After and during lunch, many people showed fatigue in their actions, body language, and speech. Chris, Pastor Emily, and Father Mac decided it would be a smart idea for people to take an hour free time break. After the hour, it was decided that only half of the people needed to work and the other half could resume their free time (we work fast). Since many people were asleep at the time of the decision, most people who were awake went downstairs to work. The workers persevered and fed on each other’s energy. They heroically finished, cleaned up, and than went upstairs to rest from there long day of work.
Due to our speedy shelf completion time, we had an unprecedented amount of post-lunch free time. A few of us returned to work to tie up some loose ends but we finished in a jiffy. The rest of the crew filled their time with rejuvenating naps, catching up with their home friends, games, and putting their admiration for their peers on paper through bangin’ out some care cards. Although mission trips are unique for their 24 hour exposure to friends and fun, alone time can be refreshing. Because this time was so personal, I felt that my reflection alone would not do the time justice. Thus, I conducted interviews to really capture the range of activities. Here was my prompting question:
“So how did you spend your extended break? Did you enjoy it?”
Here are my responses:
- Alex: “I liked it. I wrote some care cards and hung out with Beverly and listened to some show tunes. Didn’t nap..surprisingly”
- Tali: “Oh girl I took a nap.”
- RomeDome Conway: “I was working on care cards…wait first my phone..then slept for an hour and a half.”
- Caroline: “I helped the kitchen team.” (Editor’s note: oh how selfless)
- Chandler: “I went on a jog with Eliza and then basically, basically, basically, lived life… OH I packed.”
- Ryan: “I stayed in bed the entire time.”
- Bobby B.: “I slept until 4… then I just kind of chilled out.”
- Ryan on Bobby’s break: “He stayed in bed the entire time.”
- Colin: “I got into the refrigerator..” (Editor’s note: I would like to add that the said refrigerator is not filled with food, he physically put himself into a vacant refrigerator) “Then I hung out with Blake and bothered Matthew while he tried to learn guitar chords.”
- Matthew: “I FaceTimed a friend…” (Editor’s note) “Then I wrote care cards and played guitar.”
- Beverly: “I FaceTimed a friend…” (Editor’s note) “and bopped with Alex”
- Abigail: “I talked to a friend…” (Editor’s note) “and then I napped.”
- Haley: “a huge nap.”
- Blake: “I slept for two hours and then went on my phone for a bit.. and then chilled with Colin.”
- Teddy: “I wrote care cards and then slumped.. it was very peaceful.”
- Nick: “What did I do on my birthday? I worked and went to dinner Charlotte…Okay I clearly misunderstood that. I mainly did care cards and practiced my prelude a little bit.”
- Eliza: “I finished all my care cards.”
- Preston: “So um I was for the most part smart about my time. I spent the first part on my phone and then I fell asleep. So um yeah.”
- Kate: “I just slept and did my care cards.”
- Bobby T.: “I slept for five hours.”
Personally, I was called to read my Bible to further procrastinate my care cards. In doing so I found a note from my Mum highlighting 1 Peter 3:8-11. Mum, I miss ya and I send you blessings! That’s all from me! It was a wonderful last day to sum up a wonderful last mission trip. Signing off! Peace, Love, mission trips for life!
Tonight we had the annual mission trip affirmation circle. Sadly, we were limited to only 5 minutes per person, but almost everyone went past the alarm. Just to show how much emotion people had when complimenting each other, Abigail cried in almost every compliment she gave (<3). It was an amazing ending to this past week because it reaffirmed that the youth at PPC and St. Francis are a beloved community. We worked together, we cried together, and we support each other just to encourage that we are all children of God.
Other notable moments and concluding thoughts:
- Everyone probably wants to know how the Chandler-Caroline saga concluded. Yet, the games were never really about the competition, were they? So who cares who won or lost in the end? What’s important is the friendship that was developed.
