Friday, February 27, 2009

New Pics

Hey guys. Here are some more pictures of the Aviator Student Ministry and a video that was put together by our church's association.

Teaching...


Playing...


The aftermath...


Yeah, no comment...


This video describes what happened in Derby during the Summer of '08. We're planning to blitz the town again this summer and we expect amazing things to happen!!




-Ben <><

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Aviator Student gathering

These are just a few of the pictures of the Student Ministry gathering for the Super Bowl. At halftime, we skipped watching "The Boss" perform in Tampa and instead we had a dueling Rock Band 2 competition. That's right, two bands going on at the same time in the same house. We had over 70 people show up and had a blast!! The game was great, although most of us were cheering for the underdog Cardinals (except Sarah). Thanks goes out to Dave and Amy Webb for hosting the party at their house and for letting us basically trash their place upstairs and downstairs. ha. And thanks to Katie Fitzgerald too for taking these great pictures! 

Peace,
Ben and Sarah <><





Thursday, January 29, 2009

The long awaited post...

Yeah, so I'm terrible at updating this website already, but this last hiatus could not have been helped. We've been busy starting a Student Ministry from scratch and working our tails off. AND, we lost our camera card reader, so no pics.

That is... UNTIL NOW!!
That's right, here it is, lots of pics and a little bit of update. There's a lot, so it's gonna be short versions of things. For instance, we had freezing rain the other day and while Sarah and I were driving, our car spun a complete 360*. Yeah, it actually happened. Anyway, without further ado, here goes the update.

Sarah and Savage at my mom's house for Christmas, we love that dog!

My nephew Liam at Christmas. We spent some much-needed time with our families right before our big move. It was refreshing to see everyone!

Two of our favorite people in the world, The Godzisz. 

There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth all across the land. This is the reaction to the news of us leaving Wake Forest. More of our favorite people!

This is about all we saw on the trip from NC to KS. The Mid-West is so much flatter than I could have previously imagined it to be.

More driving.

After we got to KS, I had to get a picture of the odometer. We did that in two days. bleh. But God's call for us to serve at Aviator Church was definitely worth it! 

Our apartment right after unloading everything off the truck. It looks better now. Ha, but our office still has a mountain of boxes in it.

Our first KS snow day. WAY better snow here than in NC!! But along with that comes WAY worse ice storms (like those that make our car spin in circles). It was fun though! 

We had a chance to drive down to TX to see my Grandfather. It was great! I found out that he used to be a military TV celebrity (with compulsory viewers). ha. 

We had never actually seen these in real life and we had to drive through TONS of 'em on the way to TX. It was actually pretty neat to see how big they were. HUGE!!

And then these are my favorite pictures... Get ready for the awesomeness!!

Wait, what is that?

That's right, it's a duck! Frozen in the middle of the lake. HA! That's what you get, you dumb duck!


Until next time, that's all I've got. Student Ministry kicks off this Sunday and then we're rolling! So be praying for us! 

We'd love to hear from you guys that we haven't been able to talk to in a while! Give us a call or shoot us an e-mail and let us know how things are going.

I'll post more as more comes up. 
Love you all!!
Ben and Sarah <><








Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

Wow, so we're leaving Wake Forest in less than two weeks. Actually, as of today, we have 12 more days before we set sail on a whole new adventure in life. CRAZY!!


We're about to leave for Georgia to see my family for a couple of days, then we're gonna swing back through SC to see Sarah's family as well. Then we come back to the Forest, pack our junk into a budget truck and hit the road.

For those of you that we won't get a chance to see before again over the holidays, Merry Christmas!! We pray that all you guys have a wonderful time with your families and that you truly worship our Saviour for what he has done and continues to do for us! We hope to see all of you at our New Years bash so that we can say one last 'good-bye' while we're in town. You can call for details: 919.274.8715

Love you guys!
Ben <><

Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which means 'God with us'
-Luke1:23

P.S. So a long time ago, Rion and Kristen Bell gave us one of those refrigerator magnet sets that is just a bunch of magnetic words, except they gave us the genius edition. I guess he thought he would stump us by making them hard words. Well I am pleased to announce that I have constructed a sentence that spans the entire width of our refrigerator. Here it is: 
"She is influencing a herculean miscreantous individual to expunge every obdurate character from my impecunious domicile, which is in Slovakia; hence he would be delighted to fusillade nefariously at my sanguine thought."
Now I know it doesn't make a ton of sense, but it works.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

New Job, New Home... Boy oh Boy

So as of January 5th, I will be serving as Youth Pastor at Aviator Church in Derby, KS. I am super pumped about having a job that I love in a church that I am excited about. BUT... it's so far away from everything that is comfortable to me. I have lived out west before, but not since I was a little kid. I am cozy and comfortable here in Wake Forest and the carnal side of me doesn't want to go.


