Dream Center: Day 2

God Gold of the Day

Well, I’m going to go ahead and start off by saying GOD IS SOOO GOOD!!!!!! Day 1 was awesome but Day 2, gosh, it’s going to be tough to put into words how BIG God was at work but I’m going to do my best so just bare with me!

The day started off with another early start and a team breakfast. After breakfast we went into devotional time where we looked into the word “hope” and what that means for us as followers of Christ. Many scriptures on hope were shared from different students but the main verses that stuck out were;

“When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭6:13-19‬ ‭

It was in these truths from God’s Word that the students were able to journal and mediate on how their hope comes through Jesus and Jesus alone. Also, thinking about “hope” in more a mission-minded perspective, the students learned that we’ve been given this great hope through Jesus and as we work around people with no hope this week, we must embrace the work the Lord has given us. Which is to bring the hope of Christ to lives that are chained up in hopelessness. It was awesome to start the day off seeing what this life is literally all about, our relationship with Jesus and sharing Jesus with the world around us.

After getting fueled up from devotion time, we all set out on the day’s adventure. Today we were given the chance to serve the Dream Center by taking care of different needs around the campus such as, mowing grass, weed-eating, watering plants, trimming hedges, and a large group of the students helped out in the community store to organize clothes, foods and pack up food packs in preparation to give out to those in need. On top of those jobs, the boys doing all the landscaping helped out moving pallets and something a little less fun. They had some mattresses that had been in need of moving to the dumpster but not the resources or man power to do the job so today was that day. These mattresses had been sitting outside for a little bit so with the rain, insects, and tons of smelly nature on them, it was definitely a job that opened us up to continue serving no matter what the cost. Even if that cost is so so nasty! The work day as a whole was a great experience for all the students as they experienced the “hard-work” side of serving on this mission for Christ. After a lot of sweat in the great Florida humidity, the students powered through and heard an awesome report from the Dream Center leader. He took notice of how hard the kids were working and how they weren’t just working to finish but working to excellence as if they are doing this work for the Lord. We are super proud of all the students sacrificing themselves to serve in this strenuous way today and thankful to hear how God is moving them to be the best at whatever they do, even if that is moving smelly old mattresses.

I also want to mention on day #1 the boys group, who have been sleeping upstairs decided to build a fort out of leftover mattresses! To be honest, it may be one of the coolest I’ve ever seen!!! Just wanted to make sure I didn’t leave them out on that and I will definitely be sharing pictures soon so stay tuned to see what the guys have done!

After a little break time, the time gathered up to set up a cookout for the community! While people were going by the local community store to get food packs and clothes, we were cooking hot dogs on the side to give out to all who came by. While some cooked hot dogs, some helped hand them out to people and serve them their food, and we even had a few kids playing games with kids who came by. What was really cool about this opportunity is that it opened up another chance to build relationships with the people in the Lakeland community. It was truly awesome to watch the students begin to understand Jesus’ example of living on mission and serving others.

Just like Jesus would meet people’s needs first, like physical needs, hunger, illness, or whatever it was, then after meeting their physical needs first he would begin ministering to them. The students began to really live this out as they would serve food to people of need in the community, they then stepped out of their comfort zones asking people how they can pray for them. It was extremely encouraging to watch students step out on faith by praying for people they had never met before, seeing a need and then covering the need in God’s love and provision. There was a few students who usually aren’t the types to step out and ask people “how can I pray for you today?” Then laying hands on them and praying over their needs specifically. It was powerful to watch students pour out their hearts for the people but to watch a few step up in that way which was way out of their comfort zone was incredible. God is literally moving students to do things they never imagined doing and on top of all that Gold, there was a couple of girls who were asking to pray over people but received some nasty rejection. The person just refused to be prayed over and as this rejection can be crippling and discouraging. Especially being kids so young in their faith, the girls didn’t react that way though, actually the exact opposite. They hurt for these people, instead of being upset about getting rejected they felt the need to bring up their names to be prayed over. It’s so amazing to watch these students react in such a Christ-like way to a situation that wasn’t easy to handle.The afternoon continued after serving at the cookout, the Dream Center hosts a basketball league on Tuesday nights called “the rock.” The league was actually founded by Pastor Matt and another guy while he spent time serving here years ago so it was awesome to see God continuing to work through this basketball ministry to reach young guys with Jesus. The students were able to serve them hot dogs as well and it seemed for a minute that the students were getting tired, starting to play around some. In that moment a SHIFT happened.

