Well, it's finally happened. It took seven years but today for the first time on a mission trip (with me anyway) we had a student leave and head home. Sarah has not been feeling well the past few days, so our prayers go out to her that she would feel better and have a safe trip back to Fishers.
But for the other 35 of us, things are going great. For most of us today was our last day at our sites, we switch tasks tomorrow. To hear how the final day went, here are a few stories...
It was a good day in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. My group the nonconformists picked weeds in the morning and had lunch and then went over to the kids club to start the sports camp. Today was soccer and we had very few kids but they enjoyed our company I think. Or maybe they enjoyed us because they could throw water at us all day. It was much appreciated by me because it was slightly less than 100 degrees. (much cooler than yesterday though)
During our club and worship time today I was really paying attention and felt easy about my life for the future. Nervousness, excitement, and the unknown have been on my mind this entire summer and I haven’t really given God a shot to help. I think tonight the light bulb illuminated and with the help of Ben (a youthworks staff) and our small group talking about changes in our faith, and I realized it was ok and God will lead me where he wants me and I like that feeling. I have everything I need to ACT better and be a better Christian in college because of the fresh start in my social life.
I know that this is kind of personal but I think this it’s a common trend here. People are learning about there selves and how to get better through the experiences Pawhuska has to offer.
A shoutout to chris neiland for his amazing cure of a struggling boy at kids camp who was visible upset about being there and wouldn’t get up or even talk. I tried so many tricks but chris acted like a bear and it worked like a charm.
Today in Pawhuska, OK, half of the Nonconformist group weeded the church flower beds in the morning while a few other people went to a food pantry. I helped weed the church, and the progress we made was fantastic! During the afternoon, our group was in charge of OSC which is Outrageous Sports Camp. Today the sport that we focused on was soccer. Being a soccer player myself, I really enjoyed being in charge of the drills for soccer. We also had a blast scrimmaging, and we ended the afternoon with water games to cool ourselves off.
During Jesus time today, the kids definitely affected Kayla Snyder and me because we truly realized how important it is to take time to listen and include other people without judgment. Many of the children that we worked with have difficult home lives, and OSC has provided them with a fun, safe way to enjoy the summer.
This mission trip has already been such a positive experience. God has truly been working through all of us to make a difference in this community. I am excited to see what the next two days of work bring to all of the groups as we change our work sites tomorrow.
For me this is one of the most important trips because it is my last trip. I was glad when I found out that I would be able to work with kids and on houses. For the past 2 days I have been working with kids, they are amazing! It took a day for them to warm up to us but today they would actually sing the songs with us and participate in the activities. Before we went to kids club we went to a senior citizens home. Andy, Alec and I sang songs for them. We had a woman come up to us and tell us how much of a blessing we had been, and that it was so amazing to see young people praising God.
For me this trip means both the beginning and the end, it will end my trips with the church but I hope that it means God will be giving me new challenges and projects. That when I go to college that my faith will grow and I will continue to follow his path. This trip has been such a blessing for me and has helped me to open my eyes and see amazing things.
My hope for the next few days is that our groups grow closer together and that we leave with new friends and new memories. We have been able to work with the other churches and they are just as glad as us to be here and they want to work. Which is more of a blessing then some people realize. I just hope that we can create friends for life here in Pawhuska and make a difference in peoples lives.
-Taegan Edwards :)
Looking at our work projects today with the eyes of "how can I be different?" and thinking about the difference between words and deeds has really hit home today. We're half-way there, thank you for all your love and support!