of what we just laid our eyes upon still lingered in our heads as a cloud of silence fell throughout the van while continuing on to our next adventure to the most magnificent waterfall. After feasting on our PB&J sandwiches we headed down a rocky path to our destination as the growing roar of water filled our ears. When reaching the waterfall the water was first cold and yet relaxing due to the location and scenery. As the end came near we could all at least say we crossed off our bucket list that we jumped through a waterfall and lived to tell the tale! As we headed back up the rocky path, which seemed far more difficult now that we were going up hill, the reality of everything that we have been doing in Costa Rica was for a purpose. Yes we have had our time of fun activities and we have also had our time of doing Gods work and that is a blessing all on its own, knowing that God put our Harvest youth ministry in Costa Rica has made all the difference in not only my life but the life of others and I could not have asked for a better day here! So to reiterate, waking up was a blessing, but getting the opportunity to do what we did today was a blessing and so much more. - Jen

Friday, July 26, 2013

Thoughts From Caleigh Angel and Jessica Rodriguez

Today we had our Costa Rican VBS.  It was awesome! The kids had a blast with the tattoos, the face paint, the games, and especially the water balloons! They also got to hear a great message from Mrs. Melba. Twenty-six kids prayed to receive Jesus into their hearts today! Their lives are forever changed and we now have 26 new brothers and sisters in Christ! Today honestly could not have gone any better! Everything went smoothly and even though we didn’t get to do everything we had originally planned to do, it was still a huge success!
                                                                        -Caleigh Angel and Jessica Rodriguez 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Note From Tate

Hey everybody, Tate and Anonymous the dog on the blog tonight!

We made it safe to Fortuna! Dodging mangos falling from the trees all day will be fun, but we’re all looking forward to this trip. Today was Wednesday and in as few words as possible, I’d say the day was…. Eventful. The rain started to come down sometime in the middle of the night. Then we were greeted with some breakfast, we had a nice acoustic worship session and spent time diving into Ephesians 1:11-19. Then it was off to work. While one group went to help clean up and haul wood for a few hours, a second group headed to help paint while another group plastered some walls around the church office. Amidst all the hard work and chaos, myself and another tripper Zack, stayed back in the dining area and prepared for our speaking roles at the youth conference this weekend.  Lunch was delicious like always, then it was back to work. I got to help with the painting and I’m telling you. If Costa Rica had an extreme makeover show… This church would be the subject. We plastered and painted until the job was done. We then all washed up, loaded up and headed about 15-20 minutes down the road to the hot springs called Thermo Mania. Spent time swimming in the pools, sending 10 people down a waterslide at a time, and enjoying each others company while relaxing from a hard days work. Dinner was a whole other adventure. Right as we all got in, sat down, and were situated… The lights went out in the restaurant, so we all got to eat dinner in the dark…. Still not knowing exactly what I ate…. But today in a whole was a great first day to the trip! Yea we all miss family and friends, and twitter, we’re all pressing on and doing God’s work. I’ve taken this trip to put Isaiah 6:8 into use… “Here I am Lord, send me.”
Well here comes the rain again, guess that’s my sign to head off to bed. Looking forward to tying up the loose ends of our work tomorrow and praying that VBS goes as well as we all hope it will! Shout out to my Mom and rest of my family, love y’all!
Hasta Manana (See You Tomorrow)
Tate… and a very playful puppy.\

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My Piles

These are my "piles". I have about 20 of them in my office almost all of the time. They represent all the tasks that I run out of time to complete. Right before I leave for another trip I have to put all my undone tasks in a folder so that when I return I can go right back to work on them. But the funny thing is that as soon as I return back from a trip the "Task Troll" has already created a new pile of "urgent" tasks for me to work on so all the other piles become harder & harder to get to. I literally work from the moment I wake up until I go to bed. I actually have tasks that date back to 1996!! It's like digging a hole at the beach. Each time you remove a shovel full then a pile of sand falls back in the hole. But I won't stop shoveling. I'm an engine powered by the fuel of the Holy Spirit. This engine doesn't give up. This engine keeps on going & going & going. I'm an engine that only knows one thing to do and that's to keep on driving forward. Running your own organization has a lot of perks, but don't ever fool yourself, it's a 24/7/365 responsibility. Even if you get a short break away the "Task Troll" is still making new piles of "urgent" tasks. That's ok because this engine is actually getting caught up little by little. One day I'm going to catch up to that Task Troll actually get ahead of the game. Yes, one day I will give him a few tasks to do  (- DUG)


CCSP Adventure Trip Pics Uploaded

THE MATRIX! Check out the youth group from Calvary Chapel of St Petersburg as they ascend 3 different rock climbing routes in TN. Goin' vertical!!

Nearly 1400 amazing pictures of our Adventure Trip with the middle school youth group from Calvary Chapel of St Petersburg have been uploaded to the GTD online photo album!!