But guess what... Aviator Church is awesome! It is totally worth uprooting my comfortable life and moving 1500 miles away. 

Things all happened pretty fast. I took the job last Tuesday and we move on Jan 3rd. That gives Sarah and me a little over a month to wrap up everything here, pack our junk, and relocate. 

Both of our moms have already had a good cry over the whole thing and Sarah and I have both freaked out a little bit, but we're ok. I think Robert, Sarah's brother, may come out and live with us this summer. That would make things a lot easier for us, having some family around to soften the blow.

Be praying for us as we go through this transition. God has totally provided and shown Himself to be a major part of everything that's going on, so we're not the least bit scared about starting this new chapter. A little nervous, but not scared.

One day, I will post more about how everything went down, but not today.

Love you guys!
Ben <><

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

First Snow, D-Now, and Pei Wei

So, a lot has happened over the last few days. Wake Forest saw its first snow of the year today. A little early and a lot of awesome! It would snow pretty hard for like 2 minutes, then stop, which made it impossible to stick. Hopefully, this will signal a lot more to come.


D-now at church was this past weekend. We had 147 students turn out and it was nothing short of spectacular. The best part was that the excitement didn't happen just at the d-now event, we had a lot of students come face to face with some pretty serious stuff after all the excitement had died down. Long story short, God did some awesome things this weekend in the lives of a lot of students (and adults). 

Sarah told me a while back about this restaurant called Pei-Wei, so tonight we tried it out. It's a fast-food version of PF Chang's (best oriental food in the world!) and it was great! Not expensive at all and the food was delicious. So if you ever get the chance to try it, well then... try it. We went because tonight was our "mid-week date night." We usually reserve Friday or Saturday night for date night, but we're traveling EVERY weekend during the month of November, so we needed a night to just get out and spend some time together.

Speaking of traveling, we're going to Kansas this weekend to interview for a Youth Pastor position out there. Pray that everything would go well and that I wouldn't be nervous during interviews. 

Peace,
Ben <><

p.s. oh yeah, any science professor who claims that modern scientific creationism isn't "valid scientific study" should NOT be allowed to teach at a conservative seminary/Bible college. (long story)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Extra! Extra!

So Campus Life has gone big time. Apparantly, word of our group has gotten out and Campus Life has gained some notariety. A woman from the Wake Weekly came to our group a few weeks ago and did some interviews and took some pictures. Her article was released in the latest edition of the local weekly paper. It turned out great. I think she really emphasized the purpose statement of our group and did an excellent job of describing our meetings. I am not going to write too much because I'm pasting the article in its entirety and a picture of the article (which made the front page of the second section in the paper, the inspirational section. If you look close, I'm in the top picture all the way to the left hand side. This was a small group discussion from the night she was there. Enjoy!