- Charlie left us physically, but he will always be remembered in our hearts
- Blake looks like Chicken Little and Elvis Presley… and somehow they both make total sense
- Cammy and Sabrina were delayed but made it home safe at 2:30 am. Good thing they practiced staying up that late
- The siblings on the trip were all crying tonight, I promise it wasn’t my fault
- Crying shows true strength and anyone who says otherwise hasn’t cried in a while
- Do Alex and Eliza really have to leave us this next year?
- Has Preston taken off his bucket hat at any point this trip? Multiple sources saw him sleeping in it
- Bobby, Roman, and Teddy took a four hour long nap in a random room
- We didn’t use any flex tape this trip
- Chris was the foundation of our faith journey this week and is an irreplaceable spiritual link to our church family, we are all so thankful and lucky to have him (Aww they stole my computer to write this)
- This picture was taken:
- Redemption was had
- And just kidding… it was also about the competition. Chandler beat Caroline by an overall score of 4-2
What an amazing journey and trip! We were blessed with mostly good health, incredible food, meaningful devotional time, and positive attitudes from all the students. God truly was served, discovered, and made known by this bunch. God is love. Love happened.
Join us this Sunday (6/23/19) to hear from the youth about this life-giving journey!
Though it was meant to be another early morning here in Fayetteville, last night’s deep conversations and bonding time extended far into the night (as a few were just beginning to tuck into bed around 3 am). Many struggled to wake themselves up for breakfast time. Luckily, the breakfast crew had an easy task this morning. Group 4 (Susan, Eliza, Matthew, Bob, Ryan, and Sabrina) were on duty again and were lucky enough to be assigned the simple task of opening up cereal boxes, sticking english muffins in the oven, and setting out fruit for all to share. Everyone quickly finished their meals, becoming nourished and eager to see what was in store for work day #3!
Today was the first work day where we didn’t leave the UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) headquarters. Instead we stayed and built shelves that will be going in UMCOR trailers. They are needed so that more tools can be stored and taken to houses that need help, in a more organized fashion. I was working with Roman, Abigail, and Kate. At first we struggled to find a smoothly functioning system, but after putting together a few shelves we found the groove. To the average eye, our system may have looked complicated and hard to follow, but because of our great communication and never fading teamwork, we were all on the same page. After three hours of hard work, we had finished around 10 shelves that were ready to be connected and installed. It was awesome to be able to step back and see the work you did and know that it is going to make someone else’s life easier. For me, that is the greatest feeling in the world, and I am very proud of the work our group did. At lunch we all sat together and talked about our experiences.
– Bob (Burr)
Team 3 (Susan, Eliza, Sabrina, Matthew, Ryan, Bob, and of course Ed) set out lunch after working hard on the shelves parts, however this spread of food was quickly rearranged by our OCD squad, Tali, Colin, Preston, and yours truly, into neat lines of chips, tightly organized jars of condiments, and perfectly jenga-stacked granola bars (this may have been an effort to avoid screwing together a few final shelve parts, but that is irrelevant). Everyone grabbed their food and sat together in their devotion groups where we talked about beloved communities, how to make a beloved community, and how being a member of a beloved community makes you feel. After lunch devotion we were awarded a 30 minute nap time since our group had been particularly sluggish that morning (this may or may not have been due to the fact that some members of our beloved community only got about 3.5 hours of sleep last night). The group took complete advantage of the rest period. Many mission trippers schlumped in their spots of choosing, while the few functional ones went to learn how to put the shelves together. We all came back peppier than ever after our naps and were led in a group stretch by Eliza. Chris and the few that had learned about the shelves taught everyone how to put together the pieces and after a few trials and errors the crew was working together like a well oiled machine. In total we grinded out 17 shelves in the 2.5 hours after lunch. In all, the group had a very productive work day, and we will continue our work on the shelves tomorrow.
Mom, Dad, Juliette, I’m still alive. Peace out readers.
After a long, tiring day of work, we drilled in our last screws around 4 pm and transitioned to unveiling our beloved Tie-dye shirts. We all went out front, eagerly hosing down the shirts to see what masterpieces, or in some cases tragedies, we had created. My personal artistic ability is virtually non-existent, so to my surprise, I didn’t fully ruin my Tie-dye. Our excited (and some disappointed) bunch began to hang the shirts out to dry and retreated back inside for dinner, hands stained with color and stomachs ready to chow down on enchiladas. Later.
