Friday, April 30, 2010

Epic "steal the bacon" battles and April tour dates! video!

Boy do I not like being sick! been down with a nasty cold/throat thing the last couple days, but I think I'm actually coming out of it now! Yes! Its been an exciting last couple of weeks. Last night we had our final tutoring night for the semester at ROCK youth ministries. Its always a bit of bummer when we have to end for the semester, but there is a lot of preparation for the summer camp program to be done over the next few weeks. We ended the last night with an epic game of "steal the bacon" with our elementary students. It is always a riot! The last two weekends have been packed full with gigs and speaking events, and I'm heading out to Grace Adventures Camp this weekend to lead worship for a youth retreat! After that, I will be trying to slow down a little bit for the next couple weeks until our ten-week day camp starts at the ROCK. I wanted to share with you guys some of the highlights from these last two weeks. Enjoy! :)

The weekend of the 16th and 17th I got to play my first couple concerts with the new band members. A friend of mine from Honduras, Alvin, has recently started drumming with me at events I get to do music at. He is a great guy and a great drummer, so its really fun to have him along for the ride! I've also got two different guys that will be swapping off on bass for me now, again both very good guys and talented. If you get a chance to come see us play soon you'll have to come say hi! On the 16th Alvin and I went to a youth group in Newaygo to play some tunes, and it was a blast! I think that was the first time I ever had a group do a kickline while I was playing a concert... You guys were awesome! The next day we picked up my buddy Beacon Light and we went up north to Boyne Mt. Resort to play a show with Mizz Reality for a big youth event that was being held there. Alvin was a little bummed we didn't have time to mess around in the waterpark, but we had a great time doing some ministry with the kids there. I made a video below with some clips from our road trip includeing some of the crazy/funny things that happen when you stick us in the car for too long...

The next weekend we ended up playing a show at Grace Bible College for their expedition at grace event they do every year. Its basically a weekend for prospective students to come and check out the school and have some fun for the weekend. Being that myself and Beacon both graduated from there, it almost had a bit of a "hometown performance" feel to it. Seeing some old friends, and reminiscing a bit was good.

During the week in between all of this I actually got to head down to IL to spend a few days with my family.  My older sister, her husband, and my three little nephews were in town at my parents house for a couple weeks. My brother in law is in the army and they are all stationed at a base in Germany right now so its been a good year or so since I got to see them all! It was good to get to hang out with them and get in some wrestling/tickle fights with the little nephews. I gotta establish that uncle Joe dominance when I can, ya know!?

This last Sunday I got the privilege of speaking at Trinity Reformed Church about ROCK youth ministries (the youth program at the Holland rescue mission). In the evening I went and visited their youth group and gave them a tour around the mission. It was cool to be able to share the vision of what we do with this church. They actually help host our summer day camp program by letting us operate out of their church during the summer; which is a huge blessing seeing that they have tons of space for us and a big yard where we can do all kinds of outdoor stuff with the kids. The youth building we have for our tutoring program during the school year is right downtown; so it would hard to do camp there and keep the kids cooped up inside all day!

Thanks for checking in on what I've been up to the last few weeks! If you would like more info on any of the ministries I'm involved in please email me at: or look me up on facebook! Also, If you appreciate the content and ministries you hear about on this blog, please help spread the word by sharing with your friends and family!

Joe Guerra's Music website:

Friday, April 16, 2010

New Mexico, Sheep, KickBall and Tutoring!

Hey, Sorry to have missed a week of blogging! With all of the traveling I've been doing this last month I've had to play some catch-up this week with some different things. Since arriving back from Guatemala (see my last blog entry) I was back in Holland at the rescue mission for three packed days before heading off to New Mexico! The short time back was good and much needed, I spent a good chunk of the time getting together with some of the kids from my youth program, one of the days me and one of the younger guys at the mission got lunch and spent the afternoon at the park feeding ducks popcorn and throwing a football around. It was so fun chasin' those ducks all over the place!

New Mexico was crazy! I was there for a week leading worship and helping out for another missions trip project with Adventures in Missions. This time the group of kids we had were from California, and there was also a family from... Pennsylvania??? I hope I'm not wrong... :) We spent the week at Broken Arrow Bible Ranch doing a lot of work projects for the camp. Broken Arrow is a Christian camp for kids who live on Indian Reservations. They get around 1,000 kids every summer from all over New Mexico who get a chance to come to camp, have some fun, learn some things, and hear about the love of Jesus. We came to find out that most of the kids coming to this camp come from home backgrounds that are surrounded by a lot of poverty; as well as drug, alcohol, and physical abuse. To many of these kids, camp is able to be a safe place for a week out of their summer where they can see some hope for the future through a life built on the principles of Christ's love. Given the type of camp that they are, most of their bigger building and maintenance projects are funded by donors and volunteers coming in to do the work. So that is what we spent most of the week doing. Everything from clearing out old dead trees, to painting cabins, to moving huge piles of tires for a go-cart track, to fixing backstops for their rifle and archery ranges, and all kinds of other tasks.

On Wednesday night we split up into several groups and went to help out at different youth programs that the full-time camp staff are involved in throughout the school year. This was also a really cool opportunity for us. One of the groups went to one of the boarding schools on the Navajo reservation, while another group went to a church on the Zuni reservation nearby.

Probably the most ridiculous and stretching thing for the kids throughout the week was the day we went to help a local Navajo shepherding family perform the yearly task of castrating their new lambs. Yes, I typed that correctly! While it was a bit on the edge for all of us, it is something totally normal for the Navajo, Sheep herding is a part of everyday life for many of them. The family that we helped is connected with the camp and has been in and out of the hospital lately, It would have taken them several days to take care of all their new lambs, but with us helping it only took a couple hours. After we were done they invited us in their home for some fried bread and we got to hear about their families story and learn a bit about Navajo culture. It was different... but all in all a good time. :)

This past week it has been good to be back in Holland as we were starting up tutoring again after spring break. It was really cool to see all my kids, I really started missing hanging out with them after a week or so. Since its starting to get warmer we played some kickball in the lot outside of our youth building yesterday. Earlier in the week and went over to our daycare and spent the afternoon helping out with some of the young boys there. We went over the bridge that supposedly has crocodiles living underneath and pretended to be spider-man at the park. It was so much fun!