An open forum for an open mind

By Carrie Crespo, Wake Weekly Staff Writer
October 23, 2008

Some attend for guidance, others for answers — and a few just to vent. But all of the students of the Wake Forest-Rolesville High chapter of the Campus Life program come with an open mind.
Every Thursday night from 7 until 9, almost 50 students convene under the guidance of Christian counselors to spend time with friends, play games and have an open forum to discuss issues of life, love and spirituality.
Although it is a ministry under Youth for Christ and has a feel similar to a youth group, there is one crucial difference — students don’t have to be Christian to join.
“A Campus Life meeting is like a youth group for non-church kids,” said WF-R Campus Life site director Rion “Burns” Bell. “We teach world-view issues — ethics, normal practices — and talk about struggles they are going through. They are able to share their views and share their thoughts without fear of condemnation or judgment.
“At the same time, they know that we as the leaders are going to share our views since we gave them the ability to share theirs.”
Worth-Wade Eaton is a senior and has attended the group for almost a year. 
“The counselors are Christian and base reasoning off their ideals, but (they) don’t enforce them,” Eaton said. “Before I came, I considered myself agnostic. This makes me think about Christianity from a different perspective and in a more positive light.”
More than half the students consider themselves Christian and come to deepen their faith or ask questions.
“It’s helped me spiritually to talk out ideas,” said David Glac-kin, who has participated in the group for four years. “All of the teens are in one group and have an open forum. You can share ideas in an open environment without someone thinking it’s stupid.”
Julianne Cantrell, an 11th-grader, attended for the first time Oct. 2. 
“I felt called to come as a Christian to answer what questions people may have,” Cantrell said. “I want to make new friends and share my faith in a nonoffensive way, and show what an awesome God I serve.” 
For Bell, the mission of the group is not simply to help students grow spiritually, but to build relationships and help them grow.
“We’ve had a lot of students who come in really rough and rugged and really struggling with deep issues — family, depression, cutting, drugs. Hopefully, they can get through and past those issues — and maybe not even become Christians — but at least work through issues they already have,” Bell said.
By building relationships and trust, Bell said, the students may look at Bell’s spiritual views and judge for themselves to see if they are true.
“I’m glad to impact a student,” Bell said. “I can see them change and grow. There are different degrees of success. I have some that have gone on and graduated who haven’t become Christians, but I still consider it a success we were able to help them in their time of need.”
Unfortunately, this group recently lost its regular meeting place due to renovations. Bell said churches seem to be the best fit because of the lack of cost, the size of the club and the club’s mission. A prospective church in Wakefield may be the new location for the meeting; however, Bell said they are open to other possibilities.
Although this chapter is geared toward students of Wake Forest-Rolesville High School, other teenagers have joined. Franklin Academy Middle and high schools have their own chapters. Wake Forest also has a teen parents’ group. Bell hopes new chapters of Campus Life will form in every school, especially in the Wakefield and Millbrook areas.
For more information about Campus Life, e-mail Bell at heavensdeclare@gmail.com or visit www.triangleyfc.org.

Monday, October 20, 2008

God is good!!

So recently, I think God has been trying to teach me a few lessons. Sometimes, it takes me a while to get it, but this time, He's making it clear. He is my provider...period. 


A few examples: Not too long ago, our car was broken into and a very expensive video camera was stolen. It didn't belong to us, and we were going to have to replace the camera (which was WAY too expensive for us to do). Without us asking, our church flipped the bill. Within a couple of days, the entire situation was rectified without us having to stress about it at all.
Then, on Tuesday of last week, I lost my job. I wasn't fired, I was "let-go" for financial reasons. I was working at the church on the facilities crew, but the budget didn't really allow for them to have as many people on staff as they hoped. Since I was the last hired, I was the first gone. It was a terrible situation and I really started to stress out again, because we're hoping to leave this crazy town around the new-year and I didn't think that any sane employer would hire me for 2 months knowing that I might be leaving. But the Lord showed up again and by Thursday, I had a job. The Olde English Tea Room (where Sarah was a waitress for a while) needed a dishwasher. It's not the most glamorous job, but it will pay the bills. And it actually worked out for both me and the owner of the restaurant, because she just lost her dishwasher on Tuesday. 

I could probably name a few more, but it's good to know that God is behind us! There have been a few times now where we've started to stress out about things like finances, only to see little bits of extra work come in to help. God has definitely been good to us and it looks like He might have a few more things in store!

My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus
-Philippians 4:19

-Ben <><

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Ok, so I'm not gonna do them in that order, but I'll cover all three in just a minute. First off, let me say sorry yet again for not blogging for so long. I don't know what happens to me in the alternate reality that is the blogging universe that keeps me from posting anything in forever. I know that for my 5 avid readers, that it must be intense having to wait this long without hearing from me (except in real life where I probably see you at least once a week anyway).

the ugly:
My car was broken into last week. I never felt unsafe in my seminary apartment until this happened, but Sarah and I have noticed that now, we have a whole new way of looking at the world. My silver watch was stolen, which has set me out on a manhunt for anyone wearing a silver watch with a dead battery (my last little joke on our robber-friend), and a very expensive camera was also taken. Now, the watch I can live without, but the camera wasn't even ours. It belonged to a friend of ours who was kind enough to let us borrow it. Turns out it was a $1500 camera.