Today we walked to a high school softball field and hopped the fence to play ultimate. One person got a small cut, but everyone was alright. We jumped right into the game, with teams being chosen by partnering up, playing rock paper scissors, then the winner split from the loser. The teams were pretty even, with a few dominant players, but they shared the Frisbee. Everyone had a good time playing ultimate. Overall a fantastic experience that was lots of fun!
Other notable moments:
- The Chandler-Caroline games have resumed and it is not looking good for the hometown favorite (Caroline of course)
- Susan is the resident photographer
- The kids couldn’t hang after staying up too late, so we had mandatory nap time
- Abigail caught a touchdown in ultimate Frisbee after insisting that she would be a liability to her team
- Molly made a Starbucks run
- Roman is sneakily hilarious and doesn’t seem to know it… he also plays Rust
- Mac can throw a mean Frisbee and so can Emily
- This picture was taken:
- This video was taken:
Woohoo! Another day has come and gone! One full day left and then we are headed back to Maryland.
We all started day 4 off with a much needed extra hour of sleep! Instead of our usual 7:15 breakfast, we were happy to snooze our alarms and instead have breakfast at 8:30, prepared by the most organized cooking team of them all (this is according to Ed, I’m not making this up) team 3. After evening devotions the night before, our team worked hard on crafting a delicious egg casserole to be put in the oven the next morning, complete with 6 pounds of sausage browned by Kate, 60 eggs cracked and whipped by Beverly, 3 bags of cheese sprinkled by Bobby, and 36 slices of bread torn into tiny pieces by Alex. This morning, Bobby taught the girls how to prepare the perfect slice of toast, Beverly made the best coffee of the whole week, and Mac cooked the casserole in the oven to perfection. After Preston finally joined us at 8:38, we prayed for the busy day ahead of us and filled our stomachs with eggs, cheese, sausage, and bread. After breakfast we packed into the vans and drove five minutes to the US Army Airborne and Special Operations Museum. We all learned so many new things and loved reading the stories, looking at the exhibits (like the Black Hawk Down rotor), and experiencing a simulation that mimicked the thrill of riding in various military vehicles and other forms of transportation (like skiing and falling from a plane!). We all wished we could’ve spent even longer at the museum seeing and reading everything it had to offer.
Today the car rides made us all feel so close. Tali and Charlotte harmonized to Carrie Underwood, while Nick sang us a battalion march song. As Chandler crammed himself (all 6’7″) in the back of the van, Chris laughed and sang with us. We all felt spiritually connected when some ACDC came on blasting. We even stopped next to some people in the armed forces while listening to the official army anthem. We were grateful to be so connected with each other when driving around throughout the day.
Today we had an exciting adventure at the ropes/rock climbing place. I laughed a bit at the name because it was literally called “The Climbing Place.” Once we stepped in, we all jumped to the ninja warrior setup. Many learned how to tie ropes and belay for each other. We all jumped off the wall, hoping we didn’t hit the ground (especially Eliza) and putting our trust in our belaying partner. At the end, each of us tried the parkour course. Most of us could only get to the second obstacle. Only Kate, Teddy, Chandler, and Matthew could make it past the first section; Matthew completed it twice. Overall, it was a fun experience with the races that we “weren’t supposed to have for safety reasons” and the cheering on as everyone took a crack at the obstacle course.
– Bobby (Trenkamp)
As sad as we were to not have a dinner a-la-Ed, our group was still excited to head off to Chick-fil-A for some nugs. We descended on the restaurant in a cloud of hungry confusion as everyone ordered and got settled. Trays and trays of nuggets were consumed, but no milkshakes as our next stop was Dairy Queen. Everyone arrived safely at DQ except Pastor Emily’s car which took an unplanned detour, better described as getting lost. We loaded up on ice cream and headed back for devotion. Today we focused on building community! We discussed the impact a small act of kindness can have.