In a room at the Dream Center, while the young guys were playing basketball, there was a worship/prayer service taking place where they were interceding on behalf the basketball players. It was maybe 5-6 people, with one woman playing piano and singing worship songs, men and women were literally reaching to the heavens for the sake of 15-20 young men that were only feet away. It was such a special moment and Pastor Matt saw what was happening then felt the need to ask the students and leaders to go in and join this Spirit-filled environment. What was meant to be 15-20 minute turned into almost an hour of praying, praising God through worship, students getting hands laid on them for prayer, tears shed and so much more. I’ll be honest, coming from a traditional church background I’ve always been skeptical when it came to “Holy Spirit” moments, but this was an experience like none I’ve ever experienced. I have never literally felt God’s presence working in such a real way before.

The time of worship in that room was so real, raw, and personal with the Lord. One student was prayed for by a man over a situation he had going on in his life and in his words, “I felt like this guy was sent from God to say these words over Him.” It was an amazing experience for the students to experience real worship in this way and also experience the power of the Holy Spirit working so strongly on their hearts. That was when the SHIFT took place, and from that moment on things became more real than ever for these students. And big thanks to Pastor Matt for providing such great leadership for our team, seeing the need for us to go in that room and being obedient to lead us.

Going into reflection time, that feeling from serving all day and the time of worship was still so strong in each of the students lives. It’s really so hard to put into words what took place during reflection time, but “Spirit-filled and Spirit-led” is probably the best terms to use. It was obvious from the first moment of reflection time that the Holy Spirit was doing such a work in these kids lives, things were pushed out of their hearts that they had been harboring away getting those struggles and fears to the surface where they can be handled and worked through with the help of others. The main theme of the day was how students continued to open up to step farther and farther out of their comfort zone and these moments were icing on the cake. Student after student began opening their hearts and sharing all that was on them. Some doubts, some fears, some struggles they had been dealing with for quite some time. They were bringing these things out to the open and what made it even more amazing was how the students were so intentional to encourage one another, comfort, and help each other through them. There was a sense of “togetherness” in that time that just left me in awe.

After having so much I wanted to share from serving all day during my reflection time, it just hit me that what God was doing in those moments was bigger than it all. As great as giving reflections from moments of serving, stepping out of comfort zones and doing new things to serve others, that’s the usual type of content in a mission trip reflection time. But the reflections given by the students here were so much more persona and deeper than anything they could have experienced.

My reflection from the night turned into what I experienced watching God work through these students lives and hearts. I sat there in complete awe hearing students continue to open up the deep pains and struggles they face, then watching the group as whole pray for one another, encourage and be the family they need in this time. It was things that had nothing to do with this trip but things that had everything to do with their persona relationships with the Lord. Watching students open up in this way and come together, the years that were shed by students and leaders, that is what it’s all about.

Bigger than the mission trips or anything else in this world, watching God completely change and move in their hearts. God moving them to affirm each other’s gifts and callings, helping one another from their own personal experiences, that is what it’s truly all about. As awesome as the work that is being done through serving and mission work, watching God wreck hearts and change lives. That’s why going on these trips are so huge in each follower of Christ’s life. Moments of being pushed out of comfort zones and learning to lean on God, being broken down and molded back together by the hands of God. Wow. I can’t explain how awesome this is and I just ask you continue to pray for our team this week as we continue to walk in what God is going to do this week. I don’t know what’s going to happen but if these first two days were a hint, it’s going to be something super special in the lives of everyone involved.