the good:
The church has offered to pick up the bill on the camera! I know!! It's awesome, right!? That's what I said. We didn't ask them to, but technically, I was using the camera while working on a promotional piece for the youth group, and they took pity on us since we're starving college kids. Praise the Lord for that because we could not have afforded replacing that thing on our own (not unless we went on a year long payment plan).

the bad:
I don't know. Nothing really bad except the car thing. Since the last time I blogged, I've fixed the one-eyed pirate car. But I didn't have the grill at the time, and to put that on, I have to completely remove the bumper again which I have not had time to do. So our one-eyed pirate car has now evolved into the toothless wonder. One of these days when I have a free weekend, I'll take care of that, but with football season in full-swing, that probably won't be for a while.

Speaking of which, how about them Dawgs?!? We are off to an impressive 4-0 start with some tough games ahead. I never doubted we'd be in this undefeated position, but I didn't think the SEC would light up like it has so far. Alabama is gonna be TOUGH!!

I'm going fishin' in GA with a couple friends pretty soon. David Godzisz has invited me to come down with him to Habersham and take some of his youth fly-fishing. I haven't fly-fished (?) since I was a kid, so that'll be a fun experience.

Be praying for us as school comes to an end. It's officially time to start sending out the resumes, so we'll see what God has in store for us next in this crazy thing called life.

Love you guys!!
Ben and Sarah Niemann <><

Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
-Philippians 3:13-14

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Busy Times

So the last week or so has been one of the busiest times of my life. I kept thinking that this semester was going to be a chance for me to relax as I neared the end of my college life. Well that plan didn't work out too well for me. First off, the plan was to take 4 elective classes that wouldn't be too stressful for me. Instead I signed up for what may have turned out to be the 4 hardest classes I could possibly chosen. Real smart, right? Not really. I guess I'm a glutton for punishment.


Last weekend was awesome! My good friend, David Godzisz, hosted a Disciple Now for the church at which he is the youth pastor. He asked me to come for the weekend as the main speaker and brought up some good friends from Georgia to do the music (The Tim Johnson Band... awesome!!). David had ~36 students there and by the end of the weekend, we had seen 5 salvations!! How incredible is that?! God showed up in a big way!! 

But then, right off the heels of that incredible weekend, Sarah and I attended the funeral service for a truly wonderful woman, Amy Rudolph. She had been battling brain cancer for many years now, but recently, she stopped responding to treatments and passed away Thursday night. It was a great service and I am confident in the knowledge that her husband, Mike, is a man of God who understands that sometimes the Lord gives and sometimes, the Lord takes away. 

Then, sunday night, I helped another great friend, Josh McDonald lead worship for a new college bible study at NC State hosted by Apex Baptist Church (which happens to be the church that planted our church 18 years ago). It was awesome! There wasn't much expectation for a crowd, but God showed off again and we had a great crowd and a wonderful time of worship. I really hope that group takes off and I anticipate hearing great things from them in the future. 

So all of that, and now I've got to jump back into the daily grind of school. It was such a spiritually exhausting weekend, but I was so glad to be a part of everything that happened. 

Here's how you can be praying for us:
-I need a job. I've got a couple of leads, but I need something to hold me over for the next 4-6 months before I get a full-time job. 
-Sarah needs extra hours in the day. She has been revamping the logo/identity for our church for the last 3 weeks and she has been truly exhausted these last few days. In fact, last night, I think she went to bed at about 7:30. So if any of you girls out there want to whisk her away for a day or two, she would love to be away from any sort of responsibility for a while!!
-We're still seeking God's direction for after graduation. I don't know what God has in store for us, but I'm sure it's going to be big!

We love you guys!!
Ben and Sarah Niemann <><

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.


p.s.
Here's a taste of the Tim Johnson Band. This video was not shot at the D-now this past weekend. And you can't really tell, but they are more awesome because of the chick drummer. That's right, their drummer is a girl (who is awesome, by the way!). Sarah and I both love these guys and hope to get to partner with them in the ministry more often in the future!!


Sunday, August 3, 2008

So close to the end!!

So I just finished a summer class on Friday which means two great things:
1.) I am officially done with my major. I am not quite done with school, but I don't have to take any more History classes and I'm finished with my Biblical Studies major too! All I have left is a few elective classes and the 2nd half of Greek. Which brings me to number two.
2.) I am SO close to graduation. And it even appears that I have a little more steam left in the tank. I thought I was too burned out to finish, but I actually did well in my summer class. I don't know why I never took a 2 week intensive before, it wasn't that bad.