Other notable moments:
- The Chandler-Caroline games are on hold
- Colin is surprisingly good at walking on tightropes and throws cards a little too well…
- Kate expertly sizzled sausage
- Bobby’s casserole was chunky
- Blake pulled his tooth out at Chick-fil-A
- Charlotte decided Iced Coffee was the move
- Emily almost threw up on the simulation ride at the museum
- Cammy doesn’t get why Tali’s family gets Pajamas on Christmas Eve
- Chris missed the “batter” typo and the evidence of this was destroyed
- This picture was taken:
- These videos were taken:
- And Sabrina and Cammy leave tomorrow
Check back tomorrow for the latest on the St. PPC crew!
The day began early with Ed waking up the breakfast crew at 6:30, about. After getting down to the kitchen, the sausages were cut, the pancake batter was mixed, and preparations for later in the day began. After everyone else woke up and came down, we blessed our meal and ate. Many people said that this was the best breakfast so far. After cleaning up from breakfast, we got dressed for the workday and departed in high spirits.
The night before, we did not get very much sleep because we were having fun the whole night. Surprisingly, I woke up today feeling energized and ready for work. We prepared pancakes and sausages for everyone, it tasted wonderful. We then prepared for work, filling up water bottles and packing lunches. We arrived at the house and the instructor told us how to put insulation on the walls and under the floor. Bobby, Caroline, Colin, Alex, and Kate volunteered to go under the floorboards, crawl through dirt, and put insulation on the floor. They also had on white suits that covered all of their body to prevent them from getting injured. Roman and I started to put insulation in between the gaps. About 2 hours later, the house had insulation on the walls. Unfortunately, the crew of people under the floor boards had to keep working after lunch, because their job was not done. Our group went to the other house to start painting the walls. It was exciting to paint walls, but after a while it got boring. Everyone was tired and we started to head home.
A lucky group of 9 was chosen for the daunting task of painting the home we’d worked on yesterday. Amongst the group we split 15 gallons of paint amongst pairs and claimed a room. After a couple hours of work, the homeowner Ms. Brown came by to share her story and experience during and after both storms. At lunch, the crew had completed multiple coats on the walls and ceilings in half the house. Following the break, reinforcements from one of the insulation homes joined the crew and got to the point of completing 80% of the house by around 2:00, only to find out that we were not supposed to paint any of the ceilings we’d exhausted our shoulders over. Running out of paint, Kelley went out to purchase 10 more gallons to paint the remaining rooms. By about 4:15, we finished and as we were cleaning up, found we’d missed a bathroom. The whole squad, tired out, packed themselves into the space and completed it in record breaking time; signing their initials on the ceiling. Leaving at 4:55, the late crew was rewarded with McDonald’s and cold showers. Needless to say, it was a long day on the work site, but Ed’s food made it all worth it in the end.
Hello PPC! Today, we ate stir fry for dinner, made for us lovingly by group #4 (Ryan, Susan, Bob, Eliza, Sabrina, & Matthew, and of course Ed). The stir fry was absolutely delicious and was a great way to end the day. Before dinner, a few of our cars stopped at McDonalds for McFlurries, the perfect pre-dinner snack. We also were so graciously given some amazing taquitos as an appetizer. See ya soon!
Hello all! Today we had small groups! After dinner, we broke into our small groups. Those at work sites get to spend the whole day together. In our small groups we talked about letting go of our burdens, giving them to God and the weight we feel from them. We also met during lunch to talk about the same topic. We all wrote our burdens down and passed them to our crew members, and at the end of the day, we prayed for each others’ burdens and laid them down on the cross in front of God. We continued small group discussion and talked about how liberating and sometimes embarrassing it can be to bring our burdens to God. Today our small groups were very fun and interesting. We can’t wait for tomorrow!
