Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Painting Houses, Filling Food Bags, and VBS.

Last week I went on a mission trip with some of the youth in our church. It was an eye opening experience in a lot of ways.  So many times when you go to help someone else you end up getting as much out of it as they do. This week was defiantly one of those weeks.

We left Sunday morning before church and headed South West to the mountains. We had two jobs to do while we were there. We were going to paint a house during the day and run a VBS at night. It was a beautiful drive but I admit I was a little concerned about how things were going to go. As I have said many many times I am a planner. We didn't really have a plan so I wasn't sure how I felt about that. I didn't want to show up at this church and them be disappointed by the VBS. I kept telling myself God had it all under control but I admit I had my doubts.

It was very hot last week and the painting was rough work. We had to take frequent breaks to drink and cool off. We weren't really sure if we would get the house painted or not. The wood was old and untreated. The primer was oil based and had to dry completely before the top coat. The wood was so dry it just soaked the primer up I think those kids painted that house with the primer 10 times before it was covered.  We had rain one day so we lost a day of painting. It was close but in the end the kids pulled through and got it done. They even finished a couple hours early the last day.

The day it rained we took them to a food bank. Now I am not saying I didn't want to paint (okay yes I am I didn't want to paint LOL) but the food pantry is more my speed. I am not really much of a manual labor kinda gal especially in the heat but I could really get into the idea of filling the bags and sorting the clothing donations to help families out in this way. They have a great operation running there. It was wonderful to see the volunteers all working together to help those in need. Truth be told it was just about as hot in the warehouse as it was outside but we had a good time.

The VBS was where you could really see God at work. We showed up about 45 minutes before the VBS. Nothing was decorated and we didn't even know if the kids were going to rotate or stay in classrooms. Our youth stepped up and made it all happen. We decided to rotate the kids like we do in our VBS since that is what they would be used to. They each took groups. They lead them around like pros. They taught the Bible Story (with Pastor Jonathan's help), they ran games, they helped lead the music, it was amazing. It went smoothly and I think all the kids had a good time.

It was very different from the VBS we run here. It reminded me of the way we did VBS when I was a kid. It was fun. It was simple. It wasn't overdone. The kids had a blast. The snacks were so cute but simple compared to the stuff we do. I don't know how to explain it except to say that in some situations simpler is better.

I met a wonderful couple at the church where we were doing the VBS. They are adopting a baby from Belize. That was eye opening. I learned a lot about what that process has been like for them. I am keeping them in my prayers and it would be great if you all could too. It has been 2 years in the making and hopefully Addy Grace will be coming home to live with them in a couple months time. I had no idea the interior of Belize was such a sad place.

So that is what we did. It was hard work, it was fun, it was eye opening in many ways. It left me with some big thoughts. I am making some changes based on some things I believe God was showing me on the trip. Things I am not ready to do anything but pray about yet. As I said in the beginning I believe that when you put yourself out there to help others many times you are the one who gets the most out of it.


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