Dream Center: Day #1

God Gold of the day

I’ve got some exciting news for you today, the Dream Center mission trip is officially underway and God has already been showing out in some AMAZING ways! I’m going to give you a quick run-down of what the day looks like, share some awesome stuff God is doing in the lives of these students and the people around them but first I want to challenge you this week. These “reflection” messages are meant to paint a picture for you on what the trip looks like and what God is doing but I want to challenge you, the reader to not just see these messages and huge God moments as things just happening here on this trip with the Harbor youth group. My hope is to challenge you to learn from these messages and realize that God’s awesome hand at work isn’t limited to a “mission trip” or the people here, what God can and will do is just as available for you in your own daily life. Whether that’s at work, the grocery store, or wherever you are, this same God that is making amazing happen here is right there with you. Don’t let these messages just be a reflection on others lives but I pray that you would open yourself up to watching God so amazing in and through you, and in the lives around you. Everywhere you are God is there, everywhere you are we are on mission! Let’s reflect on that truth this week as we watch God change so many lives in the wildest ways!


The day started with rising up early at 6am, a little earlier than some are used to but after some pick-up basketball in the gym, everyone shook off the cobwebs to get going! After a team breakfast, the students and leaders went into a devotion time for about 30 minutes. Pastor Matt read out the devotion, gave the students some Scripture to focus in on and the rest of the time we went into journaling on God’s Word.

The Scripture for the day was Romans 8:31-39, with the main verse being;

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:37‬ ‭

This piece of Gods Word holds so much powerful truth and as we see how the day played out, it’s so cool to see how God set these truths up to fuel the students out of their comfort zones and away from their fears into really stepping out on faith and watching God’s love breakthrough in their own lives and the lives around them.

After devotional time, the team hopped in the van and we set out on our first opportunity to serve in the Lakeland community. We made our way to the Salvation Army’s main campus in Lakeland where we met up with the “Kid’s Club” ministry. Kid’s club is a ministry ran through the Dream Center to be a literal vehicle for taking the gospel to kids in the Lakeland community. As you’ll see in the pictures, Kid’s club uses a box truck, where the side of the truck folds out onto a stage, speakers are set up to play Jesus tunes, and the truck holds resources such as balls, jump ropes, chalk, and much more for the kids to play with. It is such an amazing and unique way to bring Jesus into kids lives in a fun way while volunteers get the chance to love on them in a way that they may not receive much in their current living situation.

In the area of Lakeland we are in, it is definitely considered a “high needs” area so this morning getting to meet the kids that came out and get to know them better, we also had the chance to hear some about their circumstances. It was a perspective changing and heart-breaking moment to hear some of the things that these kids deal with on the daily. Realizing the amount of need in these young lives just magnified how awesome God is using the “Kid’s Club” ministry, taking Jesus into lives of big time need of so many things. The coolest part was being able to share Jesus with them, the One that covers all of our needs!!!

After a quick overview by the Kid’s Club staff and some Scripture. The kid’s and students broke up into small groups to dive in deeper with the kids on a more personal level. It was in that time that many of the students had the opportunity to step up and lead kids towards the Lord in so many ways. After spending time with them, building relationships with them, the students and leaders all shared the “3 circles” with each kid. “3 circles” is a great resource for sharing the Gospel with others no matter what the age or who the person is so if you haven’t seen it, I would highly recommend looking it up! Watching students share the Good News of Christ and what He has done in their own lives was quite a scene. As each seed was planted in so many young minds and hearts, there was one small group where the seeds immediately began to grow. One of our worship/student leaders, Matt Howard had the chance to connect with a young guy named Josiah and explain the role of Jesus in his life along with who Jesus is in general. At the end of sharing about Christ, Josiah asked to put his trust in the Lord and start a relationship with Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior! It’s so powerful and crazy to see what just a few hours spent with someone can literally change his life for eternity!!! It’s truly amazing to see what God is doing through the Kid’s club ministry and we just ask you pray for the seeds planted today in each child, and for God’s continued work through Kid’s club!

