Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Newport Day 4

Wednesday is always an interesting day on a mission trip. It's half-way done, students are realizing how little time left they have to make an impact, and at a split-site which this is, it means many students switch their ministries they have been working on. Add in the massive thunderstorms tonight that messed with our evening activity and you have all sorts of fun (we did a prayer drive, we travelled throughout the town and learned some stories then prayed for the ministries there). And we had a few people eager to tell their stories, so enjoy the blogs!

As a member of the “Lost” crew, I have had the opportunity to volunteer at the Kids Club every day this week.  On Monday and Tuesday, only about eight kids came, which was a bit disappointing considering we had about twenty YouthWorks student volunteers. However, today about twenty kids showed up!

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Kids Club and appreciate the interactions I have experienced with the children. Kids Club has different stations in which the kids participate, and I am a leader at the Reading Post.  At the Reading Post, the kids read a bible story with the group and then, they can choose to either pick out other books to read or play cards.  Yesterday, I read with a girl named Ali, who will be in seventh grade this fall. Today after the bible story, Ali raced over to me again to see if we could keep reading the story that we didn’t have a time to finish the day before.  I was so proud that Ali wanted to continue practicing her reading skills. Even in my three days with the kids, their attitudes have improved, and most of them seem eager to learn about God.  I will definitely miss all of the children at Kids Club, and hope they will continue chasing after Jesus when Kids Club ends in a couple weeks and their school begins. -Kari Lorentson

These past few days have been a blast! The people from the other church are very friendly. In my group for this week, there are ten students plus two adults, split pretty evenly with people from each church. For the first two days my group did manual labor for Hal at his house. If you haven’t heard about who Hal is, he is a guy that ministers to addicts and is involved with the YouthWorks service. Today most of the groups switched up what they were doing; my group went from Hal’s to the Kids Club, which was a pretty drastic change. At the club, I met a few of the kids there. One I met was named Quinton. He was a pretty nice kid, kind of shy, and some of the other kids and I played ball with him for a while. After kids club was over, I went with some other people to drop the kids off at their houses, and it was very interesting to see where all the kids were coming from. The kids we dropped off all lived in a government subsidized housing area called Myers Circle, which was saddening for me to see so many families living in near poverty.

Later in the day we went on a prayer tour, going around the town of Newport and stopping at several places to pray for many things. We stopped at a park, a goodwill, and a soup kitchen that many of our youth have been serving at this week. It was very humbling to see so many of the things that go on in this town. I look forward to the next and last day of serving with an eager heart and an open mind. –Mattheus Mitchell

I have had a really eye-opening experience over the past few days here, it’s been really great! The first few days working with the kids at Kids Club were a blast, although the first day was hard, being able to reach out to the kids. Even by the second day, though, I was able to make some good connections with them. And of course, I got to be a part of my favorite aspect of worship, music!!!!

Now, though, I’ve moved on and my crew, Love, has started working out at Hal Valentine’s farm. It’s a lot of hard work, not my favorite thing in the world, but it’s really great knowing that I’m making a difference and being able to see physical results from my actions. Today we hacked weeds out of Hal’s pasture, enjoying the adventure of how to learn how to use all the different tools. When we had finished up and moved to lunch, we got to try some of Hal’s AMAZING lemonade. Like seriously, I want to bring him home with me so he can make it all the time! We did finally get back to work though, and we went out back to trim his fence and cover the barn with chicken wire.

My half of the crew worked on the fence, and that was where I was really grateful to everyone in the crew for their amazing and supportive attitudes. We had cleared out most of the first half of the fence and we noticed a little wasp’s nest, which we tried to avoid. Being me, I completely forgot where the nest was and managed to get myself a fun little sting. It wasn’t too bad, through my shirt on my arm, so not even a stinger to pull out, but as soon as I noticed, everyone dropped everything to help me out. Matt was amazing and really kind, and he’s been checking up with me all day to make sure I’m still feeling alright. The rest of the day was less eventful for me, hard to beat such an fun afternoon, but we did have a really meaningful evening activity, going around to all our work sites to pray for the everyday people who work and use the places around Newport. It’s really important to be reminded that there’s always something going on, even after we leave. My last day is tomorrow, and I’m really going to be sad when it’s over, even if it is more manual labor. I’ve really loved this experience and I can’t wait to bring my attitude back to Fishers. -Jacob Bennington

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