I don’t think there are words adequate for today. I’m going to try!
Ambitious, adventure, challenging, messy, fun, crazy, sweet, moving, inspiring, AMAZING, yummy, heartbreaking, blessed, yummy again, impressive, divine moments, EPIC!
We started the morning with our devotional and then each student received a piece of paper with another team member’s name on it. Their job was to take note of that person and tonight, bless them by telling them what they see in them and giving them a scripture. It is a very encouraging time.
We went back to the Loving Hearts ministry to finish painting the last office floor. We were also asked to work in the food pantry, clean out a storage area and the clothes closet area. The people that are running the food pantry are small in number so many chores were just not getting done and the areas needed help.
We began the task and quickly realized … we needed rubber gloves and masks. I like to take great precaution when cleaning the ‘unknown’. Soon we began to realize, they had might need an exterminator. A group of our kids were cautious and carefully were removing the items. Long story short – if you’ve ever seen The Princess Bride, ROUS showed up…. Screaming, running, laughing, more screaming! The ROUS’s left the building… we threw many things away that were inviting unwelcomed guests. Needless to say, we have relived the moment over and over all day and it was a good part of debriefing tonight! To put your mind at ease, I have a process that they all went through when we finished! Actually what previous classes have experienced from gutting houses after Katrina was much worse … however … today was EPIC! I am sure you will hear the story – it has many versions… !
Another great lunch provided by Brenda who was so blessed by the kindness of our students.
After lunch we came back and very quickly finished up our prep for the Kids Club. Usually we have a few hours to finalize and practice but today we had about 45 minutes. But God showed up, and it was amazing ministry.
Even from the testimony of YWAM workers, no one can get the kids to be calm and quiet when it comes time for the Kids Club ministry. Last week through prayer God gave us the idea of using these foam bracelets. We put them on the children and told them, as long as you follow all the directions and be respectful we have a prize for you at the end. It really was amazing.
Two of the YWAM workers told me, “I have never seen the kids be quiet and listen and respond like that” “I had to fight crying:” In the 9 years I’ve come, it has never been like this. The Holy Spirit showed up. All our kids were involved and were amazing! Amber, Bailey and Nickoli gave testimonies of God’s faithfulness and that He has a purpose for each of us and that we can have hope that He will be faithful to it. Our scripture was Psalm 147:11 The Lord takes delight in those who have respect for him, they put their hope in his faithful love. After each testimony we prayed for the kids who had things in their life that were similar to the testimony. You want your heart to be full? See your students sitting on the grass with precious little ones surrounding them, sharing with them and praying with them. Yeah … that’s what it is all about!
Oh and by the way … the kids were even very orderly getting in line for their prize!
Dinner was New Orleans Seafood and Hamburgers, one last meal with Steve and Bronwen. Then back to the base house for our final debrief and blessing time. Then the final clean up.
We are all packed up ready to load up in the morning. I don’t rush the final debrief because they each have so much to share.
It’s been a great trip. We have mixed emotions. Many want to stay one more day. (me included) Others want to stay and go home to their bed. (oh yes)
We will leave about 6:30 in the morning. We should arrive back at the campus between 4 – 6. This depends on our stops and the traffic. We will stay in touch with the office who will keep you updated with Iris alerts.
Thank you so much for allowing your student to come on this trip! If it weren’t so late, I would write about each student. My heart is full and I am so proud of these young men and women. They are so uniquely different yet I believe they want to be one in spirit – to Impact their World for Christ!