After playing games and hanging out with the kids at the Kid’s club, the team came back for lunch and naps as we prepared for the rest of our day serving. A small group of guys were asked to make a trip to Wal-Mart with the kid’s club leader and help pick up boxes of school supplies for their upcoming giveaway to students in the Lakeland area. The guys did a great job of stepping up to serve and flex their muscles to help in this area.

The team had a quick meeting, doing some “3 Circles” training in prep for the afternoon ahead. The Dream Center’s main leader came in and got the team ready to go out and do some outreach in the community. He gave us flyers with the upcoming Dream Center events and different things they have going on, such as adult classes, food and clothes give-aways a couple times per week, and a couple of newly added women’s ministries. It’s honestly amazing how the Dream Center works and even more so seeing the way they go about it. Instead of waiting on needs to come to them, they are persistent in taking up the mission Christ has given us to go out in the streets of the community, building relationships with the people and going to the need. Their main objective is to simply get Jesus to people in anyway they can and they do a great job of raising awareness through outreach missions such as this.

The students went out in groups in the community to hand out flyers, a few students in every group were equipped with trash bags and trash sticks to help clean up the community along the way. This was a moment where students were definitely pushed out of their comfort zones, stepping out on mission to speak with strangers, and on top of that, share Jesus with them whether that was through telling of the Dream Center, the 3 circles sharing the Gospel or just asking each person they met if there was anything they could pray for them about!

After wrapping up outreach and getting an awesome spaghetti dinner in cooked up by Mrs. Sarah and her girls, it’s reflection time!!!!


Reflection time is a powerful time in the lives of these students, as they spent some time journaling some thoughts on the day and opened their hearts to share what God is doing in their lives. Reflection time started out with our Worship leader Matt leading us in a few worship songs and then going into sharing from all the students and leaders. Even in the worship time, you could feel that God was doing a mighty work as His Spirit filled the air. Then students began sharing their hearts and about their days, that’s when the God Gold truly came to the surface. I’m going to write below just a few of the many awesome reflections shared by students and leaders tonight! I have to say after not being very involved in a youth group myself and spending some time recently in the mission field, my heart was completely rocked during this time tonight and I couldn’t be any more proud to be apart of this group of students, to learn from and hear all that God is doing in their lives even at their young age. Like I mentioned earlier, these reflections and lessons learned aren’t just for our youth group or to the work God is doing here, this is for you, to take up and learn how to apply to your daily life in the mission field God has placed you in.


The main themes heard from students was the fear they had going into this trip and moments they encountered today but as the truths from Romans taught them and fueled them this morning, they were lived out by each of them as God broke through their fear and used them to take His love to others. We heard story after story of students mentioning the fear they had or doubts as they stepped out of their comfort zones today, but the biggest theme of the night being how GOD BROKE THROUGH!!!

It was so awesome to see and hear of students stepping up in ways they don’t usually do and it’s obvious to see just how much God is at work in their lives. They spoke a lot to how much they were truly experiencing God work in their lives as they learned to surrender themselves to His mission. Not only experiencing God but learning what “living on mission” looks like for them in their own lives. It was also brought up how they saw the reality of just how broken this world has gotten, being in this high need area opened them up to see just how dark some places of this world has gotten. But even bigger than that, the reality of how God has specifically placed each of them here to bring His light in this darkness, in a place of need, going out and taking Jesus to them and being hope like none other in this world. The students began to understand their purpose as followers of Christ and also how God is constantly setting us up to share His love with others around them.

It was extremely encouraging and honestly brought up goosebumps to hear how students admitted how scared they were, how confused or filled with doubts in so many different ways but learning through serving today that as they step out of the way and step out in faith, God works through His Spirit in the wildest, most awesome and unimaginable ways in their lives and the lives around them. And lastly from the students, there was a few mentions about experiences they had meeting unbelievers today while doing outreach. As discouraging as that can usually be, instead the students hearts were shown so purely as they expressed their hurt for these people and requested prayer for all of the people met that didn’t know Jesus!!!

That’s straight from the mouths of middle and high school students, as I’ve learned so much from them and how amazing God is in the work He does, I pray that we can all learn from these HUGE God Gold lessons and learn how to live in complete surrender to the mission God has called us to. To take His love to the world around us. It’s such an awesome mission and the best part is, this is only day one from the Dream Center! I can’t wait to see what all God is going to do!! Stay tuned as Day Two starts bright and early!!!

