Tuesday, July 27, 2010

World Changers 2010 ~ unhindered~Saturday, 7/24/10, Heading home

I got up super early on Saturday because I wanted to make sure I washed my hair before heading back home. We deflated our beds and waited for the guys so we could go. We got on the road around 6:30 central time and headed home. We stopped for gas and Dennis started driving so Philip could sleep. Since Dennis and I didn't talk much I spent most of the 4 hrs he drove in prayer. I did see a coyote in the median in Alabama. Philip & Clifford woke up about the time we were driving thru Atlanta. We stopped around 11 for lunch at a Burger King and Philip took over driving. A short time later we stopped for a potty break. Philip had to actually buy a pack of toilet paper since there was none in the men's room and the guy said they were out. I bought ice cream treats for me and the kids. While waiting for Philip we saw a huge praying mantis on the wall. We got back on the road and headed home. Saturday's ride was very enjoyable for me since Philip and spent the day talking and laughing at Clifford. We stopped at the welcome center at the FL State line for orange juice much to Dennis' irritation. It started raining on us about time we were coming thru Ocala. They dropped me off first. I was so happy to get a real shower!!!!

World Changers 2010 ~ unhindered~Friday, 7/23/10

Waking up Friday was bittersweet. Knowing it was the last day and you were going to have to say goodbye to the people you had become friends with so quickly was sad. I had done each of my kids names and had a few to finish up and put in their envelopes. On the way to the house we had the kids sign the "Labor Provided by World Changers" signs we would give to Ms Woods and Mahlon. We had one for Mrs Nancy too but since we had messed up the sign from the front of the house asking people to use the side door, she had us use her sign to make a new one for Ms Woods front porch. The kids got to work painting the blocks at the back of the house and the back porch. By about 10:00 our house was finished and we were just killing time. Tori came and asked Mahlon if she could use his cell phone to call her mom since they left theirs at home. Then 2 of the boys snuck up behind him with the cooler of water and drenched him and Mrs Nancy. Around 10:30 Mrs Nancy and I drove several of the girls around to witness at the different houses. We arrived back to find lunch has just arrived and Brynne was sleeping in the chair. We enjoyed a lunch of burgers with the trimmings, chips, cookies, brownies, more apples, lemonade and tea. After lunch Ms Woods joined us for our last devotion time. It was so sweet that she had joined us, since she has not been able to go to her regular Bible study due to her open heart surgery. Afterwards, we presented her with her sign, a picture of us taken the 1st day we worked and a Bible. We cleaned everything up and go the ok to leave the site at 1:30. Since we couldn't go back until 4 we took the crew to Sonic and WalMart to kill time and then headed back to shower. Dinner was spaghetti and salad. Kayla was happy because on of the GRBC church men made her some fried green tomatoes. After dinner we had our closing celebration sitting with our crews. The crew chiefs, encouragers, and group leaders all got WC hammacks which led us to tease Mrs Nancy about purpling in the hammock since both she and her husband got one. They showed the video of the week and a video of Jeff Foxworthy doing "You might be a World Changer if....". Then they closed it by singing "Sweet Home Alabama"!!! We went off to the cafeteria for our crew chat to say goodbye and exchange addresses. Our crew entertained those in there by singing Lean on Me and with a race between Christian and Mahlon. We met back into youth groups for Worship and for our final youth group devotions. Philip seemed to be a little disappointed when he asked our kids what the best thing this week was and all they said was playing with a dog and going to the mall. We headed back to our room and packed up giving Philip & Dennis what we didn't need to put in the van. Then to bed for the last time.

World Changers 2010 ~ unhindered~Thursday, 7/22/10

Thursday morning the girls on my crew were excited because finally we would be able paint with green paint!!!! WOO HOO no more white. We had help that morning when they sent us another crew who had already finished their home to paint with us. I spent the morning with Anna who I nicknamed the Energizer Bunny of painting, as she painted the window frames sometimes spending 20 or more minutes on one frame getting the green all the way to the edge by painting a little and then wiping it off the metal and painting again. Mahlon and Mrs Nancy worked hard all morning on the windows. The Ladies SS Class of FBC Saks brought us lunch of hoagies [turkey and roast beef], with all the trimmings [lettuce, home grown tomato slices, cheese, onions, pickles, mayo, mustard, ketchup], chips, apple slices and berries that had been soaked in 7-up overnight to keep the apples from turning, cookies, pink lemonade and tea. After lunch we worked on touching up the green paint and painting the planter on the front porch. Anna and Courtney asked Ms Woods if they could decorate her planter and came back and painted some swirls and dots and her name on it. After it was done they went and had her come out to see it and she loved it. We had our usual afternoon popsicles, cleaned up and headed back to shower. Dinner that night was BBQ chicken, baked beans and corn. After dinner we had adult prayer, worship with the emphasis on salvation and youth group devotions. During devotions Philip was speaking about his favorite verses out of the book of Daniel. I had noticed Mrs Nancy's church was on the other side of the church. I did think that Philip was getting louder and louder and all of sudden Mrs Nancy caught my eye asking me to have him quiet down. He was embarassed but all went well and we finished. For a treat after devotions we took the kids to Sonic where Philip had a burger and fried pickles, I had a frito wrap, Dennis had a iced mocha thing, and the girls had Sonic Blasts. The best part of the evening was Clifford who ordered a foot long chili cheese coney. When this guy Russ came up [who happens to look and kinda sound like Stone Cold Steve Austin], Clifford was all excited about telling him about his hot dog - -so Russ nicknamed Clifford Weinie Man!!!! We went back to the church to get ready for bed.