Other notable moments:
- Team Hazmat has assembled and when they set their mind to something, they get it done
- The Caroline-Chandler games have taken a drastic shift and it is now tied
- Pastor Emily took Preston to town in a basketball shooting competition
- Bob can shuffle cards really well
- The girls took a nap at 8:30 pm, because that makes sense
- Ryan bites jolly ranchers to his teeth’s dismay
- Haley is the resident savage
- Charlie knows all the words to every Moana song
- This picture was taken:
- And Ed is letting us all sleep in tomorrow!
Day three has come and gone. What sort of shenanigans will we get into tomorrow?
This morning, team 1 woke up to cook breakfast! We cooked bacon, eggs, and put out some lunch food. It was a long adventure, but Ed led us with his cooking expertise. Colin and Teddy were tackling the mountain of bacon, while Tali and Roman prepped for the day. Our biggest challenge was pouring the hot bacon grease into Ed’s can without burning anything or clogging the sink. Caroline and Teddy used oven mitts to escape the hot bacon oil and Colin cooked his first eggs. We all hope your morning was as delicious and fun as ours was. Don’t burn your bacon.
(Caroline forgot to mention that she was the MVP of the breakfast crew – Chris)
Monday Morning! After breakfast, we drove to a street with a couple houses we planned to work in. We were all going to clean out some trash from someone’s yard, but when we got there, someone had already cleaned it up. Instead, we split up into 3 groups. Chris’ group removed dry wall and insulation from someone’s flooded house. We also cleaned out his laundry room and got rid of all his trash from inside. Across the street, Susan’s group was sanding the walls and ceilings inside a house. In a different neighborhood, Pastor Emily’s group was installing insulation throughout a house.
After refueling our bodies and our faith, the work groups returned to their job sites. The sanding was finished, which meant it was Rag Time for groups 2 and 3. The groups worked as a well oiled machine, wiping the dust off of every inch of the ceiling and walls in the house. At one point, Eliza, Teddy, Blake, Charlie, and Bob unintentionally got locked inside of a bathroom without a handle. After countless hours (8 minutes max) Ed Tennent and Chandler came to their rescue. After a few more hours of wiping down, the job was complete, and the house is ready to be painted tomorrow. Group 1, led by Charlotte and Matthew, successfully installed insulation throughout the entire house at their work site.
While the majority of the group was resting in the afternoon, laziness, our small dinner crew was hard at work preparing a spaghetti fiesta. Our meal was a simple pasta and salad that went a long way. Many of the laborers were famished from the hard day and shoveled spaghetti and meat sauce down their throats. I honestly thought I wouldn’t be hungry after Caroline’s home baked cookies.
Today during devotion we learned the importance of love and how love comes from God. Since love comes from God it is important that we show love and recognize love around us.
Other notable highlights:
- Bobby was able to dead lift a water tank mostly by himself to save the day
- Team Eliza crushed Team Alex in a back and forth game of celebrities
- Caroline beat Chandler in multiple competitive games
- Charlotte and Teddy led amazing prayers at meal time
- Beverly doesn’t like the song “Old Town Road”
- Nick plays the fiddle
- This picture was taken:
- And Matthew thinks the card game War is a game of skill
That is all for day 2! Tune in tomorrow night for the latest in our Fayetteville adventures!
We have made it safely to Fayetteville! After grabbing a bite to eat at Cook Out, we hit Walmart to grab our food for the week!
Before leaving, we of course had to buy some silly hats. And by silly… I mean completely practical when we are going to be working in the sun!
We headed back to store our goods and ended the night with a brief overview of the week ahead.
With the drive behind us, we head to bed anxiously awaiting our day tomorrow. To the shock of some, and the joy of many, our first brave breakfast group will attempt to cook a meal for 29 at the wee hours of 6:30 am. Roman, Tali, Teddy, Caroline, Colin and I drew the short straw on this one. 40 eggs, grits, and 4 pounds of bacon await us.
That is all for our first day! Look forward to all future blog posts coming from the students. Thank you for all of your prayers and support!
Woohoo! We are about to head out on an incredible journey. This Sunday we will load up 5 vans to aid communities in Fayetteville, NC who were impacted by two recent hurricanes. Following along here to track each day of our trip!