Dream Center Week

God Gold of the Day

Hello everybody!!! Got some exciting news for you today! It’s so awesome how God has continued to expand the use of this platform to make His Gold known to so many others. As you know it’s usually just a piece of scripture and a write up with some of my experiences as a daily devotional. That’s how these daily messages have started, honestly just me reading a piece of God’s Word and thinking it’s so daggum cool, I just have to share it!!! From the beginning it’s all been about sharing God’s Gold with as many as possible, what’s really cool is seeing how God has continued to expand what that looks like and open up more and more new ways to spread His Gold to the world!

This week I have a super exciting announcement to make!!!!! The last two months I’ve been privileged to serve as an intern under the youth pastor (Matthew Cogswell), at Hope Fellowship church in Anderson, SC. It’s been two months that have literally changed my life getting to learn from such awesome men and women in ministry and alongside students who are the coolest out there! It’s been awesome to say the least but the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT is that the awesome doesn’t stop there!

Matthew has brought up using the God Gold page as a way to do daily reflections for the youth group this week as we are serving in Lakeland, Florida at a place called “The Dream Center.” Matthew was looking for a way to get the daily reflection out for parents so they could stay up to date with all their students are up to on this trip. I was so jacked up that I couldn’t stand myself!!! After getting to share reflections from my time in the mission field of Rwanda before, I’m so excited to once again share God’s “real-life” Gold through this upcoming week!

The God Gold this week will be daily updates on what we’re experiencing in the mission field of Lakeland, what the students are up to, the lessons that are being learned, the people we meet and things we do and most of all how God’s hand is literally changing lives. There is so many areas where the “Dream Center” is heavily involved in a community that desperately needs it! I’m so excited to not just share what we are experiencing but also just sharing ministry with you, maybe a different perspective on what “ministry” and “serving” looks like. I pray the lessons learned and everything shared this week from the lives of the Harbor students and the lives here around us, I pray they can truly deepen your faith and open your heart to living “mission-minded.” Living on mission for Jesus Christ, watching lives completely be flipped upside down and forever changed? Does it get any better??

Already, things are getting fun and we haven’t even arrived yet! Getting the chance to listen to students on the vans, where their hearts are and how God has been preparing and working in their lives. It seriously blows my mind hearing these students so excited to learn and serve! I’ll be honest, when I was their age you would of had to drag me to youth group so now getting to witness what God is doing in the lives of these young people is so awesome!!! Definitely better take notice, there are some world-changers in this crowd and knowing how God works things together, I have no doubt that this will be one of those weeks that is well worth talking about!

So, to the God Gold community and the parents of our Harbor students! Prepare yourselves to read about wild and life-changing week as God does what only He can do!!!

Stay tuned! Tomorrow is Day 1 at the Dream Center so tomorrow it’s GO-TIME!!!

Son-day Surprise

God Gold of the Day

I hope everyone has an awesome Sunday! Worship your tails off, get fed with some good Word, and get some rest for the week ahead! And I almost forgot for you Southerners, enjoy your fried chicken!!!

In the link below is a story I ran across earlier in the week and GEEZ!!! It is so powerful!! It’s absolutely crazy how God works things together and how God has no time table for His work! The story of this missionary is such a great example of planting Gospel seeds into people’s lives. You may never ever see the impact and lives changed from the seeds you plant but KEEP PLANTING!!! It may be 50 or 100 years down the road and these seeds are sprouting up like wild fire! Such a great reminder to plant, plant, and plant the good news of Jesus Christ into as many lives as possible in as many ways as possible and even if you don’t see an immediate harvest, that’s okay! Have faith that only God can make seeds grow, that God is always working things together for a big harvest and He works on a different time table than us! Don’t plant so you can see, plant in faith, the unseen and trust in the best farmer there ever was, God! It’s limitless what He can do with a few seeds planted here and there! Hope this story is an encouragement to you and God stirs your heart to plant, PLANT IN FAITH!!!!