Monday, July 26, 2010

World Changers 2010 ~ unhindered~Wednesday, 7/21/10

Wednesday morning began just like the day before with breakfast at 6. We all left at 7 and got to Ms Woods house and began working on painting the rest of the white. With the boys and the girls painting white it really came together. The kids did a great job painting on the east side of the house even with the difficulty from the sun shining a glare on the stucco. After they finished we moved around to the front of the house and painted it and the columns on the porch. Wish I had gotten pictures of the girls practically hanging off the house trying to get all the way around the columns. We left the boys painting the high parts of the front of the house and the girls moved to the back which was by far the biggest part of the house to paint white and those girls painted their butts off to get it done with only a few parts left for the boys paint. A trio of men from FBC Saks brought us a wonderful lunch of BBQ sandwiches, baked beans, cole slaw and apple cobbler with ice cold sweet tea!! After lunch we had another devotion led by Christian and the kids really opened up and enjoyed it. Then it was back to work to finish painting all the white so we could do the green the next day. The new windows arrived and Mahlon and Mrs Nancy began getting them ready to hang. We had gotten smart so most of us had our clothes with us to get straight into the shower lines so we could go to the block party.
Normally at WC you start by arriving on Sat and going to your host church on Sun with the afternoon off on Wed for the church youth groups to go have fun. This year with an abbreviated week they didn't give us the afternoon off but instead we had a block party for the entire community at Zinn Park in Anniston. There was free food [hamburgers, hot dogs, sno cones, popcorn, chips, chips and salsa, cokes, water], different local churches had games set up like face painting and football toss and watermelon seed spitting and a fish pond, and there was entertainment. We enjoyed music from 3 of the WC churches and from a local church group who also performed some drama. Philip spent the time witnessing to several people including a woman named Cynthia and her son Jamal. Cynthia was one of the 12 people to accept Christ that night. Dennis and the 3 kids from our church spent the evening playing frisbee with one of the WC frisbees that also had the plan of salvation on them. Because my gout had decided to act up that day due to me having sneakers on 2 days in a row, I spent the evening worshipping in the concert area. While there I got to enteract with the cutest little boy who happened to have Down's Syndrome. He walked up to the girl next to me and we started playing with him. He was absolutely beautiful and while I never really interacted with his mom I know thru our acceptance of him we showed her love and acceptance as well. We headed back to the church for our youth group devotions. Clifford gave us an interesting view on world history on the way back with Hitler and Jaques Cousteau being contemporaries and Germany being surrounded by water. We had our usual free time and then headed to bed.

World Changers 2010 ~ unhindered~Tuesday, 7/20/10

Tuesday morning began bright and early with breakfast [eggs, biscuits & gravy, sausage and juice] at 6 am. Then we all went down the hill for the great send off. Then it was back up the hill to go to our vans and head to the worksites. My crew was named Scrape, Splatter & Roll. In our crew we had 6 girls [Anna, Anna/A-Dub/Root Beer, Kayla, Courtney, Savannah, Tori], 3 boys [Christian, Tommy Joe, Brynne], and 3 adults [Mahlon-the crew chief, Mrs Nancy - the crew encourager, and me]. We arrived at our house around 7:30 and the guys started working. Because the old paint on the house was so old and was lead based they would not allow the girls to do any of the scraping, so we had to wait until the guys were done. While waiting around the girls did some bonding and then went to a few houses doing evangelism. At 11 am the youth group from FBC Saks showed up with our lunch of hot dogs, chips, little debbie cakes, water and gatorade. They joined us for our devotion time led by Root Beer. After lunch, we were finally able to begin painting on the house while the guys finished scraping. Around 2 or 2:30 it started raining on us and we had to sit in the van for a while with the a/c running. The popsicle crew brought us our afternoon snack and we ate it in the van. After it stopped raining we washed out the brushes and headed back to the church. We all got in line and waited our turns to shower - we had disaster relief shower trailers with 6 stalls. Dinner of Nachos/Taco Salad was at 6. After dinner we had youth group leader prayer time and then worship. The worship that night was called Concert of Prayer. We entered the sanctuary in complete silence and the stage had a cross on it with a purple drape. The worship leaders were in the balcony and it was a very reverent service of prayer, song and scripture. Upon entering we had each been given a jagged rock and during the service we were asked to think of something in our lives that hinders our service to God and turn it over to him. Then we went up and placed our rock at the foot of the cross and picked up a smooth rock representing God working in our lives. We left in silence and went out to the hill for youth group devotions. Free time and lights out concluded the evening.

