It's the middle of the week, we're half-way there. It's an interesting day because we change ministry sites, those working on building/painting projects move to the kids club and vice versa. It's a weird feeling, almost like you're starting all over again. And again, we have some students to tell you all about it.
When I moved here from Oregon last year, things were a little bit tougher than expected. My family and I had been “church shopping” for a few months and found little success, but when we found Fishers Untied Methodist Church, I think we all found a sign of relief.
As I started to go to their youth group, I felt like I was a member almost instantly. This youth group is filled with amazing people who have done amazing things. This youth group has changed the lives of many people including myself.
This mission trip to Pawhuska, Oklahoma is my first mission trip, and it won’t be my last. This week has been one of few weeks where I have truly felt a strong connection to God, and I am looking forward to the weeks to come.
Today was the day that everyone switched sites, and I went from a work site to kids club. All the kids were incredible, they were so great to be around and so eager to be played with. They were all so accepting and outgoing, and the second you acknowledged them they would run up and ask to play. All kinds of crazy things were happening, but one of the best was when we were doing crafts and using paint, which the kids were very into. Two of the people in my group were so willing to do whatever it took to make the kids happy that they let them paint on their faces and shoes. They were completely covered, but it was an incredible thing, they were just so willing to do whatever it took.
On the first day when we were driving to Oklahoma our entire van was making bracelets with thread the whole way here. I had two of the bracelets we had made on my wrists when we went with the kids, and there were two little girls who saw them and absolutely loved them. They pulled them off my wrists and asked to have them, and they were so excited when they got to wear them. Tonight I plan to find the rest of the bracelets we made and take them to the rest of the kids, and I am so excited. The idea that we can have some kind of influence that will last, even if it’s just a little bracelet, is amazing.
Today the sports camp went to a local nursing home to spend time with the residents and talk with them. I think we were able to bring joy to the residents, some were very excited to see us and talk with us. One guy, Doy (that’s his actual name), was really open about sharing his family photo albums with us. He would show us his grandkids and his own kids with their families. He had a lot of photos of them. They don’t get to visit very often because they’ve moved far away from the area. Well, the highlight of that trip to the nursing home was the bingo game. I “lost” a lot of games. Really I won two games. I didn’t want to say I had won because I wanted the older people to win and have a good time. Little did I know that Doy also wanted us to win so he did not say he had won. It was awesome to see the caring of people and wanting people to enjoy themselves.
It's amazing how what we see as little things can make such big life changes, not only in the people we are ministering to, but also in our students. Tomorrow will be full of surprises and endings as we say good-bye to some people we have made some real relationships with. Thanks all of you for your support and we'll see you soon.