Hello from the team! We are a group of kids leaders with Loop Kids and Loop ALIVE (both a part of the children's ministry at our church) and we are so excited to be able to use our gifts and passions overseas with those who are on the front lines of ministry! While we are in Indonesia, we will be hanging out with some missionary kids while their parents have a conference. We'll be doing some of the same things that we do with kids in Chicago - loving them, sharing with them about the Father, playing games with them, and probably teaching them some of our favorite worship songs from the Loop. :)
We'll also get an opportunity to visit a remote island village while in Indo. We will get there by boat (a 5 hour boat ride!) and our time there will be sharing our stories with people we meet, hanging out with the children in the village, and hopefully making lots of new friends with people that our, quite literally, worlds away from our lives in Chicago. We are excited about this, yet a little nervous as we don't quite know what to expect. But we are asking our Father to be our help each step of the way!
Well, here is a picture of the team (minus our leader, Dave). Check out a few facts about each of us below and get to know us a bit!
(From left to right: Chelsea, Amber, Joanna and Paul. Not pictured: Dave)
Originally from: Iowa
Favorite Chicago restaurant: Portillo's
Chelsea described (by the words of Joanna): Chelsea loves working with children, so much so that she is a full-time nanny! She has a heart for ministry and hopes to work in a church setting one day with kids. Until then, she is a super faithful leader at Park with Loop Kids on Sundays and with Loop ALIVE on Wednesday nights as the Explorers Director. This is Chelsea's first international flight, and she may have a slight fear of being over large bodies of water. So keep Chelsea in your prayers as there will be a lot of firsts for her on this trip!
Originally from: Madison, WI
Favorite Chicago restaurant: Embeya or RPM
Amber described (by the words of Joanna): Amber has been serving with Loop Kids and Loop ALIVE (and Awana before that!) for a number of years (even longer than anyone else on the team)! Amber loves to travel and see the world, and makes a point to do that as often as possible. This is her second trip with Park, her first being to Turkey a couple of years ago, but her first trip to Indonesia.
Originally from: Sanford, FL
Favorite Chicago restaurant: Chick-fil-a
Joanna loves working with kids and she also loves missions! She grew up surrounded by missionaries as her parents are on staff with a mission organization. Since she was a child, she knew her life would somehow have something to do with taking the name of the Father to all the nations. But for now, she is working at Park with kids, their awesome families and the coolest group of leaders around. How cool is it that she gets to do two of the things she loves? Missions AND working with kids! This is Joanna's second time to Southeast Asia, the first being when she lived with a missionary family in a remote tribe in the Philippines years ago for 6 months. She is excited to meet some new people, be a blessing to the missionaries, and trying new things!
Originally from: Well, he grew up in Brasil, but calls Kansas "home" now
Favorite Chicago restaurant: Brazilian Bowl
Paul described (by the words of Joanna): Paul, affectionately known as Joanna's husband, has been working more and more with kids at Park since becoming married to Joanna. :) He is a super fun guy and has the ability to make kids want to be around him more and more. Paul grew up as a missionary kid in Brasil and knows what its like to have many homes, and no home at all! Paul loves playing sports, trying to teach Joanna portuguese, playing ping pong, and seeing new places. As a team of mostly women, we are excited to have Paul be with us to help even things out a bit (I'm sure Dave is the most excited about that!).
Age: We'll say 37
Favorite Chicago restaurant:
Dave described (by the words of Joanna): Dave is our fearless leader. He leads the Global Team at Park and has traveled to so many countries by now that I can't keep count! He has a fierce love for the gospel, for missions, for going to new places and doesn't seem to have any fear in him or anything he can't do (except when it comes to swimming). Dave will be teaching and sharing with the parents of the kids we are working with while in Indonesia, so we'll be working alongside him. As a team, we're excited to get to know Dave more and see him in his sweet spot of ministry first hand!