Our anniversary is coming up!! August 12th is the big number 2! I know that doesn't sound like a ton, but to us, it means 2 years that we've lived together and we haven't killed each other yet. We've come close a couple of times, like that one fight we had where Sarah hit me with a rolled up magazine.
I've also got a birthday coming up on September 15th. With Sarah's guidance and counsel, I made a wishlist, so here goes: http://www.kaboodle.com/ogkbassist/birthday-wish-list.html
I don't think I've done a wishlist since I was 5, but it was fun looking for stuff. I don't expect anyone to buy me stuff just because I've created a list, but at the same time, I'm not stopping anyone from getting me something either. Ye do not have because ye do not ask!

Hopefully, we're getting the car fixed this week! That will be so great! It's been really frustrating and embarrasing to have to drive around a one-eyed car. I keep telling Sarah to just run into people when they cut her off so we can get our insurance to pay for it. But she hasn't done it yet, so I'm just gonna have it fixed.

No word from Lifeway still. I'm starting to believe that it is a dud. But keep praying! If I don't hear anything by the end of the month, I'm going to start sending out more resumes. I'll be looking for a job as a youth pastor or a college pastor. What I'd really like to do is be a BCM or Campus Crusades Director. So if you hear of a job opening, let me know!!

Love you guys!!
Ben and Sarah <><

Friday, July 11, 2008

Cat Fight

Ok, so do you remember the days when you were younger and dumber? Well this is an example of my younger and dumber days (like 3 years ago). Duke and I found these mascot uniforms at the college where we worked for camp. We probably shouldn't have been looking for them in the first place (we found them in the back of some half-way locked storage room), but we definitely shouldn't have taken them. Ha!

So in Madisonville, TN on a Saturday night, we went to the parking lot at Walmart (where about 50 drunks park their trucks in a circle and continue drinking), and had a fight. The crowd was hillarious, they were cheering us on in a drunken roar (no pun intended), and clicking pics of us on their camera phones. Some had even picked a winner and were cheering for us. 
Fun times.

video

Friday, June 27, 2008

Sarah has finally arrived!

So today, Sarah has been featured on a church marketing website called Church Marketing Sucks. Now, this does not mean that they think her work sucks. On the contrary, it is a site geared towards the development of a better visual face for the church. It has long been time for Christians to step up to the plate and be as good (if not better) designers than seculars. So the nod to Sarah's work is a compliment. She designed a CD for the band at our church (the other pieces are the work of other designers). You can see it here: http://www.churchmarketingsucks.com/archives/2008/06/church_marketin_94.html
And if you click on her CD (the piece they featured), it will take you to her flickr.com profile so you can see more of her work. She's super talented and I am incredibly proud of her!

P.S. I finally got a concrete date for an interview. Tuesday the 8th, I am going to have a conference call with some people at LifeWay. Pray that it goes well!!

Love you guys!
Ben <><

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Good things come...

To those who have to wait a few more weeks. At least I hope good things are coming. I got a call from Lifeway today and it was basically to say that I have to wait at least two more weeks before I will hear anything. I honestly believe that God is trying to hold me down and teach me some patience. I've been trying to wriggle myself out, but apparently He's gonna keep showing me the importance of this lesson until I learn it. I am coming to the realization that I am the kind of person who wants immediate gratification in all my pursuits. In school, I want to hand in a paper or a test and immediately know what my grade is. And with this job, I wanted to turn in my resume and know instantly whether or not I was hired. It's been since February and I am getting SO antsy. Oh well. I guess I can wait a little longer. Even still, my mood is optimistic.

My Georgia Bulldogs blew it this past week. They lost the NCAA College World Series to the Fresno State Bulldogs in Game 3. Fresno St was a huge underdog and we should have won in grand fashion, but this time the underdog pulled out a stunning upset. Sad.

Love you guys!
Ben (and Sarah) <><

"I [Darius King of Persia] issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions."
Daniel 6:26-27

Sunday, June 15, 2008

pawleys

i'll be putting up some pics of our beach trip on my flickr over the next week. check it out.

sarah <><