Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Since Pat Won't Post... I Will (a post by Jason Harris)

This is Jason Harris. I am Pat's Underwear Brother. Some of you know me and some of you don't. If you're interested, you can check out my blog that is linked on the right hand side there. Pat's last post was February 27, 2007. That is 22 weeks ago to the day. I know several of you (me included) have been leaving comments on his last post begging and pleading Pat to post an update. Our cries have fallen on deaf ears. Not for lack of interest on Pats part, or for lack of love. Having talked to Pat, I know that he has been busy for one and has had a bad experience with Blogger.

Pat and his family are on the road as I type this post heading back to Lubbock from their trip out to California. They came out for the Tahoe Family Encampment and for a stop over at the coast. We (the Harris') were blessed to tag along and spend time with them.

The Sheaffer's arrived in Shingle Springs on July 20, 2007. The next day, we loaded up the camping trailer and headed up the hill to Camp Richardson at Lake Tahoe. We camped there until July 25, 2007 then went back to the house in Shingle Springs for one night in comfort and bathing/showering bliss (quite a nice change from the campground toilets and showers.)

While in Tahoe on Tuesday Pat did an AIM flag presentation right after the keynote speaker. It was great! There were ex-AIMers, AIMers and future AIMers all lined up holding flags while Pat told the crowd about the work God is doing through AIM. After the flag presentation we stood out and gave away AIM tee shirts to anyone that would wear one.

On Tursday afternoon (after re-stocking the trailer with food, snacks and drinks) the Sheaffer's and Harris' headed for the coast. It was supposed to be hot in the central valley so we were excited to get to cooler climes. Imagine going to the beach to get away from the heat. That is Northern California beaches. At night it was windy and in the low 50s. During the day it was foggy/overcast and in the 60s.

Here are some pictures of our trip...

The Sheaffer boys straddling two states on their way to California.

Pit stop at "Chief Yellowhorse."

Watch Out For Snakes!!

The kids taking a break and watching a movie after a hard day at play in Tahoe...

Pat rode around Camp Richardson in Tahoe on Michelle's pink Trek. Pat got quite the reputation from riding a pink bike.

Malissa and Titus at the Tahoe Campsite.

Noah jumps off a friends boat on Lake Tahoe! Pretty cold water, but not bad once your body goes numb.

The Beach Campsite. Notice our clothing attire is very wintery.

These are the steps down (and back up) to the Point Reyes Light House. It was built in 1870 and stopped being used as a lighthouse in 1975.

Here are Luke and Noah on their way back from tide pooling with Pat.

I hope you've enjoyed this update. Maybe this will get Pat motivated to start blogging again. He'll find out that I've hijacked his blog when he gets the email that a new post has been published.

Love you Pat!!!

Your UB.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Camp Adventure 2007

Camp Adventure is a time twice a year especially designed for high school juniors and seniors, as well as college-age men and women, who are even a little bit curious about AIM and want to find out more. It is a time to come and live with the current AIM students and find out what it is really like. You will be involved with them in great Bible study, community service projects and some good ole fun!

This year our theme is: Sink to the Top. Please give some prayerful consideration to joining us either in January or in March for this special time. AIM truly is an awesome and life-changing opportunity but it does require taking that first step of faith, so come and check it out! We anticipate at least 70 young men and women planning on attending Camp Adventures this year. See AIM link to the left for additional details.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Blogger Blues / Mission Term / Mexico

DRATS! I've discovered that I am one of select few who've had on-going battles with Blogger; I have had to switch my account twice, entire posts have been "lost" and this has been a consistent frustration for nearly eight months now. Sadly, my October, November, December and January posts are "gone" says Blogger. They are unable to "acquire my posts" and suggested that I "re-write as needed." The end to this saga is that I have relied on this Blogger as a vehicle of AIM reporting and information. Several readers have inquired as to "what has happened." I was (actually still am) tempted to transfer my blogs/reports to MySpace... we shall see:( Nonetheless, much as transpired since my last "lost posting" and I've much to report.

June of this year, Lord willing, eleven AIM apprentice teams will be arriving on their respective mission fields. This year God has raised up nearly 60 young disciples who are willing to go and share Jesus with those in darkness. Fields are: Juneau, Alaska; Montezuma Creek, Arizona (Indian Reservation);Gosford, Australia; Recife, Brazil; Strasbourg, France; Prato, Italy; Leon, Mexico; Napier, New Zealand; Lima, Peru; West Mains, Scotland; Capetown, South Africa. PRAISE GOD! These tender warriors will join almost 50 other AIM student currently serving around the globe.

When the AIMers returned after their Christmas/New Year's break, we began what is known as Mission Term. For the first two terms (August-December), AIMers spend most of their time sitting at the feet of instructors being feed God's word. Additionally, we teach short courses in areas such as public speaking, one-on-one studies, teaching children, writing newsletters, etc. They also participate and eventually lead small group (same gender) Bible studies. However, in Mission Term, the greater focus is to prepare them as mission teams; thus classroom instruction is pulled back to only 25 hours per week and they begin "practicing" being a team and implementing the knowledge they've received from all the classes.

During the initial weeks of mission term, we "take away" several privileges with the purpose of helping students to learn how to cope with life on the mission field. For at least a month, AIMers are NOT allowed to 1) eat fast food and/or in restaurants, 2) view TV, movies or computer entertainment and 3) or drive (public transportation or walking only). These three areas truly challenge our students... This is a generation enamored with the computer (IM, MySpace, etc.) and it is very difficult to be disciplined to manage time and desire. They quickly learn how much time and space one has when the TV/game factor is removed from their lives. They even begin to appreciate the "silence" and opportunity to commune with God more frequently and purposefully.