Missionary died thinking he was a failure; 84 years later thriving churches found hidden in the jungle

Working as One

God Gold of the Day

“5 After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard workFor we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building.”

1 Corinthians 3:5-9

I’m coming to you today with some big news for the God Gold. I have struggled all week trying to figure out how best to send you the God Gold while I am away on my honeymoon and through that God has opened up some really awesome doors. I’ve known for awhile now that sending out these messages everyday to what is now over 100 people by text, (PRAISE GOD!), and so many others through the blog and facebook page. I’ve known with marriage on the horizon that it would be extremely difficult to put in the same amount of work and time in sending you these messages. It’s tough. I know that I am coming into a season of life that I need and want to be my very best for my wife Sarah, to serve her and give her the most of my time. And what’s hard is realizing I can’t keep doing things the way I’ve always done them.

The hardest part about this is simply CHANGE. Change is scary and filled with doubt in any situation and this one is no different. My biggest fear is that you won’t be able to get these daily devotion messages for encouragement and Gold from God’s Word everyday. When I started sending these messages out it was simply because God’s Word and His presence in my life completely changed my life. I was just so excited to share all that God has to offer with others because if He could impact my life in this way, it’s cool to think of what He can do in other’s lives too. So I kept hitting send, with no purpose in mind but to share the awesome things I was learning with the hope that Gold from God in my life could be God Gold in your life.

The hardest battle with this change has been my pride and my stubbornness to want to do things the way I’ve always done them. I kept battling the idea that if I wasn’t sending out personal text messages and typing the God Gold myself then I feared for you getting fed the way you deserved. But then throughout this week, God opened up a huge answer to all my fear! After talking to one of my best friends Dillon who has been one of the most faithful brothers I could have ever asked for. I was discussing all this with him and asking if he would mind sending out the God Gold next week while I’m away? At first I was going to pre-plan all the messages but after talking to him, and seeing my PRIDE getting in the way. I realized that “who is Jordan?” I’m no different from my buddy Dillon, we are both believers in the Good News of Jesus Christ and we both work for the Lord. Then it hit me so hard reading these verses that, these messages, this work for the Lord is not about me. No matter who is planting the seed, no matter who is watering, it is ALWAYS God that makes the seed grow! As much as I want to plant, water, and make that seed grow in your lives, I’ve realized that it’s not up to me and it’s not about me.

So in that conversation with Dillon, it was decided that himself and his awesome wife, Olivia will be writing and sending out the God Gold next week! Two of the most faithful people I have ever met and I can’t wait for you to hear the Gold God has to write through them!!! Such a huge revelation for my life and the God Gold was realizing that myself, Dillon, Olivia, and so many others, we are all workers working towards the same purpose! And what’s even better is after facing the facts that I couldn’t do this all on my own anymore, my pride was standing in the way of asking for help and giving up control but now I see the awesome stuff God was working together! To bring faithful friends He has placed by my side to help me in this work and to continue opening up the God Gold to you, the community of believers that have such a great impact on my life! This isn’t about me, it’s about you and thank God for getting me out of the way to not just serve you in a different way but to serve you in a better way! With many more hearts and minds working on this mission of bringing you the God Gold of the Day! The more workers, it seems like everything is multiplied! Now I can rest easy knowing God has made a way for me to still send you these messages of encouragement daily, I can focus more time and energy in loving and serving Sarah in the way God has called me to! And instead of this God Gold thing just being me, IT’S EVERYONE’S!!!

This is a God Gold that has changed my life and I can’t wait to see how God uses it to change yours! You are in for such a special treat receiving messages from Dillon and Olivia!!! More changes are to come and praying God will continue to open up the Gold to more and more so we can all hear new perspectives, what God has done in other’s lives and new hearts dedicated to serving Him!

Planting, watering, harvesting, it’s all in God’s awesome hands and I’m just thankful to be apart of it! Stay tuned for details on the new changes over the upcoming weeks! I love you and God loves you even more!!!!