Friday, July 22, 2016

Leech Lake - Thursday

Hey everyone, today was out last day of serving. We went into the wee hours of the night with our footwashing and praying for each other so cleaning up tomorrow morning should be exciting. Thanks for all your prayers and support and we'll see you soon. Until then, a few more stories from the day.

After learning I would be in Kids Club this week Sunday night, my first reaction was frustration.  Even though I had done a week of it before in Newport, I only wanted to go to service projects, but continued to put a smile on my face to try and seem happy about.  Looking back, I realize why God put me there, despite my prayers beforehand to put me anywhere else.  At the beginning of the week, I met a girl named Mia who captured my attention by trying to take my glasses on the first day (don’t worry I got them back).  Over time, I learned along with Sabrina that she wanted to be a singing, ballet dancing, cheerleading gymnast.  God knows I’m not any of things but my attempts to sing and dance always put a smile on her face and demonstrated I was where I was supposed to be.  Later that week, I had the pleasure of meeting Gavin who was about the opposite.  We played Super Mario around the park all day and I was excited to find out he didn’t want to participate in water day, saving me from being drenched like the rest of my crew.  The thing that stuck out to me most was his genuine curiosity in how the world works and his constant questions, which I was happy to try and answer.  Overall, both of them were extremely difficult to say goodbye to today, and I was silently hoping that the next group will give them the same love and attention.  Both reminded me how God, even when we feel uncomfortable, bends us so that we can still make an impact in another’s life.  In theme with the lesson this week about God’s love for us and our response, I would have to leave saying thanks to Troy (and God) for putting me in this group where I know I made a difference in two kids’ lives and making two new friends. -Evan

Looking at the job list on Sunday night, the only thing I could think was that I am NOT a physical labor kind of girl. But just as I always try to do, I aimed to go into the first day with a smile. God treated me well this week to say the least. The heat index was supposed to be between 95 and 103 degrees, but we ended up with breezy clear skies with plenty of shade. As I spent the time scraping paint off of old wooden posts and painting the ceilings of smelly boys locker rooms, I started to realize that the company I was surrounded by and the positive attitudes of everyone I encountered was going to make my week fantastic. I started to realize day by day that this trip and this job was exactly where God wanted me to be. It pushed my comfort levels and patience but I made the most out of it. One of the houses I had been painting, edging, sanding, and scraping for a few days was finished today and sitting back and seeing how far that house had come was so rewarding. As hesitant as I was when Troy placed me in this group with this work, I am so thankful that God placed me here. -Lauren

My day started out at the Outrageous Sports Camp where we played basketball with the older kids and tag and other outdoor games with the younger children. While I was disappointed to hear I would have to interact with other human beings at the beginning of the week, it turned out okay in the end. I ended up becoming good friends with a girl, Alaina, and that was a good thing to know leaving the site today.  When coming into the site I had feared that I would not be able to have the patience required to handle children, especially those who were around my own age. But my friendship with Alaina changed that. I am no longer fearful of working with kids. This is one more reason why I am grateful for what this trip has provided me with. Once we left the site we went to our work project where we pulled weeds so that the carrots could grow for the Bemidji Food Shelf Farm. The work we did there was very visible, so it filled us with a sense of accomplishment when we finished up. Once we came back to the high school we had free time and an afternoon activity and then we went into the foot washing portion of the evening. The foot washing ceremony is one of my favorite moments of the year because I can talk to my friends while I feel at the peak of my closeness with God of the week. It is a great feeling to interact with your friends at this time because it is the end of the long week of hard work and you experience a closeness which our time together and with God has brought about. I am so very grateful to have come on this trip, however I am very happy to be coming home soon. -Rachel

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