Mardi Gras Madness – Part 1

mlab Behind The Scenes, Engaging Culture, Missions

The season is upon us – not Thanksgiving, not Christmas, but Mardi Gras! If you’re anywhere near the Gulf Coast (or if you have friends in the area), no doubt you’ve seen pictures of decadent King Cakes popping up all over Facebook and Instagram. But maybe you have no idea what in the world I’m talking about. Allow me to shed some light on the situation. Each year in New Orleans (and some of the surrounding areas), we celebrate what is called the Carnival season – beginning on January 6, which is the “12th day of Christmas” heralded in carols, and culminating in Mardi Gras Day, the day before the Lenten season begins. In New Orleans, we celebrate this block …

What’s Your Focus?

mlab Behind The Scenes, Local, Missions, Sarah, Staff

This is a guest blog from our Associate Director of Youth and College Programs, Sarah Barnett. Sarah is a New Orleans native who spends too much time drinking coffee and reading BuzzFeed articles.   The leaves don’t change much during a New Orleans autumn. While friends in other parts of the country are beginning to add layers to their outfits, I’m still rocking flip-flops. I force myself to drink the oh-so-beloved pumpkin spice lattes, even though the face-melting heat will linger here until mid-December. Despite the weather, though, the feeling of fall creeps into New Orleans in other ways: the feeling that it’s time to rest, to regroup, time to rethink and reframe. Our theme for the coming MissionLab year is “FOCUS …

Why Do Short-Term Missions?

mlab Local, Missions

Top 5 Reasons to Take a Short-Term Mission Trip 5. Your group will grow closer. Going on a trip is fun! Seeing new things, having new adventures, tasting new foods and experiencing life together draws people closer. 4. You will be stretched. You will see things that you do not see on a regular basis.  You will meet people that you may not talk to in your everyday life.  While the experiences themselves will grow you, having time set aside for the Lord is a growing experience.  Anytime you separate yourself from the day-to-day and push yourself to focus on God and others, you have an opportunity to experience the Lord in new ways. 3. You help long-term missionaries.  Short-term …

Hurricane Isaac Update

mlab Uncategorized

NOTE: Hurricane Isaac made landfall in southeast Louisiana on August 28. Many areas, especially those outside of the city of New Orleans were affected by this storm. The state of Louisiana is divided into parishes, much like counties found in other states. St. John the Baptist Parish is approximately 30 miles from the New Orleans area. Madison Roussel, our MissionLab Administrative Assistant, is from this area originally, and she explains a bit about Isaac’s impact below.  To say the least, St. John the Baptist Parish has suffered some unfortunate events in the recent weeks.  In mid-August, the small community of Laplace was rocked by a series of shootings that left two sheriff’s deputies dead, and two other deputies seriously wounded …