World Changers 2010 ~ unhindered~Monday, 7/19/10

Monday morning we got up and again had breakfast at the hotel. Then it was on the road to Anniston, Alabama. Philip did stop and let me take pictures of the Atlanta Motor Speedway. He also helped Clifford and Dennis work on their witnessing techniques by pretending to be a Muslim they were trying to convert. We had a good trip to Alabama. When we got off the interstate we did have to find a detour because there was a train just sitting still across the road we needed to take. We went to Ihop for lunch before finding the church for registration. After a little confusion due to the address supplied by World Changers we arrived at Greenbrier Road Baptist Church in Anniston for the week. Philip checked us in and we found our rooms. I got our air mattresses set up in a room with about 20 other girls/ladies. Then I volunteered for me and the girls to move because they were going to put 3 girls from another church on the ground level away from everyone else and the oldest one was only 20 and I felt more secure moving since I am older than that. We got settled in and then went to the opening celebration. We all had dinner [meatloaf, mashed potatoes & gravy, green beans, salad, roll and dessert] and then went down the huge hill to have the group pic taken. We got our crew assignments and had our evening worship service with our youth group devotions. After some free time and a coke in the concession stand, it was time to go to our rooms for bed.

World Changers 2010 ~ unhindered~Sunday, 7/18/10

Sunday morning we all got up and had the continental breakfast at the hotel. Philip had found a dog outside that he fed eggs to. After everyone was ready we headed to worship at Crestview Baptist Church which just happened to be down the street from our hotel. We joined them for Sunday School with Philip and Dennis going into the young adults, Clifford in the preteen class, & me and the 2 girls in the youth class. When one of the boys heard we were from FL his 1st ? was were we Gator fans!!! We enjoyed a quick time of worship in the SS room and a good lesson. Then we went to the contemporary service. This was very different for all of us but more so for Dennis, Cliffor and the girls. They are used to being at our church with a very traditional service so not using any hymnals and all the different songs was a change for them. The people at the church were so very super friendly and welcoming and really made us feel right at home. The pastor prayed for us and our World Changers experience. After church we went to lunch at Applebees. We had noticed several of the church people there and Philip spoke to them. While we were waiting on our lunch a waitress came up and asked us what we wanted for dessert . She said that the table in the corner told her about us being on a mission trip and that they were picking up our entire bill including dessert. What a blessing!!!!! After lunch we went to Wal-Mart to get some febreeze for the van. Philip had realized he forgot his pillow and blanket so he bought a pillow and a zebra print snuggie!! We went back to the hotel to swim and play with the beach ball I got at Wally World. The kids spent some time in the work out room of the hotel and then that evening we went to Arby's for dinner. We spent the evening chilling and got a good night's sleep before the next day.

World Changers 2010 ~ unhindered~Saturday, 7/17/10

My World Changers experience was more than I ever imagined it would be. I have always wanted to go on a mission trip and until now had never gotten the opportunity. So, I was super excited when the other female chaperone had to get out of going so I could go. Here are my highlights for the week....
Saturday, July 17th - The church van picked me up around 7 am...Cricket did catch the back of Philip's jeans because she thought he was stealing my stuff when he carried it out of the house. We picked up the kids at their homes and went back to the church to drop off Bro Jim and hit the road. We were on the road by 9:30 am. Philip kept us entertained with his ipod - -Dennis, TJ, Clifford & Lexis didn't really like his choice of music, but I have pretty much gotten used to it and do actually like some of the songs...especially since he still has my fave Christmas song on and I got to hear it. There were even a couple of times when I would have him play it just to irritate them. We stopped somewhere in Georgia to fill up and ate lunch at Chick-fil-a. Philip and I were having such a good time talking to each other that we actually missed our exit on I-75 and had to take this huge detour thru the GA backroads. We arrived at the Hampton Inn in Griffin, GA around 3 or 4 pm and checked in just in time for it to start pouring rain. The guys brought our bags in and after the rain stopped Clifford, Lexis, Philip and I hit the pool for a while and then changed and we all went to CiCi's for dinner. We had a devotion in our hotel room and all went to bed for the night.