Holy Land School — 12020 (7/1/12)


Shalom from the Holy Land team!

Come and join us for a day in the life of our team…


At 5:30 each morning, our 13 team mates are awakened by the commanding voice of their leader, Mike Myers, or jolted from their sleeping bags by the deafening sound of a fog horn provided by their other male leader, Samuel Drawbond. Team members have five minutes to get ready before they stumble into the center of our campsite for our morning count off. Michalla Veach is almost always the first one out and ready to go…such a great organizer! After checking the tent site and the tents to make sure that both are clean, the team heads off to Rapture Practice, where the winners of the Godliness, Cleanliness, Brainstorming and OC (Obstacle Course) awards raise their team flags. Next, sometime after 6:15, our team runs the OC, a course designed to build team unity. (If we are serving on KP -Kitchen Patrol, we don’t run the OC!) Nellie Wadman always has an encouraging spirit and is always there to greet each teammate at the finish line. After breakfast, all of Boot Camp comes to a halt for personal devotions at 7:30 for a half an hour. Classes begin at 8 and are given by Bob Bland and other guest speakers on topics such as maturity, trusting God’s will, current missions projects/opportunities and how to evangelize. Each day our team attends a block laying class where they learn how to build block walls. Thomas Clyde is never afraid to “get dirty for God and lay down a brick”…such a great example for our team. After blocklaying, we go to one of many construction classes such as steel tying, layout, carpentry, digging, concrete and trusses. Christa Clough is awesome in Carpentry class. She can use a hand saw better than all of the boys in all of Boot Camp! After working hard, the team enjoys an hour of lunch and relaxation followed by 20 minutes of Brainstorming. Brainstorming is where teams learn how to think together and come up with promotional and missions ideas for Teen Missions that can be used in the future. After Brainstorming, classes begin again. Our team has puppet class everyday. Always contagiously happy and upbeat, Josiah Daugherty and Jacob Manners are hilarious and extremely entertaining when they perform together! Next comes free time, which we get to enjoy as long as we don’t have any SB’s (Special Blessings). SB’s are given out has a form of discipline and training. If a team or individual team member receives one, they work for an hour instead of enjoying their free time. Our team always serves their SB’s with a smile and puts forth a great work ethic. Victoria Kovalchuk even commented that she has fun while serving one! Such a good, positive attitude to have, Victoria!! Thankfully, if the team has to serve an SB, Bath and Laundry time follows next, so the team is always refreshed and clean for their last class of the day, Music. Aubrey Spurlin is our music director and she is very skilled in the position. Her beautiful voice is definitely a bonus! After a long day of working hard, the team eats dinner. Mike and Michelle Myers (Head leaders), who are usually at their staff jobs throughout the day, come to dinner with their precious little ones, Kenya (7), Isabelle (4) and Lily (1). Rachel Graves is always the first one to jump at the opportunity to spend time with the girls and entertain them, although she has stiff competition from her other teammates.:) Natalia Lebo (leader) uses this time to treat any and all ailments that are common at Boot Camp, such as blisters and wet feet. She lovingly cares for all who have need, even those with smelly feet! The team also uses this time to work on the Memory Verses. (They will be memorizing 40 this summer!) Bella McKay is always ahead on her verses…she is a very avid learner. She has already completed 16 verses! Evening rally begins at 7:15. All teams come together to worship our Lord. Sarah Kinney loves rally time because she gets to sing out to God and draw closer to Him without having to wear a hard hat or walk in a single file line.:) She also has dried out from her dip in the slough by then, as you will read in her testimony below.:) After rally, comes bedtime…finally! Before bed, we always end the day with team prayer time. Sara Williams has such a tender and compassionate heart for others. She excels at observing her team and praying for what they need most. So…this is what a normal day for the Holy Land team looks like. Tomorrow is Canada Day. Our team has two native-born Canadians on it, one of which is Leisha Burford. The team loves Leisha’s “Canadianess”. You can tell how proud she is to be Canadian. Her sincere and genuine love for her country is to be commended. We are all very excited for the day of celebration and rest that comes along with it. Just six more days until we commission and continue our adventure together in the Holy Land.

Sarah Kinney-As I stepped off the TMI bus, I had cameras on me. I was asked to say my team name. I saw palm trees and a couple big tents and my first thought was, “Do they hold circuses here?”  I met a few members from my team and began getting myself acquainted. Over the next few days, I learned what the Obstacle Course (OC) consisted of. I struggled. I fall in the slough often. The slough is an obstacle where you must hang on a rope and swing over a small, swampy area. The OC is a part of Boot Camp that I absolutely hate. I dread it each day. However, I can feel myself getting stronger and I know that it isn’t my strength but God’s. I love the evening rallies, which consist of singing and praising the Lord. I am always dry by then. One night at the end of a sermon on sins committed and forgiveness, I went up to the altar and cried because even though I am saved, I am not living for Him.I rededicated my life to god that night and god is making me stronger still, one day at a time.

Christa Clough-I am not going to lie. Boot Camp (BC) is definitely not what I expected it to be like. God has definitely stretched me and taken me out of my comfort zone. BC has shown me how blessed I really am and that I take so much for granted. This experience, I believe, will help me to appreciate what I have more when I go home. This is a very humbling experience. It was very hard at first, but after about a week, I got over the culture shock and now I am able to focus on what God is doing and how He is working in my life.



  1. Marty Williams

    Tracy, please include me in the group – father of Sara. Tried to find you on Facebook but there are a number of Tracy Graves

  2. Kathy Lawrence

    Hi tracy – please add me to your list. Thank you

  3. Please include me in your group. Thanks.

    Carol Lebo, mother of Natalia, Team Leader

  4. For those on Facebook, I have started a group for our kids. If you want to be included, please message me and I will add you!
    Parents of the Holy Land Team 2012
    Tracy Graves (momma of Rachel :))

  5. What an awesome team !! Go team and Michalla !!

  6. Donna Daugherty

    Sounds good.

  7. SO proud of the Holy Land Team!!! Michalla especially 🙂

  8. Tracy,
    Yes, I would be interested.

  9. Praying for you little brother! 🙂

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