Certainly, Mission Term is much more than a few "missed" privileges. The students grow in their ability to make wise decisions and function as a vibrant, legitimate team purposed to submit themselves to the leading of missionaries. They learn to deal with conflict, differences and set their sights on their respective mission fields. We travel to Mexico City (world's second largest city) for a cultural awareness trip and simply to open the eyes of their hearts to a vast, last world. This mission term will conclude late March.

Friday, November 17, 2006

"Thanks-for-giving" For His Glory

Thank you for your continued partnership with our family and the Adventures In Missions program. We are grateful for brothers and sisters like you who have a world vision of preparing and sending young missionary apprentices into the mission field. Your partnership allows for intense training, mentoring and saturation of God's word to over 60 young disciples each year. Your partnership allows me to teach, preach, train and send these young warriors to not only 14 to 18 months of service, teaching and transformation on mission fields; but for a lifetime of service to the King.

Thank you to South Yukon (Yukon, OK); Woodland Oaks (The Woodlands, TX); West 21st Street (Clovis, NM); Lamar Ave. (Paris, TX); Betenbough Foundation (Lubbock, TX); and a few (anonymous) families for your incredibly significant role in world missions. You are deeply loved and appreciated.

Becuase of Christ,

Pat, Malissa, Noah, Luke and Titus Sheaffer

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

2nd Term Begins - New Classes & New Challenges

The AIM program can be divided into three primary sections: From August to December they have two, 9 week terms. From January to April they will have a Mission Term in which the focus of study shifts towards more practical training. The third and final section is the actual field time of at least 14 months on an approved mission field.

During the first term, students will study four core courses; New Testament Message (James "Gibby" Gilbert), Old Testament Survey (Ray Young), Christian Evidences (Ed Wharton) and Life of Christ (Patrick Sheaffer). Each of these course are taught twice weekly for no less than two hours each class period. These Bible course are equivalent to taking approximately 18 hours of college work in a nine week period. Students will have various assignments, pop quizzes and exams all directed at the growth and practical use of their Biblical knowledge.

As the 2nd of three terms begins, AIM students (teachers too) face new challenges and hurdles as a new round of classes are presented. During this second term, I will be teaching a class entitled "Spiritual Nurturing." This is practical presentation of the classical spiritual "disciplines" with an emphasis on implementing these into our daily, Christian walk. This will be the first time I have taught this course to the AIM students, consequently, I too will be challenged to present the material in a manageable and passionate context. In addition to my Spiritual Nurturing class, the students will have Acts, Romans, New Testament Church and Missionary Mindset.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Mountain View Retreat
Half way through the first term, AIM slips out of Lubbock up to the mountains of New Mexico for a brief, spiritually-focused retreat. Situated just outside of Ruidoso, New Mexico, the 16 acre camp offers plenty of room for the highly-stressed AIMers to chill out, sit around camp fires and spend some good time reflecting on God's goodness. Our special guest speaker was Mike Tanaro, father of two ex-Aimers, who spoke on the Matthew 5-7; the sermon on the mount. A huge thank you to the Sunset Church of Christ in Carlsbad, New Mexico for making it possible for AIM to enjoy such a great facility.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Family Reunion in Branson, MO

Several months ago, Dad and Mom began planning a family reunion/vacation. All of their planning, phone calls and prayers resulted in nearly the entire Sheaffer family meeting up in Branson, MO for the first-ever Sheaffer Family Reunion. We had a super time as we explored Marvel Cave, drove go carts like raving lunatics, swam like fish and so much more! We were both delighted and surprised when Dad's brother and sister-in-law, Pat and Sherrol Sheaffer, arrived. Even though Mike and Dawn were not able to make it to the reunion, we all had a great time playing softball, PS2, and even our family worship together on Sunday was not only unique, but very special. A very warm and special thanks to Mom and Dad for such energy, planning and vision.

A Note About the AIM Program

While AIM is not the only way for college-age men and women to serve and know God, it is a powerful opportunity for those wishing to pursue personal godliness and great commission awareness, and actively participate on a mission field for at least 14 months. What an incredible journey of faith that so many young people have made in the last 30 years be deciding to "make it their ambition (aim) to preach the gospel" (Romans 16:20). Yes, it is a huge step of faith, trust, and commitment that God will most certainly bless as you grow in the knowledge of His Son and share that with a lost and dying world. Please pray about not what AIM can do for you--though it can change your life--but how God desires to change the world through you. We are praying for young men and women with willing hearts--hearts that wish to be transformed by Jesus for a world of change!


God was gracious in allowing AIM to receive, train and send 50 young men and women to 12 mission points around the globe this last May. For the next year and half these young, willing disciples will give themselves to mission churches, languages and cultures. They will grow spiritually, develop relationally, and emerge with a greater awareness of God's will for their lives.

AIM is about helping to position young men and women for healthy transformation; transformation more into the likeness of Jesus. It is our prayerful belief that if our students leave Lubbock with a greater desire and heart to love and serve as Christ did, this program is a success and more importantly, a glory to God. Our prayer is that regarless of where AIM students go or what they do after the program, that they will continue with a lifestyle that glorifies and honors God.

I praise God for young people willing to serve, learn and simply love people as Jesus did. It challenges and humbles me. It is amazing to witness the transforming power of God's word in their lives. I humbly ask that you prayer for these young, tender warriors as they give themselves to becoming more like Christ and less like the world. They are not perfect - in fact, they struggle just as we all do - but please pray for their faith, perseverance and fruit.