TC3 Adventure Trip Pics Uploaded

Check out TC3's "White Water Swim Team" as they got dumped out of the raft (unintentionally) in Broken Nose rapid on The Ocoee River last Saturday. Water levels were raging & people were flying out left & right!

Check out nearly 1000 pics from our Adventure Trip with the youth group from Treasure Coast Community Church on our online photo album. Enjoy!!


Thanks Adventure Trip Interns!!

A HUGE THANK YOU to my 4 incredible interns that helped provide 3 back-to-back-to-back Adventure Trips in 14 days!! I couldn't have done it without you. You are all an answer to prayer & a blessing to all who attended camp. Thank you Jessie, Clancy, Korte, & Jessica!!! I hope you are all getting rested up... Much love... God bless!



Thank you Harvest team for helping the church today to cut and stack all this wood!  Great job!  

Work Day With Harvest Youth

Today the team is helping to paint the inside church building, remove brush, and plaster the GTD office walls!!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Please Help Us!

One of the many reasons GTD needs an office here in Costa Rica!!! Every year GTD is accumulating more supplies to help our teams function better but everything is spread out in the community in different homes when we leave!  It can take a day or two for families to organize and move our stuff when we leave and another day or two for us to track it down when we come back!  Please help us complete our office by making a donation to GTD, it will be a great blessing to GTD to have a missions office here in Costa Rica. We still need windows, doors, paint, locks, shelves, a fan, electrical work and desks. You can make a donation through our website at

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Intern Jessie Morton & I just got onto a Greyhound bus in Atlanta heading to Orlando/Tampa... this is our biggest adventure in 2 weeks!!!! Ahhhhhhhhh!!!




It took 9 hours, but we cleaned & repacked all the camping gear. Next adventure trip is Slammed in 11 days!!

C U Later TC3!!

The youth group from Treasure Coast Community Church departed this morning to return back to FL. We had a great time with a wonderful group of young people!! Yesterday was a fUntastic day full of class 3's, 4's & 5 rapids, the blob, an enormous slip'n slide, and our God-time around the campfire. Loved adventuring with this group!! Have a safe trip back... Pictures coming soon!!

Help Is Needed

Dear Friends....GTD still needs help to finish our missions office in Costa Rica and we can't do it without you.  Currently we only have $400 of the $2,000 we need to complete it.  We still need windows, doors, lights, paint, locks, door handles, a ceiling fan, electrical, desks and a few other items.  Please help to support this project.  Every dollar helps, big or small.  The office will help us in many ways to better help this community and surrounding areas.  It means we have permanency, a place to stay, plan, prepare, meet with people and store all of our supplies.  Each year GTD brings multiple missions teams to Costa Rica to help serve in the communities here and along side the church. Help us make an impact, not only in the lives of the Costa Rican people but also in the lives of those who travel here to experience life on the mission field.  Over the years many of our participants have found out while serving here that God is calling them into missions too.  Help us make a difference.  If you'd like to make a donation you can either write a check made out to GTD and send it to: PO Box 7523, Seminole FL 33775 or you can make a donation through PayPal on our website @ (just copy and paste this link into your browser.
Thank you in advance!  God Bless!

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Rafting the Ocoee River with the youth group from Treasure Coast Community Church... looks like a perfect weather day!!! =)

A Little Rest and A Little Play

The past two days here (Costa Rica) have been an incredible and well needed after a couple weeks of being sick, hurt, discouraged, tired and emotionally drained. Yesterday, Yikson my Costa Rican son took Jessie, Toly and myself to his work to go horseback riding, to enjoy mud baths, thermal pools and a very cool water slide. Then today Jessie, Lorena, Sury and I were so blessed to be the guests at place called Rio Perdido where we hope to take future teams for an adventure while here. We were treated to zip across some amazing river views, swing on a Tarzan Swing, walk across a hanging bridge, enjoy a beautiful lunch, get a massage, sip on some coffee and swim in some pools heated by the volcanic waters. God is soooo good and blesses us so much! Thank you Maikoll for sharing your wife with us today! We missed you!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

TC3 Adventure Trip Update

The youth group from Treasure Coast Community Church made it to camp yesterday. They set-up camp just before the it started pouring down raining. It made for a great night of sleep. Today is PERFECT!! We are rock climbing & rappelling & looking forward to all God has in store for us this week!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Get My "But" Out Of God's Way!

Today I read from Exodus (3 and 4) when God called Moses to lead his people to freedom and Moses protested. Moses was filled with a lot of doubts in his own capabilities despite the many ways in which God reassured him that he'd be with him and equip him to convince his people to listen. Numerous times Moses answered with a "BUT" and/or WHAT IF! It makes me wonder how many times I too have answered GOD with a "BUT" and/or WHAT IF" disqualifying myself to be used by God. My human flesh tells me I'm not good enough, that I'm not capable, or that someone else can do it better, BUT God says, I am good enough, fully capable and doing the best with what I have. My prayer is I listen to God and get my "BUT" out of His way and start wondering "WHAT IF I DO", and whose life can I impact.  - Laurie