Monday, July 27, 2009

Junior High Mission Trip

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of being an adult sponsor on the junior high mission trip with our church. Four adult sponsors, 1 high school youth for music, and 12 junior high kids ready to work headed off to East Bernard, Texas, to help out folks in need. This was my first time on a mission trip and I had a great time.

We left on a Thursday afternoon. Since we would each have a work group once we got there, I ended up driving my own car. I got lucky, though, and got two girls to ride with me. They slept most of the way and we talked the rest of the way.

Our church was the first church to arrive, so we claimed a room and set out to arrange our air mattresses the best way we could so that we would still have a path to walk in. We thought we had done good and were totally full, but when the other churches arrived we had to squeeze two more people in with us. Yikes! It was packed.

Thursday night we met our group, ate dinner and got to hear about what we would be doing the next two days. My group was assigned to the "big house" and we would be scraping paint off the house and then repainting it. After sending the kids to bed, the sponsors met briefly and then we were off to bed.

Friday morning we woke up at 7:00am, ate breakfast, did the chores assigned to our group, made our lunches, loaded our coolers and headed off to the house. Upon arrival at the house we looked for any dangers the kids should be aware of and then got to work. Scraping paint with small paint scrapers is not easy. Luckily we had some hard workers in the group and it went well. We broke for lunch and the safety people came by with misters and popsicles for us. Yum! Then it was back to work. We managed to get most of the house done before leaving for the day.

Since we were staying at the church and there were 80-90 of us total, we showered at the local gym. We gathered our clothes and headed off. I haven't showered in a gym locker room in a long time! Then it was back to the church for dinner and games. It rained Friday night, so our swimming activity was delayed, but we finally made it to the pool and the kids got to swim for at least a little while. Then it was back to the church for worship and bed.

Saturday morning was a repeat of Friday morning. Only this time we were joined by more of the groups at the house. After all, we had to finish scraping and get to painting. Each group took a portion of the house. It's amazing that so many kids could work so well together. They did get a little paint on each other, but what do you expect with a bunch of junior high kids? By the end of the day, the majority of the house was painted. There was still a small area on the back of the house that needed to get done, but one of the leaders offered to come back the next weekend and finish up. The kids should be proud of their work.

Saturday night brought rain again, but it didn't seem to phase the kids at all. They got along well and enjoyed playing games with each other in the fellowship hall until time for dinner and sharing. After that we had a surprise activity. We were told we were having a duct tape ball! Yep. You read that right. We (sponsors included) were each given a plastic table cloth and a roll of duct tape. We had about 20 minutes to create an outfit (worn over regular clothes) to wear to the ball. Some of the kids are pretty darn creative! The ball was a lot of fun.

Sunday morning we woke up, packed, loaded the cars, ate breakfast, and then went to services at the church where we were staying. Several of the kids made comments about how good the sermon was, so that was nice. After service we headed home.

It was a short mission trip but we got a lot accomplished and had a lot of fun. Plus, it was nice to be there with Madison.


Grandma J said...

I love that last picture of you and Madison. What a wonderful role model you are in so many ways.

Busy Bee Suz said...

This is so great. What a good bunch of kids and Adults teaching a valuable lesson in helping out others. LOVE those outfits made in a jiffy!

Anonymous said...

It was A LOT of fun! I love those short trips and Jr. Highers!

Shauna said...

What a great thing! I'm so glad you got to go with Madison. Looks like it was a super fun trip! Good for you!

Anonymous said...

What a great thing to do!!
Happy End of Summer,