sábado, 27 de junio de 2009

A Rested Heart in a Cemetary

This week went really well.  There were definitely some bumps, but God worked in this place.  Kids Club grew from 14 to 27 in four days.  Those kids were loved, and their hearts broke to see their youth leaders leave for home.  I'm excited to stay here and keep loving them all summer, and see new groups come in and share God's love with them.  I connected with a couple of youth who were really impacted this week.  A lot of them were, but it was sweet (the kinda sweet like the Bible refers to when it compares God's word to honey) to hear their stories and where they are at with God, whether it's "I'm angry" or "I'm still going strong even though this is going on."  
In my one-on-one with my site director this week, he asked what I'd want to do on my day off.  One thing I told him is that I like to go to parks, but there aren't any in Hamlin.  Little did I know when our short trip to a fruit stand that wasn't up today became a long drive that I was losing interest in, that our stop at a cemetary (the two I was with like to look at the dif. stones, names and stuff) would be just the answer to my desire.  I sat under a tree on the top of a hill and read about how we've lost our wonder for God's creations.  It was the perfect place to be, to listen to and feel the wind, be shaded by a tree and see the mountains around me.  

martes, 23 de junio de 2009

Day 2!

Hey all!  First, thanks to all who have sent mail or prayers.  They brighten my days.  We have our first group in Hamlin.  It's gone well.  Kids Club was great yesterday.   I'm a little tired, but the youth running KC are doing a great job, and the adults are super helpful.  What a blessing to have this job!  They've told my site director that I'm doing well, so that's cool, but it also makes me feel a little bit like a have a good first impression to live up to!  It's all right, it's God shining through anyway.  Time to go.  Blessings.

sábado, 20 de junio de 2009

Closets and gumbo

So, I'm standing in a closet.  That's where the internet hook up is...it's kind of the furnace/stuff room.  Just picture a few cobwebs, one lightbulb, wires and gizmos everywhere.  Last Saturday was a birthday celebration for John and I.  We went to Charleston, went down to the river, had dinner with two other WV crews.   We wore sombreros at the restaurant and our teams made us a cake.  It was a good day.  This week...cleaning, prep work, going door to door to recruit kids from the community to come to Kids Club, getting tested for TB because I'm the lead volunteer for the nursing home (I don't have it), finally opening up a bit more to my team...which is a struggle sometimes.  It is a goal of mine tho, I wrote it on a notecard before we left training.  Don't let there be walls.  I hide behind those sometimes.  Surprise.  Mm...birthday, went out to ice cream after dinner, my team got me presents.  I wasn't expecting that...I've known them three weeks and we celebrated on Saturday!  They're a blessing tho.  We have a pretty solid team.  We made a video about our guidelines for the week to show the youth groups.  Every scene has Mark or Haley doing something wrong, then I come out and tackle them in all my beastly strength and wonder.  They wanted to put a nickname in the credits for me, and decided on Duchess.  Where that came from, I don't know.   Wasn't a fan, but it's growing on me after this train of thought - Thursday I did dishes for at least five hours, mind you, I had to heat water on the stove constantly because we don't have hot tap water.  Towards the end of this, I was feeling a lot like Cinderalla...who marries a prince, becomes queen, which is kinda like a Duchess.  So, hopefully I will learn to accept this - the kids are probably going to call me that once they see it on the video.  Why not Sherlock or Treehugger I say?  Geez.  Anyhoo, Thursday night, went to dinner at Miss Laudie's.  Homemade chicken and dumplings and then a Bible study with about 12 other people from her church.  Then there's 'pickin' where we play bluegrass, folk songs and hymns til whenever.  Those folks stay up late!  Friday afternoon my team went to a local restaurant.  Those people are real friendly!  I asked what was in the chicken gumbo soup...and got the answer three times:  gumbo.  Our waitress was tickled.  I didn't think it was that funny, but I laughed at how hilarious she thought it was. Lately I've felt like I'm more admiring what Jesus calls us to do than Jesus himself, but this morning, I was thinking about it.  Jesus calls us to do what he calls us to do because of who he is, his character, and admiring that seems like it just might be admiring the One who would have us live that life.  So.  That's my life soup, coming from a disorganized closet!

viernes, 12 de junio de 2009

One for the kingdom

So, end of week one. It was great. I'm tired, but not as much as I expected. Kids Club was intense. Logan is kind of inner city WV, but it's kind of just the WV culture. The kids are fighters...with their words, with their trust, and sometimes physically. They settled down a bit as the week went on, and they'll soften as the summer goes. Monday two of them had a sing off with gospel music. I liked that. Morgan was my favorite. He is eight, small, and kinda stand offish at first. He had the greatest expressions. The youth participants really stepped out of their comfort zones. We wouldn't have known that they were doing anything out of the ordinary if it hadn't been for the adult leaders telling us. They were stretched, and they did great. Youth were loved, they served, they saw God in new ways. I didn't get to be as involved as I'd like in hearing about how this week changed them, but their leaders can see, and they're the ones who will help them press on when they go home! Time to load some paint...peace.

sábado, 6 de junio de 2009

City on a hill

Hey so, I'm in a new town for this week where we have three work crews combined to do a real trial run. Oxymoron, yes. Let me describe. We stay at a church halfway up a mountain with the rooftops of the town buildings and houses coming up to about the base of our buildings. The town is in a valley surrounded by mountains covered in green trees. Yeah, it's awesome. We have youth groups coming in for our first week tomorrow.
Thursday my crew went to a community member's house to have dinner, join her church bible study, and then jammed out to some blue grass with them. Someone let me borrow a guitar and helped me figure out the beat while we had a couple other guitars, a banjo, some singers, and a bass. It was so much fun! Also...there was a battle that Mark and I fought in one of our meeting rooms...a battle against mold. Try a face mask and a good pep talk from my site director, and we took it on! It's looking better. Other people are waiting for the computer...peace and feel free to pray for us and the community/youth groups that are coming. I really like this community!

miércoles, 3 de junio de 2009


So, after a stranger slept at my house and we were driven to a gas station by my parents, playing guitar in said parking lot before parting with it at 5:30 a.m. while I waited for a man I had met once to pick us up for a nine hour drive, we arrived near Philly, PA. Four bedrooms, lots of hours of training, a Little Sally Walker, two bathrooms, seventy people, and some Rocky steps later, I found myself rolling out again with four people I had met just days before. On we drove with the other West Virginia crews until we had to part ways and go on to Hamlin ourselves. Welcomed by a rain storm, a leaky roof, some unappealing bathrooms, kind people and an introduction at church and we were on our way to making ourselves at home in this community. Some clogging, some phone calls, driving a truck on hilly, rainy, windy roads, sneaking a surprise into the girl's room for our area director, meeting people in the community and here I am. Now I must go. But, my address is P.O. box 612 / Hamlin, WV 25223.